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Histories, Institutions and Characters

In Argentina

by Eduardo A. Kesting

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1770   THOMAS EASTMAN  02/01/1844






by Dr Eduardo C. Gerding

1770   THOMAS EASTMAN 1844

Thomas Eastman was born in London being baptized ten days after he was born on September 10, 1770 in Christchurch of Spitafields. He was a ship and insurance broker and became a most respected member of Lloyd´s of London. According to the Robertson brothers (Letters from South America) ¨Mr. E was a Londoner and as most of their best class he had the typical cockney traits one of them being his unsurmountable aversion for riding horses¨.


Eastman owned a small fleet which connected the British commerce with India and South America. During the Napoleonic Wars the French squad seized and sunk many of his vessels but Eastman managed to recover from these losses.


In 1810 he traded with Buenos Ayres. Eastman is mentioned in a trial in which his proxy Peter Kendall claimed to Thomas Gowland for a third of value of a vessel called Fanny. Eastman founded in the Río de la Plata the Eastman, Brinton y Cía house with branches in Río de Janeiro and Canton.



Christchurch is situated in the Commercial Street few steps from the Liverpool underground station. The church was built between 1714 and 1729 being big, solid and most beautiful at night. The term cockney is often used to refer to working-class people of London, particularly east London, and the slang used by these people. A ¨true ¨ cockney is often said to be someone born within earshot of the Bow Bells, i.e. the bells of St Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside in the City of London.

Original brass plaque of Thomas Eastman´s
The Eastman family coat of arms
British Frigate George Canning

The Eastman family coat of arms

Original brass plaque of Thomas Eastman´s enterprise in London


( Kindly submitted by Cristina Eastman de Amoroso )

British Frigate George Canning


( Kindly submitted by Luis Eastman )

The surname Eastman is patronymic in its origin and means ¨the son of Easthund¨. Easthund is an ancient English surname meaning protecto. which changed its ending to ¨man ¨. The earliest records date back to Ricardos filius Esthund who is mentioned in 1195 at the Essex rolls. Filhius means ¨son of ¨. In the Cambridge files of 1273 we can find the names of Geoffrey, Cecil and Hugo Esthund.


(Eastman coat of arms: http://home.mchsi.com/~george.eastman/coatofarms.htm)


Eastman arrived to Buenos Ayres on march 9, 1813 aboard the British Frigate George Canning of which he was the owner. During the voyage Eastman became quite fond of Lieutenant Colonel San Martín, Peter Kendal and his sisters Frances ( 23 years old ) and Mathilda Kendall ( 20 years old ).




Thomas Eastman´s profile


The Robertson brothers wrote a full chapter depicting Eastman adventures in the Paraná with Thomas Fair. Although they don´t mention his surname, he is described as the favourite among his countrymen. A stout gentleman, of middle height, active and averaging forty years old. He was known as ¨the old E¨ as a result of his earnest character and his fatherly disposition. His kindness and good heart were proverbial. He was somehow gloomy( as a result of domestic misfortunes which I must not mention) amidst happy moments and that increased the attraction for those who really loved him.


If during a bachelors´ meeting someone happened to mention the name of any vessel Mr E would immediately stare the doorhead and after smoking his cigar and drinking a glass of Port Wine he would fully describe the history of such ship, where could it be found, where had she been lately, where was she built, which was her cargo, who was her captain, who was her owner, how old was she, which was his registry and then he would fully describe some extraordinary or interesting event which happened during one of her long voyages.


In 1821 Eastman was the first to subscribe for the first protestant cemetery which was situated besides the Iglesia del Socorro. His name is mentioned in El Argos newspaper on June 14, 1823 as one of the bosses of the Saving Bank ( Caja de Ahorros ). Eastman had his office at Victoria Street 57 (now Irigoyen).


Thomas Eastman married to Anne Elizabeth (Mary) White on May 7, 1793 at Saint Peter, Leeds, Yorkshire and they had four sons: John, Edmund, Thomas and Sybella. John , as we will see later settled in Buenos Ayres while Thomas and Edmund departed to the Pacific coast.


In Valparaiso, Thomas was in charged of the Waddington, Templeman y Cía. House and died single in Arequipa in September 1837. Edmund ,who was a trader in Santiago and Valparaíso married in 1826 to María Tomasa Macaria Quiroga from Coquimbo and died in July 1875. Edmund became the head of the Eastman´s Chilean branch.

The British Frigate George Canning and her famous passengers

The British Frigate George Canning and her famous passengers

La Gazeta newspaper published the following ¨ The English Frigate Jorge Canning, Captain Sebastián Julloch was dispatched by her trustee Diego Winton for foreign harbours ¨- From left to right: Ensign José Matías Zapiola, Carlos María de Alvear y Balbastro and Lieutenant Colonel San Martín. ( Kindly submitted by Mrs Lucrecia Zapiola de Sanabria )


On Friday 13, 1812 a column named Noticia Pública published at the Gazeta de Buenos Ayres informed that ¨ the British Frigate Jorge Canning from London arrived on the 9th after 50 days of navigation. The news are that the Galician Army has been dissolved, Cadiz is divided in a thousand parties and finds herself in a state of complete anarchy unable to attain stability as a result of the political situation. Such pitiful state is revealed through the frequent emigrations to England and North America.

We can find among the passengers to Cavalry Lieutenant Colonel José de San Martín, Infantry Captain Francisco Vera aide-de-camp of the Army Chief Marquis de Compigny, Ensign José Zapiola, Milicia Captain Francisco Chilaver, Royal Carabineer Ensign Carlos Alvear y Balbastro, Infantry Second Lieutenant Antonio Orellano and First Lieutenant of the Wallon Guards Baron of Olembert. They have come to offer their services to the government being received with due consideration as they have deep feelings for the sake of the country.¨


We won´t give further details about the well known career of Lieutenant Colonel José de San Martín as it is beyond the scope of this chapter.


Infantry Captain Francisco de Vera


The eldest creole was Francisco de Vera who was born in Buenos Ayres in 1770. Vera joined the Infantry Regiment in 1782 as Sergeant and in 1804 became assistant of the Governor of the Treinta Pueblos de las Misiones. During the war he was taken prisoner and sent to Montevideo and henceforth to Spain. He managed to escape from Cadiz and looked for refuge in London.


Navy Ensign José Zapiola


The Zapiola family descend from Manuel Joaquín de Zapiola, Commander of the Spanish Royal Navy and settled in our country during the XVIII century. They´ve came from the royal village of San Nicolás de Orío, province of Guipúzcoa, a branch of Mauleon, viscountship of Soule, province of Gascuña in the French Navarra. José Zapiola was the son of Manuel Joaquín de Zapiola ( an Spanish Navy officer who came to the Río de la Plata with the expedition of Pedro de Ceballos ) and María Encarnación de Lezica y Alquiza. He ended his studies in 1796 at the Spanish Naval School. He was sent back to Spain because of his involvement with the May Revolution. In Cadiz he met Carlos María de Alvear and José de San Martín. His brother Bonifacio, who was also fond of the May Revolution, was a lawyer at the Buenos Ayres Superior Court. José Zapiola was a member of the Lautaro lodge and took part in the siege of Montevideo under the orders of Alvear. Zapiola commanded the Grenadiers Regiment of the Andes Army seizing the city of Chillán in the south of Chile and taking part in the battles of Chacabuco, Cancha Rayada and Maipú. In June 1819 he returned to Buenos Ayres and joined the Navy being commander of the fluvial squad which fought against the caudillos of the littoral (1821). He retired eight years later and worked in the country till 1852. He returned as a Navy commander and was appointed as Minister of War and Navy by the Governor of Buenos Ayres Valentín Alsina. Zapiola died in Buenos Ayres.


Militia Captain Francisco Chilavert


Francisco Chilavert was travelling with his sons José Vicente ( who was quite fond of San Martín) and Martiniano ( eight years old ) .Martiniano joined the Army in 1817 as Cadet of an Artillery Regiment and became an Engineer. In 1825 he was Captain and took part in the war against the Brazilian Empire being promoted to Major as a result of his courage in the battlefield. Years later he was appointed as Colonel of the Argentine Army.


Carlos María de Alvear y Balbastro

Carlos María de Alvear y Balbastro (1789-1852)

Carlos María de Alvear y Balbastro was born in Santo Angel, Misiones son of the Spanish nobleman Diego de Alvear and the creole María Balbastro. He was travelling to Spain with his family when they were attacked by British warships which killed his mother and brothers. The British took Alvear, his father and the rest of the passengers as prisoners to England. Diego de Alvear married later to an Englishwoman. Carlos adopted for himself the name Carlos María in memory of his beloved mother.


In spite of such dramatic background Carlos was raised in the British culture. Carlos joined the Spanish Army, took part in the Napoleonic Wars and also in our independence war. In London he founded the Lautaro lodge San Martín being one of its members. In Montevideo Carlos María de Alvear led his forces against the Spanish Royal Army commanded by Gaspar Vigodet. Then he later substituted José Rondeau. Alvear had an enmity with José Gervasio Artigas and was leader of the Constituent Assembly of 1813. On January 9, 1815 Alvear substituted Gervasio Antonio de Posadas as Supreme Director. Alvear resigne don April 15 and exiled in Brazil till 1824. By that time it was clear he had an enmity as well with General San Martín. Alvear returned in 1824 and represented the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata at the Convention which took place in Bolivia. In 1826-1827 he was appointed War Minister of President Bernardino Rivadavia and commanded the forces which defeated the Brazilians at the Battle of Ituzaingo.In 1838 Juan Manuel de Rosas appointed him as Plenipotentiary Minister in the United States. Alvear died in New York.

Carlos María de Alvear y Balbastro




( Kindly submitted by the Departamento de Estudios Históricos Navales)

First Lieutenant of the Walloon Guards Barón of Holmberg


Eduardo Kannitz, baron of Holmberg was born in Bohemia in 1778. His parents were Eduard Kaunitz and Amalia O'Donell. He took his military studies were made in Prussia between 1794 and 1795. Kannitz took part in the Napoleonic Wars as part of the Berg Duchy troops and later as an officer of the Spanish Walloon Guards. He was quite fond of botany and brought many unknown flowers to our country. On March 20, 1812 he joined the Northern Army as a Lieutenant Colonel leading Manuel Belgrano´s artillery. Kannits took part in the battles of Las Piedras and Tucumán. In 1813 he founded the first Sapper Company of the Argentine Army. The Baron of Holmberg married to Antonia Balbastro ( cousin of Carlos María de Alvear ). His son Wenceslao was a military as well and became aide-de camp of Juan Galo Lavalle. In 1821 he was in charge of the construction of fortress in the south of the province of Buenos Ayres and five years later he joined Alvear in the struggle against the Brazilian Empire. Kennitz died in 1853 after the birth of his first grandson Eduado Ladislao.

Flag of the Wallons Guards´ Regiment (1760-1815)

Flag of the Wallons Guards´ Regiment (1760-1815)


( Flags of the World-http://flagspot.net/flags/es^guard.html )




The Walloon Guards were created by Philip V of Spain for his own protection. It was an Infantry Corp recruited in Flanders.

Peter Kendall


Peter Kendall was born on March 6, 1758 in South Wingfield, Derbyshire, England. His parents were Peter Kendall and Sarah Kirkham. On June 8, 1811 he bought from Lorenzo Ignacio Díaz a nearby ranch called Los Remedios in La Matanza but he later sold it to his brother-in-law James Brittain. Frances Kendall married to James Brittain and Mathilda Kendall did the same to John Ludham. This last wrote in his memories ( St John´s Anglican Church ) : ¨ I married in 1813 to Peter Kendall´s sister. The ceremony was officiated by Royal Navy Captain Peter Heywod commander of the Frigate Nereus . There was no protestant preacher at that time in this country. I think I was the first Englishman of that small community who married in Buenos Ayres¨ Harriet, the third sister arrived later and married in 1818 to Thomas Fair. In 1822 Kendall was associated with George Mcfarlane as Kendall & Macfarlane. In 1813 Peter Kendall is mentioned in La Gazeta as giver of $50 ¨for the widows of those who died in the battle of Salta ¨ . Kendall returned to England in 1818 and married to Jemina Elizabeth Russell with whom he had two sons. In 1846 Kendall wrote a letter to Lord Palmerston requesting help for ending the blockade of Buenos Ayres which was affecting the British commerce in the Río de la Plata. Peter Kendall died in London on February 21st, 1854.

Thomas Eastman takes part in the inaugural trip of our first steam boat


On November 13, 1825 the first steam engine Brig Druid departed from Buenos Ayres. She was brought (after 62 days of sail navigation ) from Gibraltar up to the entrance of the Riachuelo. The engine was installed in our country. Pastor S. Obligado author of Tradiciones Argentinas referred that the ship, the register, the captain, the sailors and even the oil among her screws were British. Buenos Ayres had at that time 3,000 Englishmen of which 300 had families settled in our country. Admiral William Brown was seatted at the head of the dining room´s table and Captain Bell occupied the opposite side. Miss Sheridan seatted at the right of Admiral Brown and w as followed by Mr O´Brien, Miller, Armstrong, Hannah, Eastman, MacKinlay, Angelis, Wright, Wilson, Leslie, Harrison, Norton, Gibson, Davis, Morgan, Thompson, Marrat, Lynch, Atkits, Brittain, MacDougal, Zimmerman, Klappenbach, Newton, Plowes and Bevans.Among the Argentine passengers were Rivadavia, Zapiola, Erézcano, Manuel Belgrano, Riglos, Balcarce y Sarratea.


The death of Thomas Eastman


Thomas Eastman´s gravestone

Thomas Eastman´s gravestone

at the Buenos Aires British Cemetery


(Kindly submitted by E. A. Kesting)



To the memory of


A native of  London

Died Jan 2 D 1844

Aged 74 years


Upright and honourable in life, he bore his

terminal illness with dignified resignation


Not   even

------ the dread of something after death

The undiscovered of country from whose bourne

                no traveller returns ------

      could daunt his spirit; conscious of  impending

         dissolution he saw his last hour approach

with calmness and fortitude.



Tribute of filial affection



“ On the 2nd inst, aged 74, after a lingering illnesss, Mr Thomas Eastman, native of London, and many years a resident in this country “


( Obituary published at the British Packet )

John Eastman


John Eastman, the son of Thomas Eastman and Anne Elizabeth White, arrived to our country on April 2, 1830 from Rio de Janeiro aboard the Brig-packet boat Ellen whose captain was Donald Campbell. John Eastman married on July 30,1831 to Juliana Isla the fourth daughter of don Antonio Isla and Juliana Josefa Zapiola y Lezica with whom he had several children: Tomas Pedro who settled in Montevideo and married to Uruguayan Isolina Donata Illa Viamonte (1842-1911). This last was the daughter of Manuel Francisco Illa (1805-1887)and Albana Viamonte of Buenos Ayres (1815-1876). Albana was the daughter of General Juan Jose Viamonte and Bernardina Chavarria. Other children were Lino Eduardo municipal adviser who married to Spanish Josefa Lara, Adela Laurentina who married to Alvaro Barros, Julia married to Benjamin Zapiola, Enrique Martiniano, Alberto Dionisio, Ricardo Fidel ( who was a provincial deputy between 1882 and 1884),Juan Agustin and Dionisia Sofia.


In 1834 John Eastman had a pharmacy in Defensa Street 11 (later in Defensa 7). In October 1844 Eastman associated with Oliver J. Hayes and A. Lines van Blarcon and owned a drug store called O. J. Hayes and Co. In 1852 Van Blarcon left the society. The society was dissolved in October 1853 giving rise to another drug store called Juan Eastman & Co whose associates were George Spurr, Charles A. Burguess and Benjamin Zapiola. In 1849 Eastman together with other British settlers published at La Gazeta Mercantil an announcement requesting that Don Juan Manuel de Rosas could remain in the government. John Eastman died on September 28, 1874 and his son Lino Eduardo Eastman took care of the drug store.

John Eastman (1807-1874)
Edmund Eastman (1810-1875)

John Eastman (1807-1874)


(Kindly submiited by Luis Eastman)

Edmund Eastman (1810-1875)


(Kindly submiited by Patricio Eastman)


Head of the Chilean branch


John Eastman was born in London in 1807 and entered our country when he was 21 years old. At first he trade with India until 1834 when he opened the drug store in Defensa Street Nº 11. This last was later owned by Mr. Demarchi.. Eastman sold some popular drugs like Pectoral of anacahuita, Scott´s emulsion, Bristol´s sarsaparilla, agua florida and Lanman & Kemp´s products. In 1847 he became a member of the Buenos Ayres British Hospital board. On May 15, 1848 he took part as godfather of Carlos Pellegrini´s baptism at the Iglesia de la Merced. Pellegrini became later President of the Republic. In 1841 Eastman was a founder member of The Strangers Club and in 1856 he represented the Scottish insurance Company The Northern Assurance Co. In 1858 he was appointed as substitute edile of the parish Catedral al Norte.

Julia Eastman de Zapiola married to Benjamin Zapiola

Julia Eastman de Zapiola


(John Eastman´s daughter married to Benjamín Zapiola)

The Eastman´s Argentine branch


Adolfo Enrique Eastman (1905-1991) was born in Montevideo (Uruguay) and was the son of Delfino Adolfo and Constante Lowry . He married to Helena Catalina Mulhall who was born on December 25, 1907 and died when she was 93 years old. Helena was the grand-daughter of Eduardo Mulhall who founded The Standard newspaper. They had several son: Licenciate Luis Eastman married to María Alicia Chiappe, Helena Leonor (married to Carlos Alberto Costantini , parents of Isidro, Paula, Ignacio, and Jaime) , Constancia Isabel married to Carlos Grau Baena (parents of Carlos, Connie, Tomas, Celina and Rosario), Adolfo Tomas Eastman married at first to Ana Maria Maurer (parents of Ariel Eastman Maurer) and married later to Adriana Aureguy (parents of Johanna Eastman).

 Tomás Pedro Eastman
 Licenciate Luis Eastman
Licenciate Luis Eastman and his family-His wife Alicia Chiappe

Tomás Pedro Eastman


Thomas Eastman´s


grandson (1834-1898)

Licenciate Luis Eastman


showing a remarkable


family profile.

Licenciate Luis Eastman and his family-His wife Alicia Chiappe,

sons and daughters; Santiago, Inés María, Julia Helena

and Manuel


Eduardo ( Photograph taken in 2007 at their home in San Isidro by the author)

The Eastman´s Branch in Uruguay


Tomás Pedro Eastman ( 1834-1898) married to Isolina Illa Viamonte (1842-1919) of Uruguay. Tomás Pedro lived in Montevideo and worked as the Argentine consul. He founded the Herrera-Eastman Bank. Tomás Pedro had a quinta with a Moorish palace situated in the Agraciada street in El Prado neighborhood ( Montevideo ). This last building is actually considered an historical building and is occupied by the Uruguayan Army. Tomás Pedro and Isolina had several children too: Isolina ( married to a Chilean gentleman called Vialvello ), Adela ( married to Jaime Castells Carafi of Uruguay ), Valentina ( married to Carlos Álvarez ) , Delfíno Adolfo (1869-1924) who was born in Montevideo ( married to Constante Lowry Perry of Uruguay ), Edmundo married to Maria Adela Montero of Uruguay and Albana married to Gonzalo Ramírez of Uruguay . Delfino Adolfo Eastman created a process called Eastmanization which is a pasteurization-like treatment of milk. It was succesful in Argentina but not in Uruguay.

Delfino Adolfo Eastman created in Montevideo the first mounted cigarrette

Delfino Adolfo Eastman created in Montevideo the first mounted cigarrette

(Kindly submitted by Lic.Luis Eastman)

The Eastman´s Branch of Ecuador


This branch had its origin in the Chilean gentleman Victor Eastman Cox who arrived in 1909 to Ecuador as the Chilean Plenipotentiary Minister. He was 40 years old when he married to María Lasso de la Vega y Chiriboga. This last was closely related to Don Diego Sandoval, one of Quito´s founders whom Emperor Charles V bestowed on December 20 1534 a coat of arms and a manor house. One of his sisters, Avelina married to General General Leonidas Plaza who was appointed in two occasions as President of Ecuador. His other sister Clemencia married to one of President Eloy Alfaro Olmedo´s sons.


Victor Eastman Cox y María Lasso de la Vega had five children: Víctor José, Gloria, Adela, Patricio and María Isabel. Adela married to Carlos Tobar Zaldumbide a gentleman from Quito who became chancellor during the government of Camilo Ponce (1956-60).

 Thomas Eastman Salazar

Thomas Eastman Salazar


born in Guayaquil on Jan 7, 2007

Final words


Thomas Eastman was not only an authentic gentleman from London who took part in a historical voyage but an icon of our independence and the seed of a big family tree whose branches spread out to Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, USA. and Ecuador. We have seen his fruits through the many generations who served and keep working in our country. Let this be our most heartily acknowledgement.


Dr Eduardo C. Gerding is a Gastroenterologist and Occupational Medicine specialist who works at the Health Division of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service.

Dr Eduardo C. Gerding is a Gastroenterologist and Occupational Medicine specialist

who works at the Health Division of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service.




Carol Nelson, a branch of the Eastman
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about this line of the family