Buenos Aires - - Friday 23 De April

Home Argentine History 15 little-known facts about Sarmiento

15 little-known facts about Sarmiento

On the anniversary of his birth (15-02-1811), we tell you some events that you might not know about the life of the Argentine procerer.

15 datos poco conocidos sobre Sarmiento
  1. He founded the  National Commission on Popular Libraries  ( ConaBip ). He was responsible for creating and developing this body, which until now promotes the strengthening of popular libraries as civil society organizations. Sarmiento was not the name of Sunday. The name on his birth certificate is Faustino Valentín Quiroga Sarmiento. He was named Valentín because he was born  on February 14 , although he was registered the following day. His  family  always called him Domingo, because his mother was a devotee of Santo Domingo.
  2. The surname of his ancestors was “Quiroga Sarmiento”, that designation reached the eldest of his uncles, José Manuel Eufrasio Quiroga Sarmiento. But both his father Clemente and his other 10 brothers were registered without the “Quiroga”. It is said that this was because the surname Sarmiento was extinct.
  3. Domingo grew up in the house of his mother, Doña Paula Albarracín, who built through her work as a weaver. Its original loom can be seen in Sarmiento's  Birthplace  in San Juan.
  4. Sarmiento learned to read at age 4. His first teachers were his father José Clemente and his uncle José Eufrasio Quiroga Sarmiento. In 1816 he entered one of the so-called “Schools of the Fatherland”. When he finished these studies he processed a scholarship to enter the Colegio de Ciencias Morales, in Buenos Aires, which was not awarded. From then on, he was self-taught. An engineer friend helped him with mathematics, his uncle José de Oro Albarracín (brother of Fray Justo Santa María de Oro) helped him with Latin and Theology. And he learned French by his own means.
  5. Maria Jesús del Canto, mother of her only biological daughter, met her in a school during one of her four exiles in Chile. She was his student and he fell in love; Emilia Faustina Ana was born the following year. Mary Jesus died in childbirth on July 18, 1832. Orphaned as a mother, Faustina grew up with her grandmother Paula and her aunts. Especially because Sunday never stayed too long anywhere.
  6. Sarmiento planted the first wicker rod in the country, he did it in  the Paraná Delta . He is also attributed to having brought the first seeds of walnut pecan from the United States, to the Delta. According to his grandson, during the last year of life, the Prócer sent wicker rods by mail to promote his production.
  7. In Chile, he directed the Escuela Normal de Preceptores, the first Latin American institution specialized in preparing teachers.
  8. In 1845, Domingo Fidel was born in Chile, son of Chilean Domingo Castro y Calvo and Argentina Benita Martínez Pastoriza, who was widowing, in 1848, married Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, who gave his surname to the child. The marriage lasted only a year, but the adopted son - known as “Dominguito” - was very loved by Sarmiento. In September 1866, during the Battle of Curupayty, Dominguito was wounded by death. At that time, Sarmiento was the plenipotentiary minister of  Argentina  in the United States. The news of his son's death plunged him into a deep depression, resigned from diplomatic office and returned to Buenos Aires. He then wrote his son's biography: Vida de Dominguito.
  9. Between 1845 and 1847 Sarmiento embarked on a trip through Europe, Africa and America, to study the educational system of the countries he visited. As a result of that trip he wrote the books: Popular education, Viajes -a series of letters where he was telling his experiences-, and the Diario de Expenses, a notebook that Sarmiento himself defined as “one of my best memories”, with annotations in several languages.
  10. He contributed a lot to his home province when he startede; his term as governor of San Juan, in 1862. In two years he incorporated street lighting, took care of the paving of the streets and opened and widened several of them. In addition, he forested and elaborated the topographic map of the province.
  11. He founded the National Commission on Popular Libraries (ConaBip). He was responsible for creating and developing this body, which until now promotes the strengthening of popular libraries as civil society organizations.
  12. He organized the first national census in 1869. As a result, there were 1,836,490 inhabitants in the country, 8 per cent of the total  European immigrants,  70 per cent of the rural population and 71 per cent of Argentines are illiterate.
  13. Sarmiento also began meteorology in the country. During his tenure as an Argentine representative in the United States he managed to get astronomer Benjamin Apthorp Gould to create an astronomical observatory, but when Gould arrived, Sarmiento had already erected the   Astronomical Observatory  of Córdoba  which then acquired international relevance. Both began Argentine meteorology studies by creating, in 1872, the National Meteorological Office, which operated until 1884 in Cordoba and then moved to Buenos Aires.
  14. Under the Grants Act of 1871, the father of the classroom guaranteed funds for the creation of new schools and the purchase of materials and books. During their tenure, and with national support, the provinces founded some 800 first-letter schools, reaching a total of 1816 schools, of which 27 per cent were private. The school population rose from 30,000 to 110,000 pupils.
  15. The streets named “September 11” throughout the country, in general, are due to the date of his death, in 1888.
    sarmiento - History ArgentinaSarmiento - History Argentinasarmiento - History Argentina


Publication Date: 15/02/2020

Rate this item



I wrote! Reader Notes

Go to section


By: Torcelli 10 June, 2020

Muy buenos datos. Muchas gracias

Leave feedback


Argentines around the world
 santafesinos en Australia The Santafesinos who triumph in Australia

For two decades, a Santafesino architect led with his wife an important studio in Oceania.

Pulpería Pulperias: 3 poles that resist the passage of time

Nostalgia invades us when we walk through our gauchas roots and refresh the village traditions and t...

Art and Literature
Acción Poética Poetic Action: the walls talk (and tell us nice things)

Ten years ago, a Tucumano brought to Argentina this artistic movement that expanded throughout Latin...

Solar54 What would life be like on Mars?

An extraterrestrial event is happening in the province of La Rioja... This is Solar54, a human life...



I want to be up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter and I received the latest news