Interesting link between Máximo Gómez and the French Apothecary in Matanzas.
Prescriptions prescribed by Doctor Alejandro Cuervo to Generalissimo Máximo Gómez, elaborated in Ernesto Triolet’s French Apothecary, appear in the prescription books kept by the current Pharmaceutical Museum of Matanzas.
Marcia Brito, director of the National Monument institution, explained that the information is a novelty for the Museum’s workers and they set out on a meticulous investigation to gather information on the matter.
According to historian Mireya Cabrera Galán, the Generalissimo had been expected in the so-called Athens of Cuba since the beginning of February. Close to his visit, it was reported in the press that he had fallen ill on his journey. The flu that afflicted him did not prevent him from taking part in the festivities organised in Cárdenas and other towns such as Jovellanos. Every day the newspapers reported on his health, «the persistent cold that was bothering him has almost disappeared», as one of the journalists of La Lucha said shortly before his arrival in Matanzas.
He arrived in the city of rivers and bridges at 4:30 in the afternoon of February 20th 1899, the Tirry road had been specially decorated, as had the Railway Station where triumphal arches were erected, and thousands of Matanzas residents came to welcome him amidst cheers and flags, according to Cabrera Galán.
A total of eight prescriptions were registered in the name of the patriot on February 21st 1899 in the copy books of the Botica Francesa, the day after he and Juan Gualberto Gómez were honoured at the Liceo (high school) next to the current Parque de la Libertad, she argued.
The researcher pointed out that the city then had almost a dozen pharmacies, most of them of great prestige, but it was the Botica Francesa that was recommended to provide such a high level of service, as well as having an enormous influence due to the efficiency of its products. Its owner, Doctor Triolet and his family were fervent supporters of independence.
In the documentary collection Libros de Asentamiento de Recetas, inscribed in the Cuban National Register of the Memory of the World Programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), there are important names in the history of Cuba. For example, there are formulas dedicated to Miguel Failde, the creator of the pioneer danzón, and prescriptions of Carlos Juan Finlay, the discoverer of the vector that transmitted yellow fever.
We now have one more reason to take care of the books, concluded director Marcia.
Written by Yenlys Lemus.