The Objects

22nd May 1815

Source: Archivo General de Indias, LIMA (749,N.76/9 – 1), by permission of the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte de España.

Peru Reacts to Napoleon

Contributed by: Graciela Iglesias Rogers

News of Napoleon’s return put the Spanish Monarchy on global alert. These are two letters of the viceroy of Peru, José Fernando de Abascal, Marquis de la Concordia, to the Secretary of Indies in Madrid, Miguel de Lardizábal y Uribe dispatched from Lima on 12 October 1815.
The text in the first image acknowledges receipt of a Royal Order (22 May 1815) to imprison envoys allegedly dispatched to America ‘by Joseph Bonaparte to assist in his usurpation’. Joseph Bonaparte had been usurper King of Spain for four years; now it was rumoured that he was to seize Spanish America. It is not clear, however, if such scheme ever existed. The text in the second image reads: ‘Having learned of the energetic measures adopted by the Sovereigns of Europe to exterminate the Misanthrope of Corsica, and thus wipe the tears of Humanity, I shall take care to prevent dissemination in these domains of the harmful and false news with which his vile henchmen attempt to unhinge the Universe. I am sending this in reply to the Royal Order 29 April last in which V.E. made this request, Lima, October 12 1815’.