Carlos Manuel de Céspedes

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This article is about the Cuban revolutionary. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_0

For his son, see Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_1

For the municipality, see Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Cuba. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_2

Carlos Manuel de Céspedes del Castillo (April 18, 1819, Bayamo, Spanish Cuba – February 27, 1874, San Lorenzo, Spanish Cuba) was a Cuban revolutionary hero. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_3

Cespedes, who was a plantation owner in Cuba, freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868 which started the Ten Years' War (1868–78), which ultimately led to Cuban independence. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_4

Because of his actions during the Independence War, he is known in Cuba as the "Father of the Fatherland". Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_5

Ten Years' War Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_section_0

Céspedes was a landowner and lawyer in eastern Cuba, near Bayamo, who purchased La Demajagua, an estate with a sugar plantation, in 1844 after returning from Spain. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_6

On October 10, 1868, he made the Grito de Yara (Cry of Yara), declaring Cuban independence, which began the Ten Years' War. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_7

That morning, after sounding the slave bell, which indicated to his slaves it was time for work, they stood before him waiting for orders, and Céspedes announced that they were all free men and were invited to join him and his fellow conspirators in war against the Spanish government of Cuba. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_8

He is called Padre de la Patria (Father of the Country). Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_9

In April 1869, he was chosen as President of the Republic of Cuba in Arms. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_10

The Ten Years' War was the first serious attempt to achieve independence from Spain and to free all slaves. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_11

The war was fought between two groups. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_12

In eastern Cuba the tobacco planters and farmers, joined by mulattos and some slaves, fought against western Cuba, with its sugarcane plantations, which required many slaves, and the forces of the Spanish governor-general. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_13

Hugh Thomas summarized that the war was a conflict between criollos (creoles, born in Cuba) and peninsulares (recent immigrants from Spain). Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_14

The Spanish forces and the peninsulares, backed by rich Spanish merchants, were at first on the defensive, but in the longer run, their greater resources held. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_15

Céspedes was deposed in 1873 in a leadership coup. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_16

Spanish troops killed him in February 1874 in a mountain refuge, as the new Cuban government would not let him go into exile and denied him an escort. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_17

The war ended in 1878 with the Pact of Zanjón, which made concessions: liberation of all slaves and Chinese who had fought with the rebels and no action for political offenses but no freedom for all slaves and no independence. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_18

The Grito de Yara had not achieved enough, but it had lit a long-burning fuse. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_19

Lessons learned in it would be put to good use during the Cuban War of Independence. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_20

Personal life Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_section_1

Born in 1819 in Bayamo into a family dedicated to the production of sugar, he studied at the University of Havana, where he graduated in 1840. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_21

In Spain, the country to which he moved with the intention of pursuing his law studies, he frequented the nearby circles to Freemasonry and participated in revolutionary and anti-government activities, being arrested and forced into exile in France. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_22

After returning to Cuba, and convinced of the need to oppose militarily the metropolis as the only way to achieve the independence of the island, he came into contact with other opponents of the colonial regime, among them Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, Bartolomé Masó and Pedro Figueredo. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_23

Most of the opposition, like Cespedes himself, came from sugar families settled on the eastern end of the island, traditionally poorer and less developed. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_24

Céspedes was married twice and had two lovers who also bore him children. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_25

The first marriage in 1839 to Maria del Carmen de Cespedes y del Castilo (his first cousin) and they had Maria del Carmen, Oscar, and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes y Cespedes. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_26

His first wife died in 1867 of tuberculosis and in 1869 he marries for the second time to Ana Maria de Quesada y Loinaz (1843–1910) and they had 3 children, Oscar, and twins Gloria (1871–?) Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_27

and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada (1871–1939), who was briefly President of Cuba after Gerardo Machado was deposed in 1933. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_28

Between his two marriages its believed he had carried on an affair during or shortly afterwards with Candelaria "Cambula" Acosta y Fontaigne (b. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_29

1851) then the 17yr old daughter of the foreman of his plantation Juan Acosta and wife Concepción Fontaine y Segrera. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_30

He had tasked Cambula with sewing the first flag that he designed for Cuba. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_31

With Cambula he had a daughter, Carmen de Cespedes y Acosta (b. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_32

1869). Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_33

Fearing for their safety he moved a then-pregnant Cambula and daughter to Jamaica. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_34

In 1872 their son Manuel de Cespedes Y Acosta was born in Kingston. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_35

In San Lorenzo, before he died, Carlos Manuel met a widow, Francisca (Panchita) Rodriguez. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_36

Carlos Manuel and Panchita became lovers and produced a son, Manuel Francisco de Cespedes y Rodriguez. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_37

He named Oscar, his fifth son, after his late second child Oscar, who was executed by a Spanish firing squad. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_38

The Spanish authorities wanted to exchange Oscar's life for Céspedes' resignation as President of the Republic of Cuba at Arms (not to be confused with his son Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Y Quintana who was in 1933 named President of Cuba after President Machado fled the country). Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_39

He famously answered that Oscar was not his only son, because every Cuban who had died for the revolution he started, was also his son. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_40

He had been, before the conflict, something of a musician, and he was part-composer of a romantic song called La Bayamesa. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_41

In addition, he supported the work of his distant relative Úrsula Céspedes, even writing the prologue for one of her works. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_42

His portrait was on the 10 pesos bills in Cuba until 1960 when it was moved to the 100 pesos bill. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_43

A municipality in Camagüey Province, Carlos M. de Cespedes was named after him. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes_sentence_44


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos Manuel de Céspedes.