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Bartolomé Morales

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Bartolomé Morales

Bartolomé Morales
3º Spanish East Florida
In office
March 1796 – June 1796
Preceded by Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada y Barnuevo
Succeeded by Enrique White
Personal details
Born 1737
Algeciras, Cádiz (Andalusia, Spain)
Died unknown
Spouse(s) María of Medina Barsaga Soledad
Profession lieutenant colonel and Political

Bartolomé Félix Morales y Ramírez (1737 - date of death unknown) was a lieutenant colonel of the Spanish infantry that reached the post of lieutenant governor in Holguín and Cape Commander in Santiago del Prado Real de Minas (El Cobre; this was the highest authority of the town), both localized in Cuba. In addition, he influenced politically in the Cuban cities Bayamo, Cobre and Holguín (1763 to 1774). He also was interim governor of East Florida (March 1796 - June 1796).

Early years

Bartolomé Morales was born in 1737 in Algeciras, Cádiz (Andalusia, Spain), but he grew up in Seville. He worked as Staff Assistant in the Infantry Regiment of Navarre as part of the Regiment newcomer Córdoba. Sometime before 1763, Bartolomé fought against Muslims in Ceuta. [1]

Military career in Cuba

On the other hand, in that year (1763), Regulation of the Militia of Cuba Volunteer Militia decided that the Infantry of the island was earmarked Officers, sergeants and corporals of other places that instruct the soldiers, bearing in mind that discipline should be achieved with as little tax as possible to the wages of the militia. It should make choices based on the quality of the subjects.

Bartolome Morales is one of the elected officials to march to the Cuban Militia, and he will become Lieutenant of the Third Company of that body, [1] to which he belonged [2][1] shall exercise the degree that he, as an officer graduated from the March 30, 1763, but he will begin to enjoy from May 23, 1766, six days after marriage. The Regiment of Córdoba, which belonged Bartolomé, left the port of Cadiz on 27 April of that year, and this arrived at the port of Havana on 30 July. Just arrived at the port, Bartolomé and Sergeant Francisco Varela Pérez, were housed in the fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña, where he miraculously escaped the ravages that the black vomit, fever and other tropical epidemics had made of the helpless and misfits soldiers, who died to cause this.

In 1764, under the plan of reorganization of all forces on the island, were also organized militia volunteer infantry white and colored by the Rules of O'Reilly, in which the inhabitants of major cities were prepared militarily to defend themselves from pirate attacks, bands of outlaws or the armies of other powers. With this objective were created 16 companies of this kind in the country. Within this new military structure, Bartolomé was appointed to the White Volunteer troops Cuba, Bayamo and Holguín. Thus, Bartolomé will his early years in eastern Cuba, lived at different times in the cities of Bayamo, Santiago del Prado Real de Minas de Cobre and Holguín.

In Bayamo, using ideas and techniques regulated by his superiors, he recruited militants reasons in the sense of pride in defending their lands, their property and their country, using as a slogan, the one assigned to his troops: "Ever onward is glory. " Gradually, Bartolomé, for his responsibility, readiness, discipline and obedience to achieve new tasks entrusted with greater responsibility. Thus, between 1767 and 1770, he is Cape Commander, the highest authority of the town of Santiago del Prado (El Cobre). In this village of El Cobre, he will have the responsibility to serve not only military and administrative functions, but also the attention to King's slaves who work there.

In this mining town, the young soldier should care for the preservation of peace and good social harmony, trying not to develop conflicts or disputes, with prudence and respect for people and customs.

When meeting off mining, it ensures that the residents of the village, slaves and primarily apply to the cultivation and planting of rice, vegetables and fruits to avoid idleness and misery.

He visits with mayors all the rooms and fields of the neighborhood, stimulating productive activity and report the use and exploitation of land, while he called the owners of uncultivated land and to ensure that workers idle. Among the administrative activities under his supervision is that of attending to the details on the supply of meat to the population and price controls, which should not exceed the possibilities of purchasing, licensing discretion to owners of farms to kill cattle, no more than two to eat and to make jerky, thus ensuring that residents are not tyrannized by the sellers of meat or for any other producers of supplies, it is only allowed in any sale, a regular income. As top military authority of the people he will be attentive to those persons considered criminals who are a problem for society, treating them with firmness and inviting them to think better in your situation. He also made the censuses of population and slaves of the King, to track its location, bordering where necessary, licensing is transferred from one place to another, except in cases of urgent necessity. He participates in collaboration with the local priest in ordinary elections of mayors and aldermen at the beginning of each year, ensuring that these dignities relapse in subjects well, white, with good intentions and are unfit for work, mainly elderly. He also attends the election of the Holy Brotherhood, which deals to pursue runaway slaves, so they have good behavior, and they are not harmful or complaints promote among the population. Later, in San Isidoro de Holguín, between 1771 and 1772, as in other regions that he had to attend, he will focus on establishing and training the troops of volunteers and educate young people in military discipline, while he reaches the high dignity of the Lieutenant Governor of that city, from where he went, later, to the city of Cuba to work directly with the Governor of this important city. In 1773, he began working in the Department of Inspection of troops on the island and finally in 1774, he will go to Havana, requesting their inclusion in the Volunteer Corps that city to prosper and move up the career Military Fixed Infantry Regiment, where he recognized his meritorious service and seniority. In that body he enlisted as an officer, while he will continue working in the Department of Inspection of troops from Cuba, a position he played from 1773.[1]

Florida government

Later, in 1790, Bartolomé Morales was promoted to captain and the following year he was promoted to colonel or commander by King Charles IV of Spain and joined the Third Battalion Cuban Regiment located in the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, which was then a unit of the Captaincy General of Cuba. He arrived there with his daughter Rita Josefa and his grandson Félix Varela, aged two, whose mother, Maria Josefa Ignacia (daughter of Morales[3]), died a few days after giving birth.

He obtained the post of acting governor of East Florida in March 1796 and he left it in June of that year, being replaced by Enrique White.[1] Later, in 1800, Morales (along with royal auditor Zamorano) held a position of leadership in West Florida, while Governor White was recovering from an illness. He left this position in 1801 when White was fully recovered, regaining his former position in the province. [4]

Personal life

On May 17, 1766, Bartolomé married María of Medina Barsaga Soledad, the daughter of one of his subordinates, Sergeant Pedro Medina Barrios, whom he met in 1764, when he was sent to Cuba. She was a native of the city of Cuba. Her father was a small landowner engaged in the production of snuff, which he did in the town of Santiago del Prado (El Cobre). Bartolomé took up residence in this town and adopted the local folk customs, one of which is the devotion to the Virgen Morena, Our Lady of Charity, linked to the religious tradition of the Cubans.

There, the couple had three daughters: Maria Josefa Ignacia, Rita Josefa, and Maria Josefa Morales, born in the town of Cuba. The first one died a few days after giving birth. Consequently, her son Félix (1788-1853) was raised mostly by his aunt Rita.

In 1790, Bartolomé, with his daughter Rita and the little grandson Félix Varela[3]), settled in Florida, after Bartolomé had served there as commander. Bartolomé wanted his grandson to go into the military.[1] So, when he was 14, he proposed that Félix enroll as a cadet in a military academy; but he refused, saying that his vocation was not to kill people, but to save them. Félix asked to enter a seminary, in order to become a priest.[5] Félix Varela,[6] who was raised in Florida until he was fourteen, later became a very important priest in Latin America.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g ENRIQUE RODRÍGUEZ CUZA, Fidel (March and April, 2007). "De Valera. Profundidad manifiesta. Primeros años de la vida del padre Félix Morales: infancia, adolescencia, juventud por Fidel Enrique Rodríguez Cuza (in Spanish: De Valera. Depth manifest. Early life of Father Felix Morales: childhood, adolescence, youth by Fidel Enrique Rodriguez Cuza)". Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  2. ^ Henry L. Mitchell, Governor of the State of Florida, William D. Bloxham, Comptroller of the State of Florida, Appts. v. Charles M. Furman, in His Own Right, and as Administrator of Charles M. Furman, Deceased
  3. ^ a b La web de las biografías: Varela y Morales, Félix (1787-1853) (in Spanish: The Biographies´s web: Varela y Morales). Posted by A. Gil Novales.
  4. ^ Dr. Bronson's St. Augustine History. 2nd Spanish Period (1784 - 1821). Retrieved in July 11, 2014, to 16:48pm.
  5. ^ La comunidad J.R.M. Un artista cubano. El padre Félix Valera. El primer culpable (in Spanish: The community J.R.M. A Cuban artist. Father Felix Valera. The first culprit) (Spanish).
  6. ^ Varela, Félix. Retrieved in July 18, 2014, to 19:49pm.
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