Padilla, José Prudencio
- Ángela Lucía Agudelo González
was born in the city of Riohacha (Colombia) on 19 March 1778, the son of Andrés Padilla, a canoe builder, and Lucía López, of indigenous Wayuu descent. Padilla was recognized as a pardo (brown or mixed race) in the racial classification of Spanish colonial Gran Colombia. José was the oldest of five siblings: Francisco Javier, José Antonio, María Ignacia, and Magdalena. From his childhood on, José Padilla was always in contact with the nautical life, working and providing general services to the ships that arrived in his home port. As a result of family problems, he ran away and set off to work as a cabin boy when he was only 14 years old. He worked in this capacity until he was 19, when he returned to his hometown.
His residency in the city was short-lived, for by 1800 he had enlisted in the Royal Spanish Navy. On 21 ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.