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Nicolás Ocaranza

Venezuelan army general during the War of Independence and first president of the Republic of Venezuela, was born on 13 June 1790 in Curpa, a village close to Acarigua in the general captaincy of Venezuela. It must be noted that scholarly opinions vary regarding Páez’s racial genealogy. He was the son of Juan Victorio Páez, an official of the Royal Tobacco Monopoly, whose family arrived in Venezuela from the Canary Islands (Spain).

Though the book Documents for the History of the Life of José Antonio Páez (Vol. 1; Caracas: National Academy of History, 1976) mentions that his father initiated an administrative process intended to prove Páez’s “clean white ancestry, without Moro or Indian race,” no reliable documents show that his mother, Maria Violante Herrera, was a woman of white ancestry. And while Paez claims in his Autobiografía that his soldiers called him catire blond man it should be ...

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Miriam R. Martin Erickson

marshal in the Black Auxiliary Troops of King Carlos IV, a black militia group that fought during the Haitian Revolution under the Spanish Crown against the French. Santiago (also known as Jean-Jacques) fought in General Jean-François Papillon’s army in Saint-Domingue. In 1793, two years into the Haitian Revolution, the Spanish government acted on the instability of the region and began recruiting leaders from the slave uprising. Major and minor rebel leaders accepted the Spanish conditions that offered them freedom, land, and privileges in return for conquering French-controlled Saint-Domingue. In early 1794 these leaders occupied most of northern Saint-Domingue, and Spain officially titled them the Black Auxiliary Troops of King Carlos IV. It was during this time in Saint-Domingue that Auxiliary leaders learned both the tactics of political negotiation and how to maneuver within the Spanish legal system, which benefited them greatly during their dealings with the Spanish. By July ...

Article

Mark J. Sammons

Prince Whipple was born in “Amabou, Africa,” probably Anomabu, Ghana, formerly the Gold Coast. The names of his parents are unknown, but mid-nineteenth-century oral tradition suggests that he was born free and maintains that he was sent abroad with a brother (or cousin) Cuff (or Cuffee), but parental plans went awry and the youths were sold into slavery in North America. A collective document Whipple signed with twenty others in 1779 describes their shared experience as being “torn by the cruel hand of violence” from their mothers' “aching bosom,” and “seized, imprisoned and transported” to the United States and deprived of “the nurturing care of [their] bereaved parent” (New Hampshire Gazette, July 15, 1780).

Prince was acquired by William Whipple, and Cuff by William's brother Joseph Whipple, white merchants in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. William Whipple's household also included Windsor Moffatt and other slaves There ...