José Núñez de Cáceres

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José Núñez de Cáceres
President of the Republic of Spanish Haiti
In office
December 1, 1821 – February 9, 1822
Personal details
Born March 14, 1772 (1772-03-14)
Santo Domingo, Captaincy General of Santo Domingo (later the Dominican Republic)
Died September 11, 1846 (1846-09-12) (aged 74)
Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Nationality Spanish (until 1821), Dominican and Venezuelan (1821–1846)
Spouse(s) Juana de Mata Madrigal Cordero
Children Pedro, José, Francisco de Asis, Gregorio, and Maria de la Merced.
Residence Santo Domingo, Venezuela, Mexico
Profession Politician and writer

José Núñez de Cáceres y Albor (Santo Domingo, March 14, 1772 – Ciudad Victoria, September 11, 1846[1]) was a Dominican politician and writer. He is better known for being the leader of the independence movement against Spain in 1821 and the only President of the short-lived Republic of Spanish Haiti, which lasted only from December 1, 1821 to February 9, 1822. This period is also known as the Ephemeral independence because it quickly ended two months later with the Unification of Hispaniola under the Haitian government. Shortly before these events, while Spain exercised a perfunctory rule over the east side of Hispaniola, Núñez de Cáceres pioneered the use of literature as a weapon for social protest and anti-colonial politics. He was also the first Dominican and criollo[2] fabulist,[3] and one of the first criollo storytellers in Spanish America. Many of his works appeared in his own satirical newspaper, El Duende, the second newspaper created in Santo Domingo.

Early years[edit]

José Núñez de Cáceres Albor was born on March 14, 1772 (or 1779), in Santo Domingo. He was the son of 2ndLt. Francisco Núñez de Cáceres and María Albor Polanco. His mother died a few days after his birth. He was raised by his aunt María Núñez de Cáceres. Since his childhood, Núñez de Cáceres showed great love for his education but his father was a farmer and wanted his son to dedicate himself to also working the field. Núñez de Cáceres was raised in a very poor family. He had to study using the books of his classmates because he did not have all the books he needed. He earned some money helping his aunt sell the doves that an acquaintance hunted. Despite early obstacles, at age 23, in 1795, Nuñez de Cáceres got the Civil Law degree, he formed a distinguished clientele, and he became a professor at the University of Santo Tomás de Aquino.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1799, after transfer of the colony of Santo Domingo to France under the Treaty of Basel, the family moved to the Audiencia Real of Puerto Príncipe (now Camagüey), Cuba. It was in this city, where in August 1800, Núñez de Cáceres was appointed Rapporteur by Charles IV, which was not prevented from exercising their teacher profession. Núñez de Cáceres also served in tenure and advice from the government in Havana. In late 1808 after the Dominican reconquest by Spain, he returned to his homeland, where he wrote his famous song "The winners of Battle of Palo Hincado" in the action of November 7, 1808, and between the June 29, 1810 and May 7, 1813 he was appointed Lieutenant Governor, General Counsel and Government Service Judge Advocate General's Corps of the province of Santo Domingo.[1] In 1812, in an attempt to improve the feeble economy of Santo Domingo, Núñez de Cáceres ordered the issuance of paper money and adopted emergency measures.[4]

Núñez de Cáceres was involved in trouble with Lieutenant José Álvarez de Toledo, who had been appointed by the Spanish Central as Junta alternate deputy to the Cádiz Cortes. His revolutionary ideas were denounced by Núñez de Cáceres, President of the Cortes, based on two confidential letters that Álvarez de Toledo had sent to Juan Sánchez Ramírez. The Cortes decided to prosecute Alvarez de Toledo, but he was nowhere to be found. In 1812, Núñez de Caceres started shifting his views on the colonial status of the territories in Spanish America.[5]

He had constant clashes with the authorities, especially with Juan Sánchez Ramírez. At his death, Núñez de Cáceres tried to occupy a position as member of the Royal Audiencia of Quito, which was vacant, but he found great opposition in court and he did not get the job. Apparently this disappointment drove him to do revolutionary work to bring the colony under the protectorate of Bolívar's Gran Colombia. For ten years he tried to not climb to Court's in rise as creditor of their services. According to his biographer, Dr. Morilla, the failure of claimant was probably due to his enmity with Francisco Javier Caro, director of the Indies, because Núñez de Cáceres he entered in the political scene, after that a family member had passed to the island of Cuba on charges of conspiring in favor of Haiti. It seems like this disappointment, was which led him to start his early revolutionary, not to wean the colony, but for put under the protectorate of Colombia, others say it was to join federation to that republic. In 1815, while he devoted himself to politics, he returned to teaching in the old University of Santo Domingo.[1]

The struggle for independence[edit]

Flag of Spanish Haití
Declaration of independence of the Dominican People signed on December 1, 1821 led by José Núñez de Cáceres.

Núñez de Cáceres wanted independence from Spain and asked for the annexation of his country to the Gran Colombia. He had tried to wean his country from Spain by a coup in the spring of 1821, but this failed due to measures taken by Col. Sebastián Kindelán y O'Regan, and the conspirators to did not receive a response to time of Simón Bolivar. The governor, however, despite the steps taken, and denunciation of the plot, did not mind, allowing Núñez de Cáceres prosecute to captain Manuel Martinez for the crime of libel. Pascual Real, the new Spanish governor, who arrived to the colony in May of that year, not only gave credit to the whistleblowers who confirmed the veracity of the conspiracy by Núñez de Cáceres, but very soon learned the name of his followers. As Real had no troops, he devoted himself to observe the behavior of the suspects and to win the confidence of key military leaders. A haitianophile group, familiar with the plans of Núñez de Cáceres and its people, explained to Boyer the political situation that the Dominican Republic lived at this time, with the purpose of annexation the that former colony. On November 8, Major Andrew Amarante proclaimed the start of annexation of that Republic in Beler and seven days later he spoke in the same direction of Dajabón and Monte Cristi. He oup decided to act quickly.[5] Also the same day it announced the Constitutive Act of Independence, that rules out the general functions of the new government and secured their determination to conclude an agreement with the Gran Colombia to establish a Confederate state with her, without giving up sovereignty the country; he start the Separatist Movement on November 30, 1821 and the next month, Friday 30. December, troops of the battalion, commanded by dark, they took by assault the fortress, enclosing within its walls to the governor. At dawn the next day it was announced the establishment of the Independent State of Spanish Haiti. Immediately thereafter, they proceeded to the reading of the Dominican Declaration of Independence signed by Núñez de Cáceres, Manuel Carvajal, Juan Vicente Moscoso, Antonio Martinez Valdés, L. Juan Nepomuceno de Arredondo, Juan Ruiz, Vicente Mancebo y Manuel Lopez de Umeres.[6] He established a joint interim government, whose president was himself Núñez de Cáceres and he gave a Constitution that contains a stain of disgrace, which was unacceptable to his time. That blur was the maintenance of slavery. Núñez de Cáceres was president of the provisional government. To avoided an invasion from neighboring Haiti, Núñez de Cáceres sent to Venezuela to one of the most prominent members of his party, Antonio María Pineda, to inform Simon Bolívar, the Liberator but was absent from Caracas, and neither the vice president Francisco de Paula Santander or the commanding general of the city, General José Antonio Páez, lent him the slightest attention. [7]

Haitian occupation[edit]

Almost simultaneously with the proclamation of the Independent State of Spanish Haiti, arrived in Santo Domingo a commission of three sent by Jean-Pierre Boyer, President of Haiti. Haitian officials had to report the pronouncements of Pascual Real and observe the situation from Dajabón and Monte Cristi. Aware of political change, Colonel Fremont, Haitian head of the commission, informed Núñez de Cáceres, newly appointed chairman of the state, which he would support the new government Boyer. However, this called to Senate to inform the decision to move to the east in order to enforce the unity and indivisibility of the island. On January 11, 1822, as Núñez de Cáceres found no support he sought in Colombia, Boyer wrote to Núñez de Cáceres a letter announcing his intention to visit the eastern part together with stunning force, but not as an invader, but as a peacemaker, while warning him there would be able to avoid obstacles. When Núñez de Cáceres read that message, he realized that everything for which he had fought in vain. The majority among the Dominican social and military elite preferred to ally with Haiti, and thus he had no other choice but to answer that military command, and the City had agreed to be placed under the protection of Haitian law.[5] Núñez de Cáceres himself, seven weeks later, on Saturday January 19, lowered the Colombian flag and replaced it with the Haitian flag, and on Saturday February 9, 1822, he presented to President Boyer the keys to the city of Santo Domingo.[7] However, in August, Cáceres was still in Santo Domingo, making clandestine efforts to obtain support from the authorities of Gran Colombia. Boyer learned of his activities and demanded the exile José Núñez de Cáceres arguing that his presence was an inconvenience on the island and that if it was absent voluntarily, embarked by force.[1]

Later years[edit]

In late 1822, Núñez de Cáceres lived with his family in Maracaibo, Venezuela. In 1824, he was in Caracas, putting the printing trade. Later on, after of his participation in some newspapers of country, exploded of the antibolivarian movement of La Cosiata, to which he actively joined. On May 5, 1826, when the Municipality of Caracas decided to give full powers to General José Antonio Páez and join the revolution started in Valencia, José Núñez de Cáceres was chosen, together with Pedro Pablo Diaz, to bring the news to Páez. On May 14, Núñez de Cáceres was beside him when in Valencia he reaffirmed his disobedience to Bogotá government. Subsequently, Páez appointed to Núñez as private secretary and adviser, a position he held until early January 1827. With this office he forced Bolívar to wean Venezuelan from la Gran Colombia. Páez Accepted the idea of Núñez de Cáceres so he gave her international passport to Bolívar. On November 7 the same year, in the Assembly the held in the convent of San Francisco in Caracas, in which he participated and spoke Paez, he gave one of the most revolutionary speeches, arguing that "the social pact was dissolved". In early 1827, when the movement was paralyzed in the presence of Bolivar, Núñez de Cáceres decided to leave Venezuela bound for Mexico.[4]

He and his family went to Mexico, where he first settled in the city of San Luis Potosi and then in Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas. In the early years, he practiced law. In 1830 he was named prosecutor of the supreme court. In 1833 he was elected senator of the State of Tamaulipas and member of the Mexican Confederation Congress and in the same year he was named Distinguished Citizen of Tamaulipas.

He served with General Moctezuma at the Well of Caramel, and he endorsed the agenda of this soldier. In 1834 he was appointed treasurer of Public Finance, a position which he alternated with his attorney Professions.[7]

By 1844 he became seriously ill and the State Government and the Departmental Board of Tamaulipas assigned a pension to alleviate their pain. On September 11, 1846 he died in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas.[1]

Literary career[edit]

José Núñez de Cáceres also had an important role as a writer and teacher. In 1795, he was professor at the University of Santo Tomás de Aquino. En January 6, 1815, after rebuilt the old University of Santo Domingo, where he had taught, he returned to teaching at this university and because of the efforts he made as captain-general, the cloister of doctors chose him as the first rector of the institute and they agreed that his portrait, paid for by the guild, be placed in the lecture hall.[1]

José Núñez de Cáceres founded on April 15, 1821, in Santo Domingo, the satirical newspaper El Duende, considered the second national Dominican newspaper. This weekly -political and satirical newspaper that circulated the Sunday in the city of Santo Domingo had thirteen numbers disappearing on July 15 of that year. Through El Duende, Núñez de Cáceres was released as a fabulist, for here he published nine of his fables. He also founded the newspaper El Relámpago (Lightning) in this city. In late 1822, Núñez de Cáceres lived with his family in Maracaibo, Venezuela. In 1824, he was in Caracas, putting the printing trade. From his studio came during the years of 1824–1826, several newspapers, books and pamphlets; between newspapers include: El Constitucional Caraqueño (The Constitutional from Caracas) and La Cometa (The Comet), a newspaper that harshly attacked Simón Bolívar, as well as recent issues of the newspaper El Venezolano.[4] In Venezuela, in addition to the forum and engage in journalism, he wrote others three fables.

Some of the fables he wrote were:el conejo (the rabbit), la oveja y el lobo (the sheep and the shepherd), el lobo y el zorro (the wolf and the fox), la araña y el águila (the spider and the eagle) and la aveja y abejorros (the bee and bumble). These fables were signed under the pseudonym "El fabulista principiante" (The fabulist beginner). He was credited as the first Dominican fabulist and one of the first storyteller in Hispanic America.[3]

Núñez de Cáceres was well-read. He was familiar with the classics 'fabulists' (Aesop, Phaedrus, Jean de La Fontaine, Samaniego and Tomás de Iriarte). They influenced him especially in the use of character animals : eagle, bee, Donkey, Stork, Rabbit, Lamb, Owl, Wolf, Mule, Palomo, Raposa. As a rational person, it is common the Pastor. Of the nineteen characters who act in the eleven tales of Creole fabulist, thirteen are found in Iriarte, twelve in Aesop and La Fontaine, nine in Phaedrus and eight in Samaniego. The mule, horse and donkey cross-and bumble appear in two of the fables of Núñez de Cáceres, but not in any of those written by the classic fable above.[1]

Personal life[edit]

At the end of the 18th century Núñez de Cáceres married Juana de Mata Madrigal Cordero and they had six children: the first, Pedro, was born in Santo Domingo on April 2, 1800, and last, Maria de la Merced, in the same city in 1816. When Ñúñez de Cáceres lived in Camagüey, Cuba, other three children were born: José, the September 9, 1804; Francisco de Asis, September 15, 1805, and Gregorio, on June 8, 1809.[1]

After the Dominican hero's death, his disciple Simon de Portes, who moved with him to Mexico, made in the act of inhumaci of the remains of the great Dominican, a speech where he said: "Rare event: here, not far Padilla, which ceased to be the hero of Igualada, which sealed the independence of Mexico, Dominican gentleman dies almost hear the roar of the cannon of the unjust invading Anglo-time same as before his death this unfortunate hero rejoices with the nice idea that the inhabitants of Santo Domingo, after many battles, been driven from its territory to its oppressors ... It is full of joy José Núñez de Cáceres with such a happy event, and as you stop the course of death gradually led him to the grave ".[1]

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