The Genesis of Cubana Linda (Beautiful Cuban Woman).

A slave 1791 revolt in Sainte Domingue, (later given the Taino name of Haiti), motivated 33,000 entrepreneurial French to seek refuge in Cuba, about 60 miles away. Their presence increased the agricultural revolution on the island, particularly in easternmost area of Santiago de Cuba. Alejandrina is the daughter of one …

Key West Cubanitas Are Avenged

In 1870, another incident occurred in Key West that indirectly touched the family. A famous journalist, Gonzalo Castañon, owned a pro-Spanish newspaper in Havana, La Voz de Cuba. Castañon penned vile editorials on Cuban women and their lack of morality in Key West and suggested in his editorials that all …

Domitila’s Nemesis –General Valeriano Weyler

Her nemesis, General Valeriano Weyler, like his hero William Tecumseh Sherman, wanted to burn down the Cuba that fought the Spanish forces, leaving no blade of grass or livestock available to the guerilla army, and he forbade the transport of food from one town to another. Instead, Weyler ordered special …

Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Starts the Revolution

The American Civil War concluded on May 9th, 1865, and the O’Reilly family, totally settled in their new home, lived a few blocks away from O’Reilly’s Hardware Store. In 1868, news came about the start of an independence movement in Cuba. William’s worries about staying in Cuba were vindicated. Months …

A SPLENDID LITTLE WAR!

For those of you who know nothing about Cuban history, let me set you straight.  Cubans were fighting Spain’s control over the island since at least 1868.  The fight continued until the Spanish-American war concluded in 1898.  The Americans fought the Spaniards for three months.  The Cuban patriots, called Mambises, …

Alejandrina Finds her Erotic Self

The fight over La Mathilde Belford led William and his employer to be thrown together more and more. Alejandrina found herself increasingly attracted to this muscular foreigner, most puzzling since she had always found sex repulsive. Yet out of the blue, she noticed sensual thoughts were intruding into her mind …

The Pact of Zanjon Ends 10 Years’ War

The Pact of Zanjon ended the armed conflict of Cubans for independence from Spain, a struggle that lasted from 1868 to 1878.  On February 10, 1878, a group of negotiators representing the rebels gathered in Zanjon, a village in Camaguey Province, and signed the document offered them by the Spanish …

Life at Comecara and the Tumba Francesa

After dessert was served and the gentlemen shared port, cigars, and strong coffee, the entire group gathered on the large veranda surrounding the house, overlooking the coffee-terraced drying floors. Then they moved into the great salon where they were going to view a performance by the slaves. Candles flickered all …

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.