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Encyclopedia > Juana Maria de los Delores de Leon Smith

Juana Maria de los Delores de Leon Smith (d. October 12, 1872). Wife of General Sir Harry Smith, Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. Married at age 14, she was known as "Lady Smith" and is commemorated directly in the name of Ladysmith, South Africa and indirectly in the name of Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada. General is a military rank used by nearly every country in the world. ... Lieutenant-General Harry George Wakelyn Smith (28 June 1787-12 October 1860) was a notable English soldier and military commander of the early 19th century. ... A governor is also a device that regulates the speed of a machine. ... The Cape of Good Hope headland seen from the north 1888 Map of the Cape of Good Hope Triangular Postage Stamp The Cape of Good Hope is a headland in South Africa, near Cape Town, traditionally— and incorrectly — regarded as marking the turning point between the Atlantic Ocean and the... Ladysmith (1991: pop. ... Ladysmith is a town in the Canadian province of British Columbia. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Splendour without diminishment) Other Canadian provinces and territories Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Area 944,735 km² (5th)  - Land 925,186 km²  - Water 19,549 km² (2. ...


Excerpt from Sir Harry's Smith's autobiography: the meeting between Juana Maria de los Delores de Leon and Harry Smith



"I was conversing with a friend the day after, at the door of his tent, when we observed two ladies coming from the city, who made directly towards us ; they seemed both young, and when they came near, the elder of the two threw back her mantilla to address us, showing a remarkably handsome figure, with fine features; but her sallow, sun-burnt, and careworn, though still youthful, countenance showed that in her 'the time for tender thoughts and soft endearments had fled away and gone.' "She at once addressed us in that confident, heroic manner so characteristic of the high-bred Spanish maiden, told us who they were - the last of an ancient and honourable house - and referred to an officer high in rank in our army, who had been quartered there in the days of her prosperity, for the truth of her tale. "Her husband, she said, was a Spanish officeir in a distant part of the kingdom; he might, or he might not, still be living. But yesterday she and this her young sister were able to live in affluence and in a handsome house; to-day they knew not where to lay their heads, where to get a change of rairnent or a morsel of bread Her house, she said, was a wreck; and, to show the indignities to which they had been subjected, she pointed to where the blood was still trickling down their necks, caused by the wrenching of their earrings through the flesh by the hands of worse than savages, who would not take the trouble to unclasp them! "For herself, she said, she cared not; but for the agitated and almost unconscious maiden by her side, whom she had but lately received over from the hands of her conventual instructresses, she was in despair, and knew not what to do and that, in the rapine and ruin which was at that moment desolating the city, she saw no security for her but the seemingly indelicate one she had adopted - of coming to the camp and throwing themselves upon the protection of any British officer who would afford it; and so great, she said, was her faith in our national character, that she knew the appeal would not be made in vain, nor the confidence abused. Nor was it made in vain! Nor could it be abused, for she stood by the side of an angel! A being more transcendingly lovely I had never before seen - one more amiable I have never yet known! "Fourteen summers had not yet passed over her youthful countenance, which was of a delicate freshness - more English than Spanish; her face, though not perhaps rigidly beautiful, was nevertheless so remarkably handsome, and so irresistibly attractive, surmounting a figure cast in nature's fairest mould, that to look at her was to love her; and I did love her, but I never told my love, and in the mean time another and a more impudent fellow stepped in and won her! But yet I was happy, for in him she found such a one as her loveliness and her misfortunes claimed - a man of honour, and a husband in every way worthy of her!" "That a being so young, so lovely, and so interesting, just emancipated from the gloom of a convent, unknowing of the world and to the world unknown, should thus have been wrecked on a sea of troubles, and thrown on the mercy of strangers under circumstances so dreadful, so uncontrollable, and not have sunk to rise no more, must be the wonder of every one. Yet from the moment she was thrown on her own resources, her star was in the ascendant. "Guided by a just sense of rectitude, an innate purity of mind, a singleness of purpose which defied malice, and a soul that soared above circumstances, she became alike the adored of the camp and of the drawing-room, and eventually the admired associate of princes. She yet lives, in the affections of her gallant husband, in an elevated situation in life, a pattern to her sex, and everybody's beau ideal of what a wife should be." 2 I confess myself to be the "more impudent fellow," and if any reward is due to a soldier, never was one so honoured and distinguished as I have been by the possession of this dear child (for she was little more than a child at this moment), one with a sense of honour no knight ever exceeded in the most romantic days of chivalry, an understanding superior to her years, a masculine mind with a force of character no consideration could turn from her own just sense of rectitude, and all encased in a frame of Nature's fairest and most delicate moulding, the figure of an angel, with an eye of light and an expression which then inspired me with a maddening love which, from that period to this (now thirty-three years), has never abated under many and the most trying circumstances. Thus, as good may come out of evil, this scene of devastation and spoil yielded to me a treasure invaluable; to me who, among so many dear friends, had escaped all dangers; to me, a wild youth not meriting such reward, and, however desirous, never able to express half his gratitude to God Almighty for such signal marks of His blessing shown to so young and so thoughtless a being. From that day to this she has been my guardian angel. She has shared with me the dangers and privations, the hardships and fatigues, of a restless life of war in every quarter of the globe. No murmur has ever escaped her. Bereft of every relative, of every tie to her country but the recollection of it, united to a man of different though Christian religion, yet that man has been and is her all, on whom have hinged the closed portals of hope, happiness, and bliss; if opened, misery, destitution, and bereavement, and every loss language can depict summed up in one word, "He is lost to me." But, O my God, Thou hast kindly spared us for each other; we have, through Thy grace, been but little separated, and we have, in unison of soul, received at Thy holy altar the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.3 May we, through His mediation, be still spared to each other in this life, and in the life to come be eternally united in Heaven!


  Results from FactBites:
 
Lady Smith - Juana Maria de los Delores de Leon (711 words)
Harry Smith was the son of a surgeon, who became a gallant soldier.
Juana Maria's family cut off all contact with her because she married someone outsdie the family faith.
Juana Maria, conformed to the life of a true army wife, following her husband from battle to battle.
Juana Maria de los Delores de Leon Smith - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (344 words)
Juana Maria de los Delores de Leon Smith
Married at age 14, she was known as "Lady Smith" and is commemorated directly in the name of Ladysmith, South Africa and indirectly in the name of Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada.
(Juana was given a pension of £500 by Parliament on 5th December 1848 in recognition of her husband's services to the country.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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