Bolivar in the USA

An essay about Bolívar and his brief stay in the US

Bolivar in the US

The purpose of this project is to inform more in detail about an episode in the life of the Libertador Simón Bolívar when he visited the United States about 200 years ago.


Bolivar Blvd Exhibition

Frederic Jameson Gallery. Friedl Building.
316 Campus Dr., Duke University, East Campus, Durham NC 27705

July 09 to September 23, 2011. Gallery Hours: Mon-Thurs 9 am - 4 pm.

Diamante Inc

Bond Park Community Center

Friday 21 and Saturday 22 of May, 2010

CHICLE, Talk, Bolivar in the USA

101 East Weaver Street, Suite G1 27510 (3rd floor)

Sunday June 21, 5pm to 6:30pm

El Centro Hispano

201 West Main Street 27701

Saturday Octuber 18 2008, 3pm to 5pm

Durham Main Library

300 N Roxboro Street 27701

Saturday Octuber 11 2008, 3pm to 5pm

Other Projects

Also, as part of this legacy we intent to share more information in regards of cities, statues and monuments made in his honor in the US territory.

Book Summary

Bicentennial of his Visit (1807-2007)

Simón Bolívar, who organized and led military forces, to free the northern portion of South America from Spanish rule in the early nineteenth century. His direct action resulted in independence for Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and his native Venezuela. While others talked or dreamed of independence, Bolívar united and motivated a small group of followers to defeat the Spanish occupiers through surprise attacks and wise decisions in the midst of battle.

In any case there gaps in the life of Bolívar between 1807 and 1810 which should not be passed over as if he were already the Liberator, completely mature and ready to joint battle. This include his visit to the United States.

According to Dr. Bushnell: "Bolívar was one of the few Latin Americans of his day who actually visited the United States. He stopped for a period of five or six months on the return leg of one of his two trips to Europe. He never made any detailed reference to this visit in his writings, and to what extent his stopover may have influenced his later attitudes must remain a matter of speculation. There is reason to assume, however, the impressions he took away with him were generally positive. As he remarked years later to one U.S. diplomat, it was on this short visit that he first observed a condition of "rational liberty".

Bolívar's accomplishments are remarkable, especially considering that with an army never numbering more than ten thousand, he liberated most of an entire continent, an area nearly one-half that of the United States. Often referred as "the George Washington of South America", Bolívar in some ways deserves that label.


After continuing on to Naples, Italy and spending more time with Humboldt. At the end of 1805, Bolívar returned to Paris but he never returned to his dissipated way of life. He remained stranded in that city for months, however, because the Admiral Horatio Nelson's smashing victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar on October 21, 1805. The British lost not only a single ship, but they did lose their brilliant Admiral Nelson.

In 1806 and 1807, Napoleon tried to ruin Britain's economy by cutting off its trade with continental Europe. His "Continental System" ordered the seizure of any neutral ship that visit a British port, paid British duties, or allowed itself to be searched by a British vessel.<

In May 1806 Great Britain declared the French coast blockaded from Brest to the Elbe River. No money from Venezuela could penetrate the blockade, but Bolívar found another way to get home

In a Bolívar´s letter to his French friend, Alexandre Dehollain, sent from Paris on June 23, 1806: "All the news that we receive about Miranda´s expedition is a little sad because it is claimed that he plans to revolutionize the country, and this can cause much misery for the colony&as inhabitants. Nevertheless, I should love to be there, for my presence in the country would save me trouble." He seems to be thinking of his property, not his oath. This letter was taken by some critics as an indication that Bolívar was not yet serious about the revolution.

Bolívar unable to draw money from his country owing to the war, he borrowed ten thousands francs with 36% annual of interest on this amount from his friend Alexandre Dehollain for the expenses in his travel to United States. He took his time about returning.

In the mid-October 1806 he traveled from Holland to Hamburg, during the French occupation. Bolívar reached Hamburg very quickly. The boat left for Boston next day. He explored the harbour and inspected the enormous warehouses and thought of Maracaibo Lake or the bay of Cumaná, whose industries he thought of developing. Finally, he embarked in late November on a neutral vessel to United States. He was doubtless more concerned for his nephew, Anacleto Clemente, who was traveling with him, than for himself.

Writer Michael Vaucaire described: "The ship in which he was to sail was a fine fourmaster, half equipped for commerce and half for war; she carried forty guns. Bolívar congratulated the captain upon her good order, and the beauty of the carving at the prow. He was interested in the working of the ship; the captain, who was Dutch, told him that in his youth he had bought negroes in Guinea to sell again in the West Indies; in the end he had been ruined by pirates. In those days he had only commanded a little brigantine of no account. Now he no longer feared any one, showed Simón how the guns were loaded. The crew was composed of experienced seamen who had seen more than one fight and had dealt in every kind of trade; they were of several nationalities: Irish, German, Scandinavian, Breton, and even half naked Africans who climbed up the masts like monkeys."

In Boston

Bolívar disembarks late 1806 in Boston. After almost two months, the journey was uneventful, although the weather was so bad and for the first time he complained about fevers, possibly malarial, from which he was to suffer increasingly.

He decided to stay for several weeks in Boston seeing for himself how a democratic government works in spite of the bitter cold of the North American winter. He was amazed of the brick buildings of several colors, the carefully paved streets, the enormous public buildings and the Exchange Coffee House, which contained two hundred rooms ... Bolívar walked around the city. At Franklin square, with seven bridges, three of them made in wood linked the city with the suburbs.

Simón Bolívar was born (1783) in Caracas at about the same time that Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were putting the finishing touches to the peace treaty that established the independence of the United S

The history of the United States begins in the Northeastern and Southeastern states. After the pilgrims landed in the Northeast, they began a unique way of life and established a representative form of government that was so spread over the continent. It was in the Northeast that the struggle for freedom from colonial status began. It was also in this region that the young American´s nation first great cities -Boston, New York, and Philadelphia- grew up. And it was from the Northeast that the country was first governed.

Bolívar -five feet, six inches tall- at the age of twenty-three years-old, a slim good-looking young man with penetrating dark eyes. Without knowing why, people were apt to stand up when he came into a room. In his native country was famous for good horsemen he could outride anyone. His endurance in the saddle was so remarkable that in later he earned the nickname "copper bottomed". He was always on the go-riding, walking, swimming, dancing. If anyone wanted to talk to Bolívar, he had to keep moving. Some people complained of his restlessness; other admired his nervous energy. Even when he dictated letters, he was always swinging in a hammock or pacing up and down the room.

Bolívar spoke and wrote French correctly, and Italian with fair perfection; he knew English and German, barely enough to understand what he read. He thoroughly knew the Greek and Latin classics, which he had studied, and he always read them with pleasure in good French translations.

In spite of his youth, Bolívar took part in every conversation, astonished people by the boldness of his ideas and fascinated them by his personal charm. He was the handsome, rather mysterious foreigner who might be pardoned for opinions that were witty but often daring. Bolívar was very much a child of the Enlightenment, bred on a diet of Rousseau and Voltaire. He studied avidly the Declaration of Independence and greatly admired of Jefferson. Like Lafayette, he was aristocrat. His imagination was made almost drunk by the name of Liberty -Liberty, however, that he never bothered to define; Bolívar was a man of action, not a man of reflection.

In New York City

Then, Bolívar continue his travel and he had especially enjoyed New York City. It is the largest of the Northeastern States and has formed a bridge between the generally similar traditions of the New England States and the strikingly diverse ethnic, social and cultural traditions of the Middle Atlantic states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. In these states, the different traditions were derived from the Scandinavians, the Palestines from southern Germany, and from the English Quakers.

There Bolívar talked to any kind of people. He went about very quietly. But New York was not far behind Philadelphia in population (around seventy thousand). Except these two, no city in the whole United States had more than thirty thousand inhabitants. Bolívar was really impressed of buildings of up to ten floors, with a modern urbanism of avenues, bridges, theaters, steam parks, universities, hospitals, police stations, wharves, big ships; in contrast, this populated metropolis that in anything was looked like his nostalgic, colonial and impoverished homeland Venezuela, oppressed by the yoke of the Spanish oligarchy.

In 1806, another Venezuelan patriot, Francisco de Miranda, organized an expeditionary force in New York with a group of 200 soldiers. When they disembarked in Coro, Venezuela, they did not find the necessary support and the mission failed.

At that time liberty was not a cold political concept to be analyzed by critics, nor did men invoke it with qualifications and sophisms. Instead, all men regarded it as new way of life which would change public and private morality. It was impossible to conceive of dignity, justice or happiness without liberty, and men would achieve fame merely by fighting for it.

For example, appointed Historian Augusto Mijares, "Would Bolívar´s prejudices against Miranda weaken as a result of what he must have heard in the United States in 1807, during his journey back to Venezuela. It is not rash to suggest this. Although the North American authorities had regarded Miranda´s expedition of the previous year coldly, other republicans welcomed him enthusiastically. Moreover, Bolívar could have been told things about his extraordinary compatriot in the lodges and other secret societies of the United States, which completely contradicted the calumnies he had heard previously."

During a meeting with young aristocratic men told this story as they smoked their long cigars. Simón Bolívar sat thinking in a corner. He was the calmest of all. They even accused him [Miranda] of being nothing but an amateur, useful enough in providing money, but incapable of a personal effort. Bolívar thought of Paris, of Vienna, of the Monte Sacro; what was to be done with this men who talked so big and whom the least check would overthrow, the least distraction would divert, from their magnificent schemes? Ah, if every one were as obstinate as Miranda, Venezuela would soon be free! Simón Bolívar had never forgotten Miranda. During the next four years since the expedition from New York, he has been thinking about that distinguished old warrior with the love of liberty deep in his soul.

In New Jersey

Bolívar continue his travel thru the middle Atlantic cities. As in New York, the major groups immigrating into New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania in the 18th century consisted of Dutch, English, Germans, Irish and after the Civil War, Italians, Polish and other eastern and southern Europeans, in that order. In 1790 the population of the Middle Atlantic area was more than 90 percent rural. Just few people had as yet moved west of the Appalachian mountains.

In 1775, the American Revolution, also called the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), broke out between the colonies and England. Because New Jersey was located between the cities of New York and Philadelphia, it became the site of several major Revolutionary War battles. Bolívar is said to have visited the battlefields of the American Revolution.

On December 18, 1787, New Jersey ratified, or approved, the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution is a document that states the basic laws of the United States, and provided the framework for the way that the government is organized. On the same day, New Jersey became the third state of the newly formed United States. Trenton became the state capital in 1790 and remains so today.

After the Revolutionary War were a time of political change in New Jersey. During this time New Jersey was unusual among the states in permitting women and free blacks to vote -provided that they owned a certain amount of property.

On July 2, 1776 the state´s revolutionary constitution had granted suffrage to single women, not to married women, who remained subsumed by their husband´s political identity. In 1807 the state abandoned this distinction and withdrew the vote from all women and free blacks after a controversial local election in Essex County.

New Jersey also ended slavery within its borders, as did most of the Northern states, following the Revolutionary War. The state government decided on a policy of gradual emancipation (freedom) ´under state law, any male child born into slavery had to be freed by age twenty-five and female children were to be freed at twenty-one.

One of the greatest challenges facing New Jersey at the start of the 19th century was the need to improve its transportation network. Much of the nation´s trade passed through the state, but the roads between the nation´s most important cities, New York and Philadelphia, were in poor shape -travelers as Bolívar describe them as "hopeless ruts and quagmires." The need to transport people and wagons across the Delaware and other rivers lengthened the journey.

The first major bridge across the Delaware River opened in 1806, making it possible for people to travel from Philadelphia to the New Jersey side of the Delaware. New Jersey was separated from New York by the Hudson River and from Philadelphia by the Delaware River. Most 18th century travelers crossed these two major waterways by ferry which began operating at the beginning of 1700´s.

In Philadelphia, Pa.

Bolívar continued his travel to Philadelphia to await money from Caracas. Philadelphia was one the largest city in the United States in that time. It had a population of seventy thousands. Pennsylvania State, because of its Quaker policy of religious and political toleration, welcomed a more diverse immigration than any of its neighbors. His colony would be open to people of all faiths. William Penn called it his Holy Experiment. They were the earliest advocates of full emancipation for slaves, rights for women, and care for the unfortunates of society.

Also Bolívar went Philadelphia because his nephew Anacleto Clemente (the oldest son of his sister María Antonia Bolívar and Pablo Clemente) was accepted at The Public School of Germantown (male) in Germantown, Pa. which was founded in 1759. It is the oldest nonsectarian day school in the United States but in 1961, now Germantown Academy, was moved to Fort Washington which is located approximately 15 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, Bolívar visit some fellows (all of them host the independence and the American Masonry) looking for their advises, collaboration and support. According to the Masonic Tradition, Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternal order in the world, having been in existence for over 800 years.

Simón Bolívar joined Freemasonry in Cadiz, Spain. In January 1806, he was made a Brother of the Lodge of Saint Alexander of Scotland as far as the 30th Degree in Paris was knighted in a Commandery of Knights Templar. Metaphysics became his favorite study, and skeptical philosophy, it is to be regretted, made a deep impression on his mind. One afternoon, during his travel to United States, when he had gone into his cabin to arranged many things which he had brought from Europe, Bolívar came across his Freemason´s diploma. He unrolled the great printed sheet, which showed a curtain hanging in an antique temple. It bore the different symbols, level, trowel, square, compass, the three points and the mallet, also croushing sphinxes.

Just a few Latin American were living in the United States in that time. Political as well as economic concerns bound Philadelphia with the southern hemisphere in the 19th century. After the Haitian revolution in 1804, many Caribbean and Latin American nations began the struggle for their independence.

One early arrival was Manuel Trujillo y Torres (1762-1822). A student of Enlightenment philosophy, Torres took part in a conspiracy to overthrow Spanish colonial rule of New Granada (now Colombia) in 1794. Forced to flee the country, he left behind his family and sought asylum in the United States. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1796 and remained until his death, maintaining close ties to other Latin American patriots throughout their revolutionary period. Commercial trade between Philadelphia and the Spanish colonies was booming and it was the center of Latin American study and influence, due to the American Philosophical Society´s interest in the subject. Nearly every Latin American leader who visited the country came to Philadelphia at some point during his travels, including Gen. Francisco de Miranda (1805) and Simón Bolívar (1807), both of whom Torres undoubtedly met.

In Baltimore, Md.

From Philadelphia to Baltimore were 128 miles. Bolívar took a stagecoach for less than $3!. Baltimore, the second after Ellis Island entry point of a wave of immigrants in the nineteen century and an important port of the Atlantic coast. In 1791 the centre of the population of the United States has been east of Baltimore. It was now eighteen miles west of that city.

Baltimore, Maryland, the most northerly of the Southeastern cities, is a true large city. It owes its prominence to its strategic location in the Chesapeake Bay area, a key shipping lane. Although next door to the North, Baltimore is still half southern in tone. It began as a tobacco-shipping port. Its nearness to Pennsylvania´s iron and steel and the South´s agricultural staples, plus its superb harbor, helped it become one of the nation´s leading seaports and a major railhead. The streets of old Baltimore present a picturesque vista of red brick row houses with white marbles steps. But like many of America´s older cities, it began to seem cramped, old fashioned, and dingy.

Another Venezuelan, Simón Rodriguez has been living in this city seven years before. Don Simón Rodriguez was born in Caracas in 1769. Rodriguez was an educator and among his pupils was the future Liberator, Simón Bolívar. Rodriguez begun his lessons about time Bolívar´s mother died in 1792. Then Rodriguez´ role in the failed Picornell, Gual and España conspiracy against the Spanish Crown. However, there was little proof against him, and through the influence of Bolívar´s Uncle Carlos and the able defense of Miguel Sanz he was released and he was forced to leave Venezuela in 1797.

Then he traveled to Kingston, Jamaica where he changed his name to Samuel Robinson, (taken from Robinson Crusoe, the castway in Daniel Dafoe´s novel-Rodriguez´ favorite character and Rousseau´s model of the natural man). There, he learned English language and decided to travel to United States.

In the mid- 1797 Simon Rodriguez is learning about the Graphic Arts in Baltimore. John Adams is the President of United States (1797-1801). At the same time, Rodriguez is working as a typesetter press, joined and heightened its artisan skill with his pedagogical and aesthetic dowries. It used the diverse fonts to emphasize -that are way adapted of certain emphases in the press words and phrases according to the conceptual importance, logical, sentimental within the page, that is the own scene of the press.

Also he was teaching French and Spanish by his own. In addition, he acquired a reasonable familiarity with German, and sufficient English to study Thomas Paine´s The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason. In late 1800, Rodriguez returned to Europe because he was a devoted of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and French Revolution ideologies.

In the way from Baltimore to Washington City, Bolívar saw that there was, after all, nothing mystical in his oath in Italy. What these men had done others also might accomplish. He did not as yet see himself as a great leader; he determined only, by all these means which should come to his hand, to further the cause of the freedom of his country.

In Washington City

In March of 1807, Bolívar visits the Washington City, as it had become known popularly, Washington, D.C. at present day. Washington City became the Nation´s Capital in 1800. But the new capital was a city only in name. The people were in no great rush to settle into a place characterized by damp, mosquito-infested areas, free roaming farm animals and more muddy roads than elegant boulevards. One broad long street, Pennsylvania Avenue, led from the unfinished Capitol to the unfinished White House. A few cheaply built and very uncomfortable boarding-houses completed the city.

In the United States Bolívar saw pioneers working courageously, houses being built, and towns growing. Carpenter´s hammers could be heard from all directions, and wagon loads of granite, marble and bricks groaned as they wobbled along the wide roads, covered now with wooden planks to keep the wheels from sinking into the mud. Living conditions in the founding settlements, so recently hewed from the rural countryside of the Potomac River, were poor indeed compared to Philadelphia or many other locations. Whether or not it would long remain the capital city depended almost wholly upon the completion of a meetinghouse for the Congress. In that time, men as Madison, Monroe, Randolf, and Marshall were prominent in political activities. Monroe learned Spanish when a special mission in 1805 was in Spain fulfilling. Also Bolívar talked with private citizens and listened to stories of the American Revolution.

Two years before of Bolívar´s visit, Miranda decided to again try his luck in United States. While visiting Washington City, he was entertained at a dinner at the White House by President Jefferson and Secretary of State Madison. It was following this visit that the first North American blood was shed in an abortive attempt to liberate Venezuela. Probably, Miranda and Bolívar became the firsts Latino Americans who visited the White House.

When Bolívar visit United States, Jefferson was elected for his second term (1805-1809). Jefferson´s second term, on the other hand, proved to a series of domestic tribulations and foreign policy failures, capped by the infamous Embargo Act (1807); The United States Congress passes an act to "prohibit of the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States....from any foreign kingdom, place or country.", which devastated the economy while failing to avert the looming war with England.

Like Thomas Jefferson, who had visit Europe when he was appointed as a minister in France in 1785, Bolívar saw much and they reflected of the causes of the despair, squalor and degradation of the masses in Rome and the larger cities of France, Italy and Spain, where Romanism so largely prevailed.

The Republic created its own traditions without aping the aristocratic structures of Europe, and it created a new morality rather than merely a new political system. Many of the scenes witnessed by Bolívar, like that of the soberly dress President riding a common horse as if he were a country lawyer, could well have been illustrations from an enlightened European treatise on good government and republican happiness. Who knows! - Bolívar thought - perhaps one day Simón Rodriguez´s unlikely vision of an America setting an example for Europe will be reality.


Then Bolívar arrived to Virginia better known as the ´mother of states´ due to that during the colonial times -West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee- carved out of land originally claimed by Virginia. He thought of Washington lying in undying glory at Mount Vernon, of Jefferson guiding his great new country with such a sure hand in Washington City.

The Southeastern States have played a unique and vital role in the history of the United States. They were the scene of exploration and discovery, of the beginnings of representative government in the New World, and of some of the most crucial battles of the American Revolution. Many of the country´s first leaders were south easterners, including George Washington, Father of his Country, and Thomas Jefferson the chief author of the Declaration of Independence.

According to John Crane: "Bolívar was received at Mount Vernon, the home of the great man he so much admired and the man who inspired him to do great things. Gen. Washington had passed away eight years before." Bolívar at that time did not know the full story of Washington, but before many years passed he was to know all that any man then living could know.

Like George Washington, Simón Bolívar was a member of the slaves-owning colonial aristocracy of his country. He came from a rich and powerful family, with investment in agriculture, ranching and sugar mills. Along with many other talented creoles (that is, American born colonist) throughout the Western hemisphere, he resented the ceilings and limitations that European government from overseas placed on advancement by those who were not themselves European.

Slavery was the issue which divided the northern and the southern states. Anti-slavery sentiments gradually grew in the eighteen century. In 1783 the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared slavery illegal under the State´s Constitution. Most other northern states, which traditionally had very few slaves anyway, followed suit. Even in the south, an estimated 10,000 slaves were voluntarily freed between 1782 and 1790. In 1807 the British banned slavery and in 1808 the US Government banned the trade in slaves. (The year 1808 for banning the slave trade had been established at the Constitutional Convention of 1787).

Then Bolívar profoundly influenced by the ideas of the French Enlightenment, he was rare instance of the intellectual who was also a man of action. He was a firm believer in legal equality for all men, regardless of class or color. He was opposed to slavery (Bolívar family owned more than 1,200 slaves) and freed his own slaves in 1821. He saw that the freedom of America from Spanish required to complete conquest of the royalists, lest a base remain on the continent from which a counter revolution could be launched.

Bolívar could observed that the relations between the northern and southern states were strained, basically influenced by two factors: the national economy of the US and the slavery. He heard with deep interest that in the North several States were freeing their slaves . In three Northern States there were no slaves at all, and in many other slaves were freed upon reaching the age of twenty-five years.

North Carolina

Bolívar crossed North Carolina State in the way to Charleston, S.C. Journeys in those days were slow. In each stagecoach, when these could be had, a traveler met and talked to all occupants, or when he rode the lonely trails through the woods he was apt to have a companion. Bolívar talked to everyone as he always did, everywhere. He thought of his own country.

The Outer Banks, the coast changes ominously. North Carolina´s treacherous shore in the Cape Hatteras region has been called the graveyard of the Atlantic. Long, thin barrier reefs run out to a point at Cape Hatteras, then turn sharply southwest to Cape Lookout. Farther south the entrance to Wilmington is market by surf crashing on the menacing rocks of Cape Fear. Hurricanes strikes there with savage force.

In late July 1810 Juan V. Bolívar embarked in Washington to return to Venezuela. Unfortunately, he died in a shipwreck between the coast of North Carolina and Bermuda Islands in the vessel San Felipe Neri in August 1811.

In Charleston, S.C.

Bolívar reached South Carolina sick and penniless, unhappy conditions that would plague him repeatedly. He fell ill with fever. The traveler in those days had a very hard time. On the best roads of the north, in the best coach, and with the best weather one might cover as many as fifty miles a day. But the traveler had to start very early in the morning to do this. Generally Bolívar thought himself fortunate if he made twenty-five miles in the twenty-four hours. South of the Potomac river there were no public coaches.

The South Carolina port is an old colonial town with houses dating back to the 18th century. Life still has a leisurely, languid pace. Charlestonians are proud of their traditions and their luxuriant gardens. They are also proud of their city´s chief role as an international seaport and the prominent part it has played in American history. Also, the seaport city of Charleston became the cultural center of the South.

In this city, Bolívar wrote two letters in French to his friend Alexander Dehollain. In August 1820, from London Bolívar received a letter from Dehollain where he confirmed that he had received those letters from Charleston. Today, those letter are in the Liberator´s archives in Caracas, Venezuela.

While in Charleston, Bolívar explored the harbor and the navy yard of which was famous. He saw an enormous man-of-war on the stocks. He compared his own country, "still uncivilized, crushed by taxes and oppressed by Spanish governors, with this free, active, and ambitious nation." Everything he saw in the land so recently wrestled from its mother country, inspired him with admiration, and each new day his resolve was strengthened.

Then in late June, Bolívar after of a long trip he recovered for several weeks and embarked in a trading ship in Charleston, and with the recent struggle of France and the United States to guide him in his purpose, he set sail for Venezuela´s port at La Guaira.

During his return back to Venezuela he made two further observations: That in the United States equal education for all had not proved inferior to the aristocratic education of Europe, and that the opening of access to fame, prosperity and control of government to the lower classes has caused neither violence nor disorder. At the time this was the only democracy in which the ideal and the practical combined to produce harmonious progress. He thought a lot about what he saw.

Decisively, the United States made a deep impression on Bolívar. Years later he declared: "During my brief visit to the United States I saw rational liberty for the first time in my life." The liberty admired in Europe was the English variety, which was praiseworthy only when compared with continental absolutism. The common people did not participate in public life, neither through elections nor any other means. Social pre-eminance, wealth and fame were still the hereditary privileges of a few, and even elementary education was beyond the reach of most people.


It is quite interesting to find someone, who honestly writes just with a passional attitude about history, more when his writing exposes evidence showing another perspective about the Liberator and his relationships with the United States of America. Up to day, most people truly believe, and actually try to reafirm, about Simón Bolívar´s denial against the United States, and his political Empire built since the Revolutionary War in North America. But, since being young he established a relation with US, which comprehend his education, military career and also his affective life.

While being young his presence in U.S. caused a great impact as he proceed highlighting by his characteristically idiosyncratic manners, his evident behaviour during social meeting amaze and charmed the audience with his brilliant mind and bold expressive modality.

For the first time, this book presents in a very fresh way, a contrary version which may cause disappointment to many historians, and give another tono to their opinions, but Chirinos research was supported by documents, letters and bibliography giving evidence of Bolívar fondness to the U.S., also determined by his remarkable presence in most places visited by him in this nation, many places with his name and many squares honoring him. Even thought, sometimes it seemed, and also questioned by U.S. as if Bolívar eventually looked for a scape from revolutionary Independence in South America, when he wasn´t very sure about conquering the battles by winning honors.

On this pages can be found Bolivar´s fondness by USA, even his intentions in leaving disserted the South American Independence cause to settle himself in the empire of battles for Revolutionary War. Can we see it so as attempting to betray his native nation, or was Bolívar just attracted by the Revolutionary War military strategy, and tempted to stay with them to improve his military career, in a land which already had an economical development? But, actually Bolívar did not earn his glory by any accomplishment in North America, but by his own advantages in South America. It is well explicit that Bolívar was an aristocrat born independence hero, what seems to explore the battles for Independence lead possibility determined by the social class of the military stratagems at that time.

While going carefully on Chirinos lines, we can perceive the many models copied for Bolívar to put in practice in his ideal South American ruling, as political and economical structural organization, and the beginning pattern from American educational. Bolívar was very enthusiastic about the way Americans were organizing the rising nation, even though the South American Independence was a long way behind their reach..

Bolívar even appreciated much North American architecture, during his trips through the North, he was usually amaze by the imposing building structures and beauty, their attractive designs and how their communities were arranged during their social development.

Bolívar was only exposing certain rejection to the long trips between cities and states in stagecoaches, what could be an early health advise on his physical resistance, burdened much by his attributes on dancing and his continuous horse rides. Even so, his frustration feeling about earning honors in North American battles made him show certain rejection to U.S, near the end of his life.

Bolívar so, had done his function as trained observer of American Society grown. As well he experience a recognition time from meeting with their ethnical, social and cultural diversity, and traditions during his visits to different states in North America, what maybe had made of him "a man of tolerance".

He was befriend to most social, political and military classes. Earning prominent political figures, wealthy families and many important military officials their friendship and honor. One of the most important was the one presented by the family of George Washington, presented in a golden medal as a gift.

Also was him a man of family -perhaps he never got marry again after his wife dead- he had taken responsibility for his nephew Anacleto Clemente education in the U.S., and adopted his nephew Fernando Bolívar when his father die, an educate him in North America as a son of his own. Fernando became his "tree shade", The Liberator particular secretary and confident, until his last days.

Simón Bolívar entrusted the American System, being even sheltered during difficult stages of his life, developing in a supported form his strong ideas about South American Independence. Then, through this pages verifying his permanence, we can not deny the impulse North American paradigm had given to The Liberator Simón Bolívar to be a man of revolutionary ideas.

Macanoly V.Q.

Chronological Table



July 4th, Declaration of Independence of the United States.



July 24th, Simón Bolívar was born in Caracas, Venezuela.
September 3rd, Ratification of peace between Great Britain and the United States.



January 19th, Bolívar sails for Spain to complete his education. He did stop in Mexico and Cuba. In Veracruz he wrote his first letter.
Gen. George Washington died in Mount Vernon, Va.



February 12th, in Amiens, France, Bolívar admires Napoleon Bonaparte. He is enraptured by Paris. In May, Bolívar marries Maria Teresa del Toro in Madrid. Then he returned to Venezuela with his wife. He dedicates himself to caring for his estates.



January 22nd, Doña Maria Teresa dies in Caracas.
April 30th, Louisiana Purchase from France. It doubled the area of the U.S. territory
October 23rd, Bolívar return to Spain.



January, Bolívar rises to the degree of master.
April 27th, Miranda´s expedition is repulsed off Venezuela.
October, Bolívar embarked in Hamburg on a neutral vessel to United States.



January, Bolívar disembarked in Boston. Then he visits New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington City and Mount Vernon, VA. In June Bolívar returns to La Guaira, Venezuela from Charleston, S.C. Also occurred the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair in front of the Virginia coast. In December, President Jefferson used diplomacy and economic pressure in the form of the Embargo Act.



March 2nd, the first Congress of Venezuela meets.
July 4th, Bolívar´s speech at the Patriotic Society.
July 5th, Declaration of Venezuela Independence.



May 10th, Bolívar attempts to liberate Venezuela, invading through Cartagena, he encounters serious opposition from the city´s authorities and decides to sail for Jamaica in voluntary exile.
Americans defeat British at the Battle of New Orleans.
September 6th, Bolívar publishes the celebrated Jamaica Letter.



February 15th, he installs the Congress of Angostura and gives the celebrated speech of that name. Bolívar is elected President of Venezuela. He immediately begins the campaign for the liberation of New Granada. Then, in one of history´s greatest feats, Bolívar crosses the Andes. August 7th, the battle of Boyacá, liberates Colombia. December 17th, Bolívar creates the Republic of Gran Colombia, divided into three departments: Cundinamarca, Quito and Venezuela. The Congress elects him President of Colombia.



June 27th, Bolívar defeats La Torre at Carabobo. Although it is not the final battle, at Carabobo he assures the independence of Venezuela.



March 28th, The United States recognizes Gran Colombia.
April 7th, Battle of Bomboná.
May 24th, Battle of Pichincha, near Quito, Ecuador.
June 16th, Bolívar meets Manuela Saenz in Quito when he makes his triumphal entry into the city at the side of Sucre.
July 11th, Bolívar arrives in Guayaquil. Two days later he declares its incorporation into Gran Colombia.
July 26th-27th, Bolívar and San Martin meet in Guayaquil.



February 12th, the Congress of Peru, in gratitude, decrees honors for The Liberator: a medal, an equestrian statue, a million pesos for him and another million for the liberating army. Bolívar refuses the money offered him by the Congress but accepts the sum intended for his soldiers. February 18th, the Congress of Peru does not accept his renunciation of the presidency with unlimited powers.



May 25th, from Lima Bolívar informs Sucre that Peru has recognized the Republic of Bolivia. At the same time he sends him his plan for the Bolivian Constitution. June 22nd, the Congress of Panama is installed. Henry Clay was the representation of United States, despite President John Q. Adam´s initial hesitation. July 4th, Adams and Jefferson died on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.



August 27th, the decree of institutional dictatorship, imposed as a result of the rivalries at the Ocaña Convention. Bolívar abolishes the vice-presidency, thereby eliminating Santander from the government. The Liberator offers him the post of Colombian Ambassador to the United States. Santander accepts, but defers the trip for a period of time.



February 29th, William H. Harrison (1773-1841) is appointed U.S. minister to Colombia under Andrew Jackson´s presidency. He remains as minister until September.
July 21st, Colombia regains Guayaquil. The people welcome The Liberator in triumph. August 5th, Bolívar wrote to a Bristish friend: "The United States, who seems destined by Providence to plague America with torments in the name of freedom."



January 20th, Bolívar opens Congress and resigns from the presidency.
January 27th, he requests permission from Congress to go to Venezuela. The Congress of Colombia denies him permission.
December 17th, Simón Bolívar dies of tuberculosis complicated with pneumonia on the plantation at San Pedro Alejandrino in company of a very few friends.

Bolívar as name of Places

Several towns and cities in the United States bear the proud name of BOLIVAR. It is the 13,304rd most popular last name (surname) in the United States.

There are sixteen places named Bolívar in the U.S. territory, such as: Bolívar, (Jackson County), Alabama; Bolívar (Bartow County), Georgia; Bolívar, (Wabash County) Indiana; Bolívar, (Tangipahoa Parrish), Louisiana; Bolívar, (Frederick County), Maryland; Bolívar, (Bolívar County), Mississippi; Bolívar, (Monroe County), Mississippi; Bolívar, (Polk County), Missouri; Bolívar, (Alleghany County), New York; Bolívar, (Madison County), New York; Bolívar, (Tuscarawas County), Ohio; Bolívar, (Westmoreland County), Pennsylvania; Bolívar, (Hardeman County), Tennessee; Bolívar (Denton County), Texas Port Bolívar (Galveston County), Texas and Bolívar, (Jefferson County), West Virginia.

Two Townships: Bolívar Twp., (Poinsett County), Arkansas; Bolívar Twp., (Benton Co.), Indiana.

Most of the cities and towns are located on the east of the United States. The northern city is Bolívar, New York, to the southern is Port Bolívar, Texas; in the east is Bolívar, Maryland and in the mid-west is Bolívar, Missouri (the largest in the United States).

One County: Bolívar County, Mississippi (it was created in 1836).

Also we find some Bolivia towns in the United States: Bolivia, (Christian County), Illinois; Bolivia, (Churchill County), Nevada and Bolivia (Brunswick County), North Carolina.

This information was compiled from early historical records.

Bolívar, (Jackson Co.), Alabama

Jackson County is in the northeastern corner of Alabama State. Jackson County was so named in honor of Gen. Andrew Jackson, who in later years would become president of United States and who was visiting this area in that time. It was created on December 13, 1819, one day before Alabama achieved official statehood.

Years later, the inhabitants of a small, unnamed community in the county began to refer to themselves as residents of the town of “Bolívar”. The name was a reminder that the state and the county were both established in 1819, the same year when the Liberator Simón Bolívar became President of Gran Colombia. Simón Bolívar died in the year 1830 in Colombia, shortly after Andrew Jackson had been elected to be the 7th President of the United States.

When the railroad was built, the people of Bellefonte and Bolívar did not want the train to pass so close to their homes, so this is the reason why the station was built outside the populated area. Because of this, the two communities lost importance. In 1834, there was a school at Bolívar. The Post Office in Bolívar was closed in 1853. By then the town of Bolívar had become a suburb of the nearby city of Bridgetown. Today Bolívar, which is located on Hwy 72 south, has an estimated population of 800.

Bolívar (Poinsett Co.), Arkansas

Bolívar is located in Poinsett County, Arkansas. Poinsett County, the thirty-ninth county created, was formed on February 27, 1838. It was named for Joel R. Poinsett from South Carolina, while he secretary of war. In 1810, Poinsett is commissioner by the president of the United States James Madison like special agent for South America, remaining as so of traveling form in Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires, where it participated actively in the process of independence of Chile and Angentina.

The county site was named for Gen. Simón Bolívar, the Liberator of the South American countries. In 1839 the first courthouse was built there. It was a two-story building made of hewed poplar logs. Bolívar a typical frontier town with general stores, saloons, blacksmiths, hotels, shops, lawyers and doctor’s offices. By the mid 1850’s the population of this area had increased significantly.

The county site remained at Bolívar until the winter of 1856-57. In the 1856 election, the citizens voted to move the county site somewhere between township 9 and 10. Benjamin Harris, Sr. donated land to have a new courthouse built and the site was moved to the western slopes of Crowley’s Ridge three miles south of Bolívar. The county town was christened Harrisburg in his honor. Also, Bolívar Township was created in 1840 in Jefferson County, Arkansas.

Bolívar, (Bartow Co.), Georgia

Bolívar is located at northeastern of Bartow County, originally known as Cass County, which was created from Cherokee County on Dec. 3, 1832 by an act of the General Assembly. (Ga. Laws 1832). The first historic documentation of this area came with the 1540 Hernando DeSoto Expedition’s accounts of the culture at the Etowah Indians Mounds, today a state historic site and public attraction.

In way of background, by 1830, the Cherokee Nation consisted of most of northwest Georgia, plus adjoining areas in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. In 1861, the General Assembly changed the name of Cass County to Bartow County. Col. Bartow was an influential figure in the early days of the Confederate States of America. Also, he was responsible for selecting the gray uniform of the Confederate army.

In 1861, when the name of the county was changed, Bolívar was not yet an incorporated township. May be this is the reason why there is no separate entry for Bolívar in the census. Today, the small town of Bolívar is located on Hwy 421 northwest. It is close to a train station.

Bolívar (Wabash Co.), Indiana

Bolívar is located in Wabash County, Indiana. The Wabash River is Indiana’s longest river, at 512 miles (824 km) long. It flows west across north central Indiana and then turns south to form a long section of the Indiana-Illinois border, emptying into the Ohio River. Indiana meaning ‘Indian land’ and became the 19th state on December 11th, 1816.

In 1872, when the Erie Railroad asked North Manchester for a bonus to bring their line through a certain businessman opposed raising the bonus because he figure the railroad would not dare by-pass North Manchester with opportunities to connect with two other railroads. The Erie ran its line through a mostly rural area from Huntington bypassing North Manchester three miles to the south and at the point where it crossed the Big Four tracks was called ‘Bolívar’.

In 1895 Bolívar had a post office and twenty-one people. It was once double tracked from the ‘Big Four’ to Laketon and then all the tracks were eventually taken up. Tracks were laid back down from Laketon so a refinery could ship their product but for the most part there is little evidence that the Erie went through northern Indiana.

Bolívar Twp (Benton Co.), Indiana

Bolívar Township is located in Benton County at northwestern of Indiana. Bolívar Township surrounded by open farmland, with Big Pine Creek less than a mile to the southeast. U.S. Route 52 passes along the town’s northeast side, and the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad, which come in from the east, splits into lines west and northwest.

The Bolívar Township was named after Bolívar Finch, a leading local figure who had been baptized with the South American Liberator’s last name. He was born in Koshkonong, Jefferson County, Wisconsin in 1843. His parents were Nathaniel Finch who was a farmer and Keziah Depree. Bolívar Finch was the youngest of eight siblings. The Finch family moved from New York to Wayne County, Indiana in 1827.

Bolívar Township is one of the eleven townships in Benton County, Indiana and was organized in March 1860. It includes Foresman, Otterbein and Templeton. Templeton is located on the Oak Grove and Bolívar Townships line, and a portion is also within Oak Grove Township. As of the 2000 Census, Bolívar Township has a population of 1,310.

Bolívar (Tangipahoa Pa.), Louisiana

Bolívar is located in Tangipahoa Parrish at the crossing of Louisiana Highways 440 and 1061, in the corner of T2S-R8E. The name, Tangipahoa is relates to maize (“Indian corn”) or “those who gather corn” which referred to the tribe of the Acolapissa. These Native Americans inhabited the area when French brothers, like Jean Le Moyne, known as Sieurs Bienville and Iberville, arrived to colonized Louisiana.

According to some sources, Bolívar B. Varnado (1872-1960) who was born in Tangipahoa, was the first postmaster of the Bolívar community. His parents were Moses J. Varnado and Samantha ‘Dolly’ Lea. He named the post office after himself when it was established in 1900. He died at 88 year-old.

Tangipahoa Parrish is located 40 miles from the state capital of Baton Rouge (where there is a Bolívar Drive) and 55 miles from New Orleans (where there is a Simon Bolívar Avenue); also visitors to New Orleans can see the city’s Bolívar Monument, a gift of Venezuela, located at Basin and Canal Streets. Today, Bolívar is considered a rural community in Tangipahoa Parrish of some 100 inhabitants. There are no local administrative authorities in the formal sense, at least not as of the most recent national census.

Bolívar, (Frederick Co.), Maryland

The rural community of Bolívar is at west in Frederick County. It is located along the Old National Road (now Alternate US 40), just before the crossroads where Mt. Tabor Road to the north and Bolívar Road to the south intersect the highway, approximately three miles west of Middletown.

In September of 1853, a Post Office was established in Bolívar, Maryland with the appointment of Levi Remsburg as postmaster. Curiously, the only known postmarks from Bolívar read “Boliver”. Both examples were struck with the same device. One possible explanation for this spelling variation is that it reflected local pronunciation, i.e., the town name was spoken as rhyming with “Oliver”. The 1890 census for Maryland reported that the town of Bolívar had a population of 112 at that time.

Today Bolívar has been completely absorbed by neighboring Middletown. All that a remains of the old Bolívar community is Moser’s Concrete, owned by Poffenberger’s family, a number of old farmhouses, and a lot of memories and the town has no visible separate identity.

Bolívar (County), Mississippi

Bolívar County was formed from the Choctaw Cession. It was named for Gen. Simon Bolívar, a South American patriot. Bolívar County was created February 9, 1836 and the current area is 879 square feet. The county is bounded on the north by Coahoma County, on the south by Washington County, on the east by Sunflower County, and on the west by the Mississippi River. The river was named Mississippi, which means ‘Big River’ by the Indians who lived along its banks and traveled its currents in their swift canoes the Mississippi is, in fact, America’s chief waterway and its longest river.

In Bolívar County are large swamps of low flat lands, such as Gibson Swamp, near Rosedale; Clear Creek Swamp, between Egypt Ridge and Bogue Phalia; and others upon which fine cypress timber grew. The principal lake of the county are Lake Bolívar in the southern part, Lake Vermillion and Swan Lake on Indian Point, Lake Beulah in the central part, and Lake Concordia to the north. These lakes, all originally a part of the Mississippi River, were made into lakes by cut-offs and changes in the channel of the river prior to the survey of the county.

In 1990, the population of Bolívar County was 41,875 in a land area of 876.34 square miles (560,861 acres). At the turn of the century the county had a population of 46, 000. It is the only county in the U.S. territory with the name ‘Bolívar’.

Bolívar (Bolívar County), Mississippi

This small hamlet is located along the banks of the Mississippi River, four miles west of the Benoit train station, close to the boundary with the Riverside Country, where the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley railroad lines meet, and 22 miles south of Rosedale, the county seat.

The town was named in honor of Gen. Simón Bolívar, and was founded on February 14th, 1845. At the beginning of the last century, it had a population of 102. By that time, it already had a school and a church. Because the demographic growth in the region is slow, the community has not increased much in size and is still a rural town.

The first county seat of Bolívar County was located at Bolívar Landing, and again, it was located at a point on a high sand ridge about two miles northwest of the present town of Beulah, this site being known to this day as “the old courthouse field.”

Bolívar, (Monroe County), Mississippi

Bolívar is located in Monroe County, Mississippi. This county was created in tribute to the fifth U.S. President James Monroe. Monroe County was created in 1821, while Monroe was serving as President of the United States.

Bolívar is considered a historical ghost town. A ghost town is a town that has been abandoned, usually because the economic activity that supported it has failed or because of natural or human-caused disasters such as war.

In addition, Bolívar is an unincorporated community in Monroe County. Remnants of this community include town streets and a one-room school-house, still exist within the facility. Roads became overgrown by forest. Athens is a small town located of 1.9 miles from the south.

Bolívar, (Polk Co.), Missouri

Bolívar has existed as a city since November 10, 1835, when proclaimed as such by the Polk County Court and designated as the county seat. Bolívar was named after a city in Tennessee, which initially was named after Gen. Simón Bolívar when news reached the United States of the heroic military feats, which were being achieved in South America.

Three grandsons of Col. Ezequiel Polk, John, William and Ezekiel, who moved with their families from Tennessee and settled in this Missouri area and submitted the names of Polk and Bolívar to the newly formed county and county seat in honor of the grandfather and the town where he was living.

Bolívar is perhaps best known as the location of Southwest Baptist University. Since 1879 was also known as Southwest Baptist College. Bolívar is a city of about 10,500 people located on Hwy 13 between Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri. Bolívar area are proud of good schools, churches, health care facilities, university, and strong business and farming community. Bolívar was ranked number 87 on a list of 100 Best Small Towns in America in 1995.

Bolívar, (Allegany Co.), New York

The village of Bolívar is located in the northwestern part of the New York State. In 1825, Bolívar was politically separated from the town of Friendship, which event is now commemorated. The population grew as the years passed and on February 15, 1825, Bolívar Township was established, named in honor of the man who was a hero in this hemisphere.

At the beginning of the 1880s Bolívar was also known for its large oil company, “Bolívar Oil”. During the oil boom it was the richest state per capita in the United States. It is also known as “The Land of the Deer and Derricks”. In July 1984, the Government of Venezuela declared Bolívar as its “Pan American friend in the United States” because it is one of the oldest town in the United States that bears the name of the South American Liberator. The population was 2,223 at the 2000 census.

South Bolívar is a rural hamlet at the junction of County roads 33 (S. Bolívar Road) and 18 near the Pennsylvania border in Allegany County too. The community was also known as “Honeoye Corners” and “Honeoye Forks” due to its location near the Honeoye Creek, a stream in the south part of the town.

Bolívar, (Madison Co.), New York

This is the third small rural community called ‘Bolívar’ in New York State. It is located at northwest in Madison County. It was created from Chenango County and named for James Madison, fourth president of the United States. James Madison succeeded his friend and fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson as President.

Madison County was created on March 21, 1806, while Madison was serving in President Thomas Jefferson’s cabinet as Secretary of State. The county’s population, 8,036 in 1800, tripled in one decade to 25,144, after which it grew more gradually. Most of the settlers were from New England or eastern New York State.

Madison County is subdivided into 1 city, Oneida, and 15 towns containing 10 incorporated villages and Bolívar is one of them. Bolívar is a hamlet northwest of North Chitenango village. It is located on Route 13 and Bolívar Road. Hamlet is a site that was an historical railroad junction. Also, a hamlet is refers to an unincorporated community in New York State. It has a population around 1,030 inhabitants.

Bolívar, (Tuscarawas Co.), Ohio

Bolívar is located in Tuscarawas County in Ohio State. This town, north of Zoar on State Road 352, is located near what once the site of Tuscarawas, which 200 years earlier had been the capital of the Seneca tribe. Originally this town was named Lawrenceville, then Kelleysville and finally Bolívar in 1825. The residents themselves chose to call their town Bolívar, in honor of the “George Washington of the South America.”

Bolívar is also known as the home of Fort Laurens State Memorial. It was built in late November 1778. Fort Laurens was the only fort that the Americans built in the Ohio Country during the Revolution War. Once Fort Laurens was abandoned, the Continental Army had no real presence and played no major role in the area for the rest of the war. Militiamen became responsible for the defense of American settlers in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Today, only the outline of the fort remains, but in the museum, which opened in 1974, commemorates the frontier soldier, houses a video giving the fort’s history and archeological artifacts from the fort’s excavation.

In the late 1950’s, the Government of Venezuela donated a bronze plaque to the city and was initially exhibited at Fort Laurens. Today it is located in front of the Bolívar Public Library. The plaque reads: “This town has been named in honor of Simon Bolívar, Liberator of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and founder of Bolivia.” In 2000 the Bolívar’s population was 1,070 in a land area of 0.49 square miles (316 acres).

Bolívar, (Westmoreland Co.), Pennsylvania.

Bolívar is located in Westmoreland County. This community was founded during the U.S. Civil War on November 25, 1863. Pennsylvania had named all her counties for places and persons of England. Westmoreland would be the last Pennsylvania County to honor, directly or indirectly, an English county.

Originally Bolívar was a hamlet on the canal but later became a borough on the rail line. The street signs usually refer to this town as Bolívar borough. Boroughs are generally smaller than cities. They have a Mayor with relatively little power. The borough council is the main ruling body.

The borough of Bolívar has a total area of 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2). Today Bolívar is a community of 501 residents. It is located 174 miles west from the state’s capital, Harrisburg and 45 miles east from Pittsburg. The economy of the region is based on lumber industry.

Bolívar, (Hardeman Co.), Tennessee

Bolívar is Hardeman County’s largest city, with a land surface approximately of 700 square miles in western Tennessee. The county lines were established on Nov. 16, 1823. The county was named for Col. Thomas Jones Hardeman, an early settler in the area. He and his brother Bailey played a very important role organizing this county and its county seat, the municipality of Bolívar. Col. Hardeman married Mary, daughter of Col. Ezequiel Polk, in Maury County, in 1814. Ezequiel Polk distinguished himself as a colonel in George Washington’s Revolutionary Army and it seemed fitting that the two names symbolized liberation.

In 1862, at the outbreak of the Civil War, Bolívar, a Confederate enclave, fell under the military control of the Union Army. Its strategic location near the river and railways ensured its occupation for the duration of the war. In 1864, Union General Sturgis and 12,000 troops torched the town, but officials were able to save the Courthouse records. Fire destroyed Bolívar again in 1876 and 1885, but persistent citizens rebuilt.

The city also has a 200-acre industrial park and is currently home to a number of industries and is a prime location for new industrial growth due to its proximity to Memphis along the recently expanded, 4-lane Highway 64 and the adjacent airport. Bolívar is very fortunate to have such a great number of its early buildings and houses remaining today. The town’s historic designation further exhibits its rich cultural heritage and its fine collection of historic architecture. Actually Bolívar has a population of 6,369.

Bolívar, (Denton Co.), Texas

Bolívar is located at the intersection of Farm roads 2450 and 455, fourteen miles northwest of Denton in Denton County, which was founded on April 11, 1846. The county and the city were named in tribute to Capt. John B. Denton. In 1852, William Crawford sold the site to Hiram Daily, a Methodist minister and doctor, who opened a general store, laid out the town, and called it New Prospect. In 1861, Ben Brown, a farmer who had moved from Bolívar, Tennessee, suggested the renaming of the town and convinced the residents to vote for the name Bolívar by providing them free drinks at the local saloon. His persuasive powers carried the day and most of the settlers voted in favor of the name ‘Bolívar’.

In 1892, many adults and eight infants were victims of a nationwide influenza epidemic. Though the site had probably been used as a burial ground for many years. A decorative fence was installed across the front of the cemetery. Many monuments were erected by the Woodmen of the World organization. From 1900 until 1940 Bolívar remained a small community of farmers.

The economy received a slight boost from oil production during the 1940s and early 1950s. At one time forty oilfields were in and around the community. Many of the descendants of the town’s first settlers still live in Bolívar today. In the late 1960’s, the Government of Venezuela donated a bronze plaque to the city. In 1980 a post office, a convenience store, and forty residents remained. In 1990 the population was still recorded as 160 people.

Bolívar Peninsula, (Galveston Co.), Texas

Bolívar Peninsula is a part of Galveston County. It embraces the city of Galveston, Galveston Island and Galveston Bay, all of which had been named before this county was created. Indeed, in 1836 the city of Galveston became the temporary capital of the republic of Texas. Galveston County was finally created in 1838, which was named in tribute to a Spanish explorer Bernardo de Galvez.

Port Bolívar is one of towns of this peninsula. On July 20th, 1968 the Republic of Venezuela donated to the community of Port Bolívar a plaque commemorating the heroism of Bolívar. It was unveiled in the Port Bolívar recreation center, and has been installed on the exterior of the building.

Bolívar Lighthouse is also located on Bolívar Peninsula. It is on Highway 87 near the Bolívar-Galveston ferry landing, just south of Hwy 87 and Loop 108. It is also known the “Queen of the Gulf”. It was built in 1852 and after the Civil War was rebuilt in 1872. The Bolívar Lighthouse is listed on the national register of historic places. The Lighthouse is very important to the commercial, cultural and political history of the region.

Bolívar, (Jefferson Co.), West Virginia

Bolívar is located amid the mountains on US Route 340, precisely one mile from where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers converge; this town has some of the most beautiful panoramic views in the entire state. There is a place close to Bolívar-Harper’s Ferry called Jefferson’s Rock. According to some sources on this rock almost two hundred years ago, sat Thomas Jefferson and wrote: ”In the moment of the joining of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, they rush together against the Mountain and rend it asunder and rush off to the Sea, this view is worth a trip across the Atlantic.” Jefferson County was named in tribute to the third president of the United States.

Bolívar town grew rapidly and by 1854 had a population of 1,054 inhabitants. Just prior to the Civil War, the town of Bolívar and the hills known as Bolívar Heights were the scene of many battles and were occupied by armed bands several times.

Jefferson became the first county in the United States to begin Rural Free Delivery (RFD). Formerly, residents of rural areas had to either travel to a distant Post office to pick up their mail, or else pay for delivery by a private carrier. The first routes to receive RFD during its experimental phase were Jefferson County, W.V., near Charles Town, Bolívar, Harper’s Ferry, Halltown, and Uvilla. After five years of controversy, RFD became an official service in 1896.

At present Bolívar is a community of 1,013. Many of its older streets are named after the first presidents of the United States and some of the town’s early residents. More recently, other streets have been named after the South American countries liberated by Simón Bolívar. For example, a part of the US Route 340 became the Venezuela Avenue.

Miguel Chirinos was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1967 and he grew up in the heroic city, La Victoria, Aragua State at northwest of Venezuela. Although Chirinos´s career is in Computer Science, he constantly sought out opportunities to visit historic sites in his country of origin especially related with Simón Bolívar.

Chirinos moved to United States in 1996, but his passion for Bolívar´s life never ceased. Lately, he has taken special interest in Bolívar´s trip to the United States.

Currently he lives with his family in Durham, North Carolina, where he began to write articles about Latin American who has been portrayed on paper money. These articles have been published in specialized magazines and journals and are available online. At the same time, he has participated in annual conventions, international congresses, currency shows and educational programs for young people.

In this occasion, he present this work which intent to share a little bit more about an episode of Bolívar´s life and his legacy through the years in the United States of America.


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"He then traveled extensively in Europe and the United States. Bolívar knew that in the United States he would see his dream as a reality. The ship that brought him to this country docked in Boston. He decided to stay in Boston for several weeks seeing for himself how a democratic government works in spite of the bitter cold of the North American winter."

By Francisco Cardona Castro, "Grandes Biografías: Bolívar ", 2004

"In the autumn of 1806, determined to return to Venezuela and resume an American life, he [Bolívar] took his leave of Fanny du Villars, without great drama on his part. On barrowed money, he took ship at the end of November, not from France or Spain, which were at war with Britain, but from Hamburg under a neutral flag, and he sailed not directly to Venezuela but to the United States."

By John Lynch, "Simón Bolívar: A Life", 2006

"He took a boat from Hamburg in September, 1806." ..."The boat he sailed on took him to Boston. After visiting New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, where he had a opportunity to study at first hand the workings of a true, going democracy, he took a ship from Charleston, S.C. and landed in La Guaira in December."

By Thomas Rourke, "Man of Glory: Simón Bolívar", 1939

Copyright © 2007-2010 Miguel Chirinos. Made by Pedro Salinas