Morales Lemus, José (1808–1870)

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Morales Lemus, José (1808–1870)

José Morales Lemus (b. 2 May 1808; d. 13 June 1870), Cuban independence figure. A wealthy lawyer and businessman born in Gibara, Morales Lemus professed moderate liberal ideas. He freed his own slaves but was only a qualified abolitionist. He disliked Spanish domination, and for a time favored Cuba's annexation to the United States. However, after the U.S. Civil War made this impossible, he joined the reformists, a group of prominent creoles who advocated constitutional reforms within the framework of Spanish rule. In 1866 he led the group of reformists who went to Madrid to negotiate with the Spanish government. After this effort failed, he cast his lot with the planters who initiated the Ten Years' War (1868–1878). As a result he had to seek refuge in New York, where he became president of the Cuban junta in exile. Later he served as minister of the Cuban Republic in Arms to the U.S. government. Because his properties were confiscated when he fled Cuba, he died penniless in New York City.

See alsoTen Years' War .


Enrique Piñeyro y Berry, José Morales Lemus y la revolución cubana (1871).

Additional Bibliography

Casanovas, Joan. Bread or Bullets!: Urban Labor and Spanish Colonialism in Cuba, 1850–1898. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998.

Pérez, Louis A. Cuba and the United States: Ties of Singular Intimacy. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1997.

                                      JosÉ M. HernÁndez

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Morales Lemus, José (1808–1870)

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