Jose Francisco de San Martin y Matorras was a Spanish / Argentinian military officer who played an important role in South American independence. He was born in 1778 in Yapeyú, Argentina but, moved to Spain with his family only a few years after his birth. His father was a Spanish military officer and that would later influence his career and life. He joined the Spanish Army at a young age and fought in several battles against, France, Britain and Portugal, where he earned several promotions due to his bravery.
In 1812 after succeeding and gaining favor in the Spanish army he returned to Argentina where he would turn against the Spanish crown and start organizing troops and fighting notable military campaigns throughout Argentina, Chile, Peru to overthrow Spanish rule, and establish Argentina as an independent country. After the war, San Martín retired from the military and lived in different countries until his death in 1850.
Jose de San Martin is still very highly regarded in Argentina and because of this you can find his name on streets, statues, neighborhoods and of course on their currency. It’s been featured on previous generations of banknotes and on the current generation of banknotes.
Banknotes Featuring Jose de San Martin
For example, on the Argentina 5 Peso banknote from 2015 ND. Its obverse side features El Libertador Jose de San Martin wearing a military uniform, a sunburst which symbolizes the Orden del Libertador or the Order of the Liberator, a branch with flowers, an Optically Variable Ink (OVI) patch of a statue, and an OVI patch of a soldier wearing boots, sword, and a helmet. The reverse of the banknote depicts the countrys liberators Jose Artigas, Simon Bolivar, Jose de San Martin, and Bernardo OHiggins. Flags, flames, the presidential logo, and the Coat of Arms are also displayed on the banknote.
You can also find him on an earlier version of the 5 Argentinian peso from 2003. Its obverse side features Jose de San Martin, his will, and the “Abrazo de Maipu” painting by Pedro Subercaseaux. Its reverse side shows the memorial monument of the Army of the Andes on the Cerro de la Gloria (Gloria Hill) in Mendoza, the Order of the Liberator General San Martin medal, and the national emblem. For an even earlier example you can find him on the 1 Million Pesos that circulated from 1981-1983. The country was experiencing hyperinflation during this time.
In 2022 a new series of banknotes was announced. However there are delays and we believe that they will release them this year (2023). The new 1,000 Pesos banknote will feature him on the obverse side. While the reverse side shows an image of the crossing of the andes 1817.