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(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION--CUBA.) Decree of the provisional rebel government abolishing slavery. Illustrated letterpress broadside, 18 1/2 x 13 inches, headed "Dectreto, Asemblea de Representantes del Centro, Abolición de la Esclavitud," numbered "54" in manuscript and bearing the embossed seal of the Republica Cubana and signatures of Salvador Cisneros y Betancourt, Eduardo Agramonte, Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz, Francisco Sánchez y Betancourt and Antonio Zambrana; horizontal folds, 1/2-inch hole in lower margin touching one signature. Camagüey, Cuba, 26 February 1869
This proclamation was issued by the radical faction of the Cuban nationalist rebels against Spanish rule in first months of the Ten Years' War. It is illustrated with a dramatic woodcut signed "LFR" depicting a freed man and a rebel celebrating in front of the Cuban flag. The proclamation declared freedom for all the enslaved people of Cuba, in hopes that they would join the revolutionary struggle. It provided for eventual compensation to slaveholders, and ordered that freed individuals must serve the revolution either through military service or by continuing with their previous work. Among the signers were the important leaders Salvador Cisneros y Betancourt (as president, just below the printed text) and Ignacio Agramonte y Loynáz (as secretary, to the left of the engraving). The practical effect of this decree was modest, as the rebels only controlled limited territory before their ultimate defeat, and their territory was generally under control of more conservative military commanders. Slavery did not actually end in Cuba until 1886.
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