Juan Sánchez Ramírez
|Jan Sánchez Ramírez|
|Governor of Second Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo (1809-1821)|
December 13, 1808 – February 11, 1811
|Succeeded by||Manuel Caballero y Masot|
Cotuí, Captaincy General of Santo Domingo (later the Dominican Republic)
|Died||February 11, 1811
|Nationality||Dominican and Spanish|
|Residence||Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico (1803–1807)|
|Profession||Politician and Captain general|
Juan Sánchez Ramírez (1762–1811) was a Spanish soldier and a Dominican Captain general who ruled the modern Dominican Republic between 1808 and 1811, and commanded the troops that fought against the French rule of Santo Domingo´s colony between 1808 and 1809 in the Battle of Palo Hincado, resulting in a victory over the French, and the return of Santo Domingo to Spanish hands.
Juan Sánchez Ramírez was born in 1762 in Cotuí, Santo Domingo. According to historian Francisco A. Rincón (author of La Mejorada Villa del Cotuy or, in English, The Improved Cotuy Ville), he was the son of Miguel Sanchez and Francisca Ramirez. Juan Sanchez Ramirez had two brothers: Remigio, who accompanied him in his military struggles, and Rafael, Magistrate of Cotuí during the Haitian occupation. His father was a Spanish member of the military and a wealthy landowner. Juan Sánchez Ramírez was educated by the priest Pichardo y Delmonte. When he was young, he joined a company of lancers formed by the townspeople.
In 1793, the Haitian Toussaint Louverture seized the eastern part of the island, and abolished slavery. In 1802, after sending Santo Domingo´s colony to France with the Treaty of Basel in 1795, around fifty thousand soldiers came to Spanish Santo Domingo under the command of the French Leclerc. These soldiers defeated Toussaint and took over this side of the island. Nevertheless, the Haitians and French occupied the lands belonging to Juan Sánchez Ramirez, and to almost all Spaniards living in the colony of Santo Domingo.
Ramírez began his career as a soldier in the Spanish Army, fighting against the French occupation in order to maintain the Dominican nationality and identity. He requested assistance from the British army established in Jamaica, to force the French to surrender Santo Domingo. However, the French refused to surrender the colony to the Dominican army, because the Dominicans were dressed in rags, and they said that this fact was an embarrassment for France. So it was France that finally occupied the colony.
El Palo Hincado battle
In July 1807, when Ramírez was still in Puerto Rico, he learned that the Governing Board, who replaced Fernando VII, had declared war against France. He then travelled all over the colony, encouraging its residents to take up arms against the French, to support him in the Reconquista of Santo Domingo (Reconquest of Santo Domingo), while he also engaged the exploitation of timber cuts on his possessions of the eastern shores, between Higüey and Jovero (now Miches), where communications with Puerto Rico were easier. Ramírez also maintained a frequent correspondence with Toribio Montes, who promised him every assistance. In August, the governor of Puerto Rico also declared war against France, although the French governor Jean Louis Ferrand tried to downplay that fact, launching a proclamation to invite the people to remain calm.
Later, Ramírez returned to the eastern part of Santo Domingo. In early November 1808, 300 soldiers, sent by Toribio Montes, landed at Boca de Yuma and joined the forces of Sanchez Ramírez. Ramírez left El Seibo (city) in order to march on the city of Santo Domingo. On December 13, 1808, he already returned to the city with his troops. Between then and November 7, 1809, he also was leading the armed British and Haitians against French rule in the Battle of Palo Hincado, defeating Ferrand (who reached him when Ramirez was still in El Seibo) and evacuating the remaining French people who had sought protection behind the walls of Santo Domingo.
The survivors fled to the capital of the colony. On day 12, the square was declared under siege by Ferrand's substitute, the General Dubarquier, and 27 men reached Sánchez Ramirez, who established his camp in the Jainamosa section, on the east bank of the Rio Ozama, transferring it, shortly after, to the Gallard, or Galá hacienda.
Santo Domingo was subsequently recovered by Spain, after which Ramírez was named the new Governor of the colony, and the territory was recognized as Captaincy General. Ramírez's government resembled an independent government: he revived the trade with all the friendly countries of Spain, and he reopened the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino (UASD). Under his government, the board of Bondillo rejected, among other things, what stipulated the Treaty of Basel, 1795.
He annulled the confiscations made by the French colonial government, and reestablished the ancient legal systems. He allowed free access to the English to Spanish ports.
Juan Sánchez Ramírez reintroduced slavery. Soon it became clear that poverty was growing in Santo Domingo. There were several attempts to overthrow Sánchez Ramírez´s government, but these attempts failed, and those who were involved were sentenced to die.
Ramírez also tried to restore the Dominican economy, but Spain was at war with the then South American colonies, and he was destitute with her newly recovered colony of Santo Domingo, which led to the period known as España Boba (Foolish Spain).
Eventually, Ramírez became a landowner. He married Josefa del Monte y Pichardo, with whom he had two children: Juana and José. He emigrated to Puerto Rico twice for political reasons. In Santo Domingo, Ramírez lived on Padre Billini´s street, where the House of Spain was situated. After his death, his allegedly impoverished family moved to San Carlos, Santo Domingo, because Ramírez had many jobs but not "any salary," according to his widow.
- The Santo Domingo street that bears his name area in Socorro, in Gascue, and in Santo Tomás de Aquino, in the University area.
- "La Reconquista: Batalla de Palo Hincado (La Reconquista: Battle of Palo Hincado) (In Spanish)". Mi país: Historia (My Country). July 29, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- Enciclopedia de Tareas.net BIOGRAFÍA DE JUAN SÁNCHEZ RAMÍREZ. Retrieved on August 16, 2014, to 11:21pm.
- Juan Sánchez Ramírez, héroe de la batalla de Palo Hincado declarado paladín de la Reconquista (in Spanish: Juan Sánchez Ramírez, hero of the Battle of Palo Hincado declared champion of the Reconquista). Retrieved on August 16, 2014, to 12:50pm.
- "José Núñez de Cáceres - Enciclopedia – Virtual de Cáceres. (José Núñez de Cáceres - Encyclopedia - Virtual Cáceres) (In Spanish)". Encyclopedia - Virtual Cáceres. July 29, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- Encaribe: Juan Sánchez Ramírez. Retrieved on August 17, 2014, to 12:24pm.
- "Governors of Santo Domingo" (in Spanish). El Rincón del Vago.