By John Kendrick
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Extra resources for Alejandro Malaspina: Portrait of a Visionary
From Lima, Agote, wrote to the Philippine Company, reporting: Don Alexandro Malaspina, commander of this frigate, in whom Your Lordships have full confidence, managed the voyage with limitless prudence, demonstrating during the navigation that he was blessed with all those good qualities required in a perfect mariner, showing in all matters maturity and intelligence; he omitted no measure for the success of the expedition, making evident that any ship under his command will proceed with all the security that can be desired, and that his meticulous work in the calculation of longitudes promises that his future voyages will be carried out brilliantly15 Agote's forecast was to prove accurate, but there is something more.
The guns, between nine and twenty-four in each ship, were all mounted on the port side, and a heavy wooden roof was built over the upper ones. With all this weight the fleet did not sail well, but in d'Argon's plan they would not have to. They were to be anchored off Gibraltar, and these impregnable and unsinkable vessels would pound the walls of the fortress to rubble in eight or ten days. The assault was made in September 1782. Unfortunately, four of the ships grounded on the way in and were out of range of the defences.
He envisaged the elimination of Manila as an entrepot, the principal business of the city for over two hundred years. He was confident that he could persuade the government to permit this, and that he 30 Alejandro Malaspina could raise the necessary share capital for the company in Lima. All this was in the context of explaining his bypassing Buenos Aires in favour of Lima, which he had already explained in a previous report. Presumably Malaspina expected Gálvez and Cabarrús to read this report.