San Jose de Cúcuta: 7 April 1813. Three page letter in ink on recto and verso of one folded sheet, the text in Spanish, the letter addressed to Antonio Leleut and signed in full "Simon Bolivar," the letter possibly in his hand but unconfirmed. 8 1/4 x 6 inches (21 x 15.5 cm); housed in a fine folding case with a quotation from the letter on the upper cover and a portrait to the inside cover. Usual folds, minor soiling and residue at gutter, fine.
A magnificent Bolivar letter written after the Battle of Cúcuta, the victory which launched the Admirable Campaign. Having defeated the Royalists at Cúcuta in late February, Bolivar remained in the Colombian city near the Venezuelan border awaiting permission to enter from the leadership of the United Provinces of New Granada. Here he writes to Leleut, presumably a person of influence in the fledgling government (in translation): "you already know of my marches to this point and the gains I have made over my enemy ... I have had the satisfaction of receiving good news from Venezuela and learning that in my country the love of liberty has not been extinguished by the hate of tyrants." Bolivar continues with intelligence of the location of the enemy on the border and provides news from Caracas that "The patriots have revolted and forced Monteverde to flee to Guiana with only 50 of his guards. But before he left it is said that this tyrant had more than one hundred patriots shot, innocent victims of liberty whose blood cries for vengeance." Bolivar urges Leleut to produce the reinforcements needed for the march into Venezuela and encourages him to use his influence so that he may liberate his home country, closing with the remarkable sentiment: "What huge glory awaits if we obtain the victory against the tyrants who are keeping my beautiful country under the cloak of suffering and have buried our brothers alive in the horrible prisons of Puerto Cabello and La Guayra ... we shall triumph ... and a hundred thousand monsters will devour them..."
In the months that followed, Bolivar liberated Venezuela, entering Caracas in August 1813. This letter is apparently unpublished and is not found in Lecuna's Cartas de Libertador. This is also the earliest letter of Bolivar we trace at auction in decades. Naturally, letters from this nascent period, before Bolivar was known as El Libertador, are of the utmost rarity.
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