Maryland State Resolution
on the Role Played by Hispanics
in the Achievement of American Independence

March 16, 1996

                        Submitted by Héctor Díaz, Chairman of the Hispanics in History Cultural Organization

                        WHEREAS, the Independence of the United States of America was achieved not
                        only due to the efforts of American patriots, but also to the assistance of foreign
                        governments, soldiers and individuals who supported them, and

                        WHEREAS, in spite of being an important factor in the victory, the participation of
                        Hispanics in the War of Independence is not mentioned in the history textbooks of
                        this nation, and

                        WHEREAS, thousands of Hispanics fought the British and their allies during the
                        American Revolution in what today is the United States, winning crucial battles
                        which eased the pressure of the Crown's forces against the armies of General
                        George Washington, and

                        WHEREAS, Spanish Louisiana Governors, don Luis de Unzaga and don Bernardo
                        de Gálvez, provided assistance to the revolutionary governments of Maryland,
                        Pennsylvania and Virginia in the forms of arms, war materiel and funds to wage
                        campaigns and protect themselves against the British, and

                        WHEREAS, this assistance allowed American General George Rogers Clark to
                        wage his successful campaigns west of those colonies and also was instrumental in
                        preventing the British from capturing Forts Pitt and Henry in Pennsylvania and
                        Virginia respectively, which guarded the last leg of the only remaining major patriot
                        supply route at the time, that which originated in Spanish New Orleans, traversed
                        the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and ended overland in Philadelphia, and

                        WHEREAS, don Juan de Miralles, a wealthy Spanish merchant established in
                        Havana, Cuba, was appointed as a royal envoy of King Carlos III of Spain to the
                        United States in 1778, and while traveling with his secretary, don Francisco
                        Rendón, to the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia, he initiated the direct shipment
                        of supplies from Cuba to Baltimore, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; and
                        Philadelphia, aside from making significant stopovers in Williamsburg, Virginia and
                        in North Carolina, and

                        WHEREAS, after Spain declared war on Britain in June, 1779, the victories of
                        General Don Bernardo de Gálvez in the lower Mississippi and at Baton Rouge,
                        Mobile and Pensacola dismantled British resupply of close to 10,000 Native
                        American warriors who were a major concern for General Washington because of
                        the raids they had been carrying out in the western areas of the colonies, and

                        WHEREAS, the Maryland Loyalist Regiment, a force comprised of Marylanders
                        from the Eastern Shore, was also defeated and captured during the campaigns of
                        General Gálvez, and

                        WHEREAS, the victories of General Gálvez resulted, additionally, in the capture of
                        four other British Regiments including the Pennsylvania Loyalists, the elite British
                        60th Foot also known as the Royal Americans, the British 16th Foot, and the
                        German Waldeck Regiment, and

                        WHEREAS, fighting under the command of General Gálvez were men from Spain,
                        Cuba, México, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica as well as
                        from the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Native American Nations such
                        as the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek, and

                        WHEREAS, the United States Senate has recognized that the actions of those men
                        and their brave commander were very important for the triumph of American
                        efforts in the Carolinas and Georgia, and also for the final vistory against Lord
                        Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, Virginia, and

                        WHEREAS, the success of the French and American armies at Yorktown would
                        have been difficult to achieve without the donation of 500,000 pounds tournois that
                        were collected in six hours by prominent citizens of Havana, Cuba, for the
                        campaign, and without an additional 1,000,000 pounds that were subsequently
                        donated by King Carlos III of Spain for the same purpose, and

                        WHEREAS, the Yorktown campaign not only consisted of a siege by land but also
                        by sea, undertaken by the French fleet under Admiral de Grasse, whose ships had
                        been readied and supplied with 100,000 pesos from the Spanish colonies of Santo
                        Domingo and Puerto Rico that were handed over by Spanish authorities to the
                        French for said purpose, and

                        WHEREAS, an important element in the French naval victory at the Battle of the
                        Virginia Capes, which sealed the fate of Lord Cornwallis army at Yorktown, was
                        the numerical superiority enjoyed by Admiral de Grasse's fleet, which resulted from
                        a Spanish naval squadron taking over the protection of the French colonies in the
                        Caribbean to allow the Admiral the benefit of maintaining his fleet intact, and, thus,
                        obtain the superiority in numbers deemed necessary to defeat the British, and

                        WHEREAS, hardly any of these Hispanic contributions to American independence
                        are mentioned in the current history textbooks of this nation, be it

                        RESOLVED, that the Legislature of Maryland acknowledges the pivotal role of
                        Spain and Spanish America in the triumph of the American Revolution, and also
                        recognizes General Bernardo de Gálvez and his men for their significant
                        contributions and achievements in this respect, and, be it further

                        RESOLVED that the Legislature of Maryland hereby urges historians nation-wide
                        to a deeper examination and dissemination of the role played by Hispanics in the
                        accomplishment of American Independence as well as in the development and
                        progress of the United States in general, and that the study of these contributions
                        be made an integral part of the Social Studies and History courses taught in the
                        State of Maryland.

                        Notarized: Ana L. Detorie