Gálvez, Bernardo de

Gálvez, Bernardo de bĕrnär´ᵺō dā gäl´vāth [key], c.1746–1786, Spanish governor of Louisiana. He served in the Spanish army before going to Louisiana in 1776 as the young commandant of the troops stationed there. The favorite protégé of his powerful uncle José de Gálvez, he assumed the governorship on Jan. 1, 1777. In the American Revolution, Gálvez first played the role of benevolent neutral to the rebels. American frontiersmen were furnished with arms and supplies through the agency that he permitted Oliver Pollock to establish at New Orleans. After Spain declared war on England in 1779, he became a more active ally, capturing Baton Rouge and Natchez (1779), Mobile (1780), and Pensacola (1781). These victories were largely responsible for the British cession of both East and West Florida to Spain in the peace settlement of 1783. In Spain (1783–84) he was richly rewarded for his services, being made count of Gálvez, lieutenant general of the royal armies, and captain general of Louisiana and the Floridas. He became, in addition, captain general of Cuba in 1784, and in 1785 succeeded his father, Matías de Gálvez, as viceroy of New Spain (Mexico). The city of Galveston, Tex., was named for him.

See J. W. Caughey, Bernardo de Gálvez in Louisiana, 1776–1783 (1934).

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