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    Nueva Granada

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    Hello all,


    not realy militaria but I hope you would allow me to post a question regarding this leather portofolio bearing initials of the consul of  Nueva Granada.

    Apparently this country only existed for a very short periode of time in the north of South America, from 1830 to 1850.

    Probably the consulat was located in Antwerp, Belgium,and I am trying to find out who the consul was.

    Exept for his initiales, he probably was a Belgian aristocrat, judging by the nobility crown.

    Thanks for any help.



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    The Belgian Foreign Ministry publishes annual [sometimes biannual or quarterly] lists of consuls and diplomats accredited to the Kingdom.  I am not sure when this practice began but saw an 1835 or '36 copy at the Albertine/Albertina [National Library] in the early 1990's.   The Foreign Ministry probably would be another likely research prospect.   Good luck!

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    It defenetly is Louis David- Verbist.


    Still curious about the country; New Grenade! 

    Would love to know more then what is on the wiki page...

    Did they had uniforms , medals etc....

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    Just got some great help on a maritime forum.

    One of the members send me a 50 pages PDF file treating about the shipowner; Louis David Verbist.

    Unfortunatly nothing about him as a consul ...but I did find out he was also a general in the Garde Civique of Antwerp.


    A other point of interest to me, and it brings us back on track, regarding the military aspect of the forum.

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    • 3 weeks later...

    Hello ,Republica de Nueva Granada was the name of a Nation of the North of South America which was created in 1831 and existed until 1858 being replaced by the Grenadine Confederation which transformed in 1863 into The United States of Colombia . Nueva Granada comprised today Colombia and Panama 

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    I also send a request to when I was doing my research nearly a month, maybe two... ago.

    To the national museum of Colombia.

    Here is what I got yesterday;

    Dear Sir,


    Thank you for addressing the National Museum of Colombia for your inquiries. We are delighted to know about your Colombian embassy portfolio or briefcase.

    Please excuse the delay in our response, the History Curatorial Department has been gathering all possible information that would help your better understanding for this historical artifact. Our researcher Santiago Robledo has kindly assembled the following data.


    Historically speaking, New Granada [Nueva Granada] was the name given by the Spaniard colonizers to the territory currently occupied by the contemporary Republic of Colombia (1886). In the XVIII century, the Spanish Crown established this viceroyalty known as the Viceroyalty of New Granada [Virreinato de la Nueva Granada] or the Viceroyalty of Santafé, the latter denomination referring to its capital city: Santafé de Bogotá. In the 1810s, during the first period of emancipation from the Spanish dominion, the local creole juntas created a state named the United Provinces of New Granada [Provincias Unidas de la Nueva Granada] (1811-1816). Later on, after the definitive Independence in 1819, general Simón Bolivar (1783-1830) and congressmen representing the different ex American-Spanish provinces created the first Republic of Colombia [República de Colombia] (1819-1830). That Great Colombia, as it is known by the traditional historiography, was integrated by the territories occupied by the modern nations of Ecuador, Venezuela, Panamá, and Colombia. The first Republic of Colombia dissolved in 1830, so in 1831 appeared three new states: The State of Venezuela, the State of Ecuador, and, reverting to its original name, the Republic of New Granada [República de la Nueva Granada] (1831-1858). This last republic included modern Colombia and Panamá. In 1858 New Granada became a federalist state and thus was baptized the Grenadine Confederation [Confederación Granadina] (1858-1863). Later, after a civil war won by the Liberal Party, that confederation was renamed the United States of Colombia [Estados Unidos de Colombia] (1863-1886). Finally, in 1886, a new constitution imposed by the conservatives and the moderate liberal parties ended the federalist regime and established a centralist republic. Since that moment, the country located in the northwest corner of South America has been known as the Republic of Colombia. At the beginning of the XX century, in 1903, Panama separated from Colombia.


    The coat of arms embroidered in your portfolio was originally adopted in 1834 as its official sigil by the Republic of New Granada (1831-1858). The cornucopias with mineral and agricultural wealth were supposed to represent the economic potential of the country, and the small pomegranate fruit [granada] located between them evocated the country´s original Spanish name. The Phrygian cap symbolized liberty and the isthmus of Panama represented the commercial potential of a republic located in the crossroads of the Atlantic and the Pacific. That same coat of arms was kept as the official symbol of all of New Granada´s successor states, including the current Republic of Colombia (even though Panama ceased to be part of the country). During the federal regime, the coat of arms frequently was surrounded by nine stars that symbolized the sovereign federal states. This description renders iconographical explanation for the embroidery in your portfolio.


    We were not able to find much about Louis David-Verbist (1806-1871). Nonetheless, some primary sources allow us to establish that he was New Granada´s consul in Antwerp for the greater part of the 1850s. “Luis David” was named as such in 1852 (Plata, 1852, 45), 1854 (Pinzón, 1854, document No.1), 1857 (Pombo, 1857, document No.16) and 1858 (Pardo, 1858, 48). In 1859 he even appears as the Grenadine Confederation´s consul in that city (Pardo, 1859, Cuadro XXXVIII). Sometime shortly after that, he ceased to act diplomatically in Antwerp for the Confederation. “Henry Wonder Bec” was listed as the country´s representative in the city from January 20, 1862, to August 31, 1863 (Congreso,1866,134). The fact that in the portfolio the country is named “República de la Nueva Granada” allows us to speculate that it was manufactured before 1858. That, additional to the span of David-Verbist´s tenure as consul, also suggests a tentative dating of circa 1855 for your historical artifact.       


    For a brief introduction to Colombia´s history you may be interested in  Marco Palacios and Frank Safford´s book Colombia. Fragmented land, divided society (New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).


    Sources cited:


    Congreso de los Estados Unidos de Colombia. Acos lejislativos del Congreso de los Estados Unidos de Colombia en sus sesiones de 1866. Bogotá: Imprenta de la Nación, 1866.


    Pardo, J.A. «Esposicion del Secretario de Relaciones Esteriores de la Nueva Granada al Congreso de 1858 (conclusión)». Gaceta Oficial de la Nueva Granada, No. 2209, lunes 8 de febrero de 1858, 48.


    Pardo, J.A. Informe del Secretario de Relaciones Esteriores de la Confederacion Granadina al Congreso Nacional de 1859. Bogotá: Imprenta de la Nación, 1859.


    Pinzón, Cerbeleón. Informe que el Secretario de Relaciones Esteriores de la Nueva Granada presenta al Congreso de 1854. Bogotá: Imprenta del Neo-Granadino, 1854.


    Plata, José María. Informe del Secretario de Estado del despacho de Relaciones Esteriores de la Nueva Granada a las Cámaras legislativas de 1852. Bogotá: Imprenta del Neo-Granadino, 1852.


    de Pombo, Lino. Esposicion del secretario de Relaciones Esteriores al Congreso de la Nueva Granada en sus sesiones ordinarias. Bogotá: Imprenta Estado, 1857.



    Best regards,


    Curadora Jefe de Historia / Curator chief for the History Curatorial Department

    Museo Nacional de Colombia - Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia / National Museum of Colombia – Colombia Ministry of Culture

    Tel: (57-1) ............

    Dirección: .................
    Bogotá, Colombia

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