In 1850s

1850s: New wave of Spanish immigrants, especially younger men, compete with white middle-class Cubans in the professions and the lower ranks of commerce and civil service.

Jose Marti

Jose Marti, one of the greatest figures of the Americas Jose Marti was an emotionally-torn patriot fighting for Cuba’s independence.  He suffered the excruciating labors of working in the quarries as a child, and later, as a youth, studied law in Madrid and Saragosa, Spain.  He never lost sight of …

Antonia Makes a Novena to the Virgin

Antonia married Victor Ribas and gave birth to a succession of girls.  She loved her daughters, but resented the fact that while his former mistress gave him two boys, she could only manage to produce females. She decided to do a novena to Our Lady of Charity, Cuba’s Patron Saint, …

The Maine’s Demise Spells War

They wandered to the port looking out over the bay. Many boats were docked: the white-hulled Maine, the Commercial Steamer of Washington, and the Spanish boats, the warship Alfonso XII and Legazpi bobbing in the water. Pedro had arranged for a late supper at an outdoor café near the harbor. …

Mariana and Edouard Fall in Love

Don Edouard D’Estrade, in his early twenties, was from a family of French farmers, refugees from the French Revolution. A dozen years after finding safe haven on Hispaniola, in the midst of the Haitian upheaval, Edward saw his parents slaughtered. He was able to flee, with a cadre of slaves …

Alejandrina’s Story

Her father was a refugee, an immigrant, twice. When Thomas Jefferson bought Louisiana from Napoleon in 1803, many French and Spanish families left the suddenly U.S. territory, to resettle in Cuba.  They were joined by thousands of poor Spanish settlers fleeing the eastern end of Hispaniola.  Within the year, French …

Rita Luisa gets to Panama

Rita Luisa did not want to leave Cuba and missed her father terribly. Her mother and she stayed at the home of friends in Panama City, pleasant enough for an interim visit. But the time came for Consuelo, her mother, to go to Santiago de Veraguas to start teaching at …