Tracing the adventurers of Gran Colombia
10 August 2007
A new database records the remarkable stories of more than 3,000 adventurers in Gran Colombia's nineteenth century Wars of Independence
Some 7,000 foreign adventurers took part in the wars of independence (c.1810-c.1824) in Gran Colombia. The first of these adventurers, over half of whom were Irish, arrived in Venezuela in 1811 and the last died in Ecuador in 1890. Several thousand died quickly upon arrival, or returned home just as soon. Of those that remained, no more than one in three had any military experience - the rest were labourers, peasants and artisans, seeking glory and adventure, but also money, security and, in some cases, a new life.