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xi acknowledgments this book has been a long time in the making. While a desire to write it first came to me some ten years ago, fulfillment of that desire has been a prolonged, at times, seemingly endless, process. It has been the fruit not only of research in books and documents but of engagement with people and places, including libraries and archives in various countries over the years. It has been the result of persistence. Indeed, persistence was indispensable in the task of recovering one of modern Spanish America’s most remarkable and maddeningly elusive historical figures. Numerous individuals deserve recognition for their support and assistance during my efforts to trace a life closely intertwined with the early histories of the “Bolivarian” nations—Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, in particular. In Colombia , these individuals include Juan Escobar and his wife, Berta Arango de Escobar , along with their two gracious and talented daughters, Karla and Yohanna. The Escobar Arango family ensured that I always had a place to stay in Bogotá. For someone who was, at the time, still new to the city, their warm, generous hospitality—including once letting me monopolize their personal computer for two weeks—made all the difference. I also thank Hedwig Hartmann, the Archivo Central del Cauca’s undisputed one-of-kind director, who made my first research trip to Popayán (in 1998) both a pleasant and a fruitful experience. In Quito, Ecuador (first briefly in 1996 and again in 1998), historians Guillermo Bustos, Jorge Villalba, S.J., and Fernando Jurado Noboa helped orient me. My research also benefitted from the gracious assistance of Grecia Vasco de Escudero , director of the Archivo Nacional de Historia del Ecuador. My attempt to learn more about contemporary views of Sáenz and her significance included a tour of the Museo Manuela Sáenz in downtown Quito. This led to an interview with the museum’s founder and director, retired businessman and local Sáenz aficionado, Don Carlos Álvarez Saá. Both experiences gave me insight into the public cult that now surrounds Bolívar’s mistress as well as the ways in which the work of academic historians can be overshadowed, even trumped, by seductive nationalist myths. T4770.indb xi T4770.indb xi 8/12/08 11:19:04 AM 8/12/08 11:19:04 AM In Lima, I benefitted greatly from my acquaintance with historians Jorge Ortiz Sotelo and Susana Aldana Rivera. Jorge and Susana both offered indispensable early guidance while introducing me, from their unique perspectives, to aspects of Peru’s rich early republican history. Susana, in addition, became a friend and companion. She helped me make the most of a planned trip to northern Peru—and Sáenz’s adopted hometown of Paita—through her rich knowledge of that region, especially the Department of Piura. On my arrival in the city (and departmental capital) of Piura, I found people willing, even eager, to help with advice and information. These people included Isabel Ramos Seminario, curator of the Casa Museo Grau; amateur historian Manuel Antonio Rosas; and young Juan Carlos Adriazola Silva. It was Isabel who wisely advised me to focus on and thus make the most of Sáenz’s extant correspondence. Juan Carlos, for his part, accompanied me on the hour-long bus ride from Piura to Paita, gallantly volunteering to serve as my personal guide around the small, hot, and dusty port city. I also wish to thank the helpful staffs of Quito’s Archivo Nacional de Historia del Ecuador and the Archivo Histórico del Banco Central del Ecuador; the Archivo General de la Nación and Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá; the Archivo Central del Cauca in Popayán; the Archivo General de la Nación and Biblioteca Nacional del Peru in Lima; the Vatican Film Library of St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri; and the United Kingdom’s National Archives (formerly Public Record Office) in Kew. I thank Eddie Luster and the staff of the Interlibrary Loan Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Mervyn Sterne Library for their dedication and diligence. The moral support and cooperation of U.S. colleagues, including fellow historians of Latin America, have been important, as well. A special word of thanks thus goes to Angela Thompson, to whom I first confided the idea of writing Manuela Sáenz’s life story and placing it within the context of the larger history of...


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