Sebastián Kindelán y O'Regan
|Sebastián Kindelán y Oregón|
|6th governor of Spanish East Florida|
11 June, 1812 – 3 June, 1815
|Preceded by||Juan José de Estrada|
|Succeeded by||Juan José de Estrada|
|4th colonial governor of Second Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo (1809–1821)|
|Preceded by||Carlos de Urrutia y Matos|
|Succeeded by||Pascual Real|
|71st Governor (Provisional) of Cuba|
|Preceded by||Nicolás de Mahy y Romo|
|Succeeded by||Francisco Dionisio Vives|
|Died||May 4, 1826
Santiago de Cuba
|Profession||Military governor, political administrator|
Sebastian Kindelán y O’Regan, also called Sebastián de Kindelán y Oregón, (1757–1826) was a colonel in the Spanish Army who served as governor of East Florida (11 June, 1812 – 3 June, 1815) and of Santo Domingo during the Second Spanish period (1818–1821), and as provisional governor of Cuba (1822–1823).
Sebastián Kindelán was born December 30, 1757 in Ceuta, Spain. He was the son of Vicente Kindelán Luttrell of Luttrellstown and María Francisca O’Regan. His father was an Irishman who settled in Spain and joined the infantry of the Royal Spanish Army, attaining the positions of Brigadier and military governor of Zamora. His mother came from Barcelona but she probably was of Irish descent. He had a brother, Juan de Kindelán y O’Regan, and a sister, María de la Concepcion Kindelán y O’Regan. Kindelán joined the Spanish Army as a cadet on November 18, 1768. During this time he was a soldier of the infantry regiment of Santiago de Cuba.
He assumed the governorship of Santiago de Cuba and all the eastern territory of Cuba on March 28, 1799 during a politically sensitive period of the island's history. In a missive dated February 19, 1804, some of its influential citizens reported to the Spanish Crown the dangerous situation of the island, asserting that Governor Kindelán had encouraged white refugees from the uprisings in Saint-Domingue to settle in Cuba after the French withdrew from the western portion of Hispaniola. They complained that some twenty thousand or more French immigrants had already acquired land in Cuba, and were importing black slaves to work their plantations. The letter accused the governor of irreligion and dishonesty, and condemned him for having licentious habits and setting a bad example for the people. Kindelán rebutted the denunciations vigorously, and defended the French settlers, saying they were peaceful, and had no intention of inciting a revolution such as had occurred in Santo Domingo (Saint-Domingue).
In a letter to the authorities in Spain dated May 17, 1804, Kindelán made note of recent attacks on the British colonies by privateers based in Cuba. He later requested a reassignment, and was transferred to East Florida on September 22, 1811. He was promoted to Brigadier of Infantry in December of that year. In 11 Jun 1812, Kindelán was officially named Royal Governor of Spanish East Florida, being named by the Cádiz Regency. In 1812 rebel groups of Georgians tried to seize Florida, wanting it to be part of the United States. The Seminoles and their black tribal members, some of them enslaved, came to the aid of Spain.
Governor Kindelán sent certain leaders of his black militiamen to meet with the Seminole chiefs King Payne and his successor Bowlegs, who allowed some of their warriors to fight alongside the Spanish as a gesture of goodwill. Kindelán expressed his satisfaction when Bowlegs took two hundred of his men to join the Spanish at the St. Johns River, but complained that every time the Seminoles captured a slave, a horse or anything else of value, they left the field to try to secure the catch in their villages, so their utility as fighters was only temporary. Like his predecessors, Gov. Kindelán used black translators, including the free mulatto militiaman, Benjamin Wiggins, and the slave Tony Doctor (Antonio Proctor), whom he described as "known to be the best interpreter of Indian languages in the province", to promote a Spanish, Black, and Indian alliance.
In July 1812, Antonio Proctor traveled to the Seminole town of Alachua to meet with the chief King Payne, who called upon several hundred of his warriors to assist the Spanish. Kindelán left the position of Governor of East Florida in 3 June 1815, when he was appointed Attaché to the General Staff of Cuba, but on August 12 that same year he was given the rank of Lieutenant in Havana. Three years later, in 1818, he was elected acting governor of the Second Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo. As governor, he was faced with the problem of the Haitians who wanted to take over that part of the island of Hispaniola. On September 12, 1819, Kindelán was awarded the Grand Cross of San Fernando, third class, for his efforts in Florida in 1813 to stop the American attacks in the colony; he was also a Knight of the Order of Santiago.
Kindelán was replaced by Brigadier Pascual Real as colonial governor of Santo Domingo in 1821, prior to the short-lived independence of that colony won by José Núñez de Cáceres and his group. In 1822, as Cabo Subalterno, he was appointed Provisional Captain-General (or Governor) of Cuba to replace former Gov. Nicolás Mahy y Romo. Like his predecessor, Kindelán strove to unite the military and civil power in the office of the Captain-General; this effort aroused antagonism between the Spanish troops and the local militia. Between 1824 and 1826 he served as Field marshal (Mariscal de Campo) of the royal army, and died in Santiago de Cuba on May 4, 1826, with that rank.
Kindelán married Ana Manuela Mozo de la Torre Garvey in the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba on December 11, 1801. The couple had six children: Juan (born in Santiago de Cuba on September 8, 1806), Bárbara, Vicente (1808–1877), Fernando (1808–1889), María (1810–1879) and Mariana (1810–1880).
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- Frank Marotti (5 April 2012). The Cana Sanctuary: History, Diplomacy, and Black Catholic Marriage in Antebellum St. Augustine, Florida. University of Alabama Press. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-0-8173-1747-8. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
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- Micheline Kerney Walsh (1978). Spanish Knights of Irish Origin: Documents from Continental Archives. Stationery Office for the Irish Manuscripts Commission. pp. x, 37. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
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