History of North America

The Spaniard who died in George Washington's house

We moved to Havana in the 18th century, there we have an Alicante man, from Petrer, Juan de Miralles Trailhon . In 1740 he had arrived in Cuba with a small fortune that served him to court, and later be able to marry, Mª Josefa Eligio de la Puente , the most desired single woman on the entire island because of her beauty and the economic possibilities of her family.

With the contacts of his in-laws, his cunning and his lack of scruples, he managed to amass an immense fortune trading sugar, coffee, tobacco, cocoa... and slaves. The governor of the island turned a blind eye when he traded with the English "enemy" based in Florida because he reported the movements of the English. He was a secret agent in the service of the Spanish crown.

After the Declaration of Independence of the United States , on July 4, 1776, of the Thirteen British Colonies, Carlos III decided to support independence to weaken our enemy and get a slice later. In 1777 the Captain General of Cuba, Diego José Navarro, appointed Juan Miralles ambassador to negotiate with the Thirteen Colonies. After several visits to the American rebels in which he offered military and financial support, he managed to gain the trust, and even the friendship, of the future first president of the United States, George Washington . On a visit to Morristown - the rebels' winter camp - he contracted a lung disease. Neither the personal doctor of the general, nor the care of the future first lady could save his life. In 1780 he died in the house of George Washington .

At his funeral, military honors were rendered as if he were a head of state, and good proof of his friendship with George Washington is the letter that he sent to his widow:

All the attention that it was possible for me to devote to her deceased husband was dictated by the friendship that her worthy qualities had inspired in me.

George Washington