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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MANZANO, Juan Francisco (man-thah'-no), Cuban poet, born in Havana, Cuba, in 1797; died in 1854. He was a negro slave by birth, and remained in servitude till 1837, when he was liberated with money that was raised by a subscription among some young admirers of" his talents. Manzano found many obstacles in the way of satisfying his desire for knowledge, but managed to publish during the days of his slavery a small collection of poems in 1821, and another in 1830 with the title of " Flores pasajeras." In 1840 his autobiography ("Apuntes biogrtificos ") was translated into English by Richard Maddens and published in London, together with a selection of his poems. In 1842 his drama "Zafira" was published. He was implicated in 1844 in the trial for high treason that, cost the poet, Placido his life, but was set at liberty after several months of imprisonment. In his last years he was very poor. Some of Manzano's poems have been translated into French and German.
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