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The Founding Father of Cuba who was the first President of the Republic of Cuba in Arms pens an important letter granting Francisco Cisneros and companion the right to travel overseas via any Cuban port assuring they will offer all the help needed and requesting to be requited.
Manuscript Document Signed: "CM de Cespedes" in iron gall ink. 10½x8¼. Fully Translated in English: "Document no. 27. C. Carlos Manuel de Cespedes. President of the Republic of Cuba. I concede free and sure passport to C. Francisco Javier Cisneros and to the individuals that accompany him to be able to travel overseas from any port of the nation in an important commission of the service". For that, the civil and military authorities and other particular individuals of the same one, to whom you occur, will give you all the help you need, begging the states that are our friends to do the same. Dated in Sabanilla of Pilanicu on June 10, 1869. CM de Cespedes." Carlos Manuel Perfecto del Carmen de Cespedes y Lopez del Castillo (1819-1874), was a landowner and lawyer in eastern Cuba, near Bayamo. In 1843 he participated in the general insurrection of General Juan Prim, reason for which he was exiled to France. Later, he traveled to England, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Germany and Italy and could learn various languages such as english, french and italian. In addition, he knew latin and greek since he was a little boy. In 1844 after returning from Spain, where he acquired his doctor's degree, he purchase "La Demajagua", an estate with a sugar plantation and on that same year he opened a lawyer office and wrote poems and a pamphlet in which he makes a defense of Cuba. Carlos Manuel secretly started his plans for the Cuban independence. Besides that, De Cespedes not only translated into Spanish some chants of the "Eneida" that never published but also wrote the comedy "Las dos Dianas". The music of the first known Cuban love song "La Bayamesa" was composed by Carlos Manuel himself and Francisco Castillo Moreno. That song was used by the Cuban patriots, who modified its lyrics and turned it into a combative song against Spain. In 1852 Carlos Manuel participated in the rebellion of Las Pozas and was sent to jail due to his political attitude against Spain and had his uncle Lucas del Castillo and poet Jose Fornaris y Cespedes as cellmates. He returned to prison two more times, and in the course of all that time he continued writing poems and doing translations. All this happened during the first and second period of Cuban General Captain Gutierrez de la Concha. Carlos Manuel was a music and poetry lover who also practiced swordplay, equitation and chess, and since he conspired in the Society of Recreo and in the masonic lodge of his natal city, he was exiled twice. In 1856 he was distinguished as a prominent lawyer and business man in the city of Manzanilla, where he moved in and ten years later his literary production was abundant and varied, and on December 7, 1866 he wrote the poem "La Conchita". The newly founded Masonic Lodge of Bayamo, called "Estrella Tropical No. 19" (Tropical Star no. 19) had a meeting in august and Francisco Vicente Aguilera was given the title of "Venerable Master", but in the reality, he was presiding an insurrectional committee. The next reunion took place in the house of Pedro "Perucho" Figueredo. On that occasion, Figueredo sat at the piano and composed the music for the National Anthem. The Committee of Bayano was formed and auscultated Holguin, Santiago, Camaguey and Las Villas. De Cespedes y Lopez del Castillo was the leader in the conspiracy of Manzanillo and on October 10, 1868 he made the "Grito de Yara"(Cry of Yara) declaring the independence of Cuba, which led in the Ten Year's War. That same morning, after sounding the slave bell that indicated his slaves it was time to start working, they stood before him waiting for orders but instead of that he surprisingly informed them they were free men, and also invited them to join him and his fellow conspirators in the war against the Spanish government of Cuba. The Ten Year's War was the first serious attempt to achieve independence from the Spaniards and to free all slaves. With the discrepancies of the rebel leaders, especially the ones of Camaguey, the Constitution of Guaimaro redacted by Ignacio Agramonte and Antonio Zambrana was proclaimed on April 10, 1869 and once approved by everyone, the Republic of Cuba in Arms was born, and the political differences among the leaders of Camaguey, Bayamo and Manzanillo disappeared. During the Assembly of Guaimaro, Cespedes was chosen as the First President of the Republic of Cuba in Arms and he continued battling until the slavery was abolished. Salvador Cisneros Betancourt presided the Chamber of Representatives and Manuel Quesada y Loynaz was named Chief of Army. The Chamber had faculties to destitute both, the President and the Military Chief. Carlos Manuel aspired to the total and absolute independence of Cuba but Cisneros Betancourt inclined for the north American annexation. The errant government in arms was first established in Guaimaro, but the Spaniards dislodged it soon and had to move to Berrocal, Sabanilla and Magaramba. The Chamber of Representatives objected the attitudes of Manuel de Quesada and deposed him. De Cespedes tried to have his resignation accepted instead of being destitute but they denied him so, and was sent to New York in an official mission. His son Oscar was made prisoner by the Spanish troops and the general Caballero de Rodas sent a message to Carlos Manuel saying that he would free his son if he stopped his fighting for the independence. It is legendary the response that De Cespedes gave him, he said: "Tell general Caballero de Rodas that Oscar is not my only child: I am the father of all the Cubans who have died for the Revolution". For that reason, Cubans consider him as the Father of the Nation. Carlos Manuel was deposed in 1873 in a leadership coup and the Spanish troops killed him in February 1874 in a mountain refuge, as the new Cuban would not let him go into exile and denied him an escort. The war ended in 1878 with the Pact of Zanjon, which did some concessions: liberation of all slaves and Chinese who had fought with the rebels and no action for political offenses; but did not grant freedom for slaves and no independence. The Cry of Yara had achieved something, though, not enough, but it had lit a long-burning fuse. Lessons learned there were later put to good use in the Cuban War of Independence. Extremely delicate. Pencil note (unknown hand) on front. Soiled, worn and rip. Multiple moth marks all over. Multiple mailing folds.

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Born: April 18, 1819 in Bayamo, Cuba
Died: February 27, 1874 in Sierra Maestra, Cuba

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