Matías Ramón Mella
Mella was born to Antonio Mella Álvarez (1794-1837) and Francisca Javier Castillo Álvarez (1790-1864).
He contributed significantly during 1844 Dominican War of Independence against Haiti, and was involved in the storming of St. Giles Fort by Dominican forces.
He was a member of the First Republic's provisional governing board, convened 28 February 1844. Leader of the Dominican independence. In 1838, sixteen years after the entire island of La Hispaniola unified under the domination of Haiti, Mella participated with other Dominican patriots (most notably Juan Pablo Duarte and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez) in founding La Trinitaria, a secret society with the aim of overthrowing the regime of Haitian dictator Jean-Pierre Boyer.
Subsequently Mella came into contact with the Haitian opposition leader Charles Hérard, who in turn led the reform movement. Together they managed to topple Boyer in 1843, but immediately Hérard imprisoned Mella in Port-au-Prince (Haiti). However, in this very city a rebellion erupted against Hérard, who was only able to dominate with the help of Mella and the incarcerated veterans whom he freed. Mella and his followers marched up to Santo Domingo, captured the eastern part of the island,and formally declared its independence from Haiti and the proclamation of the Dominican Republic in February 1844.
It is said that one night of February 27, 1844, when he was reunited with other conspirators at Puerta de La Misericordia (Mercy Gate), Ramon Matias Mella fired a shot to end the hesitation that threatened to bring failure. He fired his blunderbuss and the Patriots marched toward the stronghold of San Gennaro (today Conde Gate), where another patrician, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, proclaimed to the world the birth of the Dominican Republic.
At the time of the Capotillo Outcry (Grito de Capotillo) (16 August 1863), already very ill, Mella served as vice president of the Republic of the government of the Restoration. He held this office until his death on June 4, 1864. He is entombed in a beautiful mausoleum, Altar de la Patria, at the Count's Gate (Puerta del Conde) alongside Duarte and Sánchez.
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