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Simona Duque de Alzate

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

Biographical details

She was born in Marinilla, Antioquia, daughter of Andrés Duque and Ana María Rincón, she married José Antonio Alzate. She supported the revolution when it broke out on 20 July 1810, like most of the main families in Marinilla. Five of her sons joined the independence army, and three of them went into hiding in the Antioquia forest when the royalists took Popayán. In October 1819, Comandante Córdoba called at her home and asked for five of her six sons to rejoin the war against the Spaniards. Duque was then an elderly widow, and agreed to give her jewels as her contribution to save the Patria. These "jewels" were five of her sons. The comandante asked how she would manage without them and she replied with dignity that she was able to work. After Boyacá she was awarded a monthly pension of 16 pesos for the rest of her life. She refused any pension while she was able to work and keep herself. Her letter of reply is reproduced below. She lived to an old age, in her modest, poor home. She looked after two of her sons, Francisco who was injured in battle and unable to look after himself and the youngest who was aged 10 in 1819. She died aged 102. (Monsalve, 227-230) She gave 7 of her sons to the independence army. (Monsalve, 301)

A widow from Antioquia, Colombia, who encouraged her 5 sons to join the independence army. Her story was published in a Bogotá newspaper on Vice-President Santander’s orders. (Cherpak, 225)

She contributed her jewels and 5 sons to Coronel Córdoba, he wrote in praise of her sons' service to General Vice-President Santander, recommending that he award her a widow's pension. This was done. She died aged 102. (Knaster, 482, 484.)

Cousin of Francisca Javiera Duque.

Life Events

Other 1809Her youngest son was born around this time.
Other 1820She refused a monthly pension of 16 pesos.


Lavrin, Asunción, (1978), Latin American Women: Historical Perspectives; Contributions in Women's Studies, No.3.

Knaster, Meri, (1977), Women in Spanish America: An Annotated Bibliography from Pre-Conquest to Contemporary Times

Monsalve, José D, (1926), Mujeres de la independencia


Letter: Carta


Resource id #27 (29)

Resource id #31 (49)

Resource id #35 (64)

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