Jose Antonio Aponte was a Cuban slave revolt leader based in Havana. He served in the Black militia in addition to promoting the liberation of slaves in Cuba. Aponte was also heavily involved in Havana’s Yoruba community. He had gained the admiration and ear of his fellow Black Cubans and his house became the headquarters for the Cabildo de Santa Barnara. It was here that the ground work to take over the Spanish colony was laid: the Aponte Conspiracy.
THE APONTE CONSPIRACY
Slave conspiracies tend to bring out widespread panic among planters and politicians. Often these conspiracies are initiated by a handful of brave leaders in cooperation with or bolstered by educated individuals who can relay the news. The major thing working against planters is that their operation is often rural in nature and they’re outnumbered since they need so much slave labor to get anything done.
February 1812 saw Aponte and his cohorts instigate a revolt in Havana. The exact details are unknown but in the end, Aponte was captured along with eight of his conspirators. The charges against the conspirators were read before they met their fate at the gallows on April 9, 1812. Afterward, their heads were all displayed in iron cages around Havana to serve as a warning against any other ideas of rebellion.
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