It seems our colleagues of the so-called behavioral sciences are strongly questioning the usefulness, and consequently, the right to subsist, of historical studies.1 This is, of course, a typically nineteenth-century Comtian positivist attitude. These colleagues, apparently, never had any doubts about the usefulness of their own specialty.

Now, speaking of society—and in particular, of its national form— it is evidently the result of a long historical process, and not the fruit of extemporary creation. Even fanatical reformers feel obliged to make concessions to existing realities; and the Cartesian ideal of tabula rasa on which to build a new, perfectly rational system which would forever remain unchanging, has succeeded, so far, only on paper.

We can affirm then that a society that wants to know itself should know its own, common past in which it originated, by which it was formed. This obligation particularly concerns those who, in the field of education, politics, or literature, exercise a marked influence on the rest of the people.2

In the case of Ecuador it is then, perhaps, pertinent to cite José María Velasco Ibarra, an intellectual who was elected four times as President of the Republic, and whose fifth election can be avoided, apparently, only through amending the Constitution. Velasco Ibarra attributes the breakup of Bolívar’s Colombia to caudillismo.3 In a later work he adds that on separating from Spain, Hispanic America was left “without a national tradition, without soul and without historical unity.”4

Another ex-President of Ecuador—who would have been Velasco’s principal opponent in the frustrated 1964 elections—Camilo Ponce Enríquez, exalts in the same vein the glories of la patria colombiana, and attributes its decease to “caciquismo,” asserting that “for every intelligent builder there are ten destroyers who sacrifice the grandiosity of what pertains to the Fatherland in favor of their mean ambitions.”5

Similar ideas are commonly expressed by Ecuadorians.6 Yet these people—none of whom fails to be very patriotic—do not realize, apparently, that what they are complaining about is, in fact, the very existence of their own country. This attitude is attributable, to some extent, to the extreme popularity of Bolívar in Ecuador since those early times when Peru, New Granada, and Venezuela were repudiating their Liberator.

Even considering Bolívar as the greatest figure in the history of contemporary America, however, one cannot avoid the impression that he did more harm than good to Ecuador. This is also the feeling of some Ecuadorian authors, although these definitely constitute a minority.7 But, in general, Ecuadorian historians have not studied the history of Ecuador in the period of 1822-1830; instead, they devoted their attention to Bolívar’s Colombia.

Apart from abuses by the Colombian authorities in what they called Distrito del Sur and the fact that Ecuadorians had practically no voice at all in Colombian politics, nor for that matter, in their own affairs, Bolívar’s basic error was his misconception concerning the roots of Hispanic American nationalities. The Liberator’s concept was viceregal rather than audiencial. Thus, in his much-praised Jamaica letter, he gives no allowance to the separate existence of the Audiencia of Quito which he engulfs in New Granada. Yet, since the time of Jiménez de Quesada and Belalcázar—and with prehistoric antecedents—New Granada and the Audiencia of Quito were separated by a well-known boundary. Eighty years of subordination of the latter to a viceroy who resided in Santa Fe in no way affected its separate identity.8 But Bolívar did not take this into account; and in the Constitution of Angostura, without a single deputy from the Audiencia of Quito being present, and even before the first of his soldiers set foot on Ecuadorian soil, he incorporated that country into Colombia.

Finally, there is another explanation for the strange ideas of exPresidents Velasco Ibarra and Ponce. Both of them were trained in law; and in Hispanic America law has been the predominent profession, at least for a century and a half. Now, from a lawyer’s point-of-view, institutions are created by legal documents. Confusing State or Government with Nation, the latter would come into existence only after such an existence had been officially declared. Consequently, Ecuador and the Ecuadorian nation would have been created, ex nihilo, in 1832, the year of its complete separation from Colombia. An absurdity, indeed.9

In a certain sense, more historically minded is the school that some would describe as Indianist, although it should rather be called Incaist. Its founder is Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, a polygraph from Loja, to whom his numerous admirers gave the title of Doctor en Ecuatorianidades.

Jaramillo, a Socialist, published in 1922 his El indio ecuatoriano.10 It would be difficult to classify this book as history, sociology, or anthropology. There is little in it concerning Ecuadorian Indians, but much about those of Peru and Mexico and about agrarian reform in Czechoslovakia. Yet, since its author shows a real preoccupation for the cause of the Indians, this book obtained for him the representation of the aborigines as their “functional senator” in Congress. It is quite clear that Jaramillo took his inspiration from Mexico. This connection was soon strengthened through his chief disciple and coterráneo, the communist Manuel Benjamín Carrión—almost perennial president of the Casa de la Cultural Ecuatoriana—who at one time represented Ecuador in Mexico. The Mexican government even sent to Ecuador one of its officials, Moisés Sáenz, who—after staying for six weeks in the country—wrote an oft-quoted report on the Indians.11 On the other hand, both Jaramillo Alvarado and Carrión show the closest spiritual ties with Aprismo, as manifested quite clearly in many of their publications.12

As far as Jaramillo Alvarado’s and his followers’ concept of Ecuadorian history is concerned, they maintain that the Quichua language originated in Ecuador, and that the Incas found in the ancient “Kingdom of Quito” a Quichua civilization, similar though inferior to theirs. At the same time, these writers consider Inca history as their own, and claim that Atahualpa—representing the fusion of Quiteño and Cuzqueño Quichuas—is the founder of Ecuadorian nationality.13

This thesis is evidently nonsensical, because it does not even consider the role of the Spaniards in the creation of Ecuadorian nationality. On the other hand, there is documentary and archaeological evidence from the Ecuadorian coast to prove that the Incas never conquered that region; and historical sources also indicate that the native language of the Sierra Indians was not Quichua in the sixteenth century. Consequently, the Inca episode only signifies in the history of Ecuador a bloody conquest of a section of the country, lasting from forty to seventy years. Atahualpa, even as the son whom the daughter of the vanquished chieftain of Quito bore to Huayna Capac, represents the imposing will of the conqueror; and as a ruler he is the symbol of the tradition of an alien state.14

The most surprising aspect of Jaramillo Alvarado’s thesis is that his concept of Nación Quichua is an automatic negation of the separate existence of Ecuadorian nationality, and implies Ecuador’s merging with Peru and Bolivia. This was clearly expressed, recently, by his disciple Benjamín Carrión, stating that the peoples of Ecuador and Peru “should have been, ought to be and can be one and the same.”15 Yet, at the same time, Pío Jaramillo is known for his vigorous stand against Peru on the border question.

I am convinced, however, that it is useless to search for logic in the writings of Ecuador’s Incaists; and it would be even more fruitless to look for true erudition in their works. Their assumptions are based on the writings of easily accessible but not very trustful sources, such as Garcilaso de la Vega, Anello Oliva, Cabello de Balboa, and Father Juan de Velasco. They despise documentary and archaeological evidence in absurd terms that everywhere else would disqualify them automatically as students of history.18 They are clearly more interested in propagating their own political ideas and in fighting against Conservative hegemony in historical writing than in searching after historical truth.17 Actually, their inclusion in this study is due only to the fact that through their connections abroad—chiefly Mexico—and their near monopoly of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana and its excellent editorial facilities for almost twenty years, these writers obtained an influence—outside and inside of Ecuador—which, being very great, is so much more to be deplored from the point-of-view of Ecuador’s historiographical development.

The axis around which the Jaramillo school revolves is La historia del reino de Quito, written at the end of the eighteenth century, in Italian exile, by the Jesuit Juan de Velasco (1727-1792), a native of Ríobamba, referred to sometimes as the “Ecuadorian Herodotus.”18 Father Velasco, moved by a very strong feeling of criollismo, directed, in fact, not against Spain, but rather against the philosophes of the Enlightenment.—such as Paw, Buffon, Robertson and Raynal—who liked to disparage everything Hispanic American. He tried to contradict them by glorifying the New World, and in particular his homeland, the Kingdom of Quito. To attain this end, he had to demonstrate the antiquity and imperial status of pre-Hispanic Quito. In executing his task Titus Livius may have been an ever present example, while his political conceptions clearly show the influence of eighteenth-century dynastic Europe.

For more than fifty years after it first appeared in print, Velasco’s Historia was accepted in Ecuador at its face value. Pedro Fermín Cevallos’ Resumen de la historia del Ecuador is to a great extent a transcription of Velasco.19 Paul Rivet, much later, had no doubts about the ríobambeño’s trustworthiness; and even Federico González Suárez—Ecuador’s greatest historian—followed Velasco closely in the first volume of his Historia general de la República del Ecuador, recognizing him, besides, as the source of his historical vocation. Apparently, only the Spanish historian Marcos Jiménez de la Espada had doubts about Father Velasco’s reliability.20

As González Suárez deepened his knowledge of Ecuador’s past and improved his method of investigation, however, he became increasingly aware of a number of fundamental shortcomings in Father Velasco’s work.21 His criticisms were carried on by his young disciples such as Louis Felipe Borja, Carlos Manuel Larrea, and Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño.22 They quite justly wondered how was it possible that Velasco should have known so many details about Ecuador’s prehistory, going back even seven hundred years before the Conquest, and how could it be that Velasco’s information should not have appeared in any other source until he put it on paper at the end of the eighteenth century. They pointed out many of the most evident errors in the Historia del reino de Quito as well as its author’s lack of judgment in telling tales of animals transformed into plants and hair turning into vipers.23 Finally, they expressed grave doubts concerning certain writers cited by Velasco, but whose writings are not extant any more.

This well founded criticism of the “Ecuadorian Herodotus” provoked passionate rejoinders, first from Father Juan Félix Proaño, a Canon of the Cathedral of Ríobamba and compueblano of Father Velasco; and then from Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, followed by his disciples. It is quite apparent, however, that there is nothing rational in this defense of Father Velasco: the eighteenth-century Jesuit and his anticlerical defenders make strange bedfellows, indeed.24

Yet the violent and sustained counterattack of these velasquistas (in the historiographical sense of the word) had the unhappy result of perpetuating the ríobambeño’s legends and errors in Ecuador’s historical writings, public education, and public consciousness, even though not even the slightest attempt was made to uncover Father Velasco’s missing sources, which, in his defenders’ opinion, would justify his cause. His addicts also did their utmost to convert the controversy into a question of whether the Jesuit author was a liar or not. Finally, despite the basically Incaist approach of Father Velasco, his partisans try to make belief or unbelief in his story a matter of patriotism.

The violence with which the velasquistas defended their favorite author assured his work a continued acceptance even in some professional circles that should know better. Some are hopefully hunting for vague coincidences, in order to be able to say that the latest archaeological evidence bears out Father Velasco (such as, for instance, prehistoric maritime immigration). And one moderate author justifies the Jesuit from Ríobamba, saying that he is a typical example of eighteenth-century historiography.25

I have to dissent categorically, however. Even sixteenth-century Spanish historiography offers a great number of writers infinitely superior to Father Velasco, whose work must be judged in terms, similar to those used by the Portuguese critic Fidelino de Figueiredo when describing the Alcobaça school.26 On the other hand, the criticisms of González Suárez and Jijón are still valid. There is nobasis—except in one or two isolated and insignificant eases—for the argument so often used by Velasco’s defenders that he utilized extensively popular traditions picked up by himself. As a matter of fact, the Jesuit author usually cites his sources, although this is no guarantee for his quoting them faithfully.27 This fact throws some shadow on his using the lost writings of Fray Marcos de Niza—of Cibola fame—his principal source for the prehistory and conquest of Quito. With some important reservations, Niza could be accepted as far as his data on the Spanish and Inca conquests are concerned, perhaps going back as far as one century before the Spanish foundation of Quito. The contribution of Bravo de Saravia to Velasco was minimal, and the same can be said of Jacinto Collahuaso who, as Velasco’s contemporary was a questionable source on prehistory.28 Besides, the most flagrant errors in Father Velasco’s work which can be pointed out on the basis of documentary evidence are so numerous that no trust can be placed in what he writes, except where there is further evidence to prove him right. There is, in any event, a need for new and independent investigation, historical as well as archaeological.

It should be noted, however, that Jacinto Jijón’s archaeological investigations mark a great advance toward a better knowledge of Ecuador’s prehistory, and also toward substituting a national point-of-view for the Quiteño outlook.29 In this task he was assisted by the German archaeologist, Max Uhle, whom he had brought to Ecuador. His investigations were hampered by his political activities, and ended with his death in 1950, at the age of sixty. Since then, Ecuadorian archaeology has progressed as a result of Emilio Estrada’s work. His investigations, though limited to the coast, illuminated once more the tremendous fallacies of Father Velasco, and in particular, the absolute falseness of his concept of a prehistoric Kingdom of Quito ruling over naked savages of the Ecuadorian coast. Estrada, furthermore, exercised a marked influence on archaeological trends in the United States. His death at the age of forty-five, after less than ten years of scholarly activities, was an extremely severe blow to Ecuadorian archaeology, and indirectly, to historiography.30 But if Estrada’s findings reached the public consciousness, they would inevitably erase the velasquista or Incaist point-of-view concerning the origins of Ecuadorian nationality, thenceforth to be conceived rather as the fusion with and unification by Hispanic culture of the numerous, independent, and fairly advanced tribes of prehistoric Ecuador, with only a geographically limited, though strong, influence on the part of the alien Inca conquerors.

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Although Estrada and the Guayaquil group of archaeologists represent an independent development, it is well known that Jijón was a disciple of Monseñor Federico González Suárez (1844-1917), Bishop of Ibarra and then Archbishop of Quito, the outstanding figure of Ecuadorian historiography.

Born in Quito and son of a Colombian father who abandoned the family when González Suárez was a small child, the future historian joined the Society of Jesus at the age of eighteen. It is possible that while connected with this Order he was influenced by the Spanish Jesuit historian Ricardo Cappa, then teaching in Ecuador, though it is also believed that he was chiefly influenced by the Colombian José María Groot.31 In 1872 he left the Society of Jesus and settled for a while in the Diocese of Cuenca as a lay priest. His Bishop encouraged him in his historical vocation, which had been kindled by Father Velasco. Garcilaso de la Vega, Prescott, Cieza de León, and Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo also made an early impression on him.32

His first work, Estudio histórico sobre los Cañaris, appeared in 1878. This was followed by his Historia eclesiástica del Ecuador, which can be considered as a preliminary draft of the Historia general de la República del Ecuador.33 The latter was written after extensive research in Spain and was intended to continue and replace Pedro Fermín Cevallos’ work.34 González Suárez was convinced that the Republic’s history cannot be conceived without its colonial and prehistoric antecedents.35 The research and writing of the eight volumes dedicated to these periods absorbed much time. His candid treatment of monkish immorality in colonial Quito aroused bitter criticism in Conservative and clerical circles. Because of this criticism as well as his growing responsibilties, first as Bishop and then as Archbishop Primate, his work does not even reach the wars of independence. However, the Archbishop’s rôle in shaping twentieth-century Ecuadorian historiography is so primary that a discussion of his ideas and of the influence he exerted is inevitable.

Truth is, to González Suárez, the essence of historical writing. Panegyric and slander must be equally ruled out; and neither the wish to please nor hatred are acceptable historiographical motivations. As he put it: “Truth is the soul, truth is the life of History: in truth is the very essence of History.… Without truth, History would not even qualify as a fable; it would be calumny, and an infamous calumny, a corrupting calumny.…”36

This makes sense, yet it should be remembered that nineteenth-century historical literature in Hispanic America was dominated by polemics of a political nature, and this situation has not been completely remedied until now, chiefly not in Ecuador.37

González Suárez, as a priest, suffered attacks from Catholic writers, and his presentation to the See of Ibarra was for a while seriously compromised as a result of his exposing the scandalous behavior of members of the Church.38

There is something quaint, anachronistic, Old-Testamentish in González Suárez’ philosophy of history. He could, for instance, discuss very seriously whether the Serpent really spoke words to Eve in Paradise.39 To González Suárez the history of people is predestined by Divine Providence. He divided the history of humanity into two periods: before and after Christ. Knowledge of the Saviour, his adoration as God, and submission to the Scriptures constitute the only possible goal for humanity. Everything else, such as political, social, and economic developments are of a secondary nature. Any deviation is chastised on earth, since peoples and nations have only a temporal existence.40 The duty of the historian is to chastise with his pen the scandals of this world, just as the priest Finess, in the Bible, used his dagger to kill an Israelite and his idolatrous wife.41

These ideas, though expressed some years later, explain certain aspects of the Historia, general, and in particular the fact that in its treatment of colonial history, it is more like an ecclesiastical history of the city of Quito than anything else. This also means a regionalist distortion, for Quito was undoubtedly the religious center of the country, even though from the economic point-of-view other cities, in particular Guayaquil, offered more to study. González Suárez stated that such matters were of secondary importance; to him they were of no importance at all.42

Even though González Suárez has a well deserved place among the great Hispanic American historians of the half-century preceding 1920, today he is very much out of date. He was, however, aware of the provisional, path-finding character of his work.43 Nonetheless, Jacinto Jijón’s assessment of the Historia, general, of twenty years ago, still holds true:

Ojalá hubiese ya llegado el día del envejecimiento, pues si tal fuese, eso querría decir que las ciencias históricas habrían progresado mucho en el Ecuador, y de ello el primero en regocijarse sería, desde su tumba, el difunto Arzobispo. Para que tal hubiese sucedido, habría sido preciso que se hubiesen escrito muchos más verdaderos trabajos históricos que los que se han editado— algunos de inmenso mérito—después de 1904.…44

The works of González Suárez are long out of print. And, though the late Archbishop’s statue overlooks Ecuador from Quito’s Plaza de San Francisco—in recognition of the place he occupies as the country’s greatest historian—very few are those who have read even his Historia, general.45

* * * * * * *

The Archbishop’s chief rôle in Ecuadorian historiography was the initiation of the scientific investigation of the past and the founding of a school of historians that is still the backbone of historical research in Ecuador. As he expressed it himself:

Cuando dí principio a mi labor histórica, estaba solo, aislado: ahora, cuando para mí se aproxima ya el ocaso de la vida, no estoy solo, no me encuentro aislado.…Mi palabra ha caído en tierra fecunda, mi trabajo no ha sido estéril. Vuestra labor comienza: no he hecho más que trazaros el camino.…46

His first disciple seems to have been the young Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño, scion of some of the most distinguished families of Ecuador, to whom González Suárez ceded his rich Americanist library. Then, on July 24, 1909, six young men met in the Archiepiscopal Palace of Quito. They were Luis Felipe Borja, Alfredo Flores y Caamaño, Cristóbal de Gangotena y Jijón, Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño, Carlos Manuel Larrea, and Aníbal Viteri Lafronte: a roster of Quito aristocracy. Presided over by González Suárez, and with Juan León Mera I. and José Gabriel Navarro who were absent, they founded the Sociedad Ecuatoriana de Estudios Históricos Americanos. In 1915 Celiano Monge and Isaac Barrera were invited to join. González Suárez died on December 1, 1917, but the Society was already firmly established, and kept on functioning under the leadership of Jijón, in whose home it met. In 1918 Homero Viteri Lafronte replaced his brother Aníbal, who was killed in a revolution, and Jijón also brought in Julio Tobar Donoso, then twenty-four years old. Like Jijón he had studied at the Jesuit Colegio de San Gabriel. The same year the first issue of the Society’s Boletín was published. For many years Jijón financed its printing. In 1920 the Congress recognized the Society as the Academia Nacional de Historia, without changing its internal organization. Jijón continued publishing the Boletín under the aegis of the Academia. By now more than one hundred issues have appeared.47

Inspired by the example set by Quito, the Centro de Estudios Históricos y Geográficos de Cuenca issued its Revista in 1921. Cuenca is the third city of Ecuador in population, and it is famous as an intellectual center. González Suárez began his career as a historian in Cuenca, where he influenced men like Father Julio María Matovelle (1852-1929), who was instrumental in creating the Centro de Estudios.48 The first number of its Revista contains contributions by such well-known historians as Fray Alfonso María Jerves, O.P., Ezequiel Márquez, Ricardo Márquez Tapia, the Poet Laureate Remigio Crespo Toral, Father José Félix Heredia, S.J., Octavio Cordero Palacios, and the Guayaquileño Camilo Destruge. The first numbers of the Revista were of such a high caliber that they competed for excellence with Jijón’s Boletín, but soon it started to appear with less and less regularity.49

A similar fate befell the Boletín del Centro de Investigaciones Históricas of Guayaquil, first published in 1931 by Dr. Carlos A. Rolando, whose Biblioteca de autores nacionales was long the best collection of Ecuatoriana.50 The Guayaquil Centro had its antecedents in the works of historians like. Francisco Campos (b. 1841) and Camilo Destruge. Even though colonial history attracted most of the members of the Centro, the Republican period received some attention, Dr. Rolando being noted for his bibliographical contributions.51 The Boletín still appears occasionally, but at this time it is almost defunct. It and the Centro were partially replaced in 1951 by Cuadernos de Historia y Arqueología of Guayaquil’s Casa de la Cultura.

The most important of these centers was the Academy group of Quito, not merely because of its official recognition, but due to the influence it exercised and the high caliber of many of its members. All of them in some way furthered the advance of historical knowledge. Particular mention must be given to Cristóbal de Gangotena, the noted genealogist; José Gabriel Navarro, internationally known expert on colonial art; Isaac J. Barrera, critic, and now for many years Director of the Academia and its Boletín; and Carlos Manuel Larrea, collaborator of Jijón and author of many works including one of great importance: the Bibliografía científica del Ecuador.52 But the two names that merit—from the point-of-view of the present study—a special mention, are those of Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño and Julio Tobar Donoso.

Jijón’s rôle in developing archaeological investigations in Ecuador and in the founding of the Academia and its Boletín has been mentioned. Jijón rejects traditionalism in the sense of a blind cult of the past, but accepted a traditionalism based on the consideration that the present and the future are molded by the past. Tradition promotes order and stability, and is the backbone of nations. A random destruction of the legacy of the past only can lead to social and cultural disintegration. Hero worship symbolizes the ties that attach the nation to its past.53 The Spanish monarchy respected the preHispanic bases, and built upon them the system of Audiencias and minor subdivisions.54 Following González Suárez, Jijón declared that “friars, priests and bishops [were] the authors of almost everything worthy and noble” in Spanish America.55 As far as Ecuador is concerned, its national origins go back to the pre-Inca and civilized aborigines.56 “The fictitious organization of Gran Colombia had no possibility to subsist.”57 The future of Ecuador lies in incorporating the Indian into national life; but this must be achieved by “Indianizing” European civilization—though without diminishing or debasing it—in order to make it comprehensible and desirable to the Indians.58 That is, the country must live, not in the past, but in harmony with the past.

If Jijón is González Suárez’ principal heir, to Tobar Donoso fell the legacy of the Historia, general. Even though he has not written a general work on the subject, in his monographs he picked up the thread broken with volume seven of the Archbishop’s magnus opus at 1807, and continued the story to 1875.59 Tobar Donoso takes from González Suárez his providentialist philosophy, stating that Catholicism is a superior doctrine that providentially is destined to triumph The positive part of his thesis is his argument that the Church was to a high degree instrumental in shaping Ecuadorian nationality during colonial times, though one may question his inference that in this Ecuador differs from other Hispanic nations and constitutes something like a new Israel.60 Despite his very strong religious convictions, which pervade much of his work, Tobar Donoso believes that he is truthful and impartial, though this does not mean indifference or abandoning one’s convictions.61

Such an attitude can lead to an inability or unwillingness to understand the opposing viewpoint, and Tobar Donoso failed to understand the importance of the Indian element as an essential constituent of Ecuadorian nationality, in which he is very unlike González Suárez, Jijón, or Larrea.62 He does recognize the artificiality of Bolívar’s Colombia, the previous existence of an Ecuadorian nationality, and the adverse effects of the latter’s incorporation into the former.63

Tobar Donoso is Ecuador’s most prolific historical writer of the last forty-five years. Apart from his numerous and excellent studies concerning the border dispute he wrote a number of monographs concerning his country’s political, religious, and educational history. Even though he himself cultivated the biographical genre, he is one of the very few historians of Ecuador’s Republican period who tacitly recognized that a nation’s history is not merely a collection of biographies of a few of its most outstanding leaders.64 For this Ecuadorian historiography owes more to him than is usually realized, even though his works are neither definitive nor exhaustive. They usually constitute the best treatment of the subject until now, and at the same time they point the way to further research.

At this point it is inevitable to mention Tobar Donoso’s Jesuit teacher, José María Le Gouhir Baud. Born in Brittany in 1871, and having studied in England, he came to Ecuador as a member of the Society of Jesus in 1890. He spent the remaining fifty years of his life in Ecuador, teaching in Quito for twenty-one years, and for eleven in Riobamba.65 Among his many writings the most important is his three-volume Historia de la República del Ecuador. Like Tobar Donoso’s monographs it constitutes an effort to extend the Historia general of González Suárez down to 1900.66

Le Gouhir’s Historia is, without a doubt, the most complete single treatment of nineteenth-century Ecuador, and his third volume, on the period 1876-1900, has few rivals, one suspects because of political reasons. To Conservatives the post-García Moreno period meant an unpalatable decadence; to Liberals, this quarter of a century was equivalent to the achievements of General Eloy Alfaro (who, for most of the time was alternating between a comfortable exile as a merchant and an uncomfortable chain of disastrous invasions of Ecuador).67 The second volume is the weakest of the three, due to its excessive panegyrics in behalf of García Moreno, and the incapacity of the author to conceive that at times his hero’s adversaries may have been right. The first volume is much more moderate in tone and in spirit. Generally speaking, the principal weakness of Le Gouhir’s Historia is its excessive concern with political and ecclesiastical history; and, of course, since basic monographs were not available to the author, his contribution is not more definitive and much less original than the Historia general of González Suárez, which is based on archival research.68 Yet we owe Father Le Gouhir gratitude for the professionalization of historical investigations in a land where historical truth is supposed by some to emerge from debate in the daily papers.69

Mention must also be made of Roberto Andrade’s Historia del Ecuador—whose volumes six and seven cover the period of 1830-1847 —even though his contribution to Ecuadorian historiography is completely negative. His work is largely a rehash of Pedro Fermín Cevallos and Pedro Moncayo, saturated with anti-Flores and antiCatholic fanaticism, but it has exercised a considerable influence on a large sector of Ecuadorian public opinion.70

Few good history textbooks are available in Ecuador. The best is the Breve historia del Ecuador by Oscar Efrén Reyes, a Liberal and for a long time Professor at the University of Quito. After twenty-five years, however, it is now outdated.71

The same scarcity can be noted in monographic studies, with the exception of biography and diplomatic history. There are a number of solid, meritorious works, but they are too few to permit the writing of a general history of Ecuador based on documented studies. Among the best existing works should be included Guayaquil en 1842: Rocafuerte y la epidemia de fiebre amarilla by Pedro José Huerta;72 Ramiro Borja y Borja’s Derecho constitucional ecuatoriano;73 the Mercedarian Father Joel Leónidas Monroy’s works;74 Camilo Destruge’s Historia de la prensa de Guayaquil;75 Temístocles J. Estrada’s Relaciones históricas y geográficas de Manabí;76 Luis Alberto Carbo’s Historia monetaria;77 and Julio Pimentel Carbo’s numerous contributions.78

* * * * * * *

The excessive attention given by Ecuadorian writers to the field of biographical studies is not an isolated phenomenon. It stems from the current of hero worship that invaded and saturated the Western World once the equalitarian philosophy of the French Revolution did away with the veneration of saints and kings. Sinee World War II ended this malady shows some signs of subsiding, although this new trend has not yet made much headway in Hispanic America. National history is still equated with the lives of Great Men. Ecuador is no exception to this general tendency, as is noted by a recent critic of historical writing.79

In one sense, however, Hispanic American, including Ecuadorian, hero worship differs from the European variety. For each worshipper there is an infidel who defames the Great Man, whose fame and importance in historiography is, consequently, enhanced by the number of his mortal enemies even a century after his death.80 This is especially the case of President Gabriel García Moreno (1821-1875), the most controversial, and hence, the outstanding figure in Ecuador’s biographical literature.

The García Moreno controversy started with Father Augustín Berthe’s Garcia Morenó. Président de L’Equateur, vengeur et martyr du droit Chrétien.81 The author, a French Redemptorist priest, saw in the Ecuadorian president a symbol of laical faithfulness to the Church. That Western European Catholics, at the end of the nineteenth century, should have found García Moreno’s figure a worthwhile subject for a biography is quite understandable in the light of Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, the occupation of Rome by Italian troops, and the triumph of the anti-clerical Third Republic in France.82 García Moreno, on the other hand, had attracted French religious Orders as well as physicians, and he gave refuge to persecuted German Jesuits, in order to provide his country with an able teaching staff. He was the only American president who protested against the violation and ending of the Pope’s temporal power in 1870. García Moreno had also placed Ecuador under the protection of the Sacred Heart. In 1875 he was murdered by a group of anticlericals.

Father Berthe’s work became the foundation of inspiration for a world-wide García Moreno literature, written in many languages. Some of these books are quite lengthy, others are rather brief, and none of them contributes anything new to the subject.83 They are best suited for reading during spiritual exercises. On the other hand it must be conceded that Berthe’s work possesses some real merit. In style and documentation it is superior to any form of biographical literature previously produced in Ecuador. Its great shortcoming lies in the fact that—in order to enhance his subject’s personality— Berthe quite freely denigrates García Moreno’s political opponents or victims, as well as the country itself before his hero’s takeover in 1860. Even the most condemnable acts and some of the most antipathetic facets of his character, such as the irresistible impulse to conspire when he was out of power and his outbursts of cruelty in suppressing political opposition, are justified and even glorified.

It is not surprising that the moderate Antonio Borrero Cortázar felt himself compelled to reply.84 Borrero, from Cuenca, had refused to cooperate with García Moreno, and at the latter’s death he was elected president as a compromise candidate acceptable both to Conservatives and Liberals. Being a moderate, he satisfied neither of these factions, and after nine months in office, he was easily ousted by the last mentioned group. Until now Borrero has been either neglected or belittled by Ecuadorian writers who could not appreciate the virtue of his moderation.85 Such was also the attitude of Father Berthe. Consequently, Borrero’s reply was a useful antidote to the Redemptorist’s bias.

Moderation and impartiality were not to prevail in Garcían studies, and one of his murderers was responsible for this development. Roberto Andrade had played the rôle of an extra in the assassination of García Moreno on August 6, 1875, by the Colombian adventurer Faustino Lemos Rayo. During his long life he made political capital of his insignificant share in the event, showing a sadistic pleasure in the deed and calumniating García Moreno after his death.86 This paid off very well after the Liberals came into power in 1895, assuring Andrade of various political sinecures.87

As the assassination plot itself, so Andrade’s writings can be figuratively traced to Juan Montalvo’s La dictadura perpetua, a virulent anti-Garcían tract. Though others before Montalvo, such as García Moreno himself, Fray Vicente Solano and Vicente Rocafuerte, had practiced with notable success the arts of invective and abuse, this famous writer from Ambato probably did more than anybody else in Ecuador to confuse truth with half-truths and untruths. His writings make no positive contribution to a better knowledge of García Moreno, and in at least three ways, his influence has been definitely deplorable.

First, Andrade’s example and personal influence gave rise to an anti-Garcian literature that suffers from the same congenital defects as his own works. The well-known Cuban, Roberto Agramonte, became acquainted with Andrade and with García Moreno through Cuban interest in Eloy Alfaro. Tutored by Andrade, he produced a youthful work which attempts to interpret García Moreno in psycho-analytical (Kretschmerian) terms.88 Such a focus could have been highly desirable in the case of “El Gran Tirano,” whose childhood experiences may very well have shaped his strange character, if Agramonte had followed the approach of a psychiatrist toward his patient rather than that of a prosecutor against the culprit.

Benjamín Carrion too, in his El santo del patíbulo, attempts occasionally a “Freudian” approach, though without Agramonte’s professional knowledge, and his work degenerates quite soon into vulgar obscenities.89 Since the Spanish critic Miguel de Unamuno observed that in Montalvo’s writings the most original aspect is constituted by his invective, Carrion quite proudly undertakes the same road.90 His work becomes an overdrawn libel, in which the author’s unjustified pretence to erudition leads him to errors of the grossest sort.91

The second aspect of Andrade’s negative influence is the birth of the hagiographic tendency. This can be traced in part to Father Berthe, but in its new form it is an exaggerated reaction to Andrade’s campaign of defamation. Those who belong to this group are earnestly promoting the canonization of García Moreno. Although he had many “virtues” in common with certain medieval saints such as Saint. Peter of Arbués, García Moreno’s elevation must seem a very unlikely proposition to any impartial observer.

The first of the canonizers was probably Father Le Gouhir in his Un gran americano.92 This book drew a spirited reply from Luis Felipe Borja, then Subdirector of the Academia, and a grandson of the principal victim of García Moreno.93 Le Gouhir did not substantially modify his appreciations in the second volume of his Historia de la República, published four years later. He also found followers, such as the Argentine novelist Manuel Gálvez and the Ecuadorian Jesuit Severo Gómezjurado, in his ¡¿Mártir García Moreno?!94

The third negative influence attributable to Andrade is the uncritical acceptance of his chismes by writers who came after him. This is even the case of such a panegyrist of García Moreno as Gálvez, who simply tries to explain away the negative episodes. It is partly true also of Luis Robalino Dávila, who in 1948 published the most complete and most impartial biography of García Moreno.95

The fact is that Roberto Andrade’s tales should not be conceded more importance than any hearsay would receive in a judicial case: that is, they may be investigated. This is exactly what Tobar Donoso did concerning one of those fables.96 The same author also published a number of monographs on García Moreno, especially valuable because they concentrate on institutional development rather than the dominant personalist trend.97 He found a follower in the American historian Richard Pattee, whose Gabriel García Moreno y el Ecuador de su tiempo, though written from a Catholic point-of-view, is a reasonably impartial and very well-documented work.98

Pattee’s research, however, was not exhaustive, even though he used some primary sources and a limited amount of unpublished material.99 Other Americans, like William Spence Robertson, contributed with research on some limited aspect of García Moreno.100

The most important contribution to a better knowledge of García Moreno is that of Dr. Wilfrido Loor Moreira, who published four volumes of García Moreno’s correspondence and several monographs dedicated to various aspects of his career.101 Loor, a graduate of the Jesuit Colegio San Gabriel—named for García Moreno—is perhaps the most passionate of all Garcianist writers. The rich documentaryevidence contrasts with his somewhat controversial interpretations. Since it has not been customary for Ecuadorian historians writing on the Republican period to spend much time in the archives, Loor’s contribution is much greater than one would otherwise suspect. His books will not only influence Garcían studies, but the interpretation of the whole period as well. At the present Father Gómezjurado is completing a monumental eight-volume biography of García Moreno, which in great measure shows the impact of Loor’s research.102

García Moreno will never cease to be a controversial figure, but the attempt should be made to judge him with impartiality. There is a difference between García Moreno out of power and in power; between his foreign policy and his internal administration; between his first and his second presidencies; between the man and the statesman. His achievements must be studied in the light of the achievements of those who preceded and those who followed him. Even though his scheme of a French protectorate may seem condemnable, it should be borne in mind that such ideas were quite frequent in nineteenth-century Hispanic America, and they are not at all unlike those attitudes that lead today to Latin Americans’ exaggerated reliance on foreign aid.103 García Moreno’s position in the Hispano-Peruvian conflict was correct, as was his stand concerning the Mexican Intervention. It is incorrect to speak of a theocracy in the case of the Garcian régime: it was rather an extreme form of regalism.

As a young revolutionary García Moreno showed himself to be as irresponsible as Ecuador’s other great revolutionaries, such as Rocafuerte, Flores, Urvina, and Alfaro.104 He was ready to sell his country to Ramón Castilla of Peru while in opposition, though once in power he saved Ecuador from the invader. His wars against Colombia were both complete fiascos.105 His inability to tolerate full terms for his own presidential creatures contradicted his constant invocations of law and order.

García Moreno gave Ecuador its first sound financial administration. He built the first railroad in Ecuador, and the country also owes him its principal, and for a long time, only highway. He created schools, not only on paper, but also in reality.

Comparing García Moreno’s achievements with those of others, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that he was Ecuador’s greatest president, and one of the most important ones of nineteenth-century Hispanic America;106 a sort of Catholic positivist with unbounded energy, not unlike the Chilean Portales.107 He committed a number of very great errors and his character is rather unattractive.

Since in Ecuador historical writing is very closely connected to politics, García Moreno is the hero of the Conservative, clerical party. The Liberal Radical, anticlerical party, in power between 1895 and 1944, raised a rival figure to overshadow García Moreno. The choice was among Vicente Roeafuerte, José María Urvina, Juan Montalvo, Ignacio Veintemilla, and Eloy Alfaro. Veintemilla was a vulgar military dictator.108 Urvina abolished slavery, though there were but few slaves then in Ecuador. He did not have anybody executed for political motives, though his soldiers committed all kinds of excesses. He fought against the Peruvian invaders, but previously he had been ready to alienate the Galápagos Islands; and later he became a tool of foreign interests against his country. It was difficult to raise Urvina above García Moreno, since the former can be considered as the father of native Ecuadorian militarism, and the latter as the the champion of civilism; and since Urvina was bested by García Moreno in each of his revolutionary attempts. When Urvina came back after his rival’s death, at the head of a Liberal army, he was merely an instrument of Veintemilla.109 He is one of the important figures of 19th-century Ecuador, but his rôle has been studied only superficially by the Conservative Julio Tobar Donoso.110

Nor did Rocafuerte receive the attention by investigators one might expect in the case of a figure who is an uncontested hero, accepted and honored by all political parties. The main contribution to an intensive knowledge of Rocafuerte has been the publication of his papers, chiefly his printed works.111 Otherwise, the most complete treatment is still Isaac Barrera’s biography, written more than fifty years ago.112 It is Barrera’s first historical production, it is not based on serious research, and the author frankly admits hero worship as his leitmotiv.113

Why is it that such a universally venerated statesman as Roeafuerte has not received closer attention? Though acceptable to all parties, Rocafuerte satisfies none of them completely. Conservatives admire him because he was so much like his disciple, García Moreno, in his authoritarian concept of government and xenophilia. On the other hand, Rocafuerte sympathized with Protestants and he was a Mason. Liberals like everything Conservatives dislike in Roeafuerte, but they cannot forget that it was General Flores who placed Rocafuerte in the presidency through the bloody battle of Miñarica won over the Liberal forces of the Sierra. Socialists must find it difficult to sympathize sincerely with a member of the commercial oligarchy. Even Barrera complains that Rocafuerte “was not the glorious thinker we might expect from one who had studied in the city that is the cradle of free humanity and which declared the Rights of Man.”114

One also suspects that since Rocafuerte was a costeño, who was never assimilated by the Sierra as was García Moreno, he would be easily neglected in the historiography of a country where most historians are serranos. However, regionalism, in one sense, came to the rescue of Rocafuerte, since it made him the port city’s favorite hero; and the attempt has also been made to link Guayaquil, through Rocafuerte and his uncle Jacinto Bejarano, to the August 10, 1809, Revolution.115 Historical evidence quite conclusively disproves this patriotic legend: in 1809 Rocafuerte and his family were protégés of Viceroy Abascal.116

Juan Montalvo is evidently a favorite hero of the Liberals, and they might as well claim exclusive rights to him. A great number of biographies are concerned with him.117 Special mention should be given to Reyes’ Vida de Juan Montalvo.118 This Liberal writer wanted to produce a true biography of his hero, following Luis Felipe Borja’s recommendation “to analyze with a spirit of justice the errors and good judgments, the defects and virtues. The life of a man has to be written, and not that of an imaginary being.”119

Reyes probably wrote the best existing biography of Montalvo, yet his impartiality brought the ire of the “deificators.”120 His book clearly shows the influence of Benjamín Carrión, not only in its title, but all through its pages. Carrión actually contributed a prologue, in which he states:

Conceived as a defense of Montalvo, this book rapidly becomes a defense of a whole sector of Ecuadorian thought: this thought the symbol of which is the Tiger of Ambato.… The author of this work feels that by diminishing the figure of Montalvo, recounting the indispensable trifles that fit into every great life … the symbol of a whole vital and permanent attitude of the spirit of the Fatherland has been diminished.

It must be considered, however, that this famous son of Ambato owes his celebrity to his pen, so that studies concerning him rightly belong to the field of literary history. Pío Jaramillo Alvarado maintains that Montalvo lifted García Moreno out of obscurity into fame.121 Contrary to Jaramillo Alvarado’s opinion, Montalvo’s place in history (other than literary) is purely the result of his having proclaimed himself an enemy of García Moreno and Veintemilla.

Since Montalvo does not qualify as the Liberal hero of sufficient stature to overshadow García Moreno, the choice fell on Eloy Alfaro, the improvised general who became a symbol of Liberal opposition to Conservative rule through thirty years spent in exile and revolutionary activities that always ended in utter failure.122 In 1895 the Liberals’ opportunity arrived as a result of a split between the moderate and the extreme factions of the Conservative party, and the triumphing revolutionaries remembered the “Old Fighter” and called him back from exile to head their movement. Seventeen years later, after having failed in a revolutionary attempt against the then ruling Liberal régime, Alfaro and many of his closest followers were murdered in jail by the populace, dragged naked by their heels through the streets of Quito, mutilated and finally incinerated, all this with the connivance and complacency of his Liberal confrères of the Constitutional government.

In order to heal the differences within the Liberal party, an attempt was made to lay the blame of Alfaro’s death on the Conservatives, even on Archbishop González Suárez.123 W hatever the truth may be, General Leónidas Plaza Gutiérrez and at least half of the Liberal party had sufficient personal and political motives to detest Alfaro. Alfaro attempted to eliminate his own candidates between nomination and inauguration. Even though he did not succeed, he did overthrow Liberal President Lizardo García and his own Liberal constitution, in order to make himself president for a second time. To this must be added the marked nepotism of the Alfaro régime. By 1911 many Liberals were sincerely convinced that the Alfaros were a threat to progress, to constitutional government, and to the very interests of the Liberal party.124

While it is understandable that alfarista Roberto Andrade should have brought out his Vida y muerte de Eloy Alfaro four years after the general’s death, it is not immediately clear how Alfaro could have become the Liberals’ unquestionable hero.125 At present he is acclaimed as Ecuador’s greatest man, as is illustrated by a mural of Galo Galecio in the Casa de la Cultura of Quito, on which Alfaro, sword in hand, occupies a pre-eminent position, eclipsing all other worthies.126

The answer may be that by now the old rancors have disappeared within the Liberal ranks; and even more important, the Socialists have constituted themselves into Levites of the Alfaro cult. The Socialist Party never has been an electoral force as far as number of votes is concerned. But Marxists, who only recently split clearly into opposing groups of communists and social democrats, infiltrated the civil service, and in particular public education and cultural organizations. Once in control of key positions they established something similar to a “union shop.” Their influence during the last forty years has been much greater than what one could suspect from a sheer recounting of electoral returns.127

What is still not explained is why the Socialists picked Alfaro as their maximum hero. If Alfaro ever heard of Marx he certainly did not follow his teachings. There is much more in common between Conservative paternalism or absolutism and Socialist subordination of the individual to the State, than between Liberalism and Marxism.128 But Socialists needed a standard-bearer with mass appeal. Alfaro was a “leftist,” a term applied indiscriminately to Liberal Radicals in the past and to the Marxists at the present. Alfaro was a revolutionary, and Ecuadorian Marxists like to think of themselves as such. Finally, in Ecuador’s post-García Moreno liberalism, anticlericalism and even anti-catholicism overshadowed all other ideological issues.129 On this point Marxists agree completely with the Liberal Radicals of Alfaro.

If Socialists play an important rôle in the present glorification of Alfaro, they have contributed but little to a better knowledge of his life and career. After Andrade’s book, Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, one of the first Socialists, then acting in the Liberal ranks, joined the alfarista campaign.130 The first great impulse actually came from Cuba, where an international Alfaro Society was organized, in gratitude for his help to the cause of Cuban independence. Coinciding with the unveiling in Havana of a monument honoring Alfaro, Emeterio S. Santovenia published his Eloy Alfaro y Cuba.131 Four years later Santovenia brought out Homenajes a Eloy Alfaro, which included statements in Alfaro’s honor from Ecuador, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, and Spain.132 Santovenia also edited the alfarista José Peralta’s Eloy Alfaro y sus victimarios, written originally in 1918.133 He himself contributed, in connection with the first centennial of Alfaro’s birth, a frankly panegyric biography, in which he compares Alfaro to Christ.134

Even though Santovenia in no way enriched our knowledge of Alfaro’s life and career, he was instrumental in promoting the Alfaro cult all over the Americas, and probably in Ecuador itself. The Ecuadorian novelist of Socialist tendencies, Alfredo Pareja Diez-canseco, brought out in 1944 his well-documented La hoguera bárbara, which has much in common with Santovenia’s work.135 The negative aspect of this biography, from a historiographical viewpoint, is its novelized form. It is clear that Pareja enhances Alfaro in order to belittle García Moreno. He fails in his purpose, for it is difficult to avoid drawing the impression from La hoguera bárbara that Alfaro was a psychopathic revolutionary, unable to govern, yet unwilling to let others govern instead. He surely deserves a better treatment.

Less partial, and from a historiographical point-of-view more important is the Liberal Jorge Pérez Concha’s Eloy Alfaro, su vida y su obra.136 Ricardo Darquea’s book, though it is perhaps even less partial, is inferior, to the two works just cited as a source for a better understanding of Alfaro.137 The other side of the medal is shown in Wilfrido Loor’s three volume biography.138 As in his contributions to the García Moreno cycle, Loor—who proceeds from Alfaro’s province, Manabí—distinguishes himself through his impassioned involvement in the controversy, yet combining it with a rich documentary support. Finally, El viejo de Montecristi, by Francisco Guarderas, attempts a synthesis, much like Robalino’s work in the case of García Moreno, but says little that is new.139

Summing up the Alfaro question, one cannot avoid the conclusion that a wide cleavage separates truth from legend. Most of the reforms credited to him are due to the first administration of General Plaza (1901-1905), and many of them were of questionable value. The Divorce Law, for instance, favored husbands and left wives unprotected.140 The Ley de Beneficencia impoverished the Church and did not enrich the State. Public laical schools were established, though they soon lost their laical character when the ranks of educators became saturated with ideologues. Many Catholic educators were expelled and a number of confessional schools closed down.141 If it is true that in 1910 Alfaro took a strong stand in face of Peru, it is also true that he and his Ministers and diplomats maintained a bungling foreign policy; and his patriotism did not impede his seriously contemplating the alienation of the Galápagos Islands.142 Alfaro repeatedly resorted to violence in order to reach power, even against members of his own party. Electoral fraud was an accepted government policy, as is admitted by Alfaro’s most unconditional panegyrists.143 The general disappearance of civil rights under Alfaro affected human life itself.144 Militarism, with its self-improvised generals and colonels, and with the additional feature of nepotism, took possession of the country.145 Irresponsibility became the basic principle of government. This state of affairs is a burden Ecuador had to carry down to 1944, and in part, down to the present.146

Even his panegyrists feel that the bare facts do not measure up to the ideal. Their last recourse is the famous Guayaquil-Quito railway, finished under Alfaro’s second administration. Jaramillo Alvarado writes: “The colonial atmosphere in Ecuador was interrupted … by means of the Transandine railroad”;147 and Pareja tries to camouflage his hero’s shortcomings behind a constantly evoked veil of engine smoke. The railway was actually conceived and its building initiated forty years before by García Moreno, and others took part in continuing it, though Alfaro was the president who did most toward completing it. The American contractor, Archer Harman, obtained undue influence.148 Though it is an extremely poorly built road, the Transandine Railroad is the greatest monument erected to the memory of this colorful, likable, though politically controversial figure of Ecuadorian history.149

After having reviewed the historical literature dedicated to the most important names of Ecuador’s Republican era, the absence of General Juan José Flores becomes noticeable. Ecuadorian historians have given him the scantiest attention.150 This is surprising in the case of a man, who during forty years was an outstanding factor in Ecuador’s history, and for fifteen of those years had complete control over the country.

There is a simple answer to this neglect of Flores: he is not liked because he was a Venezuelan. His long monopoly of power made many enemies (such as Rocafuerte) among his contemporaries; and once ousted from power, his revolutionary schemes, which included the project of crowning as king of Ecuador Queen María Cristina’s son by a morganatic marriage, were a constant threat to all subsequent governments. He was called back by García Moreno, and thus inherited a share of the hatred of Don Gabriel.

Anti-Floreanism is a legacy of Rocafuerte’s Chihuahuas, of the Marcista movement that ousted Flores in 1845, and of the García Moreno-Flores alliance in 1860. Today’s anti-Floreanism is, in many cases, passionately irrational. Benjamín Carrión dispatches Flores as a mulatto from Puerto Cabello.151 His enemies make much of the incident of El Quiteño Libre, which ended with the lamentable death and the public display of the bodies of some revolutionaries killed in a street fight, among them Colonel Francis Hall, who conspired against Bolívar himself, and who had an extremely poor opinion of the natives of Gran Colombia.152 Flores’ enemies accused him of having plotted Marshal Antonio José de Sucre’s assassination in 1830, but the evidence points to José María Ovando as the author of this crime.153

Since historiography is not primarily concerned with saints or heroes, but with important men, events, and trends, as an outstanding figure who took part in important events during forty years, Flores deserves a detailed study of his life, acts, and administration. This is not in order to do him justice, but to do justice to history.154

The subjects of some of the best biographies are figures of lesser historical significance, such as Carlos de la Torre Reyes’ excellent work on General Julio Andrade;155 G. Alfredo Jácome’s and Gonzalo Rubio Orbe’s biographies of Luis Felipe Borja (father of the historian);156 Enrique Garcés’ Marietta Veintemilla;157 Darío Guevara’s Juan Benigno Vela;158 Loor’s life of Father Matovelle;159 José María Vargas’ biography of Remigio Crespo Toral;160 Julio Tobar Donoso’s and Luis Escalante’s works on Bishop Yerovi;161 José M. Leoro’s life of Pedro Moncayo;162Vicente León by Neptalí Zúñiga;163 Alfonso Rumazo González’ Manuela Sáenz, la libertadora del Libertador;164Olmedo en la historia y en las letras by Aurelio Espinosa Pólit, S.J.;165 Camilo Destruge’s biography of General Illingworth;166 and the numerous biographical writings of Víctor Manuel Albornoz.167 There are also collections of short biographies, such as Destruge’s Album biográfico ecuatoriano;168 B. Pérez Marchant’s Diccionario biográfico del Ecuador;169 Celiano Monge’s Relieves;170 and Modesto Chávez Franco’s Biografías olvidadas.171

It is impossible to gain a satisfactory knowledge of Ecuador’s history through these biographies without documented studies of the country’s political, administrative, economic, and social history. Even in the field of biography it is of utmost necessity to eliminate hero worship or iconoclasm as leading principles, since they falsify truth and concentrate all attention on a limited number of personages. Above all, biographers should go back to primary sources and interpret their subject as a part of a historical setting.

* * * * * * *

The most thoroughly covered field in Ecuadorian historiography is what is called Historia del Derecho Territorial, that is, the history of the long and unfortunate border disputes between Ecuador and her three neighbors: Colombia (New Granada), Brazil, and Peru. The disputes with the first two of these countries were subordinated to the Peruvian question. In the case of Brazil it was limited to the signing of the Tobar-Rio Branco treaty in 1904, by which Ecuador recognized Brazil’s actual border, set up a half century before by Peru and Brazil, in violation of the colonial uti possidetis. In the case of Colombia, after the short wars of Bolívar’s Diadochi, in which Flores was worsted, and the adventures of García Moreno, the frontier was established through a series of negotiations which led to the Muñoz Vernaza-Suárez treaty of 1916.172 In this treaty, preoccupied with the Peruvian dispute and facing an intransigent opponent, Ecuador conceded practically Colombia’s maximum claims. Six years later, in the secret Salomón-Lozano treaty, Colombia handed over to Peru a good share of the territory it had received from Ecuador, thus placing the country in an extremely unfavorable position in her dispute with Peru.173

The dispute with Peru originated at the very moment independence was declared, and in a certain sense it even goes back to the last years of the colony. Throughout the nineteenth century it was a continual problem, leading to the invasion of Ecuador by Marshal José de La Mar in 1828 and by Marshal Ramón Castilla in 1858.174 During the present century relations have been even worse. The last hope for a peaceful settlement was at the Washington negotiations of 1936-38.175 Their failure was followed by the invasion of Ecuador by Peru in 1941.176 Although the subsequent Protocol of Rio de Janeiro of January 29, 1942, seemed at the time to have settled this dispute, the controversy was soon revived by Ecuador, so that it is still one of the serious problems of Inter-American relations.177

To justify her stand on the Rio Protocol, Ecuador points, on the one hand, to the partial inexecutability of that document due to an important divergence between the topography contemplated by it and as it actually exists; on the other hand, Ecuador considers the Protocol invalid from its inception, since in her opinion that document violates previous Inter-American agreements. If so, the whole question must be remitted to the 1829 Guayaquil Treaty, which established the 1809 uti possidetis as the basis for the border between Peru and greater Colombia. Peru expressed the opinion that this treaty had lost its validity, because it had been superseded by the Noboa-Pando treaty of 1832; and because Colombia, and not Ecuador, was a partner to the Guayaquil Treaty. Ecuador rejects the first objection by pointing out that the 1832 treaty was never duly ratified, and that it was a commercial treaty in which the terms referring to the border question do not, in fact, contradict the 1829 treaty. As far as the second Peruvian objection is concerned, Ecuador points to the traditionally accepted international practice of the rights inherited by successor states. These, in the case of Ecuador, are endorsed by the fact that she took over a good share of greater Colombia’s international financial obligations. In 1860, furthermore, Marshal Castilla based his pretentions on the same treaty of 1829, which meant that Peru then still considered the Guayaquil Treaty as valid.

If the Guayaquil Treaty is still valid, the crucial question arises: what do its stipulations exactly signify? In fact, as far as old Mainas Province is concerned, the 1942 Rio Protocol actually follows the Peruvian interpretation of the 1829 treaty. In implementing this treaty, the Pedemonte-Mosquera protocol of 1830 agreed on the Túmbez-Marañón line because of the desirability of a well-defined natural border, and on the basis of the principle of mutual concessions: Colombia ceded half of Jaén Province in exchange for Peru’s cession of half of Mainas Province.178

For about a half century, nevertheless, the Pedemonte-Mosquera protocol disappeared from sight, and Peru started to press her maximum claims to the whole Province of Mainas while retaining Jaén. Later, when Ecuador obtained an official copy of the above-mentioned document from the Colombian government, Peru expressed doubts about its authenticity. Now, if the Pedemonte-Mosquera protocol is omitted, then the question must be divided into the two distinct problems of Mainas and Jaén. Mainas belonged to the Audiencia of Quito until a royal cédula of 1802 apparently transferred it from the Viceroyalty of Santa Fe to that of Lima. Peru maintains that this was an absolute annexation, while Ecuador developed the doctrine of division of jurisdiction, following which only some of the functions of government were transferred.179 The Jaén question is quite different, on the other hand, for that province never ceased to belong integrally to the Audiencia of Quito, and therefore—following the terms of the 1829 treaty and the common international practice of the uti possidetis—Peru would not have title to this territory. To parry this threat Peru invoked the principle of self-determination of provinces, and created a doctrine of the “constitution of nationalities,” following which the whole body politic exists solely as a result of its constituent parts: consequently, Peru could not exist without Jaén. The Ecuadorian reply points out that actually Jaén declared independence from Spain without the corresponding declaration of union with Peru, which at that time had not yet declared its own independence; that although later the Peruvian authorities called for elections in Jaén, this act was protested by greater Colombia, and there were no deputies from Jaén present in the first Peruvian national assembly; that the 1828 war broke out precisely over the Jaén issue, ending with a Colombian victory and the signing of the Guayaquil Treaty, in which Peru duly recognized the ruling principle of the colonial uti possidetis, invalidating thereby any possible claim to Jaén on the basis of provincial self-determination or constitution of nationality; while the principle of uti possidetis would assure, without the least doubt, the possession of all Jaén Province by Ecuador.180

This is, in short, the marrow of the dispute. As far as the historical literature dealing with the subject is concerned, it originated in connection with the Spanish King’s proposed arbitration, as agreed on in the Espinosa-Bonifaz treaty of 1887.181 The following year the Peruvian diplomat and future President, José Pardo, brought out his Memorandum, in which he defined his country’s maximum claims.182 When after some years’ interruption the litigation at Madrid was resumed, Peru presented her case in further publications.183

At the beginning of the arbitral process, Ecuador was utterly unprepared to counter successfully her rival: the men of the 1830 generation, who were acquainted with the colonial and Colombian antecedents of the dispute had long since disappeared; the generation following García Moreno had only extremely vague ideas concerning the problem. Since governmental archives in Quito were in a complete disorder, Ecuador’s defense had to be built up from scrap. González Suárez, the only Ecuadorian to have previously visited the Spanish archives, and undoubtedly an authority on colonial history, contributed a study of the Royal Cédula of 1802.184 The Alfaro government dispatched Dominican Fray Enrique Vacas Galindo to the Spanish archives, a mission that came to be one of the landmarks in Ecuadorian historiography.185 But the main burden of defending Ecuador’s rights fell to Honorato Vázquez, the country’s official representative in the litigation at the Court of Madrid. His first memorandum dates from 1892, followed during the second phase of the arbitration proceedings by a new Exposición, reinforced with juridical opinions of well-known Spanish and other European experts on international law.186

The Spanish Arbitration came to nothing, essentially because neither of the two countries was willing to settle for the minimum aspirations of the other; and especially because Ecuador preferred war to accepting a line traced, in her opinion, in violation of elemental principles of international law.187 Alfonso XIII prudently withheld pronouncement of the Arbitral Award; the dispute, therefore, continued, and so did the ever-expanding literature on the subject: juridical exposés, documentary collections, diplomatic and military history, contemporary mémoirs of diplomatic and military events, textbooks and polemical works. Here we are concerned only with those publications that belong essentially in the classification of textbooks and diplomatic-military history; although, of course, there is usually an overlapping of all the categories in most of these works.

The need for textbooks arose when, by Decree of October 8, 1921 the subject of Derecho Territorial was introduced in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools as a required course.188 On a higher level, written for use in the universities, were Gabriel Pino Ycaza’s two-volume work,189 and Derecho territorial ecuatoriano, written by Julio Tobar Donoso and his nephew, Alfredo Luna Tobar.190

In the group of scholarly works Tobar Donoso’s articles published in the Academia’s Boletín between 1943 and 1963;191 part of Pío Jaramillo Alvarado’s La Presidencia, de Quito;192 and finally Jorge Pérez Concha’s excellent and exhaustive diplomatic history, the most complete treatment of the subject are all important.193

* * * * * * *

A recent work of great significance and deserving special comment is the Cuencano Gabriel Cevallos García’s Reflexiones sobre la historia del Ecuador,194 though it illustrates the difficulties encountered when a historical analysis is based on unsound or incomplete research by others.195 But the rest of the Reflexiones is saturated with perspicacious observations on Ecuador’s historiography, so that this work should be required reading for all those who have a nascent interest in that country’s history.

Cevallos García dedicates his book to Ecuador’s new generations:

Two motives have impelled me to write these Reflections. … And the first one is the desire to obtain from Ecuador’s youth and from the persons who truly love the past, the decision to go hack to the sources of History, on their own account, to face them in a straightforward fashion and without being afraid that, because of such a vision, uncountable affirmations and a great number of truths accepted until now without reply, should be rectified. The hour has come to think and say that we need a History of Ecuador seen through eyes of the present century … the second motive consists of my wish to ennoble this same History, so mishandled, so worn and torn, and now on the point of being swamped by the dead waters of common-place … In effect, due to the almost invincible strength of precedents, due to the respect showed to historians and to the exaggerated veneration of their names, our past—which, like all past, is in good measure alive in the present— has been neglected, especially in certain chapters that are more complex and of greater importance for the correct understanding of our nationality.”196

Cevallos García condemns hero-worship without rejecting heroism. But there is no possible justification, from a historiographical viewpoint, for creating useless myths that deform the essence of reality in historical writing; and, consequently, dehumanize its subject. “History, nor biography, can allow themselves the fruitless luxury of dehumanizing, since this would signify to them the decision of committing suicide.”197 The technique hero worshippers utilize is that of all panegyrists: the use of commonplaces and empty adjectives. Yet, anyone who lets escape the faintest sign of unconformity will be the victim of the most savage intolerance.198

Not even historians escaped being transformed into objects of hero-worship. Such is the ease of Father Velasco, Pedro Fermín Cevallos, and—most important among them—González Suárez.199 Cevallos García notes some of the defects of the Archbishop’s historical writing, in particular his judging previous centuries by nineteenth-century standards.200 But what is infinitely worse is that Monseñor became one of those untouchable heroes, whose work cannot be criticized, because that would be irreverent toward his memory: therefore, the correct thing to do is to proclaim his Historia general as a definitive, insuperable work.201

Even more deplorable still are the effects on historiography of the new current of pseudo-sociology.202Indigenismo, the product of this type of sociology, is a way of “denying our integral condition and cultural genealogy”; nor can Ecuadorian nationality be derived from a “simple biography of Inca Atahualpa.”203 Ecuador, and all Hispanic America, are nourished by, at least, a double historical inheritance.204 Besides, it is unacceptable to subordinate historiography to the whims of humanitarian movements or alien disciplines.206

This sorry state of affairs, caused by romantic hero-worship and pseudo-sociological Indigenismo is, unfortunately, perfectly reflected in school texts and manuals, with the corresponding glorification of the Incas, vituperation of the Colony, and deification of Independence heroes.206 But it is time, says Cevallos García, to get rid of this morass of adjectives and commonplaces, even if this means more work and mental elasticity.207

To achieve true historical interpretation, the first requirement is to separate chisme from fact, and to prefer the knowledge of what is essential to what is accidental.208 It is absolutely necessary to go back to primary sources.209 Then certain congenital defects of Hispanic American historiography must be eliminated or at least brought under control. Cevallos García feels that it is impossible to write really impartial history in a society rent by passions; but it is an unfortunate situation when in a society everything is subordinated to politics.210 One of the most negative outgrowths of political influence on historical interpretation is—all over the Continent, and specially in Ecuador—the pollution of historiography with resentment as a motive, and incontinence of expression as a result.211 Political passions led statesmen and historians in Ecuador to a pessimistic view of society, illustrated by García Moreno’s famous dictum: “freedom for everything and everybody, except for evil and evildoers.” All those who disagreed with Don Gabriel naturally belonged in the second category.212 Historians should consider, instead, that “it is all right to mention the negative aspects of a country … but they are useless as a guide for a viable and positive conduct.”213 Ecuadorian history must not be isolated from the universal set of values of which it forms a part; and historical events must not be taken out arbitrarily from the context of their times.214

Past errors must be corrected, and new paths must be explored in historiography. Cevallos García recognizes the importance of Jacinto Jijón’s archaeological work, and also commends Emilio Estrada’s achievements, though he does not fully realize the latter’s message.215 He indicates the necessity of dedicating more attention to economic factors, the importance of which he recognizes as not negligible even in such an event as the independence movement.216 Finally, each generation possesses its own distinct sensibilty, and it is simply not satisfactory for us to conceive history according to the tastes of our parents or grandparents.217 What our generation demands is a critical revision of the past, in order to understand ourselves better in the present, and to prepare for the future.218 And his own analysis of Ecuadorian history makes it possible for Gabriel Cevallos to exclaim: “Somos país, somos nación, somos conciencia formada en medio de los dolores y de los vencimientos.…”219

* * * * * * *

May Gabriel Cevallos García’s ideas fall on fertile ground! Until then, the present state, as well as needs, of Ecuadorian historiography can be summed up as follows:

In Ecuador prehistory and colonial history have received much more attention than the Republican period, although in the last few years there has been a growing interest and some good research in the country’s independence movement, motivated by the celebration of its sesquicentennial.220 As far as the Republican period is concerned, only the history of Derecho Territorial has received a rather complete coverage, even chronologically speaking, since the story is brought up from earliest antecedents to the last few years. Biography is the field that has exercised the greatest attraction, although a few major figures have absorbed most of the effort, and among these García Moreno looms over the others. Research in no sense has been exhaustive, not even in the case of the Conservative hero. There are some valuable works on lesser figures, but far too few; and even men of the importance of Flores or Rocafuerte are still waiting for a documented study of their lives. Biography therefore, is still a wide open field.

It would be preferable, nevertheless, to shift the main effort from biography to other areas. These constitute an almost virgin terrain, with the exception of bibliography, well served by men like Carlos Manuel Larrea and Carlos A. Rolando, and of certain professional histories, such as medicine.221 It is true that there are monographs like those of Tobar Donoso on political, religious, and educational history, but these are not based on exhaustive research and represent the first step rather than the last. Yet, it would be a welcome change if Ecuador’s political history appeared as the development of an organic whole, instead of a potpourri of lives of great men. To reach that point would require a great deal of attention to economic and social history, two specialities practically inexistent in the historiography of Republican Ecuador.222

A shift from political to economic history would also serve as a corrective against regionalism. Regionalism has deep roots in Ecuador’s geography, history, and anthropology, though as a result of greater demographic mobility and better communications, it is in the somewhat slow process of being attenuated. As far as historiography is concerned, this phenomenon manifests itself through regionalismo quiteño, which some people would like to call centralismo, even though it is simply the Quito variety of the same vice that at times leads to border clashes between provinces, or to an outcry of ¡Viva Guayaquil Independiente! But Quito regionalism is a dominant factor in Ecuadorian historiography, from Father Velasco through González Suárez and down to the present. Due to the influence of these two historians and also to a certain relative unity of the Sierra when facing the Coast, writers from Loja, Cuenca, or Ibarra have taken the same position. As these outweigh in numbers and influence the historians of the Coast, the history of Quito is all too frequently taken as the equivalent of the history of Ecuador. Only in political history is such an attitude partly justified, but Ecuador’s history cannot generally be reduced to the chronicling of what happens on and around Quito’s Plaza de la Independencia.

With the exception of Derecho Territorial, Ecuadorian historiography stops its inquiry with the year 1912. More than fifty years have elapsed since that date, and historical research might very well advance at least to 1944.223 Such a lag in historical writing may be due, in part, to the prevalence of the idea that only remote history is true history; and in part to the fact that the last fifty years are still politically too “hot.” But current politics should by all means be separated from historical writing.224 In Ecuador, unfortunately, these two categories have not been separated clearly in the public conscience.225 Rather, in part through such an organization as the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, the tendency has been for the latter to crowd into the empty shell of Clio like so many hermit crabs.

Yet, all is not lost, for although Emilo Estrada’s untimely death was a blow to the study of Ecuador’s past, men like the archaeologist Carlos Zevallos Menéndez, the genealogist Pedro Robles Chambers, and the historians Jorge Pérez Concha, Julio Pimentel, and Wilfrido Loor in Guayaquil, and Gabriel Cevallos García and Victor Manuel Albornoz in Cuenca, maintain the flame. In Quito, many of the old guard of González Suárez are still active: José Gabriel Navarro, Carlos Manuel Larrea, Isaac Barrera, and Julio Tobar Donoso. The latter presides over a group of younger men—some of them who have already shown their scholarly worth—all connected with Catholic University of Quito: Father José María Vargas, O.P., Clemente Bognoli, Father Alfredo Ponce Ribadeneira, Carlos de la Torre Reyes, Father Oswaldo Romero Arteta, S.J., and Jorge Salvador Lara. The present hopes of Ecuadorian historiography are identified with these men.

But the preparation of future historians should not be overlooked. Ecuador’s universities bear the responsibility of this task, but they have so far failed; with few exceptions Ecuadorian historians are autodidactas. Although there may be more, I know of but four persons with doctorates in history and only one of them earned his degree in Ecuador. It is obviously possible to become an excellent historian without formal training, but formal training at least teaches the use of the technical paraphernalia such as footnoting and citing the bibliography, which are sorely missing in most of Ecuador’s historical writing. There are cases where it appears that the author is purposely withholding this information.

Many doctoral dissertations approved by Ecuadorian law schools actually belong in the field of history rather than law, though what we understand as a doctoral dissertation is not what Ecuadorian law schools produce. None of the historical dissertations I have seen represented a contribution to knowledge. Bibliography and footnotes are not required.226

In this connection, I cannot avoid suggesting that closer collaboration between Ecuadorian and American universities would be fruitful to both.227 American scholars have in Ecuador a rich quarry to exploit, particularly in economic, social, and administrative history. Some works by American historians have been mentioned already, and a few more could be added,228 but foreign interest in Ecuadorian history has generally been rather scant, with the exception of the García Moreno, Montalvo, and Alfaro trilogy.

The history of Ecuador will have to be written by Ecuadorians themselves; but historiographical standards could be much improved through a student and teacher exchange. Such a program could be best achieved by establishing close cooperation in the fields of history, literature, and the social sciences between the Universities of Cuenca, Guayaquil, and Quito on the one hand, and three major universities of the United States, on the other hand.

The future of Ecuadorian historiography is closely tied to making the profession of historian decently remunerative. As long as historians must look elsewhere for a livelihood it is clear that they cannot dedicate their best efforts to historical writing and publications often at considerable financial sacrifice. The development of the “subsistence profession” of historian is only one aspect of the general need for stable occupation, the lack of which is precisely one of the main reasons for the exaggerated political involvement of the majority of the literate population of Ecuador. Political activity is often the most stable and remunerative form of occupation, though some of the wealthy, sacrifice money and peace of mind to obtain political honors from diputado to President of the Republic, since political titles are cherished.

The development of an independent and remunerative historical profession as well as the general need for creating occupational stability for the whole population is an economic problem. Ecuador is a potentially rich country, but to develop its wealth it needs management instead of the mismanagement that has characterized most of the governments of the present century. Economic reform is thus hampered by politics, and political reform is almost impossible without economic change. Let us hope that in some way this vicious circle will be broken soon. Ecuadorian historiography would certainly be one of the beneficiaries.


Following the pattern previously established in the historiographical series, this survey deals primarily with works on Ecuadorian history since 1830 published since 1920. In Ecuador’s ease both dates are especially justified, since the first one marks the country’s independence from Colombia and the second one the official founding of the Academia Nacional de Historia. For obvious reasons, however, previous historical and historiographical developments that conditioned present-day thought could not be overlooked. On the other hand, some of the best works of Ecuadorian historiography dealing with the pre-1830 period will be missing from this study, and since it is not a bibliographical survey it will not refer explicitly to some titles that may represent a valuable contribution to the history of the Republican period.

Formal research on this article was initiated in January, 1962, and concluded in Ecuador during the summer of 1963 by means of a grant from the Organization of American States. The author wishes to acknowledge his thanks for their good will and co-operation to the following persons: in Guayaquil, Professor Jorge Pérez Concha, then President of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana in Guayaquil and Director of the Biblioteca Municipal, Srta. María Lola Castro Tola, Librarian of the Casa de la Cultura, and Dr. Carlos A. Rolando, Director of the Biblioteca de Autores Nacionales; in Quito, Professor Clemente Bognoli, Director of the Biblioteca Municipal, Father Oswaldo Romero Arteta S.J., Director of the Biblioteca Aurelio Espinosa Pólit, and Señora Laura Romo de Crespo Toral, Librarian of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana. I also wish to express my thanks to the personnel of all the libraries mentioned, as well as to Miss Carola Rosa of the Library of the University of Puerto Rico.

For previous surveys of Ecuadorian historiography, see Isaac J. Barrera, Historiografía del Ecuador (México, 1956), and Jorge Salvador Lara, “Introducción al estudio de la historia general del Ecuador,” Museo Histórico, XV (Quito 1963), 40-60.


The American Historical Review, LXVIII (1963), 887.


This is perfectly recognized by the Ecuadorian poet and writer Remigio Crespo Toral in “La conciencia nacional,” Revista del Centro de Estudios Históricos y Geográficos de Cuenca, I (1921), 73-74.


José María Velasco Ibarra, Cuestiones americanas (Quito, 1931), p. 185.


José María Velasco Ibarra, Conciencia o barbarie (Buenos Aires, 1938), p. 132.


Camilo Ponce Enriquez, Las ideas del Libertador referentes a la constitución política de los estados americanos (Quito, 1936), pp. 25-34.


The author was told once by a retired army officer, grandson of a President of Ecuador and who used to be an aide of President Galo Plaza, that had it not been for a Venezuelan adventurer—Juan José Flores—who wanted to create a fief for himself, Ecuador would still find itself in the happy position of belonging to a great country (that is, to Colombia). For basically similar views, see: Isaac J. Barrera, Rocafuerte, estudio histérico-biográfico (Quito, 1911), p. 12; Alfonso Mora Bowen, El liberalismo radical y su trayectoria histórica (Quito, 1940), pp. 68-69; Alfredo Pérez Guerrero, Ecuador (Quito, 1948), p. 151; Alfredo Pérez Guerrero, “Visión de la Patria,” Anales de la Universidad Central, XCI (Quito, 1962), 11; Julio Tobar Donoso, “Causas y antecedentes de la separación del Ecuador,” Boletín de la Academia Nacional de Historia (cited hereinafter as BANH), XI (1930), 5-31.


See, for instance: Oscar Efrén Reyes, Breve historia general del Ecuador (Quito, 1950), II, 23-31, 45-52; Julio Tobar Donoso, Monografías históricas (Quito, 1937), pp. 10-12.


Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, Estudios históricos (Quito, 1960), pp. 270-271; Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño, Política conservadora, I (Ríobamba, 1929), 223, 227.


Yet, in connection with the King of Spain’s proposed arbitration of the Ecuador-Peru boundary dispute in 1910, such has been the thesis proposed by the Peruvian delegation and accepted by the Spanish Council of State.


Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, El indio ecuatoriano (1st ed. Quito, 1922; 4th ed. Quito, 1954).


Moisés Sáenz, Sobre el indio ecuatoriano (México, 1933).


Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, “El nuevo Tahuantinsuyo,” América, XI (Quito, 1936), 133-158; Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, El régimen totalitario en América. Tres ensayos políticos (Quito, 1962), pp. 168-190; Benjamín Carrión, Cartas al Ecuador (Quito, 1944), pp. 28-29.


See Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, La presidencia de Quito. Memoria histórico-jurídica de los or genes de la nacionalidad ecuatoriana y de su defensa territorial (Quito, 1938-1939), 2 vols.; and by the same author, La nación quiteña. Perfil biográfico de una cultura (Quito, 1958).—Benjamín Carrión, in Trece años Informe del presidente de la institución, Agosto 1944-Agosto 1957 (Quito, 1957), p. 17. See also Carrión’s novelized Atáhuallpa (México, 1934).


In 1890, already, Archbishop Federico González Suárez wrote: “No será fuera de propósito insistir en la advertencia, que hemos hecho ya en otro lugar, en punto a la civilización de los Incas. Esta no ha de confundirse nunca con la de las naciones indígenas del Ecuador, ni mucho menos con la de las tribus que moraban en las costas del Pacífico.” Historia general de la República del Ecuador, I (Quito, 1890), 112. Carrión himself recognizes that Atahualpa “was essentially an Inca.” Atahuallpa (4th ed. Quito, 1961), pp. 140-141.


Benjamín Carrión, García Moreno, el santo del patíbulo (México 1959) p. 346.


This is a strong statement, but easy to substantiate. Pío Jaramillo La nación quiteña, pp. 248-249. See also: Foreword to Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, Historia de Loja y su provincia (Quito, 1955), p. IX, in Atahuallpa (4th Ed. p. 34), and Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Historia del Ecuador (Quito, 1958), I, 37-38.


Carrión, García Moreno, pp. 296-297; Jijón, Política conservadora, I, 51; Alfonso Mora Bowen, El liberalismo radical, pp. 61, 65; and Guillermo Bossano, Evolución del derecho constitucional ecuatoriano (Quito, 1959), p. 45.


(Quito, 1841-1844), 3 vols.


(1st ed. Lima, 1870; 2nd ed. Guayaquil, 1886-89), 6 vols.


Mareos Jiménez de la Espada, Relaciones geográficas de Indias, III (Madrid, 1897), CLXI; González Suárez, Historia general, VI (Quito, 1901), 53.


Ibid., VII (Quito, 1903), 74-77; Los aborígenes de Imbabura y del Carchi (Quito, 1910); Notas arqueológicas (Quito, 1916), pp. 49-89.


Luis Felipe Borja, El indio ecuatoriano y la agricultura en la sierra (Quito, 1923); Jacinto Jijón y Caamafio, “Examen crítico de la historia del Reino de Quito del P. Juan de Velasco de la Compañía de Jesús,” BANH, I (1918), 33-63; Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño, El Ecuador interandino y occidental antes de la conquista castellana (Quito, 1940), I, 75-90; Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño, Antropología prehispánica del Ecuador (Quito, 1952), pp. 34-40; Carlos M. Larrea, Introducción al estudio histórico sobre los Cañares (Cuenca, 1922).


Velasco I, 19-20, 76.


Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, Estudios históricos. (Ensayos sobre la vida interna e internacional de la república) (Quito, 1934), pp. 3-4.


Gabriel Cevallos García, Reflexiones sobre la historia del Ecuador, I (Cuenca, 1957), 75.


Fidelino de Figueiredo, Literatura portuguêsa (Rio de Janeiro, 1955), pp. 172-173.


Juan de Velasco, Historia, I, 21, cites chapter 37 of Pedro de Cieza de León’s Crónica del Perú, to the effect that the first Spaniards called Mocoa lake “Mar Dulce,” yet Cieza does not say so.


Ibid., I, 197.


See Jijón’s works cited in note 22.


Emilio Estrada—grandson of a President and himself Alcalde of Guayaquil —was the most outstanding member of the group of archaeologists called sometimes “Escuela de Guayaquil.” Others belonging to this group are Carlos Zevallos Menéndez, founder of the Museo de Oro of Guayaquil; his close collaborator, the Danish investigator Olaf Holm; Francisco Huerta Rendón, and Walter Molina. A precursor was the German amateur Otto von Buchwald. Clifford Evans and Betty Meggars of the Smithsonian Institution were close collaborators of Estrada.


George A. Brubaker, “Federico Gonzáles Suárez, Historian of Ecuador,” Journal of Inter-American Studies, V (1963), 242; Introduction by Jacinto Jijón in Federico González Suárez, “Memorias íntimas,” in Obras escogidas (Quito, 1944), pp. xl, xlii.


Ibid., p. 216.


The Historia eclesiástica appeared in Quito in 1881. The seven volumes of the Historia general and an eighth volume entitled Atlas arquelógico were published in Quito between 1890 and 1903.


Cevallos is considered the most important historian between Father Velasco and González Suárez.


Federico González Suárez, Defensa de mi criterio histórico (Quito, 1937), p. 40.


Ibid., p. 19.


See note 17.


González Suárez, Defensa, pp. 43, 119, 159.


Federico González Suárez, Estudios bíblicos. Examen de algunas cuestiohes importantes relativas a la narración que de la creación del mundo hace Moisés en el Libro de Génesis (Quito, 1897), p. 187.


González Suárez, Defensa, pp. 22-24, 29-33.


Ibid., pp. 51-52.


Ibid., p. 82.


González Suárez, Historia general, I, 287; Atlas arqueológico, p. 199; Defensa, p. 7.


Jijón, Introduction to Obras escogidas of González Suárez, p. XLVII.


On González Suárez see: Ricardo Bueno C., “Bibliografía de González Suárez,” in Obras escogidas; N° 62 of BANH (v. XXIV, 1944), is entirely dedicated to González Suárez; see also Isaac J. Barrera, “González Suárez y el pueblo ecuatoriano,” BANH, N° 64; Gustavo Adolfo Otero, “El pensamiento de González Suárez,” BANH, XXVIII (1948), 241-254; Nicolás Jiménez, Biografía del Ilmo. Federico González Suárez, 1844-1917 (Quito, 1936); Luis Cordero Crespo, González Suárez (Cuenca, 1944); Leonidas Batallas, El Ilmo. y Rmo. Sr. Dr. Don Federico González Suárez. Apuntes para su biografía (Quito, 1944); Pedro Pablo Pérez Torres, Federico González Suárez. En el Obispado de Ibarra, frente a los problemas políticos y sociales del país (Ibarra, 1944); Segundo F. Ayala, ed., Ideario de Monseñor Federico González Suárez (Quito, 1947).—A strong critic of González Suárez is the Catholic historian Wilfrido Loor, in his Estudios histérico-políticos (Quito, 1939). Loor, in his turn, was attacked by Belisario Ponce, Protesta y defensa contra los escritos de Wilfrido Loor que atacan a González Suárez (Quito, 1937); and by Ricardo A. Sánchez, La venerada memoria de González Suárez. Beparos a un detractor (Quito, 1940).


González Suárez, Defensa, p. 7.


Jijón, Introduction to Obras escogidas of González Suárez; Isaac J. Barrera, “Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño, 1890-1950,” BANH, XXX (1950), 143-150; Julio Tobar Donoso, “Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño,” BANH, XXX (1950), 151-156; Isaac J. Barrera, “El número 100 del Boletín de la Academia National de Historia,” BANH, XLIV (1962), 131-138.—The publication of the Boletín was interrupted between 1924 and 1930, probably due to Jijón’s political vicissitudes.

Mention also should be made here of the Museo de Arte e Historia de la Ciudad de Quito, whose Director, Jorge A. Garces and his collaborators brought out, in the last thirty years, a great number of excellent publications, mostly on colonial history. Its journal, Museo Histórico, though containing contributions of very uneven quality, is at this moment probably second only to the Academia’s Boletín in republican as well as colonial history, and it is now in its fifteenth year of publication.


Wilfrido Loor, Biografía del Rmo. Padre Julio María Matovelle (Quito, 1943); Fray José María Vargas, O.P., Remigio Crespo Toral. El hombre, el poeta, el escritor (Quito, 1962), p. 119.


Revista del Centro de Estudios Históricos y Geográficos de Cuenca, T. I (1921).


Competing with the Rolando Library was Canon Miguel Angel Jaramillo’s Biblioteca de Escritores Nacionales in Cuenca. At the present, probably the best collection of Ecuatoriana is the Biblioteca Ecuatoriana Aurelio Espinosa Pólit, of the Jesuit Fathers, at Cotocollao, near Quito, whose able Director is F. Oswaldo Romero Arteta, S.J.

The Centro de Investigaciones Históricas of Guayaquil was founded on July 9, 1930. For the first thirty years of its existence, Gustavo Monroy Garaicoa was its Secretary, and together with Dr. Rolando, its leading spirit.


Dr. Rolando, at eighty-three, is still active. Among his principal bibliographical contributions are: Crónica del periodismo en el Ecuador (Guayaquil, 1947); and Catálogo de la Bibliografía Nacional (Guayaquil, n.d.).


(Madrid, 1952).—See also Alfredo Cháves, Fuentes principales de la bibliografía ecuatoriana (Quito, 1958). Alfredo Cháves is the Director of Ecuador’s National Archives.


Jijón, Política conservadora, I, 51-53.


Ibid., I, 223.


Ibid., I, 119.


Ibid., II (Quito, 1934), 576.


Ibid., I, 227.


Ibid., II, 586.


Among Tobar’s contributions, we may cite here: “El Dr. D. Pedro José Arteta,” Revista de la Asociación Católica de la Juventud Ecuatoriana, II (Quito, 1918), 70-94; “Las segundas elecciones de 1875,” Boletín de la Sociedad Ecuatoriana de Estudios Históricos Americanos, BSEEHA, I, 118-135; “La administración del Coronel Ascásubi en 1849 y 1850,” BSEEHA, III, 53-83; “El General José María Urvina,” BSEEHA, IV, 468-496; “La administración de Don Diego Noboa,” BANH, I, 57-92; “El Obispo de Botrén, Dr. José Miguel de Carrión y Valdivieso,” BANH, IX, 68-162; “González Suárez, defensor por excelencia de la libertad de la Iglesia,” BANH, XXIV, 147-200; “La historia del Ecuador y la tradición eucarístiea,” BANH, XXIX; “La Independencia,” BANH, XXXIII; “El Hmo. y Rmo. Sr. Dr. José Ignacio Checa y Barba,” Revista de la Sociedad Jurídico-Literaria, XXXVII (Quito, 1929), 26-62; Las relaciones entre la iglesia y el estado ecuatoriano. Resumen histórico (Ríobamba 1924); La enseñanza particular en el Ecuador durante el primer siglo de vida independiente (Quito, 1930). Most of these were reproduced in Monografías históricas.—See also: La iglesia ecuatoriana en el siglo XIX, (1809-1845) (Quito 1934); Desarrollo constitucional de la República del Ecuador (Quito, 1936); Apuntes para la historia de la educación láica en el Ecuador (Quito, 1948); La iglesia modeladora de la nacionalidad (Quito, 1953).


Julio Tobar Donoso, Catolicismo social (Quito, 1936), pp. III-IV, pp. 22, 105; La iglesia modeladora, p. 101.


Tobar Donoso, La iglesia ecuatoriana, p. xix.


Tobar Donoso, “La administración del Coronel Ascásubi,” pp. 64-65.


Tobar Donoso, Monografías, pp. 10-12.




Julio Tobar Donoso, “José María Le Gouhir y Baud,” BANH, XX (1940), 285-288.


J.L.R., Historia de la República del Ecuador, vol. I, 1st ed. 1809-1861 (Quito, 1920); vol. I, 2nd ed. 1822-1861 (Quito, 1935); vol. II, 1860-1877 (Quito, 1925); vol. III, 1876-1900 (Quito, 1938) [but completed by 1929].


J. Gonzalo Orellana, “Resumen histórico de la República, 1830-1930” in El Ecuador en cien años de independencia, 1830-1930 (Quito, 1930), I, 89.


There are, of course, many nineteenth-century authors who cover different periods, among whom Pedro Fermín Cevallos has been mentioned already. But, with this single exception, these writings constitute, more than anything else, a polemical literature arising from political struggles, even though they represent an important source of historical knowledge. We can mention here: Pedro Carbo, Páginas de la historia del Ecuador (Guayaquil, 1878); Pedro Moncayo, El Ecuador de 1825 a 1875, sus hombres, sus instituciones y sus leyes (Santiago, 1885); Pedro T. Aguilar, Refutación de “El Ecuador de 1825 a 1875” por Pedro Moncayo (Guayaquil, 1886); Pedro José Cevallos Salvador, El Dr. Pedro Moncayo y su folleto titulado “El Ecuador de 1825 a 1875 …” (Quito, 1887); Juan Murillo M., Historia del Ecuador de 1876 a 1888. Precedido de un resumen histórico de 1830 a 1875 (Santiago, 1890); Juan León Mera, La dictadura y la restauración en la República del Ecuador [1884] (Quito, 1932); Marietta Veintemilla, Páginas del Ecuador (Lima, 1890); Antonio Flores, Para la historia del Ecuador (Quito, 1891).


J.L.R., Historia, I (2nd ed.), 638.


(Guayaquil, 1936). Among the contributions of Andrade are such stories as one concerning Olmedo and Rocafuerte, which he supposedly heard from Eloy Alfaro, who supposedly heard it from “uno de los señores Rocas,” relatives of President Vicente Ramón Roca, who was a friend of Rocafuerte and Olmedo: Historia del Ecuador (VI), 2463.


Op. cit., note 7. See also his Historia de la República. Esquema de ideas y hechos del Ecuador a partir de la emancipación (Quito, 1931). Others worth mentioning are a recent mimeographed text written for the Colegio San Gabriel by J.J. Flor Vázconez S.J., “Historia analítica del Ecuador”; and the well publicized work of novelist Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, Historia del Ecuador [see note 16]. The latter suffers of an inappropriate style, and even more, of an excessive number of errors of fact and interpretation.


(Guayaquil, 1947). Dr. Huerta (1880-1955) also published a series of very valuable articles in Cuadernos de Historia y Arquelogía de Guayaquil (cited hereinafter as CHA), vols. I-VI.


(Madrid, 1950), 3 vols.


La Santísima Virgen de Quito y su santuario (Quito, 1933); Miscelánea mercedaria (Quito, 1939), 2 vols.


(Quito, 1924-1925), 2 vols.


(Guayaquil, 1930-1942), 9 vols.


Historia monetaria y cambiaría del Ecuador desde la época colonial (Quito, 1953). See also Carlos Matamoros Jara, “Breves apuntes sobre las monedas en el Ecuador,” Boletín del Centro de Investigaciones Históricas (to be cited as BCIH), V (Guayaquil, 1937), 317-341.


Dr. Pimentel is the present Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Guayaquil. We may cite among his contributions: “Los esclavos de hace un siglo,” CHA I (1951); “La primera noche de diciembre de 1867,” CHA, vol. II; “Nuestro primer barco a vapor (1841),” CHA, vol. III; “Una famosa excomunión,” CHA, vol. IV; “El Gobernador del Guayas de 1862-64,” BCIH, VII (1947), 51-90. This last article is on Vicente Piedrahita. See also Fray Alfonso A. Jerves, O.P., “El Dr. Piedrahita,” BCIH, VI (1941), 134-154.


Gabriel Cevallos García, Reflexiones, I, 123, 191.


Ibid., I, 287.


(Paris, 187). A Spanish translation appeared in Paris (1892). There are, however, earlier works in 1885: Pablo Herrera, a close collaborator of García Moreno, wrote his Apuntes biográficos del gran magistrado ecuatoriano Sr. Dr. don Gabriel García Moreno, but it was published only on the occasion of the first centennial of the president’s birth, in 1921. Perhaps first in the series was Víctor Rosselló, El mártir del Ecuador. Consideraciones sobre la vida y muerte del Señor Don Gabriel García Moreno (Barcelona, 1875). See also the drama in five acts, in German: Adolf von Berlichingen, Garcia Moreno, Präsident der Republik Ecuador (Einsiedeln, 1884).


Charles d’Hallencourt, La croix et l’epée. Vie illustrée de García Moreno (Abbeville, n.d.), p. 7.


D’Hallencourt, La croix et l’epée, p. 6.


Antonio Borrero, Refutación del libro titulado: García Moreno, Presidente del Ecuador, vengador y mártir del derecho cristiano, por el R.P. A. Berthe, de la Congregación del S. Redentor (Guayaquil, 1889).


Among the rare monographs dedicated to Borrero, see Luis Felipe Borja, “El Dr. Antonio Borrero Cortázar,” BANH, XXII (1942), 5-41; and Tobar Donoso, “Las segundas elecciones de 1875.”


Yet Andrade wrote: “el historiador debe’ ser lapidado, cuando lejos de referir la verdad, lo que hace es estimular odios sin motivo, valiéndose de conceptos calumniosos.” [Campaña de 20 días (Quito, 1908), pp. V-VI.]—Among his works, see Montalvo y García Moreno (Lima, 1890); Seis de agosto, o sea, muerte de García Moreno (Portoviejo, 1896); Tulcán y Cuaspud (Quito, 1907).


In 1900 a decree issued by the Minister of Public Instruction José Peralta made Andrade’s Lecciones de historia del Ecuador para los niños an official text. By 1917 this pamphlet reached its tenth edition.


Roberto Agramonte, Biografía del dictador García Moreno. Estudio psicopatológico e histórico (La Habana, 1935). Pío Jaramillo Alvarado follows Andrade in the ranks of García Moreno’s detractors. See his Introduction to Abelardo Moncayo’s Añoranzas (Quito, 1923), pp. xvi-xxix.


Op. cit.


See César Pérez Moscoso, El campeón de los errores. Refutación al libro de Benjamín Carrión “García Moreno, el santo del patíbulo” (Guayaquil, 1960). It mentions only a small part of the errors.


Prologue by Miguel de Unamuno to Juan Montalvo’s Las Catilinarias (Paris, 1925), I, X-XI; Carrión, Cartas al Ecuador, pp. 62-63. It is strange that Carrión should refer to García Moreno as “el panfletario de siempre: procaz, grosero de expresión, lleno de ira” or to his “habitual procacidad y grosería.” García Moreno, pp. 305, 644.


J.L.R., Un gran americano, García Moreno (1821-1921) (Quito, 1921).


Book review in BANH, III (1922), 160-162.


Manuel Gálvez, Vida de don Gabriel García Moreno (Buenos Aires, 1942); Severo Gómezjurado S.J., ¿¡Mártir García Moreno?! (Cuenca, 1952).


Origen del Ecuador de hoy. García Moreno (Quito, 1948).


“El fin de una fábula,” BANH, XXXI (1951), 20-27.


See by Tobar Donoso: “García Moreno y la instrucción pública,” BANH, III, 234-254, IV, 63-108, 159-204, V, 139-204, VI, 93-128, VII, 69-122; “Una renuncia de García Moreno,” BANH, III; “Gabriel García Moreno,” BANH, XXXI; “El ingeniero Sebastián Wisse,” BANH, XXXX /sic/, 172-211; “El primer Concordato ecuatoriano,” Memorias de la Academia Ecuatoriana Correspondiente de la Española, XII (Quito, 1932), 172-210.

Mention should also be made of Bishop José Félix Heredia’s La consagración de la República del Ecuador al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús. Rasgos históricos (Quito, 1935).


(Quito, 1941), with a Prologue by Julio Tobar Donoso. See also R. Pattee, “La época crítica de la historia ecuatoriana, 1857-1861,” BCIH, VI (1941), 7-28.


Among the printed documentary evidence, see: Manuel María Pólit Laso, Doce cartas de García Moreno al Señor Doctor Don Antonio Flores Jijón (Quito, 1922); M.M. Pólit Laso, Escritos y discursos de Gabriel García Moreno (Quito, 1923); Alfonso Ordóñez Mata, Cartas políticas de Gabriel García Moreno a Carlos Ordóñez Laso, 1860-1873 (Cuenca, 1923); Ismael Pérez Pazmiño, “Una carta histórica de García Moreno,” BCIH, IV (1936), 126-129.


William Spence Robertson, “El sueño de García Moreno sobre un protectorado en el Ecuador,” Contribuciones para el estudio de la historia de América (Buenos Aires, 1941); BANH, XXV (1945), 67-80. Also: George Frederick Howe, “García Moreno’s efforts to unite Ecuador and France,” HAHR, XVI (May, 1936), 257-262.


Cartas de García Moreno (Quito, 1954-1955), 4 vols; García Moreno y sus asesinos (Quito, 1955); Los Jesuítas en el Ecuador, su ingreso y expulsión (1850-1852) (Quito, 1959); La victoria de Guayaquil (Quito, 1960).


Severo Gómezjurado S.J., Vida de García Moreno (Cuenca, 1954—).


Gabriel Cevallos García, Reflexiones sobre la historia del Ecuador, II (Cuenca, 1960), 85.


All of these were, at one time or another, presidents of the Republic. It is interesting to note that while Flores was a Venezuelan, Rocafuerte, Urvina, García Moreno, and Alfaro were sons of Spanish fathers.


This inspired the bon mot: “Lo quito de Quito—lo coloco en Tulcán.”


Any evaluation of García Moreno is, perforce, controversial.


Both Roeafuerte and García Moreno acknowledged Portales as their model. See Remigio Crespo Toral, García Moreno, el hombre, el ciudadano, el héroe, el genio (Cuenca, 1939), pp. 12-13.


Abelardo Moncayo, one of García Moreno’s assassins and brother-in-law of Roberto Andrade, wrote in Añoranzas, p. 163: “Marietta [Veintemilla’s niece] es la única página gloriosa de Don Ignacio.” Juan Montalvo dedicated to Veintemilla the wrath of his Catilinarias. For example, among other concepts he calls Veintemilla “ese excremento de García Moreno” (I, 32). But a little later he adds: “A boca llena y de mil amores llamaba yo tirano a García Moreno; hay en este adjetivo uno como título: la grandeza de la especie humana, en sombra vaga, comparece entre las maldades y los crímenes del hombre fuerte y desgraciado a quien el mundo de esa denominación. Julio César fue tirano … Napoleón fue también tirano … podemos decir que don Gabriel García Moreno fue tirano: inteligencia, audacia, ímpetu … Ignacio Veintemilla no ha sido ni será jamás tirano: la mengua de su cerebro es tal, que no va gran trecho de él a un bruto.” (I, 39-41). On Veintemilla, see also Jorge Pérez Concha, “Veintemilla,” BCIH, VIII (1950), 74-96.


It is because of this that Montalvo dedicated to Urbina a good share of his insults in the Catilinarias.


“El General José María Urvina,” BSEEHA, IV; “La abolición de la esclavitud en el Ecuador,” BANH, XXXIX (1959), 5-30.


Neptalí Zúniga, ed., Colección Rocafuerte (Quito, 1947), 16 vols. On Rocafuerte see also: Pedro Carbo, Biografía del ilustre ecuatoriano Sr. Vicente Rocafuerte (Lima, 1884); Efraín Camacho, “Don Vicente Rocafuerte,” BCIH, IV (1936), 10-63; Pedro Robles Chambers, “La familia de Rocafuerte,” BCIH, IV, 64-79; Richard Pattee, “Las ideas políticas de Vicente Rocafuerte,” II Congreso Internacional de Historia de América. Colaboraciones (Buenos Aires, 1938), pp. 386-395; J.J. Pino de Ycaza, Rocafuerte, estudios sobre su compleja personalidad (Quito, 1947); and Tarquino Aníbal Idrobo, Vicente Rocafuerte, el Sarmiento del trópico (Quito, 1947).


Op. cit., note 6.


Ibid., p. 196.


Ibid., p. 128.


See, for instance, Jorge Salvador Lara, La patria heroica (Quito, 1961), pp. 210-239; and J.J. Pino de Ycaza, “Vicente Rocafuerte. Palabras Luminares,” Biblioteca mínima ecuatoriana (Puebla, 1960), III, 32-35.


Dora León Borja, “Guayaquil y el 10 de agosto,” (article to be published soon). Rocafuerte’s royalism was recognized by Jacinto Jijón in Política conservadora, I, 174.


Roberto Agramonte, Vida y doctrinas de Montalvo, and El panorama cultural de Montalvo (Ambato, 1935); Benigno Checa Drouet, Vida de Don Juan Montalvo (Lima, 1933); Carlos Bolívar Sevilla, Montalvo y sus obras (Ambato, 1940); Gustavo Vásconez Hurtado, Pluma de acero o la vida novelesca de Juan Montalvo (México, 1944).


Oscar Efrén Reyes, Vida de Juan Montalvo (2nd Ed. Quito, 1943).


See note 93 and Reyes, pp. 13-14.


Clodoveo González, San Juan Montalvo, soldado y campeón de la libertad, maestro de los maestros láicos (Quito, 1960).


Introduction to Moncayo’s Añoranzas, pp. xxxiii-xxxiv.


That the Alfaro cycle owes its existence to the anti-García Moreno obsession is evident throughout the Alfarista literature. See “Un paralelo necesario” in Alfredo Pareja’s Historia del Ecuador, II, 341-347. Gabriel Cevallos García alludes to this phenomenon in Visión, teórica del Ecuador (Puebla, 1960), p. 624.


For instance, José Peralta, Eloy Alfaro y sus victimarios (Buenos Aires, 1951), p. 270.


Francisco Guarderas, Mis épocas (Cali, 1945), p. 37.


(New York, 1916); see also Andrade’s ¡Sangre! ¿Quién la derramó? (Quito, 1912); as well as Olmedo Alfaro’s several publications concerning his father’s assassination. Angel T. Barrera, Alfaro’s secretary, contributed with Alfaro, el Garibaldi americano (Guayaquil, 1916); and with Eloy Alfaro y la Gran Colombia (Guayaquil, 1921).


Alfonso Mora Bowen, in El liberalismo radical, pp. 97-127, affirms Alfaro’s supremacy; and on p. 139 he proclaims: “Eloy Alfaro, nacido para ser único en la historia de su pueblo.”


Actually, on three occasions Ecuador came very close to having a Socialist government: in 1925, as a result of a successful revolution led by young Socialist army officers against Liberal President Gonzalo Córdova; in 1937-38 under the dictatorship of General Alberto Enríquez and his successor Manuel María Borrero; and in 1944-46, between the fall of Liberal President Carlos Arroyo del Río, as a result of a bloody revolt, and Velasco Ibarra’s volte-face from left to right.


This would explain Pedro A. Saad’s favorable opinion of García Moreno


At the present, Liberal Radicals lack proper ideological convictions except for Socialist ideas. Political opportunism is stronger than party principle. In order to maintain some spiritual bonds with Alfaro, however, they never fail to refer to the theme of anticlericalism and defense of laicism in education, even though many of them send their children to Catholic schools. The truth is that a satisfactory modus vivendi has been established, in practice and by law, between Church and State, so that “laieism” today is an artificial issue.


Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, “El General Don Eloy Alfaro, ensayo biográfico,” Revista de la Sociedad Jurídico-Literaria, XXXVI (Quito, 1928), 353-377; and “La victimación del General Eloy Alfaro y sus tenientes (Acusación fiscal … ante el jurado que se runió el día 6 de marzo de 1919),” Ibid., XXXVT, 378-418.


(La Habana, 1929).


(La Habana, 1933). To this period belongs also Eloy Alfaro y el derecho publico en América (Bogotá, 1935), by his son Colón Eloy Alfaro.


See note 123.


Emeterio S. Santovenia, Vida de Alfaro (La Habana, 1942). Actually, two years before Santovenia, Mora Bowen had already compared Alfaro to Christ, in El liberalismo, p. 139. Vida y muerte de Eloy Alfaro, pp. 275-276.—Among the Cuban contributions to the Alfaro literature, see also Federico de Córdova, Eloy Alfaro (La Habana, 1942).


La hoguera bárbara. (Vida de Eloy Alfaro) (México, 1944).


(Quito, 1942). See also Pérez Concha’s Vargas Torres (1st ed. Guayaquil, 1937; 2nd ed. Guayaquil, 1953).


Eloy Alfaro (Quito, 1942). There is also some usable material in Eugenio de Janón Alcívar’s collection, El viejo luchador. Su vida y su magna obra (Quito, 1948), 2 vols.


Eloy Alfaro (Quito, 1947), 3 vols.


(Quito, 1953).


Even today, in Ecuador women are legally subordinated to men. For instance, a wife cannot abandon the country without her husband’s written consent.


The Rector of the Jesuit College of Ríobamba, F. Emilio Moscoso, was actually murdered by the Alfarista soldiery. Loor, Eloy Alfaro, II, 562.


See, for instance, the excellent article by Walter and Marie Scholes, “The United States and Ecuador, 1909-1913,” The Americas, XIX (Washington, 1963), 276-290.


Pareja, Historia del Ecuador, II, 276-277; Julio Moreno, El sentido histórico y la cultura (Quito, 1940), pp. 166-167.


To cite the best known examples: journalist Víctor León Vivar, murdered by the soldiery in a Quito cemetery, by orders of one of Alfaro’s closest collaborators, Pareja, La hoguera, p. 184; Tello, of whose innocence Alfaro was aware, shot in Guayaquil as a scapegoat for a conflagration, the cause of which the populace attributed to the government, Pareja, La hoguera, p. 198; General Antonio Vega, who was suicidado by the alfaristas in Cuenca, César Peralta Rosales, Un centenario y una infamia. El suicidio del Coronel Antonio Vega (Quito, 1956); and Manuel María Borrero, El Coronel Antonio Vega Muñoz y su última campaña militar (Cuenca, 1957): these two authors try to disprove the accusation. The anti-alfarista view is expressed by Tomás Vega Toral, Datos biográficos del Señor General Don Antonio Vega Muñoz; la verdad sobre su trágica muerte y la opinión, entonces, del Ecuador sobre ella (1856-1906) (Cuenca, 1956); and by Enrique Vega Toral, El asesinato del Señor General Don Antonio Vega Muñoz (Cuenca, 1956).


The Liberal Luis Felipe Borja, Sr. opined: “Nos ha venido la tiranía militar más estúpida e insolente que puede imaginarse.” G. Alfredo Jácome, Luis Felipe Borja (Quito, 1947), p. 288.


Alfredo Pérez Guerrero, Ecuador, pp. 120-123.


Moncayo, Añoranzas, Introduction by Jaramillo, p. x.


See Walter and Marie Scholes.


For a bibliography of and on Alfaro, see Carlos A. Rolando, Conozca usted lo que fué el General Sr. Don Eloy Alfaro (Guayaquil, 1958). Velasco Ibarra, Conciencia o barbarie, pp. 127, 132.


On Flores, see Elías Laso, “Biografía del General Juan José Flores” (written in 1865), BANH, VIII (1924), 95-145; Camilo Destruge, Ecuador. La expedición Flores. Proyectos de monarquía americana, 1846-47 (Guayaquil, 1906); Carlos A. Rolando, Biografía del General Juan José Flores (Guayaquil, 1930); Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño, La expedición floreana de 1846 (Quito, 1943); and Ralph W. Haskins, “Juan José Flores and the proposed expedition against Ecuador, 1846-1847,” HAHE, XXVII (August, 1947), 467-495.


Carrión, García Moreno, pp. 60, 177, 212.


Camilo Destruge, Album biográfico ecuatoriano, II (Guayaquil, 1904), article on Hall. See also Col. Francis Hall, Colombia: its Present State, in Respect of Climate, Soil, Productions, Population, Government, Commerce, Revenue, Manufactures, Arts, Literature, Manners, Education, and Inducements to Emigration (Philadelphia, 1825). However, Carrión calls Hall “ascético y casi santo,” García Moreno, p. 190.


On the assassination of Sucre, see Antonio José de Irisarri, Historia crítica del asesinato cometido en la persona del Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho (Bogotá, 1846), as well as Irisarri’s Defensa de la historia crítica … (Santiago, 1922); Juan B. Pérez y Soto, El crimen de Berruecos (Roma, 1924), 4 vols.; J.L.R. Le Gouhir, El criminal de Berruecos (Quito, 1930); Luis Felipe Borja, “La responsabilidad del asesinato de Sucre,” BANH, XIII (1936), 13-36; Thomas F. McGann, “The Assassination of Sucre and its Significance in Colombian History, 1828-1848,” HAHR, XXX (August, 1950), 269-289. The anti-Flores interpretation is presented by Roberto Andrade, Historia del Ecuador, chapter 41; and by Nicolás Augusto González Tola, El asesinato del Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho (Bogotá, 1908), 2 vols. González, from Guayaquil, originally wrote this book in exile in Lima on instructions from Alfaro, while General Flores’ son was president of Ecuador.—Pareja, an inti-floreano, inclines toward accepting Ovando’s guilt, in his Historia, I, 462-463. Nevertheless, Benjamín Carrión maintains that since Flores benefited politically from Sucre’s elimination, he must be the assassin. García Moreno, p. 178.


Prof. Mark Van Aken of Duke University is working at the present on some aspects of Flores’ career.


La espada sin mancha (Quito, 1962). See also Eduardo N. Martínez, Julio Andrade o el Bayardo (Quito, 1944).


Jácome, op. cit., note 145; Gonzalo Rubio Orbe, Luis Felipe Borja (Quito, 1947).


(Quito, 1949).


(Ambato, 1949).


See note 48.




Julio Tobar Donoso, Biografía del ilmo. Padre Fray José María de Jesús Yerovi, O.F.M. Arzobispo de Quito (Quito, 1958); Luis P. Escalante, El ilmo. ye revdmo. Señor Doctor Don Fray José María de Jesús Yerovi, Obispo de Cidonia y Arzobispo Electo de Quito (Quito, 1923).


Un conterráneo ilustre: Don Pedro Moncayo y Esparza (Ibarra, 1934).


(Quito, 1943).


(Cali, 1944). See also his Gobernantes del Ecuador (1830-1932) (Quito, 1932).


(Quito, 1955).


(Guayaquil, 1913).


To cite some of his biographies: Fray Vicente Solano (Cuenca, 1942); Luis Cordero Dávila (Cuenca, 1948); Rafael María Arizaga (Cuenca, 1949); Federico Proaño, galeote del destino (Cuenca, 1953); El hermano Miguel (Cuenca, 1955); Tres semblanzas (Cuenca, 1961).


(Guayaquil, 1903-1905), 5 vols.


(Quito, 1928).


(Quito, 1936).


(Guayaquil, 1940).


César Burbano, Breve estudio histórico de los límites entre el Ecuador y Colombia (Tulcán, 1916); Manuel A. Muñoz Borrero, Misiones diplomáticas del Ecuador en Colombia (Bogotá, 1920); Alberto Muñoz Vernaza, Exposición sobre el tratado de límites de 1916 entre el Ecuador y Colombia (Quito, 1928). See also Carlos de la Torre Reyes’ biography of Julio Andrade.


Fabio Lozano Torrijos, El tratado Lozano-Salomón (Quito, 1926); Carlos A. Valverde, Por la paz de América. El tratado de limites Salomón-Lozano entre el Perú y Colombia. La actitud del Ecuador (Lima, 1928).


Angel Isaac Chiriboga, Tarquí documentado. Guerra de 1828-29 (Quito, 1929), 3 vols.; Loor, La victoria de Guayaquil.


Carlos Manuel Larrea, Exposición. Las negociaciones ecuatoriano-peruanas en Washington (Quito, 1937); Enrique Arroyo D., Las negociaciones limítrofes ecuatoriano-peruanas en Washington, 1936-1938 (Quito, 1939); Luis Bossano, La última etapa de las discusiones limítrofes (Quito, 1940). fot the other side of the story: Víctor Andrés Belaunde, La vida internacional del Peru. Vol. I. Relaciones con el Ecuador (Lima, 1942).


Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, La guerra de conquista en América (Guayaquil, 1941); Julio H. Muñoz, La campaña internacional de 1941 (Quito, 1945); Luis A. Rodríguez S., La agresión peruana documentada (Quito, 1948); Rafael A. Puente La mala fe peruana y los responsables del desastre de Zarumilla (Quito, 1946) Leonardo Chiriboga O., ¿Pudo el Ecuador ser agresor en 1941? (Quito, 1952); Carlos Cuvi Cevallos, El teniente de caballería Hugo Ortiz Garcés, héroe nacional (Quito, 1960). For the Peruvian side: Luis Humberto Delgado, Las guerras del Perú (Lima, 1950).


Isaiah Bowman, “The Ecuador-Peru boundary dispute,” Foreign Affairs, XX (1942), 757-761; Julio Tobar Donoso, La invasión peruana y el protocolo de Río. Antecedentes y explicación histórica (Quito, 1945); Lautaro Loaiza, Interpretación lógica del protocolo de Río de Janeiro (Quito, 1942); Dictámenes jurídicos acerca del problema ecuatoriano-peruano dados por ilustres internationalistas americanos (Quito, 1942), 2 vols.; Jorge Pérez Concha, El protocolo de Río de Janeiro y los problemas derivados de su ejecución (Guayaquil, 1954).


Julio Tobar Donoso, Pedro Gual (Quito, 1963).


Independently of the Mainas question, students of Spanish colonial administration must be quite aware of this principle of separation of functions, which explains the long, composite title of viceroys, and which occasionally did lead to situations where the same territory was subordinated to different and independent authorities.


The Peruvian doctrine of the Constitution of Nationalities loses any degree of plausiblity since the moment Peru ceded various of its coastal provinces to Chile. Actually, this doctrine could be more reasonably invoked by Ecuador against the Real Cédula of 1802, which seven years before the first independence movement modified the status quo of the previous two hundred and fifty years.


There is at least one Ecuadorian work published before this date: Pedro Moncayo’s La cuestión de límites entre el Ecuador y el Perú según el uti possidetis de 1810 y los tratados de 1829 (Quito, 1860). Among the earliest works should be cited Luciano Coral, Conflicto internacional entre él Ecuador y él Perú (Guayaquil, 1894); and Camilo Destruge, El Ecuador y el Perú en su cuestión de límites (Guayaquil, 1899).


José Pardo, Memorandum reservado que él 28 de julio de 1888 presentó el defensor del Perú a su Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores (1888).


José Pardo y Barreda, Alegato del Perú en el arbitraje sobre sus límites con el Ecuador, presentado por D. José Pardo y Barreda a S.M. el árbitro, la Reina Regente de España. Documentos anexos (Madrid, 1905), 3 vols.; Maríano H. Cornejo and Felipe de Osma, Memoria del Perú en el arbitraje sobre sus límites con el Ecuador, presentada a S.M. el Real Arbitro (Madrid, 1905-1907), 12 vols.


Estudio histórico sobre la Cédula de 15 de julio de 1802 (Quito, 1905).


See Fray José María Vargas O.P., Misiones ecuatorianas en archivos europeos (México, 1956). The rich Vacas Galindo Collection of copies of manuscripts is in the Dominican Convent of Quito. On the boundary controversy, Fray Enrique contributed with his Colección de documentos sobre límites ecuatoriano-peruanos (Quito, 1902-1903), 3 vols.; La integridad territorial de la República del Ecuador (Quito, 1905); and Resumen de la cuestión de límites del Ecuador con el Perú (Madrid, 1909).


Memoria histórico-jurídica sobre los límites ecuatoriano-peruanos (1st ed. Quito, 1892, 2nd ed. Quito, 1904); Exposición ante Su Majestad Católica Alfonso XIII en la demanda de la República del Ecuador contra la del Perú sobre límites territoriales. Dictámenes en derecho a favor del Ecuador (Madrid, 1906), 3 vols.; Litigio de limites entre el Ecuador y Perú. El epílogo peruano. Memorándum para el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de la República del Ecuador (Madrid, 1907); El memorándum final del Perú. Contra memorándum (Madrid, 1909). See also Bibliografía de Honorato Vázquez (Cuenca, 1955).—Also under Ecuadorian sponsorship appeared Segundo Alvarez Arteta’s La cuestión de límites entre las Repúblicas del Ecuador y el Perú. Apuntes y documentos (Sevilla, 1901). See also Luis Antonio Chacón, Apuntaciones para el estudio de límites del Ecuador con el Perú (Guayaquil, 1905).


Archbishop González Suárez exclaimed on this occasion: “Si ha llegado la hora de que el Ecuador desaparezca, que desaparezca; pero no enredado entre los hilos de la diplomacia, sino en los campos del honor, al aire libre, con el arma al brazo!”


The same decree declared as official text Modesto Chávez Franco’s concise Cartilla patria (Quito, 1922). It was superseded later by Francisco de Paula Soria’s Lecciones graduadas sobre límites del Ecuador con el Perú (Quito, 1928).


Derecho territorial ecuatoriano, 1493-1830 (Guayaquil, 1946-1952): unfinished, due to the author’s death in 1952.


(Quito, 1961).


“La organización jurídico-territorial de las colonias españolas,” BANH, XXIII; “Antecedentes del Tratado de 1829,” BANH, XXIV-XXV; “El Tratado de Guayaquil,” BANH, XXV-XXVI; “Del Tratado de Paz al Protocolo Pedemonte-Mosquera,” BANH, XXVI-XXVII; “El Tratado Noboa-Pando,” BANH, XXXIV; “El Tratado de 1860,” BANH, XXV; ‘‘La doctrina del uti possidetis,” BANH, XXXVI-XXXVIII; “Pedro Gual,” BANH, XLIV-XLV.


Op. cit., pp. 225-1031.


Ensayo histórico-crítico de las relaciones diplomáticas del Ecuador con los estados limítrofes (Quito, 1958-1959), 2 vols. Other authors with valuable contributions are: Rafael Alvarado, Teodoro Alvarado Garaicoa, Manuel Cabeza de Vaca, Pedro Cornejo, Remigio Crespo Toral, José María Egas, Alfredo Flores y Caamaño, Nicolás F. López, José Peralta, N. Clemente Ponce, Luis Robalino Dávila, Eduardo Salazar, Rafael Euclides Silva, Francisco Terán, José María Velasco Ibarra, and Jorge W. Villacrés Moscoso. In English, there is, by Pastoriza Flores, History of the Boundary Dispute between Ecuador and Peru (New York, 1921).


Op. tit., notes 25 and 103.


Ibid., II, 107-357.


Ibid., I, 11.


Ibid., I, 109-110.


Ibid., I, 123, 153; II, 19.


Cevallos, Reflexiones, II, 52. However, Cevallos García himself does not escape this tendency in the case of his appraisal of Father Velasco.


Ibid., I, 151, 187-188.


Ibid., I, 97, 151, 203.


Ibid., I, 241, 369.


Ibid., I, 189, 199.


Ibid., I, 292-293.


Ibid., II, 19.


Ibid., I, 287-288.


Ibid., I, 241.


Ibid., I, 287.


Ibid., II, 52.


Ibid., I, 12, 369.


Ibid., I, 188; Leonidas García, Dos capítulos de historia ecuatoriana (Quito, 1961), p. 8, E.J.C. (Eduardo Cevallos García), El Ecuador en paños menores. Libro no apto para hipócritas ni para gentes muy serias (Cuenca, 1950), p. 10.


Gabriel Cevallos, Reflexiones, II, 85-87. As another example of this pessimism, Alfredo Pérez Guerrero writes: “La sangre india nos enerva y nos divide: pone contradicciones en nuestro modo de ser, nos hace indecisos, turbulentos, ambiciosos e impotentes para toda obra tenaz, honda, extensa.” Ecuador, pp. 89-90.


Gabriel Cevallos, Reflexiones, II, 88.


Ibid., I, 185, 228.


Ibid., II, 97-104.


Ibid., II, 47, 51.


Ibid., I, 203, 369-370. See on this interpretation José Ortega y Gasset, El tema de nuestro tiempo (Col. Austral; Madrid, 1959), pp. 11-34.


Gabriel Cevallos, Reflexiones, I, 270; II, 19, 93.


Gabriel Cevallos, Visión teórica, p. 625; Pérez Guerrero, Ecuador, p. 90; Humberto García Ortiz, La forma nacional (Quito, 1942), p. 372; Carlos Salazar Flor, “Método sociológico de interpretación de la historia,” Conferencias del Grupo América (Quito, 1943), II, 106; see also Crespo Toral’s prescription, note 2.


The most important of these works are: Alfredo Ponce Ribadeneira, Quito, 1809-1812 (Madrid, 1960); Carlos de la Torre Reyes, La revolución de Quito del 10 de agosto de 1809, sus vicisitudes y su significado en el proceso general de la emancipación hispanoamericana (Quito, 1961); Jorge Salvador Lara, La patria heroica (Quito, 1961); José Gabriel Navarro, La revolución de Quito del 10 de agosto de 1809 (Quito, 1962); Manuel María Borrero, La revolución quiteña, 1809-1812 (Quito, 1962).


The richness of the bibliography in this field can be explained by the importance of this profession in Ecuador and the above average cultural background of the physicians of the older generation (Francisco Campos and Pedro Huerta were physicians, and Dr. Rolando is a pharmacist). Others are Gabriel Pino Roca, Breves apuntes para la historia de la medicina y sus progresos en Guayaquil (Guayaquil, 1915); Carlos A. Miño, Historia de la peste bubónica en el Ecuador (Quito, 1933); Gualberto Arcos, La medicina en el Ecuador (Quito, 1933); Manuel García, La odontología en el Ecuador (Quito, 1941); José E. Muñoz, Apuntes para la historia de la farmacia en el Ecuador (Quito, 1952); Carlos A. Rolando, Bibliografía médica ecuatoriana (Guayaquil, 1953); Mauro Madero. Historia de la medicina en la provincia del Guayas (Guayaquil, 1955); Juan José Samaniego, Cronología médica ecuatoriana (Quito, 1957); Virgilio Paredes Borja, Historia de la medicina en el Ecuador (Quito, 1963), 2 vols. Dr. Huerta’s monograph on the 1842 yellow fever epidemic has already been cited.


Jaime Chávez Granja, the present President of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, in his introduction to Enrique Garcés’ Marietta Veintemilla, p. ix.


There is, of course, a polemical literature on the period, but its importance is heuristic and not historiographical.


More than seventy years ago González Suárez wrote in Atlas arqueológico, p. 49: “Quizá, cambiados los tiempos, soplarán vientos favorables a los estudios serios, y cesará la pasión por la política, que ahora tiene tan absorbidos a los ecuatorianos.” But winds still blow pretty well from the same direction.


Pío Jaramillo, El indio ecuatoriano, p. 75, and note 222.


Alfredo Pérez Guerrero, Ecuador, pp. 14-15; another dissertation, “Gran Premio Universidad de Guayaquil 1947,” written by the well-known communist Manuel Medina, who for more than fifteen years was Treasurer of the University of Guayaquil, is entitled Estados Unidos y la independencia de América Latina. La soberanía nacional en la constitución ecuatoriana (Guayaquil, 1947). It contains a biliography of such basic authors on the subject as Ecuadorian Marxists Pedro Saad, Alfredo Vera, Antonio Parra Velasco; and others like Luis Alberto Sánchez, George Dimitrof, Federico Engels, V.I. Lenin, Vicente Lombardo Toledano, Carlos Marx, J. Stalin, and Henry A. Wallace.


Such cooperation already exists in some fields between the University of St. Louis and Catholic University of Quito, and in chemistry between the University of Houston and the University of Guayaquil, and Pittsburgh University and the University of Quito.


See: L. Gruss, “The ‘mission’ to Ecuador of Judah P. Benjamín,” The Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XXII (New Orleans, 1940), 162-169; Lois F. Parks and Gustave A. Nuermberger, “The sanitation of Guayaquil,” HAHR, XXIII (May, 1943), 197-221; Robert Stevenson, “Music in Quito: four centuries,” HAHR, XLIII (May, 1963), 247-266.

Author notes


The author is Professor of History, University of Puerto Rico.