Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CESPEDES, Carlos Manuel de (thes'-pay-des), Cuban revolutionist, born in Bayamo, Cuba, 18 April, 1819" died 22 March, 1874. He studied in Havana and in Spain, and was admitted to the bar in Madrid in 1842o After being implicated with General Prim in a conspiracy for the overthrow of the government, he returned, in 1844, to his native City, where he practiced his profession and cultivated literature. He wrote a comedy, "Las dos Dianas," and made a metrical translation of several books of Virgil's "2Eneid." In 1852, on account of political disturbances, he was confined for some time in a Spanish man-of-war at Santiago de Cuba, and then banished to a small inland town. He was allowed to return to Bayamo, where he resided until October, 1868. On the 9th of this month he headed an insurrection in the town of Yara against the Spanish government, and published a manifesto in justification of his course. Soon the whole eastern part of the island was in arms. On 18 October, Cespedes entered Bayamo, which became the seat of the revolutionary government; but on 16 January, 1869, he had to abandon it at the approach of a strong force under General Valmaseda, and burned the City before the arrival of the Spanish troops. Cespedes went then to the Camaguey district, and established the seat of the revolutionary government in Guaimaro. On 10 April, 1869, a Cuban congress assembled there and framed a constitution for the republic they were trying to found. Cespedes was made president by acclamation, and remained with his cabinet in Guaimaro until 1870, when he was dislodged by the Spanish forces under General Puello. He then retired to a more secluded and safe place, lost much of his prestige, and in October, 1873, was deposed from the presidency by the Cuban congress after a short trial. The man-her of his death has never been explained.
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