Bernardo de Gálvez was born in Spain on July 23, 1746. Though poor, the Gálvez family belonged to the Spanish nobility, and Gálvez pursued an active and successful military career. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Gálvez was assigned the post of commandant of the Spanish troops stationed in Louisiana, with the rank of colonel. He soon became governor in 1777. Two years later the Revolutionary War became a world struggle as Spain joined its forces with those of France in the battle against Great Britain.
Even before Spain came into the war, Gálvez was actively engaged in providing arms to the Americans in the Louisiana area. On Spanish entry into the war, Gálvez took direct action against the British, and in three brilliant campaigns drove them out of West Florida, securing control of the mouth of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico for Spain. Of all his exploits in this period, the most famous was his conquest of Pensacola, in Florida, in 1781. He returned to Spain at the end of the war and received a hero's welcome, a military promotion, and appointment to the viceroyalty of New Spain.
In 1784 Gálvez went back to America, where he acted as principal adviser to Diego de Gardoqui in preliminary negotiations with the new United States over the Florida boundary, a treaty of commerce, and the right of Americans to free navigation of the Mississippi River. These negotiations led to the Jay-Gardoqui treaty in 1786.
In 1785 Gálvez won the thanks of the American government for his part in releasing American merchants being held at Havana.
Gálvez died in Mexico on November 30, 1786.
Source: Bernardo de Galvez
© 2016 Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved.