Historic Bolivar artifacts
donated in honor of Jefferson-era connection
1827, a young Venezuelan named Fernando Bolivar came to the newly
opened University of Virginia to enroll in classes and began a
long and still-growing link between Latin America and Jeffersons
university. Bolivar was the nephew and adoptive son of Simon Bolivar,
the hero of South Americas wars of independence.
April 13 Jeffersons birthday a descendant
of the illustrious Bolivar family returned to Grounds to donate
historic family papers and artifacts to the University in a celebration
of U.Va.s venerable Latin American heritage. The manuscripts
include important letters, journals and other documents of Fernando
Bolivar, as well as volumes of published materials related to
Fernando Bolivar of Caracas, a great-great-grandson of U.Va.s
first Latin American student, presented the gift in an Alumni
Hall luncheon sponsored by U.Va.s Bolivar Network, an organization
of alumni of Latin American origin.
Bolivar nephew came all the way to Virginia because of his deep
admiration for Jefferson, according to U.Va. Spanish
professor Gustavo Pellon, who has researched U.Va.s Bolivar
connection. Because of financial difficulties Fernando Bolivar
stayed only for a brief period, but he always treasured his days
in Charlottesville and wrote about them in his memoirs.
Fernando Bolivar manuscripts are especially important because
he had a long diplomatic career after leaving U.Va. The gift also
includes 14 bound volumes of published documents related to Gen.
Simon Bolivar and South American independence, as well as silver
manuscripts will eventually be housed in U.Va.s Special
Collections Library. Portraits of Fernando Bolivar and his
celebrated uncle hang in Casa Bolivar, U.Va.s Spanish language