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One day before he announced the creation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, Martí signed this historic, Spanish-language autograph letter arranging tuition payments for the daughters of a friend and ideological rival, Miguel Figueroa.
Historic ALS:
"José Martí", 1 page, 7½x10¼. [New York], 1892 February 13. In Spanish, translated. In full: "Señora [Mother] Zulueta. My Dear Madam: I had wanted to go myself to put in the hands of Madam Treasurer the tuition payments for the Figueroa girls, and to discharge in person the errand with which their father entrusted me. But I have not been able to recover yet from my illness, so I am mailing the checks to Madam Treasurer, and if I am on my feet by Monday - and my health is not compromised by my attendance at a public meeting tomorrow - I hope to have the pleasure of personally greeting you and the Figueroa girls, to whom I beg you to give the enclosed letter." On the eve of his announcing the organization of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, formed to gain Cuba's independence from Spain, Martí helps his friend and sometime ideological opponent, MIGUEL FIGUEROA (1851-1892). Figueroa was a renowned Cuban orator and deputy in the Spanish Parliament and was an advocate of home rule for Cuba. MARTÍ (1853-1895) wanted absolute independence for Cuba. However, Martí respected Figueroa because the latter had introduced a bill in the Spanish Parliament to abolish slavery in Cuba. In this letter, Martí writes to the Treasurer of Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart, a convent school in New York that Figueroa's daughters attended. Figueroa had obviously asked Martí, who was in New York, to look after his daughters. Just months after this letter, Figueroa died of consumption. The "public meeting, tomorrow" referenced by Martí, was the historic one on February 14, 1892, when he announced the formation of the party under which in 1895, Martí would initiate revolution in Cuba, leading to the Spanish-American War and Cuba's independence in 1902. According to Martí scholars, this letter is most unique in that it is the only known letter he wrote to a religious figure (Mother Zulueta). Ironically, she was related to Manuel Zulueta, Cuba's largest slaveholder and exporter of slaves. It was the abolition of slavery in Cuba that bonded Martí to Miguel Figueroa. Fragile, soiled, browned and worn. 12 holes and cracks affect 8 words of text. Paper remnants on verso. Vertical fold just touches the first letter of signature, pinhead-size hole touches "í" in last name. Professionally encapsulated for strength and protection.

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Born: January 28, 1853 in Havana, Spanish Cuba
Died: May 19, 1895 in Dos RĂ­os, Spanish Cuba

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