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Posted by Bryan on 2/7/2013 to U.S. Military Sabers
It was owned and named after Jose de San Martin, who was an Argentinian general in the 1800's. He was a key leader in then nations of South America's fight for independence from the Spanish Empire. The sword itself was acquired long before the war, purchased in London at the beginning of his trip from Spain to South America. Because of his love for the weapon, he would later arm his granaderos cavalry with similar weapons, which he considered ideal for charging attacks.
His role in the various wars and battles to attain independence for the various nations of South America culminated in his being appointed the title of Protector of Peru.
When he met with another leader of the revolution, Simon Bolivar, at the Guayaquil Conference following the Chilean War of Independence, it was to discuss the future governing of South America, The two men were unable to come to an agreement. This failure caused San Martin to relinquish his power in Peru and returned to Argentina briefly before leaving South America for good and retiring to France. He left the sword in the city of Mendoza, in the care of a close friend.
Wishing to regain the sword, he eventually wrote a letter to his son-in-law requesting it be sent to Europe, where it remained with him until his death in August of 1850.
In his will the sword was granted to the Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas, General of the Argentine Republic. It was passed down through friends and family until finally in 1896 it was donated to the National Historical Museum of Argentina, traveling again through London on its final journey home to Argentina.