On October 10, 2005, we were looking through a particular issue of "The Mooremack News" which was sent to us by Vinnie Fiorenza who used to work in Mooremack's Financial Department in New York City.  An article was about a statue in Montevideo, Minnesota.

Below are articles from three issues of "The Mooremack News" about a statue of General José Artigas (who was known as the George Washington of Uruguay) being delivered by Mooremack and then traveling to a small town in Montevideo, Minnesota.  Having thought about it for a total of one and a half minutes, we called the Chamber of Commerce of Montevideo, Minnesota, and spoke to Lori.  After apologizing for the unusual call (just like most of our calls about Mooremack), Lori expressed a strong interest in seeing the articles.  Therefore, we e-mailed her the articles, including one about Montevideo, Uruguay, along with their respective covers of "The Mooremack News." 

The Chamber of Commerce of Montevideo now has the information for its archives.  And as another "neighborly" joint effort, Lori is having a reporter take photos of the Statue of General José Artigas as it stands today.  We look forward to uploading the photos shortly. 

(The statue in Montevideo, Minnesota, is the second one to have been delivered by a Mooremack cargo liner.  A year before, in 1948, Mormacland delivered the first statue of General Artigas.  The statue is still standing today at the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 18th Street in Washington, D.C., and we thank Robert Nabors for letting us upload his photos of the statues that were erected in our nation's capital and in the country of Uruguay.) 

To keep Moore-McCormack's history alive, Mooremackites and Mooremackbuffs continue to sail with its good neighbor policy.


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Gift to Montevideo

(from "The Mooremack News," October 1948)

Materials from twenty-three States and Alaska and Hawaii as well, were shipped aboard the Argentina to Mayor German Barbato of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, to be exhibited in his city.

The shipment, the gift of Mayor H. A. Larson, of Montevideo, Minnesota, was made in response to the gesture of the Uruguayan mayor who sent a plaque and Uruguayan seedlings to the Minnesota city during a recent fiesta.

Mayor Larson had planned originally to send Minnesota products only, but decided to expand his program to the end that the people of the Uruguayan capital city might become better acquainted with the U. S. A.Gift from Montevideo to Montevideo

The shipment weighed 495 pounds and included the following: — rice, shelled and on the stock, from Louisiana; Michigan cherries, Alaska salmon and crab meat, North Dakota flour, Rhode Island woolen samples, Colorado stone, South Carolina clothing, West Virginia pottery, Oregon pine and myrtle wood, Florida fruit juice, Alabama peanut butter and peanut oil, Tennessee honey, Minnesota flour, Arizona stone and minerals, Hawaiian pineapple, Washington plyboard, and maps and booklets from New York, Maryland, New Jersey, South Dakota, Missouri, Idaho and Iowa and the flag of the State of Utah.

The fiesta in Montevideo, Minnesota, has been held annually for the last three years.  The men of the city let their sideburns grow, and during festival days wear gaucho hats and clothes and the women also wear apparel of the type associated with Latin America. Parades are held, a queen is crowned, an international broadcast to Montevideo, Uruguay, is staged, and parties and barbecues are held.

When Mayor Larson’s gift arrived in Montevideo aboard the Argentina, William Mohan, manager of our Montevideo office, gave a luncheon aboard the ship for Mayor Barbato and his associates.  After the luncheon, Captain Thomas Simmons, master of the Argentina, presented the gift to Mayor Barbato.

Later, the contents of the box were put on display in the window of General Electric on Montevideo’s most important street, Avenida 18 Julio,


Goodwill Emissary

(from "The Mooremack News," April 1949)

Loaded aboard the Moore-McCormack liner Mormacmar, at the port of Montevideo, Uruguay, early this month, was a ton-and-a-half bronze statue of General José Artigas, hero of the Uruguayan fight for independence, en route as a gift from the Hon. German Barbato, Mayor of Montevideo, Uruguay, to Mayor George Stamson, Mayor of Montevideo, Minnesota, U. S. A.  This was no ordinary piece of cargo; indeed, a quite unusual story of inter-American relations is involved.  

For the last few years the citizens of the Minnesota city of Montevideo have made the grand gesture to their "mother city" by setting aside three days each summer for fiesta.  During those days the men dress in gay costumes in line with our North American idea of Latin American attire, and the women appear in Spanish headdress and billowing, colorful gowns, redolent of old Spain.

The Minnesotans stage a series of celebrations during this period, including parades and parties and dances, a barbecue and, on the final day, an international broadcast. The Governor of Minnesota and the then Senator Ball were among the political greats who went out last summer Statue of General Jose Artigas being loaded onto Mormacmar in Montevideo, Uruguayto the 6,000 population community to participate in the affair.  Records of the addresses delivered were cut and sent down to Uruguay; a group of small Uruguayan trees which were sent up from South America were formally accepted and planted in a Minnesota park.  Later, the Minnesota people sent down a variety of gifts to Uruguay.

This year an organization of Uruguayan patriots, anxious to foster the inter-American sentiment which thrives so lustily in Minnesota, is sending the statue of the great Uruguayan leader, and at a recent meeting of the city council in the Minnesota city a suitable Spot was selected for the statue.  The statue stands 4 feet 6 inches high [this article went to press before the statue arrived, so the writer may not have known the correct height of the statue which is 11 feet] and is a copy of one that stands in the town of San José, Uruguay, the site of the first victory of the forces under Artigas over the Spanish, in 1811.  It represents Artigas standing, hat in hand.  An identical copy was shipped a year ago aboard the Moore-McCormack liner Mormacland to be set up in Washington, D. C.  Moore-McCormack Lines is providing transportation for the statue free of charge, as we did for the statue that arrived a year ago.

This year, when the fiesta is held, the big event will be the formal dedication of the statue.  And if the enthusiastic men of Minnesota keep up with their record of achievement in the fiestas of past years, this one is certain to be an event of note.

The Mormacmar is scheduled to arrive in New York about April 30.  The statue will be unloaded here and shipped to Minnesota.  

Strangely enough, the name Montevideo in Uruguay is not pronounced like that of her "sister" city in Minnesota.  In the former the accent is on the fourth syllable, in the latter it is on the third.


Sister Republic

(from "The Mooremack News," July 1949)

We dedicate this issue of the Mooremack News to one of the more attractive of our sister republics to the South - Uruguay.  Some of our editors felt it would have been more accurate if we had dedicated it to one city of that republic, her capital and largest community, Montevideo, because an incident involving that city prompted us to make a dedication. We refer, of course, to the fiesta which is scheduled for July 8, 9, 10, at Montevideo, Minnesota, an annual gesture of respect and goodwill made by that community to the Uruguayan capital. 

In many respects it can be considered that anything involving the republic of Uruguay automatically involves the city of Montevideo, for probably nowhere else in the world does a single city so completely dominate the country as a whole.  One third of the population of Uruguay lives in Montevideo.  It is the home of the national government; the nation's transportation system fans out from her terminals; and the nation's exports move across her piers.  There really is no "second" city in Uruguay, so dominantly does Montevideo stand.

This gesture of fiesta on the part of the Minnesota community is one of the really constructive features of the program of inter-American good will which has marked hemispheric relationship the last decade.  That a community in the heart of our Middle West, eight thousand miles from Uruguay, should take time off from its daily round to honor a city so far away would seem to belie the often repeated charge that inland United States has no Statue of General Jose Artigas arriving on Mormacmarappreciation of the lands beyond our shores. 

Only good can come of this sort of affair.  The thousands of newspaper readers who learn of the fiesta (and here it should be mentioned that the Middle West press treats this affair very generously with news space) will become Uruguay-conscious more thoroughly than from all the school classes they have ever attended.  The Minnesota State officials who participate in the fiesta also will become better acquainted with the Latin American republic.  This latter point is not lightly made; actually at last year's fiesta the governor of Minnesota and one of its United States Senators participated actively in the program and representatives of the Pan American Union and the State Department as well as of the republic of Uruguay went out to help, along with representatives of Moore-McCormack.

So, in dedicating this issue of the Mooremack News to Uruguay and in trying to be all-embracing, the editors wish to extend to the Montevideo (with accent on the fourth syllable) south of the border and to the Montevideo (with accent on the third syllable) north of the border, our congratulations for a joint effort in neighborliness, an effort that testifies to the imagination and splendid spirit of men and women who are doing something real to make this truly a single hemisphere, in thought and in action.

It is encouraging to a steamship line, like Moore-McCormack Lines, which operates cargo and passenger vessels in regular service between both our Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the port of Montevideo, Uruguay, to know that at the very heart of our nation there is a stirring of this significant nature.

In presenting photographs of a group of the outstanding attractions of Montevideo in this issue, we hope to convey to our readers some sense of the grandeur that is Uruguay.

The photo in the background was shot by Ray Chanaud at Pier 16, Brooklyn. The giant statue of General José Artigas was unloaded as the Uruguayan Ambassador to the United States looked on, along with a group of Uruguayan United Nations people.  Depicted are Ambassador Alberto Campara and his wife: Capt. E. H. Gluck and Third Officer P. B. Sweeny of the Mormacmar  photograph.  The statue, which was carried gratis by Mooremack, will be set up in Montevideo, Minn., this Summer, at the fourth annual fiesta.



(from "The Mooremack News," July 1949)


Main Street, Montevideo, Minnesota

For its fourth successive year the City of Montevideo, Minnesota, will do honor to its Mayor George Stamson of Montevideo, MN"sister city," Montevideo, Uruguay, at a three-day fiesta, which will open July 8.  Mayor George Stamson will be the official host this year, though all of the Minnesota community and hundreds of persons from many miles round will troop into town to participate in the parades, the barbecue and other affairs, including the erection of a statue of the Uruguayan hero, General José Artigas, presented by the people of the Uruguayan capital.

We show above the City Hall of Montevideo, Minnesota, and the place that has been cleared for a pedestal for the Artigas statue.  We of Moore-McCormack have participated in this affair from its inception.  Last year we carried a shipment of gift packages sent to Uruguay from the fiesta, this year we transported the Artigas statue.  It is an occasion worthy of the interest and cooperation of everyone concerned.


Dedication of Statue of General Artigas at Montevideo, MN Fiesta

Montevideo Fiesta

(from "The Mooremack News," December 1949)

One of the most striking gestures of inter-American friendship, the more interesting because of the backgrounds of the people involved, is the annual fiesta which has been staged the last three years in the city of Montevideo, Minnesota.

There, each Summer, the people of the community pay honor to their fellow Montevideans of far-away Uruguay, on South America’s east coast, with a three-day celebration that sets the populace in the mood of the real Latin America, transforming a mid-western community into something entirely different.

This year the feature of the fiesta was the unveiling of a giant statue of the Uruguayan national hero, José Artigas, on the main street of the Minnesota city. This statue arrived in New York aboard the Moore-McCormack liner Mormacmar at Pier 16, Brooklyn, carried gratis.

William A. Mohan, who was visiting in the United States with his wife and children, after several years in Uruguay as manager of the Moore-McCormack interests, was among the guests present at the unveiling, as was also John F. Downing, of the Moore-McCormack staff who had attended the first of the fiestas.

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Artigas Statue in Washington

 (Photo courtesy of Robert and Tahleen Nabors)


Statue of General José Gervasio Artigas in Washington, D.C.  The statue was delivered to the United States by Mooremack's Mormacland in 1948, and even though it was delivered a year earlier than the one in Minnesota, it was erected much later on June 19, 1950. 

Its architect was Juan M. Blanes, the same one who sculpted the statue in Minnesota.  The idea of donating the bronze statue to the United States came from an officer in the Uruguayan Army, Edgardo Ubaldo Genta in 1940.


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General Artigas statue in San Jose

(Photos courtesy of Robert and Tahleen Nabors.)

General Artigas statue in San Jose

The original statue of General José Gervasio Artigas (1764-1850) is in the town of San José de Mayo, Uruguay.  The statue was made by Italian sculptor Dante Costa. 

General Artigas, known as the father of Uruguay, admired the United States and was said to carry a copy of the United States Constitution with him.  He wanted the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata government to be based on the same federalist ideas as the United States of America.


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