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Hipolita (Bolivar)
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    (1763-June 25, 1835)
    Born in Aragua (San Mateo), Venezuela
    Sometimes known simply as 'La Negra Hipólita'
    Simon Bolivar's wet nurse
    Worked on the Bolivar-Palacios family estate
    Slave to Colonel Don Vicente Bolivar and his wife, Maria de la Concepcion Palacios
    Married Mateo Bolivar, another servant of the Bolivar family
    Credited with raising young Simon following the death of his two parents from consumption
    Granted her freedom by now-General Bolivar, following the Battle of Carabobo (1821)
    There were actually two slave women who took care of Bolivar, but she receives more attention than his personal slave girl, Matea.
    She wasn't well enough to nurse Simon in the first few weeks, and so a family friend of his mother had to do it instead.
    Biographers have been critical of her 'parenting' style, noting that he emerged from her care undisciplined and rambunctious.
    Popular legend is that she slugged Simon's teacher Don Rodriguez (probably the only person the boy listened to) after refusing an advance he made toward her.
    Google searches of her name turn up content related to the Amazon Queen robbed of her girdle by Hercules (or Wonder Woman's mom in the DC Comics).
    She is a glorified icon in the history of South American democracy, despite occupying the role of slave to one of its founders.
    She's representative of the caricature-like 'Mammy' stereotype, glamorizing the institution of slavery much like Aunt Jemima or Hattie McDaniel in America.
    There are claims that several years after her death her remains were exported to the exclusive Southern General Cemetary of Caracas, but there's nothing to substantiate the rumor.
    She outlived Bolivar by five years.
    She was believed to have been of Cuban ancestry.
    Bolivar called her 'the only mother I have known.'
    She traveled with Simon during his early campaigns to establish a republic in Venezuela; tending the wounded and ironing his clothes.
    Artwork depicts her as matronly, but she was only twenty when Simon was born.
    She was noted for her beauty in her early years (one account even described her 'a beautiful and elegant white woman tinged with burnt chancaca').
    These qualities didn't escape the attention of Don Vincente, because when he learned his wife was with child, he arranged her to marry and conceive with one of his other slaves.
    This was done so that her mistress would have a wet nurse readily available as soon as the child was born (but the timetables didn't align correctly; she gave birth a month later).
    Vicente Lecuna called her 'the true breeder of the Liberator.'
    Bolivar wrote of her years later: 'her milk has fed my life and I have not known another father than her.'
    Eyewitness accounts claim that, in January 1827, while General Bolivar was entering Caracas in a celebratory parade, he caught sight of her in the crowd. Spontaneously, he dismounted from his horse and rushed to tearfully embrace her.
    She was a slave but it is very likely that she influenced her surrogate son's later decision in life to support abolishing the institution, which he denounced as 'the worst human indignity.'
    She is honored as the namesake for the Negra Hipolita State Park in northeast Valencia City, near the river Cabriales (and there is a statue of her at the entrance, unveiled in 1983).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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