Carlos Maria de Alvear

Masonic Biographies

Carlos Maria de Alvear

Born: Sunday, 25 October 1789
Died: Wednesday, 03 November 1852


Carlos Maria de Alvear was one of the most famous and influential figures in Argentinian history and a beacon of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity throughout South America.


Brother Carlos Maria de Alvear was one of the founding fathers of Argentia. Like Bernardo O’Higgins, San Martin, and Simon Bolivar, Alvear had Masonic connections that enabled and inspired him in his quest for South America independence, and Liberty. Born in the northern part of the Viceroyalty of the River Plate (modern-day Argentina) in 1789, Alvear’s life was one of action and heroism in the defense and service of liberty.

Alvear was born to a Spanish noble father, who was an administrator for the crown. Like many children of the Spanish elite in their South American colonies, Alvear was sent to Europe for an education. However, his ship was intercepted by a British frigate while en route to Spain, and he was taken, prisoner. During his stay in England, he was treated cordially and fell in love with British culture. It was here that Alvear encountered Freemasonry. As the Napoleonic wars wound down, he was allowed to return to Spain, where he founded a Masonic fraternal order. His order, called “Sociedad de los Caballeros Racionales,” or “The Order of the Knights of Reason” in English, was composed entirely of South Americans who yearned for their countries freedom from Spain. This order went on to found the famous Laotauro Lodge, which traveled wherever there were wars for Liberation in South America.

Using his connections he had built during his imprisonment in England, Alvear chartered a British frigate to take him and his fellow revolutionaries back to Argentina to engage in the Argentine war from Independence that was just beginning. Alvear distinguished himself as one of the best and brightest military commanders available to the Argentine army, and at several points saved it from disintegration. After Argentina won the war and became independent, Alvear was among those who begged Simon Bolivar to establish a united Republic of South America. However Bolivar was unable to do so because of political pressure back home in Gran Colombia, and Alvear ended up facing his own difficulties.

But Alvear's brilliant career was not over. A war between Brazil and Argentina loomed, and his country called upon him to lead its army into battle. He did so magnificently, crushing the Brazilian forces which outnumbered his by fifteen to one. After the war, he became the Argentinian ambassador to the United States. There his keen perception and insight successfully predicted the Mexican-American war and a future where the United States sought to dominate all of South America. His perceptions and the letters he sent home shaped Argentinian foreign policy up to the present day, ensuring his home would protect its rights against all who would infringe upon their hard-won liberty.

Upon his death in 1852, he was recognized as one of the most famous and influential figures in Argentinian history, and a beacon of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity throughout South America. Today he is honored as one of the countries founding fathers, and a statue of him is prominently displayed in Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. His faithful efforts to spread Freemasonic reason and ideals throughout the world are rightfully honored by South American Freemasons to this day.

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