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Gertrudis Medeiros de Fernández

Other names/titles:
Gender: F
Ethnic origin: White

Biographical details

Born in Salta at the end of the 18th century in Salta, daughter of Juan José de Medeiros of Lisbon and Gerónima de Iriarte. She married Juan José Fernández Cornejo on 19 June 1799. He joined the patriot army and died at Jujuy in 1811. She hid at her finca, Campo Santo, and then fled to Salta as the royalists advanced, but her house there was used as royalist barracks and other of her properties were demolished so that the bricks could be used to build trenches to stop Belgrano's troops. She was imprisoned until the patriots regained Salta, and returned to Campo Santo in 1814. She resisted a royalist attack there, but was defeated and forced to walk for 18 leagues to be imprisoned in Jujuy. She was able to work as a spy in this prison giving the patriots information on royalist movements. She managed to escape and flee to Salta. In 1817 she fled to Tucumán where she hid in the Hacienda de Zárate. After independence she applied for a pension, but was unsuccessful and died in poverty. On 18 March 1818 Manuel Belgrano described her as a "distinguida y benemérita hija de la patria". (Sosa de Newton, 401)

She was from one of the leading families in Salta and married Juan Fernández Cornejo in 1799. He fought with his father in the chaqueño desert campaigns and in the campaigns against the indigenous of the frontier. In 1810 he joined the patriots and was killed in 1811. Medeiros continued to work for the independence cause, giving her wealth, and suffering persecution and imprisonment. She died in Tucumán, poor and forgotten. (Carranza, 154-155)

Life Events

Married 1799She married Juan José Fernández Cornejo on 19 June 1799.
Other 1811Her husband died in battle at Jujuy.
Other 1814She went to her finca at Campo Santo.
Other 1817She fled to Tucumán.
Other 1818On 18 March 1818 Manuel Belgrano praised her contribution.


Sosa de Newton, Lily, (1986), Diccionario biográfico de mujeres argentinas

Carranza, Adolfo P., (1910), Patricias argentinas


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