[New York, Colombia, Panama]: 1870. 70 pp. Folio. Disbound. Very good, removed from a bound volume, short tears to two leaves not affecting readability. Item #43794
Manuscript transcripts of 21 (perhaps 22) letters, most, if not all, are in Cisneros hand. Nine of the letters, making up over three quarters of the text, are from Cisneros reporting on his work in organizing units totaling nearly 1000 volunteers in Colombia to invade Cuba. His primary recipient is Miguel Aldama, the main agent in the U.S. for the Cuban Committee, but there are also letters to Elias Reyes, Martin Sierra, Nicolas Farre, Andres Ceron, Leonardo Delmonte, Francisco de Paula Bravo, and one from Aldama to Eduardo Cisneros. All were active in the movement for independence, and most were on the list to be garroted if captured.
Francisco Javier Cisneros (1836-1898), a Cuban civil engineer, from a very wealthy family and a reformer who edited the periodical El País, and who went on to an extremely illustrious career building railroads in Colombia, threw it all in to travel to New York in 1869 and work for the Committee to Free Cuba and Puerto Rico. From mid-1869 through 1871, Cisneros mounted seven filibuster expeditions to Cuba, five of which brought weaponry and insurgent troops to the Liberation Army (Ziegler: pp. 196-198). In these letters (dated from August to November 1870) we see how his engineering training was put to good use: he reports on raising men, finding competent officers and engineers, garnering support from host countries, training soldiers, provides detailed lists of weapons, tents, medical supplies, food, sanitary needs, and other supplies necessary for the incursions. In addition, he discusses the promised support from Cuban exiles in New Orleans, as well as allies in Mexico, Jamaica, and El Salvador, efforts to free Puerto Rico in his letter to Martin Sierra, and his view, that while President Grant is less than enthusiastic, the American people still support the project.
The separatist government would award him the rank of General after his final action, when he returned to the United States, and soon afterward, resigned from the Committee due to a change in leadership.
The letters contain corrections, changes, and in one case, a complete rewriting with long passages crossed out. There are numerals next to 8 letters: 2 in ink, contemporaneous with the manuscript and 6 added in blue pencil. There are textual comments on the some of the letters. Perhaps he was preparing to publish something on his time in Colombia.
Documents including some of Cisneros' letters or copies are in the "Colección Ferández Duro" at the Real Academia de la Historia (Madrid). References: Bateman, Alfredo D.: Francisco Javier Cisneros (Bogota: Editorial Kelly, 1970). Guerra, Ramiro: Guerra de los 10 años. La Habana, Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1972. Mayor Mora, Alberto: Centenario de un pionero del desarrollo El ingeniero Francisco Javier Cisneros 1836 - 1898 (Orígenes de la banca y la industria en Colombia 1850-1950; Credencial Historia, 1996). Merchán, Rafael María: Francisco Javier Cisneros, homenaje del Gobierno Nacional en el cincuentenario de su fallecimiento, julio 7, 1898-1948. [Bogotá], 1958. Ziegler, Vanessa Michelle: The Revolt of "the Ever-faithful Isle": The Ten Years' War in Cuba, 1868-1878 (Dissertation, U.S. Santa Barbara, 2007). Domingo Acebron, Dolores: "Las expediciones a Cuba: apoyo a la insurrección cespedista, 1868-1878," (Revista Complutense de Historia de América, V. 18. 241-256, Edit. Complutense, Madrid, 1992). List of letters upon request.