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Manuel Gallego y Valcarcel papers

Identifier: jfb-MB9375

Scope and Content

The first one hundred and sixty-four documents [Box #1] are letters from and to Gallego. They cover a wide variety of subjects, including Gallego family business, political events and prominent persons in Spain and Argentina, and the challenges of transatlantic commerce. Members of Gallego’s family are prominently featured, especially his brother-in-law Pedro Gomez y Garcia. The correspondence ranges from 1791 to 1806, roughly the last two decades of Spanish imperial rule in the Rio de la Plata. Box #2 contains documents concerning Gallego’s commercial affairs, including his involvement in the slave trade. Part of his post-mortem inventory is also included in the collection. The last two folders contain miscellaneous business from the post-colonial period.


  • 1790-1827


Language of Materials



Materials are open to research without restriction.


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Historical Note

Manuel Gallego was born in the village of Hellin, Murcia, Spain, the son of Pascual Gallego and Teresa Valcarcel. He began his career as an officer in the Burgos infantry regiment. By 1790 he was able to use his political connections to obtain the post of secretary to the Viceroy of the Rio de la Plata. The post was a powerful one, and viceregal commercial, military, and political business passed through Gallego’s hands. Gallego was accused of using this information for personal gain, and a post-mortem inventory revealed that he lived far beyond the means of a government functionary. He was also accused of aiding his friends, especially Tomás Antonio Romero, in nefarious commercial activity. In 1806, he acquired additional infamy for fleeing Buenos Aires in the wake of the British invasion. In his will he revealed that he had secretly married Ana Josefa Andonaegui, the daughter of a prominent Buenos Aires merchant. Despite his many detractors, Gallego was able to hold on to the secretariat until his death in 1808.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes))


The Gallego collection contains personal correspondence between Manuel Gallego, Secretary to the viceroy of the Rio de la Plata, and his family members, friends, and business associates. The majority of the letters are addressed to Gallego from his personal and commercial contacts in Spain. The collection also contains documents relating to Gallego’s involvement in the slave trade, his commercial affairs, and his death. Appended to the collection are a number of miscellaneous documents from the post-colonial period.


The records and papers are arranged in six series. Series one is further arranged in subseries, which are ordered chronologically. The series and subseries arrangement of the records is as follows:

  1. Series 1. Personal Correspondence
  2. Subseries 1. Letters from Manuel Gallego
  3. Subseries 2. Letters to Manuel Gallego from Pedro Gomez y Garcia and Mariana Gomez y Garcia
  4. Subseries 3. Letters to Manuel Gallego from Pascual Gallego y Valcarcel
  5. Subseries 4. Letters to Manuel Gallego from Miguel Valcarcel and Pascuala Gallego
  6. Subseries 5. Letters to Gallego From Josef Collada
  7. Subseries 6. Letters to Manuel Gallego from Antonio Martinez Salcedo
  8. Subseries 7. Letters to Manuel Gallego from Cecilia Freyre de Beramendi and Pantaleon Beremendi
  9. Subseries 8. Letters to Manuel Gallego from Various Correspondents
  10. Series 2. Slave Documents
  11. Series 3. Documents and Receipts Relating to Official Work
  12. Series 4. Post-Mortem Documents
  13. Series 5. Josef Collada, Accounts
  14. Series 6. Buenos Aires Documents

Collection Accession Number:


Manuel Gallego y Valcercel Papers, 1790-1827.
Finding aid created by Kevin D. Mummey, 2009
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Finding Aid is in English.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The James Ford Bell Library Collecting Area

Elmer L. Andersen Library
Suite 15
Minneapolis MN 55455