Francisco García Calderón Collection, 1876 - 1909 (MSS 121)

Extent: 0.6 Linear feet (4 bound volumes in 2 archives boxes)

Francisco García Calderón's (1834-1905) bound manuscript (1896), "Replica al Alegato del Ecuador" and two preliminary drafts that were compiled between 1892 and 1896 to document the history of border disputes between Peru and Ecuador over the provinces of Mainas, Jaen and Tumbes. Also included is a bound file (1876-1909) related to a contract between the Peruvian government and Nicolas Federic Barbier and Tranquille Stanislas Fenestre, French citizens, for the construction of lighthouses along the Peruvian coast.

Francisco García Calderón was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1834. After finishing a degree in law, he pursued a career in public service and worked in the Ministerio de Hacienda, served as president of Arequipa's constitutional congress, and was a key figure in the final peace accords between Peru and Chile.

Commissioned in 1892 to arbitrate the land disputes between Peru and Ecuador, Francisco García Calderón compiled a history of the contested provinces of Mainas, Jaén and Tumbes. According to García Calderón, the King of Spain decreed in 1802 that the territory of Mainas be transferred from the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada to that of Peru. This event marked the beginning of a legal tug-of-war over the territories involving the archdiocese of Lima, the presidency of Ecuador and the viceroyalties of Peru and Nueva Granada. The first time these lands were publicly disputed was shortly after independence in 1822, when half of the Peruvian territory gained its sovereignty and the other half remained subject to the king's rule. Ecuador alleged that the Royal Decree of 1802 did not modify the demarcation between Peru and Ecuador, while Peru's position was that the royal decree effectively divided the territory.

Basing its argument on the assumption that colonial divisions were no longer valid, Ecuador claimed that the Peruvian state lost possession of the lands with independence. In spite of this claim, Peru centered its defense on the Royal Decree of 1802, arguing that royal decrees concerning land division transcended the territorial division of the nineteenth century. Discrediting or validating the royal decree of 1802 became the point of contention for both countries.

The argumentation was reduced to the rubrics of semantics and philology when the words chosen by the magistrate in charge of these divisions, Don Francisco Requena, left an opening for both countries to interpret the document to their advantage. Furthermore, both countries conjured up the memory and goals of Simon Bolivar as patriotic justifications to support their claims. The situation was further complicated by the Herrera-García Treaty, in which Ecuador recognized that the provinces of Tumbes and Jaen did effectively belong to Peru. Ecuador later renounced the treaty.

In another international dispute, García Calderón served as the guarantor of the contract between the Peruvian government and Nicolas Barbier and Tranquille Fenestre, French citizens residing in France, to build French-designed lighthouses along the Peruvian coast. The contract was made through L.V. de Champeux, a French citizen residing in Lima, and stipulated that the firm of Barbier and Fenestre would be in charge of all lighting along the Peruvian coast. García Calderón became involved when disputes over payment for services and other disagreements were brought up in 1895. García Calderón died in 1905 in Lima, Peru. In the early 1900s, his heirs claimed an amount of money connected with the initial contract.

The Francisco García Calderón collection documents the origins of the border disputes between Peru and Ecuador over the provinces of Mainas, Jaen and Tumbes in the late nineteenth century. It also documents the Peruvian government's contract with the French firm of Barbier and Fenestre for the construction of French-designed lighthouses along the Peruvian coast.

Arranged in two series: 1) BORDER DISPUTES and 2) LIGHTHOUSES.

Container List


Scope and Content of Series

Series 1) BORDER DISPUTES: Three bound holograph volumes that comprise García Calderón's study of the Peruvian claims to ownership of the provinces of Mainas, Jaen and Tumbes. Written between 1892 and 1896, this narrative constructs an argument that includes rebuttals to each of Ecuador's claims over the contested lands. The materials are arranged in a first draft, second draft and final version entitled "Replica al Alegato del Ecuador."

The first draft contains extensive corrections, deletions and revisions. A chapter is devoted to each of the seven arguments; some chapters appear to be works in progress. The second draft clarifies the main historical, political and geographical points in the Peruvian argument. The pages are numbered, but it appears that some sections were added at a later date and retain a different numerical order. Of particular significance is a conclusion which begins on page 206 and is not included in the first draft. The final version of García Calderón's reply to Ecuador's claims is addressed to the Peruvian minister of foreign relations and forms the most complete version of the study.

Box 1 Folder 1
Replica al Alegato del Ecuador

First draft.

Box 1 Folder 2
Replica al Alegato del Ecuador

Second draft.

Box 1 Folder 3
Replica al Alegato del Ecuador, 1896

Final version.


Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) LIGHTHOUSE DISPUTE: A single bound volume in holograph and typescript organized in chronological order, and includes the actual contract with Barbier and Fenestre for the construction of the lighthouses. Also included are detailed descriptions of the later disagreements over the payments to the French firm. The entries date between 1876 and 1909 and include depositions, contracts, translations of French documents, budgetary estimates, and memos. Of particular interest are summaries on pages 41 and 115.

Box 2 Folder 1
El Supremo Gobierno con los Fiadores de Barbier y Fenestre Sobre Cantidad de Frances, 1895