Mella, Ramón Matías (1816–1864)

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Mella, Ramón Matías (1816–1864)

Ramón Matías Mella (b. 25 February 1816; d. 4 July 1864), Dominican revolutionary, active in the nationalist movement that led to the establishment of the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1822 the island of Hispañola fell under the control of Haitian bureaucrats and soldiers. In 1838 Mella and other Dominican nationalists organized a secret society, La Trinitaria (The Trinitarian), for the purpose of overthrowing the corrupt Haitian dictator, Jean-Pierre Boyer. Mella and the Trinitarians aligned themselves, for tactical reasons, with La Réforme, a Haitian reform movement led by Charles Hérard.

Once Boyer was defeated in 1843, however, Hérard turned on his Dominican allies and had Mella and other Trinitarians arrested and incarcerated at Port-au-Prince. A revolt against Hérard that broke out in 1843 in Port-au-Prince was quelled only with the help of Mella and his Dominican troops. As a reward Mella and his Dominican regiment were released by Hérard. Soon after their arrival in Santo Domingo, the eastern part of the island of Hispañola, Mella and his followers began the process of retaking it and proclaiming independence. On 27 February 1844, Mella and his forces secured the city of Santo Domingo and declared independence from Haiti. Mella was named a member of the new ruling junta that was given the task of organizing the new government. But even after the defeat of the Haitians, Mella's life was not safe, since bitter fighting broke out among the new rulers of the republic. By the summer of 1844, the powerful rancher Pedro Santana took over the ruling junta and had Mella imprisoned. In 1848 Mella accepted a general amnesty and was released from prison.

See alsoDominican Republic .


Louise L. Cripps, The Spanish Caribbean: From Columbus to Castro (1979).

John Edwin Fagg, Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic (1965).

Additional Bibliography

Cassá, Roberto. Matías Ramón Mella: el patriotismo hecho acción. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Tobogan, 1999.

Cruz Sánchez, Filiberto. Mella: biografía política. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora El Nuevo Diario, 1996.

                                    Michael Powelson