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Friday, September 24, 2010

Plaza General Eulate

Plaza General Eulate

We've seen the church of Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios in Buenavista del Norte from the central Plaza de los Remedios before. This is the view from the other side, showing the renovated Plaza General Eulate. This area had been a builders' yard for many years and surrounded by high barriers, whilst the church was restored after the 1996 fire and, was finally ready to be opened for public use again.

So, who is this General Eulate after whom this plaza has been named?

Nine times out of ten, when places and plazas in the Canary Islands are named after someone, it’s because they were mayors of the town, or Canary Islands' "sons" who were born here in the islands and then went on to make their mark in history elsewhere in the world - more often that not, the other side of the pond.

However, any attempt to search for an Eulate, related to Tenerife or the Canary Islands, only brings up articles relating to the renovation of this small park. If General Eulate is someone of Canary Islands origin, the lack of any data online seems to suggest that a) he did indeed go elsewhere and b) the islands have all but (the naming of this park) erased all memory of him. Deliberately, I wonder?

Could this General Eulate be the Juan de Eulate who was one of the first Spanish governors of New Mexico from 1618 - 1625? And did said governor originate from the Canary Islands? It is not clear, but on page 14 of this PDF, there is a suggestion of the possibility. And, is he the same General, Don Juan de Eulate, Governor and Captain-General of the Island of Margarita (Venezuela) in and around 1637?

As we read here, "History is often as controversial a subject as there is in American society. A person may be heroic to some people but villainous to somebody else. Controversy is to be expected when teaching New Mexico history."

Yes, the same could be said for Spanish and Canary Islands history, which might be the very reason why and, it certainly looks like living up to its promises:

For instance, here we learn that, "Juan de Eulate arrived in New Mexico in Dec 1618 (Knaut, 1995). He was a professional military man, being a veteran of Flanders and the Veracruz fleet. During his period of office he engaged in local business to turn a profit, clashed with the clergy (excommunicated sometime in 1622-25), and conducted illegal slave raids on the Apache and Navajo. He left New Mexico in the fall on 1626 and was tried and convicted of the slave trading in 1627."

The same New Mexico Gov. Don Juan de Eulate, in 1620, is the likely author of the longest inscription, rated as "long-winded and self-aggrandizing", on an "historic stone blog" (the El Morro National Monument) in the New Mexico desert.

There simply does not appear to be any other Eulate famous enough to fit the bill, but it would be incredibly ironic if this church-side park had indeed been named after the excommunicated former governor, described here as "a petulant, tactless, irreverent soldier whose actions were inspired by open contempt for the Church ..."

See where this picture was taken. [?]

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