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Juan Pablo Duarte

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Juan Pablo Duarte
Oil portrait of Juan Pablo Duarte by Dominican artist Abelardo Rodríguez Urdaneta.
Born(1813-01-26)January 26, 1813
DiedJuly 15, 1876(1876-07-15) (aged 63)
Resting placeAltar de la Patria
Years active1833–1876
OrganizationLa Trinitaria
TitleFather of the Nation
Political partyCentral Government Junta
Vicente Celestino (brother)

Maria Josefa (sister)
Manuel (brother)
Ana Maria (sister)
Manuel (brother)
Filomena (sister)
Rosa Duarte (sister)
Juana Bautista (sister)
Manuel Amáralos María (brother)
María Francisca (sister)

AwardsNational hero
HonoursOrder of Merit of Duarte, Sánchez and Mella
Military career
Allegiance Dominican Republic
Years of service1834–1876
RankBrigadier General

 Dominican Army

  • Liberation Army
  • Restoration Army
Battles/warsDominican War of Independence
Dominican Restoration War

Juan Pablo Duarte y Díez (January 26, 1813 – July 15, 1876)[1] was a Dominican military leader, writer, activist, and nationalist politician who was the foremost of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic and bears the title of Father of the Nation. As one of the most celebrated figures in Dominican history, Duarte is considered a folk hero and revolutionary visionary in the modern Dominican Republic, who along with military generals Ramón Matías Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, organized and promoted La Trinitaria, a secret society that eventually led to the Dominican revolt and independence from Haitian rule in 1844 and the start of the Dominican War of Independence.

Born into a middle-upper class family in 1813, his desire for knowledge and his dreams of improvement led him to Europe, where he strengthened his liberal ideas. These ideas formulated the outline for establishing an independent Dominican state. Upon returning, he voluntarily dedicated himself to teaching in the streets, improvising a school in his father's business, determined that the people of his era assimilate his ideals of revolutionary enlightenment.

Duarte became an officer in the National Guard and a year later in 1843 he participated in the "Reformist Revolution" against the dictatorship of Jean-Pierre Boyer of Haiti, which occupied Santo Domingo since over 20 years. After the defeat of the Haitians and the proclamation of the Dominican Republic in 1844, the Board formed to designate the first ruler of the nation and elected Duarte by a strong majority vote to preside over the nation but he declined the proposal, while Tomás Bobadilla took office instead.[2]

Duarte helped inspire and finance the Dominican War of Independence, paying a heavy toll which would eventually ruin him financially. Duarte also disagreed strongly with royalist and pro-annexation sectors in the nation, especially with the wealthy caudillo and military strongman Pedro Santana, who sought to rejoin the Spanish Empire. From these struggles, Santana emerged victorious while Duarte suffered in exile, despite coming back a few times, Duarte lived most of his remaining years in Venezuela until his death in 1876.

Early years

Rosa Duarte
Rosa Duarte
Vicente Calestino Duarte

Duarte was born on January 26, 1813 in Santo Domingo, Captaincy General of Santo Domingo[1] during the period commonly called España Boba. In his memoirs, La Trinitaria member José María Serra de Castro [es] described Duarte as a man with a rosy complexion, sharp features, blue eyes, and a golden hair that contrasted with his thick, dark moustache.[3] Duarte was born into a middle-class family that was dedicated to maritime trade and hardware in the port area of Santo Domingo.[4] His father was Juan José Duarte Rodríguez, a Peninsular from Vejer de la Frontera, Kingdom of Seville, Spain, and his mother was Manuela Díez Jiménez from El Seibo, Captaincy General of Santo Domingo; three of Duarte's grandparents were Europeans.[a] Duarte had 9 siblings: his eldest brother, Vicente Celestino Duarte [es] (1802–1865), a tall, long-haired brunette man, was a store owner, woodcutter and cattle rancher who was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico; one of Duarte's sisters was Rosa Protomártir Duarte (1820–1888), a performer who collaborated with him within the Independence movement. In 1801 the Duarte family migrated from Santo Domingo to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.[6] They were evading the unrest caused by the Haitian Revolution in the island. Many Dominican families left the island during this period.[7] Toussaint Louverture, governor of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), a former colony of France located on the western third of Hispaniola,[8][9] arrived to the capital of Santo Domingo, located on the island's eastern two-thirds, the previous year and proclaimed the end of slavery (although the changes were not permanent). At the time, France and Saint-Domingue (the western third of the island), were going through exhaustive social movements, namely, the French Revolution and the Haitian Revolution. In occupying the Spanish side of the island L'Ouverture was using as a pretext the previous agreements between the governments of France and Spain in the Peace of Basel signed in 1795, which had given the Spanish area to France. Louverture wanted to convert the old Spanish institutions to French and re-establish the plantation economy on both sides of the island.

Upon arrival in Santo Domingo Norte, L'Ouverture immediately sought to abolish slavery in Dominican territory, even lthough though slavery was abolished in 1821 per Spanish Haiti constitution. Puerto Rico was still a Spanish colony, and Mayagüez, being so close to Hispaniola, just across the Mona Passage, had become a refuge for wealthy migrants from Santo Domingo like the Duartes and other native born on the Spanish side who did not accept Haitian dictatorship. Most scholars assume that the Duartes' first son, Vicente Celestino, was born here at this time on the eastern side of the Mona Passage. The family returned to Santo Domingo in 1809, however, after the Spanish reconquest of Santo Domingo, led by governor- general Juan Sánchez Ramírez, that decisively crushed French rule in Santo Domingo, but returned to Spanish rule.

In 1819, Duarte enrolled in Manuel Aybar's school where he learned reading, writing, grammar and arithmetic. He was a disciple of Dr. Juan Vicente Moscoso from whom he obtained his higher education in Latin, philosophy and law, due to the closure of the university by the Haitian authorities. After the exile of Dr. Moscoso to Cuba, his role was continued by the priest Gaspar Hernández.

Ephemeral Independence

First Dominican independence, 1821

The first movement was organized by José Núñez de Cáceres, who in turn became the first and only governor of Republic of Spanish Haiti from 1821 to 1822.

In December 1821, when Duarte was eight years old, members of a Creole elite of Santo Domingo's capital proclaimed its independence from Spanish rule, calling themselves Haití Español. Historians today call this elite's brief courtship with sovereignty the Ephemeral Independence. The most prominent leader of the coup against Spanish colonial government was one of its former supporters, José Núñez de Cáceres. These individuals were tired of being ignored by the Crown, and some were also concerned with the new liberal turn in Madrid.

Their deed was not an isolated event. The 1820s was a time of profound political changes throughout the entire Spanish Atlantic World, which affected directly the lives of middle-class like the Duartes. It began with the conflictive period between Spanish royalists and liberals in the Iberian Peninsula, which is known today as the Trienio Liberal. American patriots in arms, like Simón Bolívar in South America, immediately reaped the fruits of Spain's destabilization, and began pushing back colonial troops. Even conservative elites in New Spain (like Agustín de Iturbide in Mexico), who had no intention of being ruled by Spanish anticlericals, moved to break ties with the crown in Spain.

Many others in Santo Domingo wanted independence from Spain for reasons much closer to home. Inspired by the revolution and independence on the island, Dominicans mounted a number of different movements and conspiracies in the period from 1809 to 1821 against slavery and colonialism.[10]

The Cáceres provisional government requested support from Simón Bolivar's new government, but their petition was ignored given the internal conflicts of the Gran Colombia.[11]

Annexation by Haiti

Jean-Pierre Boyer, the ruler of Haiti

Meanwhile, a plan for unification with Haiti grew stronger. Haitian politicians wanted to keep the island out of the hands of European imperial powers and thus a way to safeguard the Haitian Revolution [citation needed]. Haiti's President Jean-Pierre Boyer sent an army that took over the eastern portion of Hispaniola. The Spaniards residing in Santo Domingo, especially those of Catalan origin, welcomed the country's incorporation into the Republic of Haiti. Thus, when Boyer arrived in the city at the head of his troops, the Spanish traders sent him a letter in which they adhered to the new order that was implemented. However, Duarte's father was the one of the Spanish merchants in the city who refused to sign the document and, according to several documents, he chose to get involved in separatist conspiracies that tried to take shape during the initial years of Haitian domination, though it never materialized.

On January 6, 1823, Boyer decreed that all young men between the ages of 16 and 25 would be drafted into the Haitian army. This measure caused the University of Santo Domingo to lose its students and consequently had to close its doors. On November 14, 1824, Boyer established French as the official, sole and obligatory language in the acts of the Courts, the Civil Registry and public notaries throughout the island. Struggles between Boyer and the old colonial helped produce a migration of planters and elite. Following the bourgeoisie custom of sending promising sons abroad for education, the Duartes sent Juan Pablo to the United States and Europe in 1828 [citation needed].

Revolutionary origins

Duarte, then 15 years old, sets sail on his trip to North America and Europe.

For his trip, Duarte was accompanied by Pablo Pujols, a Catalan merchant who was also a family friend of the Duartes. Pujols had lived in the country for some time, and for the trip, he agreed to be the tutor for the young Duarte. However, as Duarte boarded the ship, the captain reproached the two travelers due to the fact that the inhabitants of the Spanish part of the island were now living under Haitian domination. He even asserted that he would only board him unless Duarte told him that he felt no shame in being "Haitian." Although Duarte responded that he was Dominican, the captain harshly boasted that the Dominicans were cowards for submitting to Haitian yoke, and therefore, was undeserving of an identity, expressing the following words: "You have no name, because neither you nor your parents deserve to have one, because, cowardly and servile, they bow their heads under the time of their slaves." This moment completely moved the still teenaged Duarte, who would readdres years later that these humiliating words led him at that very moment to the resolution to fight for Dominican Independence.[12] He then assured the captain that he would not rest until his people were free.[13]

Era of Enlightenment

Engraving of Duarte envisioning the establishment of an independent nation by Dominican painter Luis Desangles, c. 1889

Duarte left the country for the first time for Spain as a teenager. Before coming to Europe, where he would go to study, he spent a brief time in the United States. Although it is believed that he entered North America through New York, another version indicates that he did so through Providence, Rhode Island, on July 2, 1829, and that from there he went to the city known today as the Big Apple. In New York he studied English, a language Mr. Groot had introduced him to in Santo Domingo. In addition, as noted by Rosa Duarte in Notes, he began to study Universal Geography with Mr. W. Davis, who gave him classes at his own residence. According to historian, Pedro Troncoso Sánchez, while in England, specifically Southampton, from where Duarte would go to London was his gateway to Europe, he would study philosophy, history, law, political science and geography. His continued on to France, where he arrived at Le Havre and then touched Paris. It was there that he perfected his French, a language he had studied in Santo Domingo by Monsieur Bruat.[14] While attending a banquet in Hamburg, through a lodge called Oriente, he was introduced to Freemasonry, absorbing ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity.

In Europe, convulsed in the era of romanticism, liberalism, nationalism and utopian socialism, it was engulfed with revolutionary atmospheres at the time. Numerous political and social events that shook several European nations in the second and third decades of the 19th century. Such events included those in Portugal (expulsion in 1811 of the French troops by the British under the command of the Duke of Wellington; the English military occupation until in 1822 King John VI returned from Brazil and accepted a liberal constitution), Belgium (1795–1815 France occupies it; in 1815 unification with the United Provinces; 1830 the secession of Holland and independence of the Belgian provinces), and Italy (political upheavals after the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte). Duarte was also curious to learn of the events iin Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Mexico, among other nations, after Napoleon's invasion of Spain in 1808, further influencing his liberal ideals towards his own country. Presumably, Duarte knew that General Rafael del Riego, a Spanish soldier and politician, fought against the occupation of Spain by France in 1808, a general who introduced Masonic principles into military barracks, Masonic principles that both attracted Duarte throughout his life. The Spanish events of 1808 and the death of General Riego in 1823 by hanging, as presumed, were discussed when Duarte arrived in Spain in 1828 and must have captured his attention in a decisive manner.[15] Also upon Duarte's arrival in Spain, the events of the Liberal Triennium (1820–1823) were very fresh, when on March 9, 1820, General del Riego led a military movement that forced King Ferdinand VII to swear an oath on July 9, as constitutional king, a government in which the liberals played an important role. The fight for independence in America, the support of Ferdinand VII for the return to absolutism and the invasion of the Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis sponsored by the Holy Alliance, caused the collapse of the liberal government and the return to absolutism on October 1, 1823. The study of these events must have been very important for Duarte. As Duarte was in Spain, the events of the July Revolution of 1830 occurred in Paris, where the figure of the Spanish liberal José de Espronceda moved incessantly in the trenches to allow liberalism in France to achieve victory against the conservatives who advocated that the Bourbons will continue with the absolutist regime.[15]

Having thrown himself into these scenes of European radicalism, Duarte himself had the pleasure of witnessing the new regimes of liberty and rights that had arisen after the French Revolution; He was intrigued by the new changes produced in Germany and France, but none was caught his interest more that that of Spain, of which reforms introduced by Cortes of Cádiz. He would remain in Barcelona for the rest of his travels, where it is believed that he studied law.[16] Duarte lived in Spain during the absolutist decade of Ferdinand VII (1823–1833) that followed the events unleashed by General Riego and the liberals in 1823.

It was then that his political ideology began to take shape, in which nationalism and liberalism merged on a romantic background: Duarte understood that the Dominican people had their own identity and had the absolute right to bring about political independence. Since the beginning of the 16th century, the Dominicans, despite the economic disadvantages, have a history of rebelling and triumphing battles against Dutch, British, French, and Spanish forces, (the latter two of which in recent decades, were expelled from Santo Domingo by Dominican rebels in 1809 and 1821 respectively). This time, Duarte firmly believed that the Dominicans would now have to rise up arms against the fierce might of the Haitians. Upon the success of this goal, the newly independent nation would be organized on the basis of the institutionalism of representative democracy. Having formalized these ideals, the enlightened Duarte returned to his homeland In 1833.[2] From Barcelona he arrived in Puerto Rico, then to Saint Thomas, and from this island, to his native country.

With his return, Duarte returned to his hometown of Santo Domingo, where he devotes himself to putting his newly formed ideals to test, while at the same time, working in his father's business. According to historian Orlando Inoa, backed by records from the lodge named Constante Union No. 8, a lodge that was chartered through the Grand Oriente of Haiti, Duarte became a freemason at the legal age of 21. He was said to have been appointed as the Architect Decorator of this lodge. (It is believed by some historians that some of his key collaboraters were also members of this lodge). He had even joined the Haitian National Guard, where he acquired military training, as well as studying the military tactics of occupying forces. He eventually reached the rank of colonel.

He leads an intense social life that allows him to come into contact with many important sectors of the urban communities. He witnessed marriages, sponsors, baptisms and attended meetings of a cultural nature. This experience of society is what moved him to realize that within the population, there is a patriotic feeling that rejects the Haitian presence in the country. His merit, not only as a patriot, but also as a political organizer, lies fundamentally in the fact that he was well aware of the historic moment that accumulated in Dominican society at that time; the reluctance of its most decisive layers to accept Haitian rule, of which by now was becoming more despotic and unruly.[17]

His ideas found greater echo within the middle class. While cultivating his spirit, Duarte did not stop transmitting the knowledge he acquired to the youth of his native city. For four consecutive years, from 1834 to 1838, he offered language and mathematics classes to a group of humble young people who went every afternoon to the warehouse located on La Atarazana street. The young master's popularity grew among a large part of the population. Many of his disciples began to feel a fervent attachment to him. In a short time the La Atarazana warehouse becomes the headquarters of a revolutionary junta. Duarte's word has penetrated the hearts of a group of young idealists and little by little the wills of all have merged into a common aspiration: that of separating the Dominican part of the island from the Haitian part. Duarte launched the idea and it was enthusiastically received by those of his disciples who had stood out the most for their fervor for the principles he preached and those who testified to his most self-sacrificing fidelity.

Struggle for independence

But what could have been a traditionalist reaction in those young people, thanks to Duarte, was headed towards the formation of a democratic-revolutionary nucleus. Perhaps the key was in the fact that they were all young. The repudiation of oppression, without commitment to the past, made them receptive to Duarte's preachings. The conglomerate of friends, united under his guidance in the activity of study and intellectual reflection, was the antecedent of the revolutionary organization formed years later. These activities were strengthened upon the arrival to the country of Peruvian priest Gaspar Hernández, appointed parish priest of San Carlos, with high intellectual training, who organized a philosophy study group in 1842. However, Hernández had no responsibility in the patriotic and revolutionary leadership of the group of young people, since he was a supporter of the return of Spanish rule.[18]

Founding of La Trinitaria

Meeting of La Trinitaria at Duarte's house

On July 16, 1838, in the place of Arzobispo Nouel Street, (in front of the Church of Carmen), Duarte and others established a secret patriotic society called La Trinitaria, which helped undermine Haitian occupation. Named after the Holy Trinity, this movement, as described by his sister Rosa, was referred as a youth movement, due to the fact that most of the members were very young. Some of its first members included Juan Isidro Pérez, Pedro Alejandro Pina, Jacinto de la Concha, Félix María Ruiz, José María Serra, Benito González, Felipe Alfau, and Juan Nepomuceno Ravelo. La Trinitaria was an organization that had no precedent in the country: the first revolutionary group animated by a political doctrine, with a program and an organizational system. Its raison d'etre lay in realizing the objective that Duarte had preached: overthrowing Haitian rule to found an independent State. As can be read in the oath, the entity was organized around fidelity to the person of Duarte. The teachings of the founding father summarized the doctrine and program of the society. The Trinitarian movement, said his sister Rosa Duarte, was known as the “boys' revolution” because of the youth of almost everyone. Conservatives viewed them with distrust and ridicule for their disinterested idealism. They coined the derogatory neologism “filorios”, a word that came from philosophers, which meant to denote that they were romantics lacking realism.[19]

Contrary to this vision, Duarte provided La Trinitaria with the practical and organizational resources necessary to achieve its objectives. You can associate La Trinitaria with the Masonic tradition and the libertarian organizations of the Mediterranean countries that advocated the implementation of liberal regimes, such as the Carbonarians of Italy. Its main distinguishing feature was the secrecy that was to guide the activities. It was equipped with a cellular organization, according to which each nucleus of conspirators had to exist as a body independent of the rest. It was conceived, therefore, as a chain of conspirators that converged in the first initiates: each of them had to create a cell with two more members and, in turn, each of these created other cells with the incorporation of two new adepts. But each member only had to know the members of the cells to which he belonged.[19]

La Filantrópica and La Dramática

Later, Duarte and others founded a society called La Filantrópica, which had a more public presence, seeking to spread veiled ideas of liberation through theatrical stages. This group went by the motto Peace, Union, and Friendship. Some of their plays included: Free Rome by Italian playwright Vittorio Alfieri, La Viuda de Padilla by Francisco Martínez de la Rosa, A Day of the year 23 in Cádiz by Eugenio de Ochoa. The Haitian governor, Bernard-Philippe-Alexis Carrié, at first, wasn't suspectuful, so he ignored the performances. But the public flocked to the theater with such enthusiasm and the actors caused such delirium in the audience that Alexis Carrié was alerted by his spies. The first impulse of the occupation authorities was to suspend the activities of the movement and close the theater.[20] After several failed attempts, the unsatisfied Trinitarios founded La Dramática. In this new society, all the members devoted themselves to acting.[17] Many of the people enjoyed these activities and at the same time, learned through the representation of theatrical works they directed. They staged the struggle of a people to free themselves from an oppressive government.[20]

Brief alliance with the Haitians

Juan Pablo Duarte, Oil on canvas, completed in 1887 Supposedly the second of two Duarte paintings produced by Bonilla in 1887.

The years 1842-1843 are defining for the creation of propitious conditions that culminated with the moment for Dominican independence. Catastrophic natural phenomena such as the earthquake that affected Haiti on 7 May 1842 and that it left the city of Cape Haitian in the north practically destroyed and that it equally affected Santiago and other northern cities in the eastern part. Nearly 5,000 deaths were recorded in said earthquake and accusations of incapacity and insensitivity of the authorities in handling said natural event that influenced the beginning of its political deterioration that had already begun before.[21] Added as a catastrophe, there was a fire in Port-au-Prince that left it in ruins in January 1843, and a political unrest that had been gaining ground was combined with shortages and the economic-commercial crisis that accompanied it.[21] The political attrition of Jean-Pierre Boyer produces ruptures within Haiti and also in the eastern part of the island with separatist movements that sought to overthrow Boyer on one side, and on the other side, sought to make the Spanish part of the island take the opportunity to gain independence.

There were coincidences and differences in purposes.[21] For Duarte, he felt that a shudder was needed, since the Trinitarios could not manage to transfer its influence from the circle of young people to the upper urban sector. This allowed them to move to shift their attentions towards a new movement: La Reforma. Upon learning of the conspiracy led by deposed liberal deputies in Les Cayes and other parts of the South, he arranged for Matías Ramón Mella to move to that region and reach agreements with Boyer's enemies. Mella fulfilled his duty, and after a brief visit, he returned to Santo Domingo a day before the insurrection that began of January 27, 1843. After military operations, Boyer resigned on March 13, 1843.[22]

Nearly two weeks later, news reached Santo Domingo about Boyer's fall. Following this, a mobilization of the Trinitarios and the Haitian liberals residing in the city hurled into the streets in repudiation of despotism and hailed Dominican triumph. The conservatives, however, were disturbed by this union, accusing Duarte of being "Colombian," alluding to the prior independence leader, José Núñez de Caceres. In response to this, Duarte strongly emphasized that independence was not what was sought at that time, but the Reformation. (Duarte, who wanted to carry out his plan discrete, alluded this for the purpose of not publicly speaking of the true conditions of proclamation for independence).[22]

Meanwhile, the Haitian authorities of the city, headed by Governor Carrié, opposed the popular movement and a shootout occurred in the Plaza de Armas (today Parque Colón) when the crowd approached his residence to demand his resignation. Many protesters hid, while others, like Duarte, marched towards San Cristóbal, where important conspirators were located. In that town, they received reinforcements from other places in the south, causing Carrié to resign from office. Étienne Desgrotte, the leader of the Haitian liberals in Santo Domingo, was appointed governor. After this, a popular board was formed by Alcius Ponthieux, who assigned Duarte, in addition to Pedro Alejandro Piña and Manuel Jiménes, as members to the board. Duarte was entrusted with the mission of expanding the work to the localities from the east.[23]

Divergences soon emerged between the Haitian liberals and the Dominican liberals. On the occasion of the holding of elections for the designation of legislative representatives, three tendencies competed: the Dominican conservatives, the Dominican liberals and the Haitian liberals. Despite the little relationship that the Trinidadians had with the people, they triumphed in those elections because they embodied the desire for freedom of the most conscious sectors of the Dominican population. Additionally, days before the request had been sent to the Haitian authorities that the official documents be written in Spanish, since the Dominicans could not be treated as a conquered people. This alerted Haitian liberals about what the Dominicans were after.[24]

Despite the struggle between liberals and conservatives, some of the latter understood that it was necessary to reach an agreement with the Trinitarios, since they alone lacked the strength to achieve a break with Haiti. To this end, meetings were held between Duarte and conservative personalities, in search of unity of action. The conservatives demanded concessions contrary to Dominican sovereignty that Duarte considered inadmissible, which is why the negotiations reached a stalemate. However, the Trinitarios continued to try to gather greater support from various sectors and did not renounce unity, as long as the objective of a fully independent State was maintained. Duarte himself, in the work of the Popular Board, managed to incorporate the brothers Ramón and Pedro Santana, two of the most influential landowners in the eastern region, recognized for their opposition to the Haitian yoke. Duarte spoke with Ramón Santana, of patriotic inclinations, who declined the proposal to be named colonel because he understood that this position should correspond to his brother Pedro, with a vocation for command. Duarte later sent Sánchez to ratify the agreement, as he was a personal friend of the Santana brothers. This episode, undoubtedly true, shows that, despite the dispute between Trinitarians and French people, agreements were made between some of the latter and the movement of the former.[25]

Birth of a new nation

First exile and declaration of independence

Following Duarte's exile, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez (left) and Matías Ramón Mella (right) continued to lead the 1844 revolution.

This alliance of purposes, however, did not last long. The true motives of Duarte had reached the ears of Charles Rivière-Hérard, who responded with the call of repression of the revolutionaries on the eastern side of the island. The fights started as a result of these differences produced the reaction of the new Haitian government and under the command of Hérard, he launched it against the Trinitarios, commanding two battalions that accompanied him from the city of Port-au-Prince.[21]

During the month of July 1843, the military forces of the Haitian Government intensified the persecution against the Trinitarios. On July 24, 1843, the residence of the family of Juan Pablo Duarte and that of his uncle José Díez, were raided by Haitian soldiers who were trying to locate the Trinitarian leader. The requisition was led by the Haitian commander Hipólito Franquil, who, according to Rosa Duarte, "was accompanied by a large troop of which one part surrounded the block and the other entered the house divided into two rows of two in background; a line of armed soldiers entered through the main bedroom into the inner rooms; and the other extended from the street through the room to the corrals." That day Duarte and several of his companions managed to escape by jumping through the patios of neighboring residences until they reached the house of Mr. Teodoro Ariza. They later moved to Pajarito, (present day Villa Duarte, Santo Domingo Este), where they took refuge in the house of Spanish citizen Pascual C. López. They left there at 10 p.m. that same day.[26] Eventually, Duarte had received information from one of his "repentant persecutors" that his head had a price and for this reason, the person who gave him the confidence suggested that he leave Santo Domingo. According to the informant, the Haitian government gave three thousand pesos and the colonel's epaulette “for the leader of the revolution”, but many believed that the amount of the offer was low. Duarte and Pedro Alejandrino Pina left the Pedro Cote residence, in the company of Juan Alejandro Acosta and another friend that Rosa Duarte does not identify.[26] Finally, on August 2, 1843, Duarte decided to leave the island for Curaçao due to his insurgent behavior, where he was surprised by the news of his father's death on 25 November of that year. Then, Duarte tells his mother to sell the family business to finance the separatist revolution, to which his mother is opposed at first.

In his absence, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez had to take the reins of the separatist movement and make an alliance with the conservative sector headed by Tomás Bobadilla y Briones and Buenaventura Báez, resulting in the Manifesto of January 16, 1844. All of this, along with the help of many who wanted to get rid of the Haitians who ruled over the Dominicans, triumphed, as the Dominicans successfully expelled the Haitians out of the country, leading to the proclamation of independence on February 27, 1844. In accordance to Duarte's wishes, a new republican government, once again free of foreign control, was established, and Independent Santo Domingo was officially renamed as the Dominican Republic.

First return to Dominican Republic

Duarte returns to his homeland

With the purpose of preparing the return of Duarte, a commission was formed, headed by Juan Nepomuceno Ravelo, in charge of bringing the patrician back to his homeland. Four days later, on March 15, 1844, Duarte entered the Port of Santo Domingo, where he was acclaimed by the people. With him, he brought weapons and war materials that he was able to obtain on a trip to Curaçao. His presence caused great joy among his followers and he was received by a procession that paid him the honors of a head of state. Archbishop Tomás Portes Infante greeted the Patrician with these effusive words: "Save the Father of the Nation!" [27] Duarte was proclaimed General in Chief of the Armies of the Republic, but the Government appointed him Brigadier General and Member of the Central Government Junta. He began working on his project to develop a Constitution, which he left unfinished, to join the army and face the Haitians, in the Battle of Azua, on March 19, 1844. During the development of this battle, contradictions began between Santana and Duarte, since Santana, a very influential person due to his status as a herd owner, had little military experience and for the first time had to face such a powerful army. He considered it imperative to obtain a resounding military success against the Haitians, and asked to be appointed to the southern front, where he was assigned as a general associated with Santana. Already in Baní, Duarte advocated an offensive tactic that was rejected by Santana, who was always characterized by adopting defensive military postures. Duarte's subordinate officers encouraged him to take the offensive on his own, ignoring Santana's position, but he preferred to follow the instructions of the Government Board. Given the disagreements with Santana, on April 4 the Board summoned him back to Santo Domingo, in obvious disapproval of his position.[28] Despite that, Santana defeated the Haitians in the development of this battle. News reached the capital city that the Haitians were advancing towards the Cibao area. On 30 March 1844, the Battle of Santiago took place and after long hours of combat, the Dominicans led by José María Imbert, Achille Michell, Fernando Valerio, Francisco Caba, Bartolo Mejía and José Joaquín Puello, defeated the Haitian troops.[27]

Drafted constitution of 1844

Engraving of Juan Pablo Duarte

Although Duarte was supported by many as a candidate for the presidency and Mella even declared him president, Duarte declined arguing that he would only accept the position if the majority election of the Dominicans voted in his flavored. Instead, Tomas Bobadilla took office. Duarte was supported by many as a candidate for the presidency of the new-born Republic. Mella wanted Duarte to simply declare himself president. Duarte never giving up on the principles of democracy and fairness by which he lived, would only accept if voted in by a majority of the Dominican people. [citation needed]Duarte had a definite concept of the Dominican nation and its members. His conception of a republic was that of a republican, abolitionist, anticolonial, liberal and progressive patriot.

At that time he drafted a constitution that clearly states that the Dominican flag can shelter all races, without excluding or giving predominance to any. In his project for the Constitution, Duarte wrote that National Independence was the source of liberties and raised the need for Dominicans to have a fundamental law, in order to govern. The constitutional thought of Duarte expressed his most advanced conception regarding the organization of the State as a supreme organ of power.

One of the most important provisions contained in its draft Constitution says, among other things:[29]

-No power on earth is unlimited, not even that of the law-

-All Dominican power is and should always be limited by law and this by justice, which consists of giving each one what rightfully belongs to them-

Another very important part is the one that refers to the Powers of the State, whose division he conceives, in tripartite form in three parts, putting the Municipal Power, together with the Legislative, judicial and Executive powers. This disposition reveals the spirit of good sense and justice that always accompanied Duarte. It was intended to prevent rulers from making use of unlimited power, which could harm majorities.[29]

The constitutional ideas embodied in his Draft Constitution reflect the influence received by Duarte from the European ideologies of the 18th and 19th centuries. The conceptions expressed in this project allude that Duarte knew the works "The Social Contract," by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and "The Spirit of the Laws" by Montesquieu. In addition, American thinkers who inspired the United States Constitution of 1787 influenced the formation of Duarte's ideals, such as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.

Clashes with the Central Government Board

Immediately following Duarte's arrival on the island, tensions arose with the new government, under Tomás Bobadilla (pictured), who intended to seek a protectorate under France.

While these events were taking place, differences within the government continued to develop, as the group of conservatives continued their conspiracies for new protectorate plans. The Trinitarios, motivated by the fear that this situation caused them, requested that Duarte be appointed General in Chief of the Army, as well as other important positions for some Trinitarios. Thanks to the conservative hegemony in the Central Government Board, on March 8 that body had taken the resolution to partially adopt a plan that had been outlined in the capital of Haiti by the consul general of France and several Dominican representatives when they were participating in the Constituent Assembly that had been held as a result of the triumph of La Reforma. The Levausser plan stipulated the appointment of a French governor as executive of the Dominican State, with which the country would remain in the status of French protectorate. It also stipulated the cession to France in perpetuity of the Samaná peninsula and active aid to France in the event that it decided to reconquer its former colony in the west of the island. The justification for this resolution was based on the Haitian military threat. In the months of March to May, the conservative leaders placed all their expectations on French aid.[28] Francisco del Rosario Sánchez foresaw that several of the conservatives could lose their lives in the movement and warned them of the scope of the plan so that they would have time to seek asylum in the French consulate, as several later did.[30] The Trinitarios had initiated the plan to overthrow the members of the Central Government Board, at the end of May 1844, because they understood that they endangered national sovereignty. As part of the project, on May 31, 1844, Juan Pablo Duarte and a group of his followers began a plan with the purpose of taking power in the nascent Dominican Republic, because it had fallen into the hands of the conservative groups represented by the President of the Central Government Board, Tomás Bobadilla, who favored the idea that the Nation would become a protectorate of France.[30]

That same day, Duarte and a group of followers met with the garrison of the Ozama Fortress, and managed to get 56 active officers to sign a document addressed to the Central Government Board, to request that Duarte be named General in Chief of the Army, and the other Trinidadians, including the heroes Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Matías Ramón Mella, were named Division Generals or Brigadier Generals.[30] The only one who was accepted for promotion was José Joaquín Puello , however some Seybanos along with the friends and supporters of Major General Santana , outraged by the requests, spoke out against it, causing the Board to postpone the Duartistas' request. On June 1, Duarte would rejoin the Junta, now headed by President José María Caminero y Ferrer, and signed the request for protection and recognition of independence by France. The new request for French protectorate no longer included the transfer of the Samaná peninsula in perpetuity, instead it was replaced by a provisional occupation by French forces of Samaná bay if necessary.

18 Dominican Brumaire

Painting of Duarte by Dominican painter Luis Desangles

Secretly, however, Duarte and Puello formed a conspiracy that would stage a coup to overthrow José María Caminero. Duarte and Puello had the support of between 150 to 200 officers who had been former slaves. These freedman joined their entourage because they were convinced that their freedom was threatened by the Board after the Duartistas told them that supporters of the protectorate wanted to sell the country to the French and restore slavery. Duarte was in a position to carry out the coup, since Brigadier General Ramón Santana, who was feared by Puello's supporters, was in a critical state of health, and in addition, the French warship Naiade was absent. On June 31, 1844, in the morning, Duarte gave a speech to the troops gathered in the arsenal of the Ozama Fortress and the officers of his General Staff where he proclaimed Puello as brigadier general and, in turn, proclaimed Duarte as inspector general of the Dominican troops; General Puello took charge of the city and moved to the Junta upon hearing the shouts: "Down with Bobadilla!" Down Caminero! Death to the traitors! "Death to Delmonte, Javier Abreu, Francisco Ruiz and Báez!" The commander of the department of Santo Domingo, Manuel Jimenes, decided to appear before the Board to obtain from it, voluntarily or by force, the ratification of the coup along with the expulsion of José Caminero and Bobadilla, forcing them at the same time to the signing of a ban list. Duarte and Puello then led twenty officers to the Junta and there, in the name of the people and the troops, they imposed their appointments, obtaining, almost without resistance, the sanction of everything they had just done.

This coup d'état was called by Eustache de Saint-Denys as "18 Dominican Brumaire", referring to the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. This new Junta, now headed by President Manuel Jimenes , would introduce Pérez and Pina among its members. Saint-Denys, in a letter of 1 July, addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, François Guizot, would communicate that: "Although apparently directed against France, the coup d'état of the 9th has in no way changed my position here." Duarte was now in control of the government.

Proclamation as president

Illustration of General Mella proclaiming Duarte as president of the Dominican Republic.

Sánchez was appointed President and other members of the Cabinet were Pedro Alejandro Pina, Manuel María Valverde, Juan Isidro Pérez and Duarte himself. Now, the task of the Trinitarians was focused on discarding the influence of Santana and fighting against the actions of the group made up of conservatives. This was not possible because Santana had great influence in the government. Pedro Santana, aware of the military coup, wrote to the Central Government Board, requesting a medical license to retire from the army, on the pretext that he was suffering from an illness.[27]

Meanwhile, Buenaventura Báez and other conspirators communicated frequently with Santana and made a deal to get him approved for sick leave. General Sánchez was appointed assistant chief of Santana, but he was unable to fulfill that mission. Santana began preparing his plot and organized troops made up of his friends. He went to the city of Santo Domingo, with the purpose of "restoring order." After these events, on July 4 1844, in the city of Santiago, Mella, who was Commander of the Department of Cibao, oblivious to what was happening in Azua with Santana, proclaimed Juan Pablo Duarte, President of the Republic. Duarte said that he would only accept that position if he was elected in democratic elections, in which all the peoples participated.[27]

Duarte continued to Puerto Plata on July 8, where he was again proclaimed president by the people and the army. The strong support for the liberals was a product of the fact that commercial agriculture had developed more in the Cibao region than in the rest of the country, and therefore the urban sectors in favor of a democratic society were stronger.[31]

Arrest and second exile

Illustration of Duarte's arrest by José Alloza.

Meanwhile, Santana was approaching the capital city with an army made up of more than 2,000 soldiers. The French consul threatened the members of the Junta with intervention if they confronted Santana militarily. Some soldiers were pressured and Colonel Puello, Chief of the Plaza, denied support for the Trinitarios. After Santana's entry with his troops, he rallied his supporters. Colonel Antonio Abad Alfau harangued the soldiers, who received the soldier under the cry: Down with the Junta! Long live General Santana! [27] On July 15, 1844, Santana met with the members of the Governing Board to present their purposes. When Sánchez refused to cooperate, Santana, in revenge, ordered Sánchez's arrest. A month later, in a document drafted by Tomás Bobadilla y Caminero, the Junta chaired by Santana declared, among other things:[27]

To punish all the authors of the sedition, headed by General Juna Pablo Duarte (...) Declares that Brigadier Generals Duarte, R. Mella, Fco. del Rosario Sánchez, Commanders Pedro Alejandro Pina, Gregorio del Valle, Captain JJ Illas and Mr. Juan Isidro Pérez... They have been traitors and unfaithful to the Homeland and as such unworthy of the jobs and charges they held, of those who were deposed and dismissed from this day on.

The first deportees by Santana were: Mella, Pina and JJ Illas, a Venezuelan poet, friend of Duarte. Duarte was arrested in the city of Puerto Plata, in the house of Mr. Pedro Dubocq. Next to him were Juan Evangelista Jiménez and other companions. On September 2, 1844 in a ship captained by Juan Bautista Cambiaso. Upon arriving in the capital, the Patrician was locked up in La Torre del Homenaje, (present-day Ozama Fortress).[27] The imprisoned revolutionaries were then sent to exile in Hamburg. He spent nineteen days in the city, where he interacted with members of Freemasonry, an institution which belinged a few years before, as was common among people of certain educational level in the country.[32] His short stay in Germany can be attributed to the fact that he was interested in being as close to his homeland as posible. After a brief stay in Hamburg, on 30 November, Duarte moved to the Caribbean island of Saint Thomas, where he rejected offers to enter the service of Haiti or Spain to oppose Santana. From there, he moved to La Guaira, Venezuela, where his entire family, now plunged into misery, had also been exiled by Santana.

Life in Venezuela

Over the next 15 years, it is know Duarte lived in recluse, avoiding the public life and refraining from engaging in politics. His activities are still the topic of discussion between historians.

In these first years of Duarte's arrival in Venezuela, the country is extremely convulsed and is torn between various political interests: on one hand, there were military veterans of the Venezuelan War of Independence who exerted strong pressure to take charge of power after the belief that the mere fact of their participation in the war made them worthy of this, such as José Antonio Páez (first President of the Republic), Carlos Soublette and the brothers José Tadeo Monagas and José Gregorio Monagas. On the other hand, the Liberal Party, newly formed and beginning a strong fight to take over power, were the merchants and intellectuals of the civil sphere who promoted the ideas of the development of the country according to the newly released liberal ideas - especially in the economic sphere, through which they presented themselves as the most suitable sector to govern the destinies of the nation; Prominent among them were the intellectuals Antonio Leocadio Guzmán and Tomás Lander, founders of the party and controversial propagandists of liberal ideas. Finally, the landowners, responsible for agricultural and livestock production as the basis of the economy of the time, also fought to gain power, who became known as Conservatives and also pushed to take charge of power based on the authority generated by their economic power.[33]

In addition, the denominations of Conservative or Liberal did not have any radical difference of thought in Venezuela at the time because, on occasions, the so-called Conservatives adopted measures so liberal that even the Liberal leaders tended to criticize them and confront them publicly, just as the case of the laws of April 10, 1834 and the “Wait and Quit” law – dictated by so-called Conservative governments – which left commercial transactions in the hands of the parties without effective intervention from the State, which is why they went to ruin a considerable number of landowners and merchants from either side. This strong political confrontation was expressed in popular demonstrations and protests in the streets of the main cities and in the fields. In the cities, the constants were arrests, persecutions and confiscations of property and, in the countryside, uprisings, riots and guerrillas, which caused tempers to flare up and keep the country in permanent anxiety, to the point that it could It can be stated, without fear of being wrong, that throughout the 19th century Venezuela experienced a single civil war, with some, very few, moments of calm. Faced with such political instability and in his condition as a foreigner and exile, in other words, by the Dominican government that at times acted as an ally of Venezuela, Duarte decided not to commit himself – much less to his family – and go into the deepest part. from the country. He directs his course towards the town of San Carlos de Río Negro (today a Municipality of the Amazonas state) with the clear intention of going unnoticed.[33]

In February 1845, while in Caracas, he received the news of the execution of María Trinidad Sánchez. Assuming guilt for this death, and rejecting the idea of encouraging a civil war, Duarte disappears from public life, entering the Venezuelan jungle. After writing his book La Cartera Del Proscripto, he settled in the city of Angostura, where he lost all contact with friends and family for more than fifteen years. He was apparently suffering from a state of chronic depression. At one point, family members left him for dead. Little is known about his life in the interior of Venezuela, although he established relationships with figures of the radical liberal current of that country. He spent most of his time in a very remote area, El Apure, completely disconnected from what was happening in the world. It is known that he led a poor life, unconcerned with material aspects, interacting with the priest Juan Bautista Sangenis (Saint Gervi), who taught him sacred history and encouraged him to take priestly habits, which he did not accept, since he believed that he had not yet completed his mission in his homeland.[34]

His friendship with the priest began to change him. His presence in those solitudes impressed the missionary, who was moved by his period of the exile. A deep friendship was born from their conversations. Duarte's mysticism was strengthened by contact with the elevated spirit of the priest, well versed in religion and politics. Little by little, Sangenis convinced him to abandon his isolation and move to a less inhospitable place. Around 1852, when Duarte moved to the then Apure, he met with Venezuelan intellectuals, politicians and soldiers dissatisfied with the government had gathered. He traveled through that area of extensive plains with prolonged periods of rain that flooded everything, wreaking havoc with malaria and yellow fever.[35] Later, Duarte settled in Achaguas, a city with buildings made of mud and bahareque cane, on the banks of the Apure River, where he remained for some years. There he began a new life, among friends with whom he conversed in Portuguese. In Achaguas he had another faithful friend and protector, Marcelino Muñoz, of great prestige in the region, a defender, like Sangenis, of the demands to transform Venezuelan society, dominated by an elite of landowners. Duarte compromised with him until 1856, when Muñoz suddenly passed. At his funeral, Duarte delivered an elegy reproduced in the pamphlet “Posthumous Honors of Mr. Marcelino Muñoz,” included as an appendix in the booklet “Contributions to a Bibliography on the State of Apure,” written by Argenis Méndez Echenique.[35]

After the death of Muñez, perhaps fleeing the devastation caused by the Federal War, he moved to the capital city of San Fernando de Apure. He visited other towns on the Apureña plains, probably accompanying Saingenis in his ministry, who upon confirming his faith and attachment to religious and philosophical disciplines, invited him to embrace an ecclesiastical career. The answer was communicated by Duarte in a letter to his family: "He wanted me to dedicate myself to the Church, but the affairs of my country, which I hoped to conclude, prevented me from taking that status." The letter rejoiced the family, who were finally relieved to have heard from their lost relative after so many years.[35] Rosa Duarte's diary does not record anything between 1846 and 1862. She was surely not interested in returning to the country under the conditions of conservative hegemony, when politics did not correspond to her ideals. He was the only one of the Trinitarios expelled in 1844 who did not return after the amnesty of 1848, and his memory was erased from public consciousness or was surrounded by an image stigmatized by the accusations made against him by Santana and Bobadilla.[34]

Duarte's family in Venezuela did not do too badly, they lived and worked in an affluent area.[citation needed] Duarte's cousin Manuel Diez became vice president of the country and helped shelter his kinsman.[citation needed] Duarte's family was known to produce candles, this was a major retail and wholesale product since light bulbs for lighting had not been invented yet. While not luxuriously rich an income was available for the Duarte's. [citation needed] . Duarte even though he and his family were already by this time residents of the country, still felt ambivalent about openly participating in the country's political life, all this despite the fact that the aforementioned cousin Manuel Antonio Díez from the vice presidency, went on to become President of Venezuela in an Ad Tempore capacity.

Duarte travels in Venezuela involved studying the indigenous people and learning from the black and mulatto communities as well as observing as much as he could of the Venezuela of his time. Duarte was an extremely educated man, fluent in many languages, he was a former soldier and teacher. These abilities helped him survive and thrive in those places he travelled. It also marked him as an outsider, given the fact that he was of Caribbean descent, he probably sounded much different than most of the Spanish speakers around him.[citation needed] However, Santo Domingo and the Republic that he had helped father were also highly likely always close to his heart and his mind. So he was very much a man divided, excited and deeply moved by the current surroundings, people's and events around him, however very much thinking about his beloved land and people whom he sacrificed so much for. A man in a contemplative mood, wounded by the drastic expulsion such as he suffered, would have very little time for a long term wife, children or true stability.

Restoration of Dominican independence

Prelude to annexation

Illustration of Pedro Santana with brigadier general Antonio Peláez de Campomanes.

Within the 17 years of the First Republic, the nation was ravaged with political and economic instability. The Haitians attempted on numerous occasions to regain control over the Dominican part of the island, but were defeated again and again. Political power passed to the conservative group of hateros and former Frenchified boyerista officials, thanks to the control of the presidency of the Central Government Board by Bobadilla and of the Liberation Army by General Santana, who ruled dictatorially in various periods. As time progressed, the constant power struggles between Santana and Buenaventura Báez, who gradually was revealed as more cunning and no less annexationist than the former, set the stage for a period of political and economic chaos.[16]

Between 1853 and 1857, Santana and Báez engaged in a series of political confrontations that eventually reached its breaking point with the outbreak of the Cibano Revolution during Báez's second term in office. All the while, both would continue to propose that the Dominican Republic be annexed to a foreign power, with Santana choosing Spain, and Báez subjecting the United States. With Báez's overthrow in 1858, Santana once again president. But by now, the nation was on the brink of collapse due to the heavy spending of the war, and the bankrupt treasury left behind from Báez administration. All of this, in addition to fears of a renewed Haitian invasion, led to Santana to seek out the proposals from Queen Isabella II of Spain. Sánchez and Mella, however, did not abandon their liberal positions and patriotic essentials. Their relationships with prominent conservatives was the price to remain in the interior of the country and influence so that things could take the best possible direction. Duarte, however, saw things differently. He believed it was impossible to accept any type of agreement with what he described as "faction." According to a letter from Juan Isidro Pérez, Duarte was disappointed in Sánchez, whom he had placed in charge following his 1843 exile, due to reaching an agreement with Santana. For Duarte, patriotism of the people was the only possible cause, therefore he refused to conceive the existence of the parties, only recognizing the opposition of traitors. Referring to Báez and his early inclination in favor of the United States, he wrote in 1865:[36]

In Santo Domingo, there is only one town that wants to be and has proclaimed itself independent of all foreign power, and a miserable fraction that always has spoken out against this law, against this need of the Dominican people, always achieving by gave of his intrigues and sordid dealings to take over the situation.

Duarte preferred complete isolation to any concession. Politics had to be guided by noble purposes or it would be distorted. Consequently, politics implied high ideals, reflection and action for the benefit of the community. Above all things, for Duarte, politics was equivalent to patriotism. His notion of a free country, which was synthesized in the willingness to sacrifice in favor of the principles and the well-being of the people, was the opposite of the common-mind considered as politics: the realm of the struggle for power.[37]

Assistance from Venezuela

Juan Crisostomo Falcon, Minister of External Relations of Venezuela.

Although many aspects of his life in Venezuela remain unknown, it is certain that Duarte did not abandon the disposition to action. When sensing danger approaching his country, he did not hesitate to present himself. It was when he learned of the annexation of the Dominican Republic to Spain in March 1861, news that he received more than a year later in the depths of the Venezuelan jungle, and moved to Caracas in August 1862. During the following months, he remained mainly in expectation. It can be deduced that he considered that his prolonged absence from the county is what caused him not to take initiatives. Some even argue that Duarte felt regret for the country, since apparently the majority of the population accepted Santana's betrayal.[37] In a brief letter, he wrote:[38]

The sufferings of my brothers were extremely sensitive to me, but it was more painful to see that the fruit of so many sacrifices, so much suffering, was the loss of the independence of that country so dear to my heart, and instead of accepting the opulence that degraded us, I accepted with joy the bitter disappointment that I knew awaited me the day when my short services would no longer be believed useful or necessary to individuals.

It was when the Restoration War broke out, in August 1863, when Duarte started moving. His sister's Diary was stated that on December 20, 1863, he moved to Caracas with his uncle Mariano Diez. As soon as he found out that the people had begun the fight against Spanish domination, Duarte formed a revolutionary center in Caracas. His brother Vicente Celestino, his uncle Mariano Diez, the young poet Manuel Rodríguez Objío and the Venezuelan Candelario Oquendo joined him. Several Venezuelans were interested in supporting the Dominican cause, those who stood out between Blas and Manuel Bruzual the latter known as The Fearless Soldier, exponent of the radical positions of liberalism. President Juan Crisóstomo Falcón received Duarte and promised him help, despite the difficult situation in which Venezuela found itself, after several years of federal war. Despite Falcón's good disposition, the help received by Duarte was minimal, since the matter was left in the hands of the vice president, Antonio Guzmán Blanco, (future autocrat of Venezuela), who was not interested in helping the Dominicans. Duarte reflected that In matters of intrigue, Venezuelans were no different from the Dominicans. Apparently he only received a thousand pesos from the Venezuelan government. Many Dominicans came to stand at Duarte's orders, but he could not do anything due to lack of funds. Therefore, without having managed to gather resources, as was his wish, together with the four aforementioned companions, he was able to embark in Curaçao in route to his homeland in March 1864. Enduring a long voyage on the Gold Munster schooner, they returned to Guaira and passed through the Turks and Caicos Islands, where they had to evade the intense pursuit of a Spanish warship.[39] From there, he arrived in Haiti, in the town of Cap-Haïtien. After 20 years of exile, he was now back in his homeland.[40]

Second return to Dominican Republic

Portrait of General Juan Pablo Duarte

He arrived in Monte Cristi on March 25, 1864 and immediately addressed the government of the Restoration. He was joyfully received by General Benito Monción.The next day, they left for Guayubín, where he saw his old friend, Matías Ramón Mella, appointed a few days before as Vice President of the Provisional Government. But unfortunately, Mella was bedridden in a serious state, which destroyed Duarte's soul. (Duarte always had special trust in Mella, as well as a close friendship. It was Mella that Duarte sent to Haiti to concretize the political alliance with the reformist Haitians who were fighting against Boyer, and it was Mella, once national independence was achieved, who proclaimed Duarte president of the Republic in Cibao, facts that prove the friendship and trust that existed between them). General José María Cabral, hero of the Battle of Santomé, was present at the emotional meeting.[39]

On the 28 March, he wrote a letter to the restoration government of Santiago expressing his willingness to consecrate what remains of his strength and life to the service of the Dominican Restoration. On 1 April ,the acting president, Ulises Francisco Espaillat, responded by saying that the Government “sees with indescribable joy” his return to the heart of the Homeland. In Guayubín he was attacked by malarial fever, so he had to stay bedridden until 2 April. That day, still ill, he left for Santiago, and to make the occasion more unfortunate, they carried the seriously ill General Mella. They arrived in Santiago on the 4th and the next day he appeared before the restoration authorities, to whom he reiterated the concepts of his letter of the 28th. His health was going from bad to worse, so for a week he had to remain immobilized in bed. He could not see President General José Antonio Salcedo because he was campaigning in the South. On the 14th he received a letter from the Minister of Finance, Alfredo Deetjen, in which he communicated this: “My government having accepted the services that you have spontaneously offered us has decided to use them, entrusting the Republic of Venezuela with a mission whose purpose You will be informed in due course. In this virtue, my government hopes that you will be willing to get ready to embark on a trip while the credentials and instructions for the case are prepared.”[39]

Final exile

Statue of Duarte in Bonao, Dominican Republic

The restoration government did not evaluate the importance that it had the presence of Duarte, which could have been due to the fact that his figure had has been buried by oblivion and that some of the leaders of the national contest had been supporters of Santana.[40] That letter dismayed Duarte. Sad and disappointed, he was shaken by his most varied thoughts, to the point that he came to think that his presence was not pleasant to certain circles of the government. This mission, neither desired nor requested by him, contradicted the effort made to return to the homeland and his desire to remain in the country fighting for the Restoration.[39] On April the government of Santiago, through Espaillat, Duarte was asked to move to Venezuela at the head of a diplomatic mission in order to get help. He was not willing to accept the assignment, because his interest was to participate in the struggle in the interior of the country. But, a few days later, an article published in the Diario de la Marina, in Havana, was received, signed by G. (who could have been the writer Manuel de Jesús Galván, the main Dominican spokesperson of the Spanish regime in Santo Domingo), which predicted internal struggles among the restaurateurs for control due to the return of Duarte. So that it could not be thought that he was motivated by personal ambitions, Duarte informed Espaillat that he accepted the appointment, although for a few days he hoped to remain in the interior of the country. Espaillat, however, confirmed Duarte's appointment, although he told him that he should not stay with the impression that G.'s intrigue had had an effect.[41] At the beginning of June, invested as Minister Plenipotentiary, he left for Haiti, and at the end of the month, on the 28th, he arrived in Saint Thomas. He then continued to Curaçao, where he remained almost two months making enormous diplomatic efforts. In August, he returned to Caracas. His eyes never again saw his Dominican Republic, the land that he always loved and for which he resignedly accepted the greatest sacrifices.[39] After nearly two years of war, Spain annulled the annexation and called off its remaining troops. As a result, independence was restored, and by July 1865, the Spanish forces were off the island.

Final years

Post-Restoration War

Only known photo of Juan Pablo Duarte. Taken by the Venezuelan photographer Prospero Agustín Rey Medrero in Venezuela, in 1873.

Duarte closely followed the evolution of the country, as shown in the active correspondence he had during those months, although he resigned from diplomatic representation following the overthrow of President Gaspar Polanco, who had released his credentials. He was above all concerned about the recomposition of annexationism, this time in favor of the United States, which was promoted mainly Buenaventura Báez. That is why he pointed out in a letter to Félix María Delmonte:[42]

If I spoke out independent Dominican, since July 16, 1838..., if later, in the year '44, I spoke out against the French protectorate...; and if after twenty years of absence I have spontaneously returned to my country to protest with arms in hand against the annexation to Spain carried out despite the national vote for the deception of that traitor and parricide side, it is not to be expected that I stop protesting (and with me every good Dominican) which I protest and will always protest, I'm not just saying against the annexation of my Country to the United States, but to any other power on earth, and at the same time against any treaty that tends to undermine in the least our National Independence.. [...]

From the end of 1865, Dominican politics moved away of the patriotic objectives stated in the Restoration. Most of the leaders who emerged from that war oriented toward anarchic and conservative positions. Duarte must have assessed the poverty of the political leadership, as he refers in another letter to Delmonte on May 2 of that year:[43]

You say (and it is true) that Benigno Rojas is nothing but Yankee, and Báez who is nothing but Haitian-Gallo-Spanish, and Lavastida and Alfaus and Manueles are Yankees; Báez says that says that Bobadilla is nothing but Pandora, Melitón is everything, except Dominican, says José Portes who is in Saint-Thomas, and adds to this that being a senator, so that he would keep his mouth shut when the Annexation, Santana gave him a house. Poor country! If these are the consultants, what will be consulted?

He was said to have experienced new disappointment when he saw that the old annexationist, Buenaventura Báez, the architect of the Levasseur Plan of 1843, was elevated to the presidency, brought by none other than the then president, José María Cabral, champion of the Restoration in the south. From then on, although he did not leave Caracas, he disassociated himself from Dominican politics. The country entered a whirlwind of passions between leaders and a difficult situation in which annexation to the United States was approved in 1870. Practically, everyone forgot about Duarte; Occasionally he received visits or correspondence from liberal intellectuals interested in the reconstruction of the events that led to the birth of the Republic.[43] Gregorio Luperón, the hero of the Restoration War, made efforts to return Duarte back to the country. In addition, Duarte received a letter from President Ignacio María González, who invited him to reintegrate into the Dominican Republic. But by now, Duarte was in extreme poverty and his health was fading rapidly. Therefore, he could not respond to these calls for his return.


On July 14, 1876, Duarte's health was seriously deteriorating. Suffering from tuberculosis and pneumonia, his breathing had worsened, causing him to be confined to his bed. In his final moment, residing in his home, located on the corners of Zamuro and Pájaro, he was accompanied by sisters Rosa and Francisco, and his brother, Manuel. The next day, at 3 in the morning, he passed away. A text narrates that gloomy day in these terms:[44]

Caracas, on the night of July 14, 1876, Duarte was approaching his end and while his sisters, Rosa and Francisca, watched by his side; His brother Manuel, lost her mind, was shooting nonsense in a neighboring room. The most complete misery prevailed in the house, whose furniture was very scarce. Rosa and Francisca lived by sewing and their earnings were so meager that they could barely survive. Such was the environment in which Duarte was close to death, after suffering for a year from an exhausting illness (pneumonia) that turned him into a ghost. He was 63 years old and looked over eighty. A life of illness, deprivation and sacrifice had reduced him to that pitiful situation. For his neighbors in Caracas, Duarte was a Dominican who had had some importance in his country or at least that was what it seemed. What these people did not know was that if the Duartes were in such a terrible situation, it was due to the love they felt for their country because on two occasions, in 1844 and 1863, they sacrificed an important part of the family heritage for it.

Nor did they know that that old man, who looked abstracted and sick, had been one of the purest patricians in America, who had dedicated himself to serving his country with “soul, life and heart.” And they did not know that this poor Dominican, who lived so darkly, had been considered the Nazarene Jesus of the Dominicans. As for their sisters, those same people were unaware that those poor women, who now did not even have good eyesight to sew, together with their mother, now deceased, had manufactured more than 5,000 bullets for the independence of their country. But let's go back to the patient. At two in the morning on Saturday, silence enveloped Caracas. The night advanced and the city looked deserted. In the sad Duarte house, Rosa and Francisca kept vigil. Everything announced the proximity of the end, and in the dying man's room, poorly lit by a candle, prayers alternated with silence. The time advances and the patient's breathing becomes more difficult. The wait is long. Finally, at three in the morning, on July 15, 1876, the dying man breathed his last sigh. The room is filled with sobs. Rosa and France bloom inconsolably. Duarte is dead.

He has died far from the land where he was born, in a corner of Caracas, forgotten by his compatriots and plunged into the blackest misery.

The first news of his death was announced through the Diario de Avisos, of Caracas, in the afternoon edition of July 15, 1876. The note states the following:[45]

General (sic) Juan Pablo Duarte, leader of Dominican independence, has died; His relatives and friends who subscribe hope that you will accompany them to the burial of the body tomorrow at 9 am in the IP of Santa Rosalía." - Caracas, July 15, 1876.

Very few attended Duarte's funeral with the exceptions of family members, friends, and some immediate neighbors. Among the attendees were: Manuel Duarte, Enrique Duarte, José Ayala, Francisco Tejera, Federico Tejera, AS de Vizcarrondo, Marcos Guzmán, Felipe Tejera, Miguel Tejera and Andrés Tejera.

Personal life

Reserved 19th century photo of Duarte

Duarte's personal life to date is the subject of discussion. It is known that he was a poet who followed Romanticism. He also used to play the guitar, the piano and the flute; he also practiced fencing. Duarte was also a polyglot who spoke six languages: Spanish, Latin, Portuguese, French, English and German.

During his youth, Duarte had several love affairs. His first relationship was with María Antonia Bobadilla, which she ended years later for unknown reasons. The Duarte Museum is said to have preserved the ring in which he gave to her as a sign of commitment. Years later, Duarte fell in love with Prudencia "Nona" Lluberes, a Catalan descendant with whom he formalized a relationship that was interrupted due to his exile and his subsequent suffering from tuberculosis. The dates on which Duarte maintained these relationships are not known, given the imprecision about his private life and the last years of his life in exile. Some historians also certify that he had a son during his stay in Venezuela with a woman named Marcela Mercedes.[46]

Jose Joaquin Perez Saviñon, director of the Duartiano Institute, commented on Duarte's first love story: "For unknown reasons, the engagement was broken." But Duarte would have the opportunity to fall in love again, this time with a descendant of Catalans and a relative of various patriots, Prudencia Lluberes, La Nona. Troncoso Sánchez says in Apuntes Duartianos that "his second girlfriend received, like his first, his promise of marriage symbolized in a ring."

Always persecuted by his ideals, Duarte loved, but could not continue with Prudencia "Nona" Lluberes. Pérez Saviñón comments that Yovanny Ferrúa wrote an article highlighting that already in exile, Duarte wanted to marry her by her power, but they did not let him because he already suffered from tuberculosis. "They even tore up the letters he sent her for fear of contagion from her, which is why Duarte's love letters are not preserved," says the president of the Duartiano Institute.[46]

Pérez Saviñón assures that Prudencia always hoped and dreamed of the Father of the country. She never married. Saviñón ecxplained:[46]

When they brought Duarte's remains, Nona lived in front of the Colón park and they took her out onto the balcony already blind, very old and it is said that she said: 'I have followed you up to here Juan Pablo,' and after a few months she died," she narrates.

While the country maintains the version that Duarte never married, much less that he had children, Bulletin 117 of the General Archive of the Nation, called "The Duarte family: Genealogy at the service of history," Antonio José Guerra Sánchez refers to the Theories of the descendants of Juan Pablo Duarte Díez.

Guerra Sánchez says:

At different times, some authors (including the journalist and historian Luis Padilla D'Onis, originally from Arecibo, Puerto Rico) have tried to indicate descent from founding father Juan Pablo Duarte, through his cousin Vicenta Díez, in her daughters Carmen Sandalia and Sinforosa Duarte Díez.

However, he adds that it is unknown that there was a Vicenta Díez and even less is known of which of the brothers of the mother of the hero was her daughter. What is certain is that Duarte did not marry, and according to Pérez Saviñón he did not “because he clearly said that he had married the country, all his efforts were for the country. The love for the homeland was superior to everything, even though he was already a defeated old man, he still thought about the homeland. He sacrificed himself for his spirit of service," he says.


Bust of Juan Pablo Duarte

Aside from his stature as a revolutionary leader, he was also known as a writer. Duarte did not pretend to be a poet, as Don Vetilio says, although he liked poetry as demonstrated by his published verses, including some saved poems, which he wrote when he was almost lost in the Venezuelan jungle. His poetry, as Ángela Peña points out, is “an extension of his patriotic and political work, even though there are poems of his in which he sings to women. It cannot be considered that the Father of the Nation was a poet. Literary creation was not a habit in his life. He wrote responding to the imperatives of the moment without having poetry as a constant and permanent way of expression." Among the known poems, written by Juan Pablo Duarte in Santo Domingo, are Tristezas de la noche, Santana, Canto de guerra, Antifona, El Criollo, Desconsuelo, Suplica, Himno, La Cartera del proscribado, and four other poems without titles. In his romantic production, is the poem Romance, the theme of bitterness is evident. Remoteness portrays the stormy pain of feeling expatriated from her land along with her eight companions in misfortune, those who gave everything to see her free and sovereign:

“ /…/ They who will launch themselves in the name of God, / Homeland and freedom; / They who gave the People / The desired independence. / They were thrown from the ground / For whose happiness they fought: / Outlawed, yes, by traitors / Those who were in excess of loyalty. / They were watched descend / to the quiet shore, / They He heard them say goodbye,/And from their muffled voice/I picked up the

However, of the writings in his eventful years of exile, there are only a few verses without titles, contributed by the Venezuelan historian Francisco Manuel de las Heras y Borrero in his essay Juan Pablo Duarte in Venezuela, written while he lived in Chaguas: “Here the Patricio will participate in literary and social gatherings, avoiding overtly political ones, given his refugee status. (…). Duarte's presence in this geographical location is clearly identified in 1856, the year in which the first book published in Apure was published. These are the Posthumous Honors of Mr. Marcelino Muñoz (…). In the reviewed publication, a poem by Juan Pablo Duarte appears, dedicated to extolling the merits of the deceased, his friend, "who was the president of the Masonic Sociedad Joven Achaguas, which Juan Pablo Duarte frequentedHere are the verses contributed by de las Heras and Borreros:

“Of paragon honor and model virtue,/ I call that impious world his own,/ and Heaven said without mercy, without mourning,/ with a tremendous voice “Marcelino is mine.” / And he heard that ruling, and without moaning in pain / with a calm, religious and pious face. / Goodbye he said to us with a serene face, / he who was from Apure the spirit. / And when the poor foreigner / sees himself sick and helpless, / who like the softened / will give him whole bread and home?

Legacy and honors

Juan Pablo Duarte memorial, Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

Symbol of Dominican independence

  • Duarte's birth is commemorated by Dominicans every January 26.
Statue of Duarte in Duarte Park, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Duarte was, in his time, the most consistent exponent of nationalist and independence ideas derived from the liberal principles of the American Revolution and French Revolution of 1776 and 1789, respectively. He was also the main promoter of national consciousness and permanent defender of the Dominican national identity. He advocated the union of all Dominicans, as well as the establishment of a democratic republic based on the rule of the Constitution and the laws in order to fully guarantee the public rights and freedoms of citizens.

Duarte was never in favor of violating democratic procedures to access political power and direct national destinies. He believed in national unity as an indispensable principle to prevent civil discord and the desires of foreign powers from causing his independence project to succumb. He is remembered with respect as Father of the Dominican Republic with preservation of his admirable patriotic legacy, because thanks to his fruitful revolutionary work that today Dominicans constitute an ethnic and cultural community (which evolved throughout the centuries) proud to have as their own. He was always willing to defend national sovereignty against the claims of those who "without judgment and without heart they conspire against the health of the country.”

Duarte managed to establish a free Republic, which through the voting process, could give rise to a democracy where all citizens, in theory, could be equal and free. The study trips he made to Europe in his adolescence, a continent where liberal ideas resulting from the French Revolution were debated and imposed, greatly influenced his later attitudes in the independence struggles.[47] His political thought and his magnificent feat in the independence struggle, undoubtedly, places him in the position of Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín, José Gervasio Artigas, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Antonio Maceo and José Martí.[48] He is considered a national hero and father of democracy in the Dominican Republic. He is also credited with being the precursor of Dominican theater by being the first to promote theatrical events through the La Filantrópica and La Dramática societies, which aimed to present theatrical works alluding to Dominican freedom.[47] Duarte ran serious dangers and misfortunes due to his profound knowledge acquired in Europe and his decision to create a Republic that would serve as a base for Dominicans to get rid of Haitian repression and the betrayals of conservatives who had accommodated their interests to Spain, France, Great Britain, and the United States, regardless of the persecution that Duarte and his followers fell victim to. In this vein, Dominican historian Vetilio Alfau Durán writes:[48]

During the twenty years of exile, misfortune had dug its claws into the body of Juan Pablo Duarte, annihilating him. Thus, aged, with the mark of the havoc marked on his face, he landed in the national territory, in the heart of Cibao, which was at war, to protest with weapons in his hands, against the annexation to Spain, he appeared before the Provisional Government. A restaurateur established in Santiago, he offers his services and makes this categorical statement: “No matter how desperate the cause of my country may be, it will always be the cause of honor, and I will always be willing to honor its banner with my blood.

One of his most emblematic phrases was without a doubt "Living without a country is the same as living without honor!" This quote left a great mark on the Dominican people.[47] In addition, his dream of a nation free of all foreign power is evident through another famous phrase: "Our homeland must be free and independent from any foreign power or the island sinks."

Admiration by other historical figures

Duarte's legacy was recognized throughout Latin America. Independence activists such as Eugenio Maria de Hostos (left) and José Martí (right) took inspiration from Duarte.

Duarte's revolutionary work has earned him praised from other leaders throughout North America. He gained acknowledgement from other Caribbean independence leaders, especially Eugenio Maria de Hostos of Puerto Rico, and José Martí of Cuba. Both leaders spoke admirably of Dominican Republic's struggle for freedom, with the former even referring to Duarte as the master of patriotism. The distinguished Dominican intellectual Federico Henríquez y Carvajal, a close friend and collaborator of Hostos, in his speech read, in his capacity as President of the Erector Board, at the inauguration of the monument to Juan Pablo Duarte on July 16, 1930, cites the following words of the Puerto Rican humanist referring to the patrician:[49]

When Cibao, to whom the restoration of independence was entrusted, did the wonders he did, Duarte presented himself to take his position. It seems that at that moment his agony began. It seems that, from that moment, he once again saw up close the ingratitude that had banished him twenty years ago. It seems that, from that moment, he saw the incompatibility that existed between him and the others, between the new and the old organizers of the defense of the homeland. It seems that, from that moment, he sentenced himself to death in exile. There is no doubt that Duarte was exiled again, that he once again went to wander hungry and lonely, lonely and hungry, through fields as undeveloped as these, and like almost all of them, for self-denial and patriotism. But there is also no doubt that the country owed him one last service: that of dying far from it, removing the weight of remorse from his shoulders!

Hostos left evidence in his intellectual work of the admiration and respect that the historical figure of the patrician inspired in him. In the book Visión de Hostos sobre Duarte, published in 2013 under the auspices of the General Archive of the Nation, we bring together several texts by the immortal author of Moral Social referring to the three fathers of the Dominican homeland, but with emphasis on Duarte. In The municipality of Santo Domingo - or The repatriation of Duarte's ashes, as this short article can be titled - Hostos discusses the interest of the First City in bringing the remains of Duarte to the Dominican Republic: "For a long time now, Luperón and other patriots had asked public opinion for the repatriation of Duarte's ashes. They preached in the desert,” says Hostos.[49]

It remains pending, for a later and more exhaustive investigation, to rescue a dramatic text that Hostos wrote in Chile alluding to the Duarte's return to his homeland in March 1864, according to the information that the historian Emilio Rodríguez Demorizi records: "There [in Chile] he wrote the children's comedy Duarte's Arrival, not to Chile naturally, but to the distant homeland. His children play, warlike, Dominicans and Haitians, and he is excited like a child when the eldest of them, victorious, shows him with his index finger, on the highest branch of an olive tree, the Duarte flag."[49]

Hostos refers to this children's play in a letter addressed to the editor of the newspaper El Telefono , from Santiago de Chile, on 23 September 1890, the year in which we assume he wrote the aforementioned comedy. He regrets not having been able, due to health problems that afflicted him, to perform The Arrival of Duarte, a children's comedy animated by affectionate memories and acclamations from little Dominicans that would not have failed to resonate among the spectators. In that letter there is a lot of love shown towards Duarte's homeland: "I have spent the [Chilean] national holidays unwell. Consequently, I have not been able to take the part in them that I wanted, and that would have made our Quisqueya and its flag take."[49]

Martí, who knew the life and work of Duarte, wrote about him on several occasions. In this regard, Emilio Rodríguez Demorizi published an essential text to know Martí's relationship with the Dominican Republic: Martí in Santo Domingo. The book collects everything that Martí, nicknamed the "Cuban Apostle," wrote on Dominican topics, including those referring to Duarte.[50] For the month of April 1894, funds were collected in Santo Domingo to erect the statue of the founder of the Republic, Juan Pablo Duarte. Generalissimo Máximo Gómez was in New York, where he was preparing to set off for Cuba to fight in the Cuban War of Independence, and decided to take a “parenthesis in revolutionary work to write to the director of Patria, by José Martí.” (Patria was the Cuban revolutionary newspaper). In Gómez's letter he requests the contribution of Cubans to "increase the funds (to) erect a statue of Juan Pablo Duarte worthy of his memory."[50]

Martí's response as director of Patria, called, Adhesion of Patria and General Gómez's letter were published on April 17. In it Martí shows great mastery of the Dominican historical process and, especially, of the figure of the founder of the Republic. There he speaks:[50][51]

And Patria, general, that in the courage of men and in the loyalty of women sees erected forever in the Dominican conscience, above transits and appearances, the indomitable vigilance with which the founder Duarte raised his fallen people.

Homeland, which still contemplates him, sagacious creator, illuminate with the fiery word, accused of being deluded and demagogic, the youth who in the humility of “La Trinitaria” learned from him to ignore the vile advice of well-off pride, or fear corrupter, who prefers the barragonies of dishonor to the health of freedom, always restless in childhood. Homeland, which sees him plot, with the power of his council, - and with no other arms than the idea, mother of arms, - the rebellion that, from a leap of heroes, threw back the Haitian, so great when he defended his freedom as guilty when he oppressed others. Homeland, which still sees, with the joy of a sister soul, the flash of Mella's blunderbuss light in the air, and an invincible people fall, standing, from the folds that unravel, opening to death, Sánchez's flag, there in the famous Puerta del Conde, on that day of the entrails, February 27. Homeland, which later saw him, a victim of his own children, thrown out of power, which was in his hands like the ark of the Republic, and dying in expatriation, sad and poor, as a final service to the country, before whose appetites and fainting, freedom must be erected, in order to better preserve itself, with the poetry of sacrifice. Homeland, with its two hands extended, asks Cubans and Puerto Ricans for their tribute for the monument to Duarte: the tribute of Americans to a martyr of freedom who redeems and edifies: -the tribute of gratitude of Cubans to the homeland of the heroes who carried their cross on their bloody shoulder, and with the helmets of their horses marked the path of honor in Cuba.

Patria, in its next issue, opens the list of Cuba's tribute to Duarte's monument."

— José Marti


Statue of Juan Pablo Duarte in Duarte Square, In New York City, New York, United States.

His birthplace was converted into a museum. The Duarte-Diez family lived there from their arrival in Santo Domingo until their exile.

  • Duarte's birth is commemorated by Dominicans every January 26 as a national holiday.
  • Many places in the Dominican Republic bear his name, among them the country's (and the Caribbean's) highest point, Pico Duarte.
  • The province of Duarte is named after him.
  • The Villa Duarte section in Santo Domingo is named in his honor.
  • Duarte is solely depicted on the one Dominican peso coin; he is also depicted on the 100 Dominican peso note alongside Sánchez and Mella.
  • A memorial to Duarte stands in Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island[52]
  • Broad St. in Providence, Rhode Island co-named Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard
  • In 1945, a plaza was dedicated to Duarte, Duarte Square, at the corner of 6th Avenue and Canal Street, in New York City.
  • A bronze statue to Duarte was erected at the intersection of 6th Avenue and Canal Street in New York City in 1978.[53]
  • St. Nicholas Avenue in Manhattan is co-named Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard from Amsterdam Avenue and West 162nd Street to the intersection of West 193rd Street and Fort George Hill.[54]
  • [Puente Juan Pablo Duarte] is a suspension bridge that is located in Santo Domingo; it was named after him.[55]
  • An athletic complex named in his honor, Centro Olímpico Juan Pablo Duarte, is currently under preservation.
  • Juan Pablo Duarte metro station is an underground interchange station located in the Santo Domingo Metro; it still carries his name.
  • A bust of Duarte at the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the Organization of American States was dedicated in 2010.
  • On February 24, 2011, in commemoration of the 167th anniversary of the national Dominican independence, a statue of Duarte was inaugurated in the Mário Soares Garden, in front of the Dominican embassy in Lisbon.
  • On September 4, 2023, the Dominican embassy in Egypt unveiled the first official bust of Duarte in the continent of Africa. It is located in the "La Libertad" park in Cairo.[56]


  • Tristezas de la noche
  • Santana
  • Canto de guerra
  • Antífona
  • El Criollo
  • Desconsuelo
  • Suplica
  • Himno
  • La Cartera del procrito
  • Romántica

See also


  1. ^ His paternal grandparents were Manuel Duarte Jiménez and Ana María Rodríguez de Tapia, both from Vejer de la Frontera (Kingdom of Seville, Spain). His maternal grandparents were Antonio Díez Baillo, from Osorno la Mayor (Province of Toro, Spain), and Rufina Jiménez Benítez, who was born in El Seybo (Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, New Spain).[5]


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  3. ^ Serra, José María (1887). Apuntes para la historia de los trinitarios. Santo Domingo: Imprenta García Hermanos.
  4. ^ Mendez Mendez, Serafin (2003). "Juan Pablo Duarte". Notable Caribbeans and Caribbean Americans: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 148. ISBN 0313314438.
  5. ^ González Hernández, Julio Amable (23 October 2015). "Los ancestros de Juan Pablo" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  6. ^ www.colonialzone-dr.com
  7. ^ Deive (1989). Las emigraciones Dominicanas a Cuba, 1795-1808. Santo Domingo.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  8. ^ "Hispaniola Article". Britannica.com. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Dominican Republic 2014". Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  10. ^ H, Quisqueya Lora. "El sonido de la libertad".
  11. ^ "Venezuela tiene deuda histórica con Haití". 6 January 2014.
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  • Duarte, Rosa. Apuntes para la historia de la isla de Santo Domingo y para la biografía del general dominicano Juan Pablo Duarte y Diez. Santo Domingo, 1994.
  • García, José Gabriel. Compendio de la historia de Santo Domingo. 4 vols. Santo Domingo, 1968.
  • García, José Gabriel. Rasgos biográficos de dominicanos célebres. Santo Domingo, 1971.
  • García Lluberes, Alcides. Duarte y otros temas. Santo Domingo, 1971.
  • García Lluberes, Leonidas. Crítica histórica. Santo Domingo, 1964.
  • Martínez, Rufino. Diccionario biográfico-histórico dominicano. Santo Domingo, 1997.
  • Tena Reyes, Jorge (ed.). Duarte en la historiografía dominicana. Santo Domingo, 1994.
  • Selden Rodman, Quisqueya: A History of the Dominican Republic (1964).
  • Howard J. Wiarda, The Dominican Republic: Nation in Transition (1969).
  • Ian Bell, The Dominican Republic (1981).
  • Howard J. Wiarda, and MJ Kryzanek, The Dominican Republic: A Caribbean Crucible (1982).

Additional Bibliography

  • Duarte, Juan Pablo, and Vetilio Alfau Durán. Duarte's ideology, and his project and constitution. Santo Domingo: CPEP, Permanent Commission of Batrias Ephemerides, 2006.
  • Martínez-Fernández, Luis. Torn between Empires: Economy, Society, and Patterns of Political Thought in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1840–1878. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994.
  • Miniño, Manuel Marino. Duarte's thought in its historical and ideological context. Santo Domingo: Duartiano Institute, 1998.

External links