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Carlos María de Alvear Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Carlos María de Alvear passes away in 1852.

Carlos María de Alvear was an Argentine soldier and politician.

Alvear was born in Santo Ángel which is now part of Brazil on October 25th, 1789. While traveling to Spain Alvear's mother and brother were killed when the ship the family was on came under attack by a British Frigate when he was 15. The sinking of the ship was a preamble to the Battle of Trafalgar and the war between England and Spain. Alvear and his father were taken to England as prisoners. He was educated in England and later married an Irish woman before returning to Argentina.

By 1810, Alvear had returned to Argentina, there he became involved in the Argentine War for Independence. He was one of the few professional soldiers to fight in the war on the side of the revolutionaries. As soon as he returned to Buenos Aries he was made a lieutenant colonel in the Argentine Army. He led them against the Royal Spanish Army.

By this time Alvear had joined the Masonic fraternity. He helped to establish a secret society called Sociedad de los Caballeros Racionales (Society of Rationale Knights) which was very active in the revolutionary efforts.

By 1814, in the middle of the Argentine War for Independence, Alvear was only 25 and the most successful general in the army. He eventually started using his notoriety for his political ambitions. Despite setting up a Unification Government and placing his uncle in charge, his popularity waned and he was forced into exile.

In 1822, Alvear was allowed to return to the country due to an amnesty law. In 1823 he was named the ambassador to the United States, this was the first appointment of this nature for Alvear. He traveled to the United States by way of England where he met with Foreign Secretary George Canning. A few weeks later the British Parliament recognized United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata (now Argentina) as an independent state.

In 1825, Alvear was sent to meet with Simón Bolivar. The mission was to gain Bolivar's support for the coming war with the Empire of Brazil. Bolivar was sympathetic to the cause, although eventually he turned them down.

In 1827, the war began with the Empire of Brazil. Alvear led his troops into Brazilian territory where he had the most successful campaign of his career. The campaign forever made the controversial Alvear a national hero in Argentina.

In 1829, Juan Manuel de Rosas came to power. Alvear was the leader of the opposition to Rosas' government. Rosas sent Alvear again to be the Ambassador to the United States. Rosas's Government quickly failed though and Alvear remained in Buenos Aries. Rosas returned to power in 1835 and believed Alvear was conspiring against his government. By 1837, Alvear was again appointed as the Ambassador to the United States. Alvear traveled to Washington to become the first Ambassador form Argentina, which was formed in the constitution of 1826. He remained in the United States for the rest of his life.

Alvear passed away on November 3rd, 1852 in New York City.

Alvear was a member of Lau-taro Lodge in Buenos Aries, although the lodge itself formed in Europe.