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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spain and the American Revolution

Most people think only of France when they think of American allies during the Revolutionary War.  Some may recall the contributions of individual military officers, such as Von Steuben or Pulaski, and think of other countries.  Often overlooked, though, was the contribution of Spain to the American cause.

In a small park in the middle of downtown Philadelphia stands a statue of Don Diego de Gardoqui, who became Spain's first ambassador to the United States.


Born in 1735, he was a Spanish businessman in a successful family business.  He served as a financial intermediary for Spain with the Americans, interacting with John Jay.  Through him, Spain supplied significant arms and munitions.  He died in 1798.

In a letter to Gardoqui after the war, dated January 20, 1786 from Mount Vernon, George Washington noted Gardoqui as one "whose good wishes were early engaged in the American cause, and who has attended to its progress thro' the various stages of the revolution."
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