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FRANCISCO VICENTE AGUILERA - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - DOCUMENT 218112

 

FRANCISCO VICENTE AGUILERA
The Cuban Revolutionary pens a kind letter to a friend informing him about his plans for going to New York, the realization of a project and the neccesary immediate action of one of the revolutionaries Generals.
Autograph Letter Signed: "Aguilera" in iron gall ink. 10x8. Fully Translated in English: "C. Hilario Cismeros. Baltimore, April 14, 1874. My dear friend: I just arrived to this city where I received your letter from the 7th of the current month, having also prior received the one from the 9th. So, I'm planning on going to New York tomorrow in order to find a house and move the family and dedicate myself in body and soul to the realization of the known project. After being notified by you about Ruiz and the one hundred thousand pesos gotten in Paris by Quesada, who you well know acts fast and wants to be ahead of us, I consider necessary that Aldama also acts fast and sends me out quickly in order to avoid the pernicious influence that would occur if Quesada arrived before us. Regarding the report you say you have made, I don't want you to send it to me, because it might get lost, especially now that I am planning on going to the United States of America tomorrow morning. For that reason, I decide not to write too much on this letter and rather wait until our meeting. Me and my family send our affection to Nanita and the rest of the family. Until soon, your friend. Aguilera." Francisco Vicente Aguilera (1821-1877) was a Cuban lawyer patriot who inherited a fortune from his father, and in 1867 the richest landowner in eastern Cuba, owning livestock, sugar refineries, extensive properties and slaves. Although he never bought any slave, he used the ones that he had inherited from his father but they were not enough of them to plant and harvest the sugarcane and work the farms, so Aguilera had to hire many free workers. He was Mayor of Bayamo, freemason and head of the Masonic lodge in Bayamo. Francisco Vicente Aguilera also traveled to several countries such as England, The United States of America, France and Italy. While traveling, he met governments with Chiefs of State who were nor monarchs, leading him to embrace the progressive ideas to which he was exposed. Aguilera turned into an idealist who was always trying to improve the conditions of his countrymen and at the age of 30 he began to conspire against Spanish colonial rule and joined a movement started by proto-independence patriot Joaquin Agüero in Camagüey, Cuba. Since then, in alliance with other wealthy landowners of the region, he openly spoke out against colonial Spanish rule. He was the leader of an anti-Spanish outbreak in Bayamo in 1867 and was elected as leader of a General Committee designated to carry out plans for the insurrectionists. The other two members of this committee were Francisco Maceo and Pedro "Perucho" Figueredo, lather author of the Cuban National Anthem. Aguilera had an active participation in the creation of conspiratorial groups in different regions of Cuba, including the planning of preliminary reunions that culminated in the declaration of independence on October 10, 1868 at Yara, led by planter and lawyer Carlos Manuel de Cespedes. Aguilera did not hesitate to use his money in the revolution, and at one of the conspiracy meetings he famously announced that he was willing and ready to sell all his private property and market value to raise funds for arming the new Cuban Army of Independence. On the next day, he published an ad on Bayamo's main newspaper offering all his properties, livestock and buildings, which included 35,000 head of cattle and 4,000 horses, for sale. Aguilera had many positions in the Cuban Army, including "Major General", "Minister of War", "Vice President of the Republic" and "Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern District". When commanding the army, he was distinguished for courage and ability, taking part in person in many engagements and skirmishes. Upon the outbreak of war in 1868, Aguilera decided to free all 500 of his slaves, an illegal action at that time under the Spanish law, and also joined ranks with a lot of them to retake the city of Bayamo from the Spanish. Many of his former slaves became soldiers and officers in the War of Independence, but it is uncertain whether or not his onetime slaves decided to enroll in the military or if their freedom was contingent upon Cuba winning the war. In 1871 Aguilera went to New York City in order to raise funds for the war effort and died in that city in 1877. The freed Cuban Republic honored him by printing his image on the Cuban $100 peso bill that circulated prior to the 1959 communist revolution. Multiple mailing folds. Toned and lightly soiled. Worn at folds. Soiled finger print marks (not effecting signature). Otherwise, Fine condition.


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FRANCISCO VICENTE AGUILERA  


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FRANCISCO VICENTE AGUILERA
Born: June 23, 1821 in Bayamo, Cuba
Died: February 22, 1877 in New York City, New York





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