Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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O'GABAN Y GUERRA, Juan Bernardo (o-gah-ban'), Cuban clergyman, born in Santiago, Cuba, in 1782" died there in 1838. He studied in the University of Havana, and was ordained priest in 1805. He was sent to Europe in 1807 to study the educational system of Pestalozzi, and returned to his native country after two years' residence on that continent. The results of his studies were made known to the public in a well-written and extensive report. In 1810 he was sent by Santiago as a representative to the Spanish cortes at Cadiz. He was elected secretary and afterward chairman of that body, and was one of the signers of the famous liberal constitution of 1812, which established in Spain the representative form of government. He returned to Cuba in 1815, after the restoration of absolutism by Ferdinand VII. In 1820 he was made canon of the Havana cathedral, and in the same year chosen as a representative for Cuba to the cortes, after the revolution that restored the Liberal party to power, but he could not occupy his seat, as his election had been annulled by the government on technicalities. In Madrid he published an extensive "Memoir on the Condition of African Slaves in the West Indies." He declined the dignity of archbishop of Santiago, and on his return to Cuba was imprisoned on account of his liberal ideas, but he was soon set at liberty, and dedicated all his energy to the improvement of methods of education and the extension of public instruction in the island, he wrote many pamphlets on these matters.
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