García Rodríguez, Federico

Federico Garcia Rodriguez_ul

Father of Federico García Lorca. He was a landowner in the Vega of Granada, an enterprising person who knew how to get rich when the right circumstances arose, but who was always willing to help anyone who needed it, more or less close relatives, workers or neighbors of his town.

Enrique, the father of Federico García Rodríguez (and grandfather, therefore, of the poet), followed liberal beliefs and also held the position of secretary of the Town Hall. The seven siblings were fond of music (one of them was a professional bandura player) and one of them, Baldomero, was also fond of poetry. Their mother, Isabel Rodríguez Mazuecos, was a liberal and anticlerical, a very sociable and communicative person, loved by the whole family. The couple shared a passion for literature.

Federico García Rodríguez was fundamental in García Lorca’s literary career: throughout his life he supported and financed his projects. He was the one who paid for the edition of the poet’s first two books.

In 1880, Federico García Rodríguez married Matilde Palacios, from a wealthy family. He worked for his father-in-law and held the position of secretary of the City Council and provisionally that of municipal judge. In 1894, at the age of 34, he was widowed, without children, and inherited the family home and a considerable amount of money. García Rodríguez decided to invest this money in land outside the Soto de Roma, among them Daimuz, at the meeting point of the Genil and Cubillas rivers, which would become the basis of his fortune. He transformed this worthless land into irrigated land, sold it and made a fortune.

In 1897, at the age of 37, he married Vicenta Lorca, with whom he had five children. In 1898, his first son, Federico, was born, followed by Luis, who died at the age of two. He was followed by Francisco (1902), Concha (1903) and Isabel (1909). In 1906, the family moved to Asquerosa (Disgusting) (now Valderrubio) where there is still a street that bears his name and recalls the donation he made of houses to rent. His enmity with the Roldan family due to the inheritance of his first wife and of land disputes is weel known.

The entire García Lorca family in the house on the Acera del Darro. Isabel had not yet been born.
The García Lorca family in the house on the Acera del Darro. Isabel had not yet been born / Photo: FGL Foundation

When his older children reached high school age he moved the family home to Granada, to the Acera del Darro in 1909, and to the Acera del Casino in 1917. In 1933, the Lorca family moved to Madrid and only kept the Huerta de san Vicente farmhouse as a summer home in Granada.

Federico García Rodríguez was fundamental in the literary career of García Lorca: throughout his life he supported and financed his projects. It was he who paid for the publication of the poet’s first two books, Impressions and Landscapes (1918) and Book of Poems (1921). Federico García Lorca had, in return, to enroll in Philosophy and Arts and in Law to please his father and finish a degree. It allowed him to study at the Residencia de Estudiantes (Students’ Resdience) in Madrid and in 1929 to travel to New York. Federico did not begin to make money until his successes in Argentina (1933).

In the summer of 1936, he was in the Huerta de San Vicente where they used to celebrate Federico’s saint’s day, July 18th. There they were caught by the military uprising. They lived a violent episode in the Huerta when some armed men came looking for their landlord asking him for information about his brothers, alleged murderers of a neighbor of Asquerosa. The same day of Federico’s arrest in home of the Rosales family was executed in the cemetery his son-in-law, Manuel Fernández-Montesinos. In the summer of 1940, at the Marqués de Comillas, he embarked with his family to New York to live in exile. “I never want to see this fucking country again in my life,” was the phrase his grandchildren remember hearing him say on the deck of the ship.

He died in New York, in 1945, and there his remains rest.



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