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Captain Alejandro Malaspina, Marina real, circa 1795

Caption: Captain Alejandro Malaspina, Marina real, circa 1795

This 1795 portrait shows Alejandro Malaspina (1754-1810) wearing the dress uniform of a captain in the Marina real (or Spanish navy). Malaspina was a noted scientist, and commanded the Spanish 1789-1795 expedition that circled the globe. Malaspina's ships visited Nootka on the British Columbia coast in August of 1791. Court intrigue in the corrupt Spanish court led to Malaspina's arrest for treason in 1796, and the explorer's career ended prematurely. (Museo Naval, Madrid)