C E N T R O   D I   S T U D I   M A L A S P I N I A N I


Mulazzo, Massa-Carrara, Italy

Communiqué No. 3,      December 10, 2000

Edited by Dario Manfredi, translated by John Black


    We have learned of the tragic death in recent months of Prof. Antonio Orozco Acuaviva, professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Cádiz, President of the Royal Hispanic American Academy, and of the Academy of Medicine, and member of numerous other prestigious cultural organizations, both Spanish and foreign.
    For anyone doing research on the Malaspina Expedition, the death of Prof. Orozco leaves a truly unfillable void.  Here we should like to remember not only the great value of his writings as contributions to knowledge, but also his incomparable warmth and humanity. A sincere friend of Italy, he is remembered also as having promoted, jointly with this Centro, various initiatives including the provision of commemorative epigraphs for Cádiz (1989 & 1994) and Mulazzo (1995).
    To the family we send our deeply-felt condolences.

    Without pretending to remember here the whole rich intellectual oeuvre of Anthonio Orozco
Acuaviva, we lists only his work that more closely concerns the medical-sanitary aspects of the Malaspina Expedition.

1981 - "Pedro María González y el 'Tratado de las enfermedades de la gente del mar' [Pedro María González and the 'Treatment of the Sick at Sea.']". XXVII Congreso Internacional de Historia de la Medicina (Barcelona, 31 agosto-6 septiembre 1980), Barcelona, Academia de Ciencies Mediques de Catalunya y Balears, 1981, pp. 394-400.

1982 - "Cádiz y las expediciones científicas a América [Cádiz and the Scientific Voyages to America]." La Corona y las Expediciones Científicas Españolas a América en el Siglo XVIII. Cádiz, Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana,  pp. 9-10.

1991 - "Los cirujanos navales en la Expedición Malaspina [Naval Surgeons on the Malaspina Expedition]," OROZCO ACUAVIVA, A. (ed.), La Expedición Malaspina (1789-1794). Bicentenario de la salida de Cádiz, Cádiz, Academia Hispanoamericana - Comisión Nacional Quinto Centenario, 1991, pp. 113-127.

1994 - (with CABRERA, Juan R.), " 'Avisos a los navigantes sobre la conservación de su salud [Recommendations for Sailors on the Conservation of Health]' (c. 1794), de [by] Pedro María González, 1764-1838," PALAU, M. - OROZCO, A. (eds.), Malaspina '92. I Jornadas Internacionales: Madrid - Cádiz - La Coruña, Cádiz, Real Academia Hispano Americana, pp. 89-114.

1995 - "Alessandro Malaspina y el protomédico de la Armada José Selvareza [Alexandro Malaspina and José Selvareza, Proto-Doctor of the Armada]" SAIZ, B. (ed.) Malaspina '93: Alessandro Malaspina e la sua spedizione scientifica 1789-1794: Atti del congresso internazionale nel bicentenario della massima impresa di Alessandro Malaspina, Mulazzo - Cadiz, Centro "Alessandro Malaspina" / Real Academía Hispano Americana, 1995, pp.181-206.

1996 - "La 'ración del marinero' en la Marina Española ilustrada [Mariner's Rations in the Enlightenment Spanish Navy]," OROZCO, A. - PALAU, M. - CASTANEDO, J.M. (eds.), Malaspina y Bustamante '94. II Jornadas Internacionales Conmemorativas del regreso de la Expedición a Cádiz, 1794-1994, Cádiz - Santander, Real Academia Hispanoamericana / Universidad de Cantabria / Astilleros de Guarnizo, pp. 60-71.


1. The Region of Tuscany has organized the travelling exhibition "People of Tuscany. Our histories in the world," devoted to Tuscans who emigrated from the 18th to 20th centuries. It is anticipated that the exhibition will also travel abroad, to countries where Tuscan immigration has been great. In the exhibition there appear, besides many anonymous workers, some illustrious Tuscans - from Filippo Mazzei, who was a friend of Jefferson, to the singer Ives Montand (whose true name was Ivo Livi). One of the first panels in the exhibition (prepared with the collaboration of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani) is about Alexandro Malaspina and his scientific expedition.

2. The Centro di Studi Malaspiniani has acquired a 19th century map representing the Gulf of La Coruña (Galicia, Spain). The topographical surveys used in drawing the map, making up part of the publication The Little Sea Torch: or, True Guide for Coasting Pilots (London, Debrett, 1801), were probably carried out shortly before the publication of the volume, indeed just at the time when Alexandro Malaspina was confined in the castle of St. Antón. It is possible that Alexandro, from the window of his cell, was able to observe the hydrographers while they were making their measurements.

Latest publications received at the Centro

Gente di Toscana. Nostre storie nel mondo [People of Tuscany. Our histories in the world], Florence, Region of Tuscany, 2000, 192 pp.
    Pps. 20-23 are devoted to the Malaspina Expedition, with reproductions of sketches of the Philippine Islands,Vavau, Lima and the northwest American coast.

ARCA PETRUCCI M., CONTI S. (eds), Giovanni Caboto e le vie dell'Atlantico Settentrionale. Atti del Convegno di Studi.Ark [John Cabot and the Sealanes of the Seventeenth Century North Atlantic. Proceedings of the Research Conference]. Genoa, Briugati, 1999, 580 pp.
    The volume contains D. Manfredi's article "Sulla prima edizione del viaggio di Malaspina, S. Pietroburgo [On the first edition of the Voyage of Malaspina, St. Petersburg], 1824-1827" (pp. 485-504).


On the year when Alexandro Malaspina died

    In truth, there should not exist any debate about this biographical date, since there are hundreds of documents, many of which were edited many years ago, showing that the date of the death of Alexandro Malaspina was indeed April 9, 1810.
    Nevertheless, we see that indications to the contrary still appear (most of them suggesting 1809), even in places and publications whose authority and seriousness are recognized (for example, in the bibliographical data of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA).
    For this reason, on the usual supposition that pictures speak louder than words, we reproduce here the fragment of a document which is preserved, unpublished, in the files of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani in Mulazzo.

    It deals with the official wording of the opening of Alexandro Malaspina's will. From what is written it emerges clearly that the second (and last) will of the Navigator was written on February 7, 1810.  It is therefore obvious that Malaspina could not have died in 1809!
    The document is partially written in French since in that year Pontremoli (along with all the
remaining territory previously belonging to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany - then the Kingdom of Etruria) had been incorporated into the French Empire.


    Please remember that news about Alexandro Malaspina and the initiatives dealing with him
can be found (in English) at the site:
           or: http://www.mala.bc.ca/~black/amrc/amrc.htm

    As for our Centro, we remind you that information its structure and operation can be read at:

    Those who would like to submit enquiries about Malaspina or his expedition, should send messages to the following address: mu.spina@lunigiana.ms.it

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