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was born on 12 March 1863, in Arecibo, a river town of Puerto Rico, and died as a soldier fighting Spanish colonialism in the Cuban manigua, or swamp, of Turiguanó. Marín was the eldest of Santiago Marín Solá and Celestina Shaw Figueroa’s seven children. His father, Santiago Marín Solá, was the son of an illiterate Italian immigrant and a mixed-race African-descended woman from Curaçao who was his slave, and his mother, Celestina Shaw Figueroa, was the daughter of an Englishman and an African woman.

Pachín’s cousin was Amalia Marín, daughter of Ponce educator, historian, and journalist Ramón Marín Solá and also the mother of Luis Muñoz Marín, architect of modern Puerto Rico as Estado Libre Asociado—or commonwealth—of the United States. Both Marín’s parents were admirers of Ramón Emeterio Betances and Segundo Ruiz Belvis, leading opponents of slavery in Puerto Rico and among the organizers of the island’s 1868 ...