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Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales (1770-1831)

Biographical Information

Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales was born in the town of Reinoso in Spain, July 15, 1770. Upon the death of his father, he was sent to Santiago de Compostela to be educated for the priesthood, but soon came to prefer a military career. Consequently, in 1784 he was sent to Buenos Aires to join the Regimiento Fijo there, becoming a lieutenant colonel by 1794.

Arenales' defence of the interests and dignity of the Indians earned him the enmity of the Spanish colonial governor. With the outbreak of revolutionary sentiment in 1809, Arenales declared his support for the rebels and was made a commander of their forces. After the rebellion was crushed, Arenales was captured and held in prison for 18 months before escaping. He joined Manuel Belgrano and aided in the battle of Salta in 1813 before leading several military campaigns in northern Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru.

Upon the independence of Peru, Arenales was made military governor of the region of Trujillo. He served briefly in this capacity before resigning in order to return to Salta in Argentina, where he was made governor. He sought to govern as a progressive in the manner of Bernardino Rivadavia, whom he admired. In 1827 he was overthrown in a revolt led by the former governor José Gorriti. Arenales went into exile in Bolivia, where he died on December 4, 1831.

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Description of Archival Collection (MSH/SCH 1003-1 to 1003-61)

The archive contains sixty-one items, dated 1824 to 1883.

The documents consist mostly of documents relating to the estate of Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales, his daughter Juana and her children. They include accounts, wills, and the distribution of inheritances. There is also official and personal correspondence, baptismal records, and some documents.

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