Monday, July 30, 2012


Graves of Gregorio Cruz Perez (Goyo)
and his wife Rosa Aguon Flores (Kabesa)

In 1900, William E. Safford, the beloved Secretary to the Naval Governor, was assigned to another duty station.  The leading citizens of Guam tried to pursuade the government to keep him on Guam, but, when that didn't come to pass, they wrote him a farewell letter full of praise.

They stated in this letter that they were the "principals" of the city of Hagåtña.  This was a direct translation of the Spanish term for leading citizens, or principales.  Who were they?

Gregorio Cruz Perez - he was the Gobernadorcillo, or mayor, of Hagåtña in 1900; patriarch of the Goyo clan

Jose Martinez Portusach - he was billed the "Principal Merchant of Guam" in the letter.  During the Spanish regime, he was part of a company that leased some of the northern islands like Pagan to raise copra and make money

Joaquin Garrido Diaz - Secretary of the Treasury

Juan Diaz de Torres - Treasurer of Guam

Vicente Palomo Camacho - Assistant Registar of Lands

Jose Torres Palomo - Priest (Curate) of Hagåtña; he was the only priest on Guam at the time, the Spanish priests having been expelled; and Palomo was elderly by now.  Poor guy.

Venancio Sablan Roberto - former Gobernadorcillo

Antonio Pangelinan Martinez - said to be the wealthiest planter on Guam at the time

Justo Sanchez de Leon Guerrero - former Gobernadorcillo

---Part II continues tomorrow---

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