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Post Sarmiento in Michigan; from Patrick E. Mears
Created by John Eipper on 02/12/14 12:46 PM

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Sarmiento in Michigan; from Patrick E. Mears (John Eipper, USA, 02/12/14 12:46 pm)

[JE: I received this e-mail from Patrick E. Mears, JD, Partner and Co-Chair of Barnes & Thornburg LLP of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I received Mr. Mears's permission to post his letter]:

Dear Professor Eipper: I was fortunate enough to run across your recent comments on the WAIS post of Rodolfo Neirotti [4 January 2014] regarding Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. It was a timely discovery for me--Federal District Judge Avern Cohn (who is copied on this email) and I are writing a paper on Sarmiento and The University of Michigan and his fall from grace there. Recently, Judge Cohn and I were permitted to view the defaced bust of Sarmiento that is presently in storage in Ann Arbor, and also have received quite a bit of background on the "Sarmiento Professorship" established by the Romance Languages Department at the University in the 1940s, which has since been abandoned with the retirement of Professor Cedomil Goic. In late-December/early January, I traveled to Argentina to visit the Sarmiento Museum in Buenos Aires, his grave in the Recoleta Cemetary, and his Casa Natal. I was also able to locate the site of his home in Asunción, where he passed away. This paper has gone through quite a few variations, but now we are on the right track, we believe. We plan to submit the paper to the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters in the near future and perhaps present it to the Academy. This has truly been a labor of love and has been well worth the effort. I am attaching to this email message an email from an Archivist at the Museo Sarmiento in BA with some interesting attached photographs. I also recently received from the University of Michigan's Zoology Department a photograph of the armadillo specimen that Sarmiento presented to the University during his visit to Ann Arbor in 1868 (see the attached receipt for the armadillo and the condor specimens donated to the University).

In any event, I hope to meet you sometime to share our experiences re: Sarmiento research, etc.

Thank you. Pat Mears

JE comments:  My thanks to Pat Mears for contacting WAIS; I do hope our paths cross soon.  Here's the 1869 receipt for Sarmiento's donation of "two very rare curiosities," a condor and a "Clamyphorous" (armadillo; the accepted current spelling is "chlamyphorous"):

I've always been fascinated by the history of Sarmiento's time in Michigan.  (He received an honorary doctorate from my Alma Mater.)   If Mr. Mears and Judge Cohn are willing, I will share their completed paper with WAISdom.  (Prof. Goic, mentioned above, served on my doctoral committee.  He's now living in Santiago, and is going strong at 85.  An excellent scholar and mentor, as well as a true gentleman. I still have a handwritten note from Prof. Goic on the occasion of my father's death, in 1989.  It was a touching gesture that I'll always cherish.)

As coincidence would have it, Rodolfo Neirotti has written today, and his post is in the queue.  As a further coincidence, Rodolfo used to live and practice in Grand Rapids, although Pat Mears does not know him.  Rodolfo now lives in Boston.


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