APPENDIX: Biographical Database of the Aponte Rebels
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appendix Biographical Database of the Aponte Rebels During the course of my investigation of the Aponte Rebellion, I collected biographical data on any identifiable individual arrested, questioned, punished , imprisoned, or the executed for involvement in the insurrections that erupted in Puerto Príncipe, Bayamo, Holguín, and Havana. I originally intended to construct a database with the goal of quantifying biographical criteria such as profession, literacy, marital status, African ethnicity, and other qualities to provide a statistical profile of the rebels similar to João José Reis’s analysis of the 1835 Malê Rebellion.∞ Unlike censuses or notary records that have a standard formulaic representation and somewhat regular consistency, which allows scholars to skillfully overcome some of the particular irregularities of individual census takers and notaries, the expediency of the investigations conducted in four di√erent cities with four di√erent judicial teams produced considerable obstacles to converting qualitative data into quantitative arguments. Moreover, the quick punishments and imprisonments of slave and free people of color involved in the rebellion produced a wide variance in the quality of the documentary record, as described in chapter 4. The detail of biographical data on any particular individual arrested varied widely, from court testimony (generally the most detailed) to simple lists of prisoners to even just a nameless total of the number of executions. Consequently, the database constructed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) on 381 individuals has numerous variable gaps, as revealed in the table below.≤ The inconsistencies in the data caused me to hesitate from making any definitive statistical arguments and clearly revealed that the documentary record most naturally lent itself to a cultural-narrative interpretation of the Aponte Rebellion. Despite these reservations, several trends are revealed by the data that 190 Appendix deserve brief mention. Of the known juridical status of 329 individuals, 78 percent were slaves and 22 percent were free people of color. Thus, despite judicial o≈cials’ attention on José Antonio Aponte, Clemente Chacón, Salvador Ternero, and the free people of color leadership, the Aponte Rebellion was a majority slave movement. Similarly, while Creoles could be found among the leadership, 71 percent of the arrested were African-born bozales.≥ Even more numerically significant is the fact that it was overwhelmingly a black movement. Of the known racial identity among 281 rebels, 96 percent were black, with mulattos noticeably absent. As described in chapter 5, the dominant black racial characteristics of the movement combined with the particular fascination with Haiti provide every reason to think of the Aponte Rebellion as an early nineteenth-century variant on what would be labeled in the twentieth century as a Black Power movement. While the rebellions erupted on rural plantations, 34 percent of the arrested had their primary residence in urban areas. As chapters 2, 3, and 4 explained, although Cuba became transformed into an agrarian plantation society, rural and urban areas remained linked together in important ways that facilitated unity and coordination for the Aponte Rebellion. In regard to sex among the arrested, 92 percent were male. In summary, the data displays completely typical and unsurprising conclusions for Caribbean slave insurrections. The statistical evidence provides a broad outline of a movement whose participants were in the majority African-born, black male slaves who labored on rural plantations . If our analysis of the Aponte Rebellion were only to focus on these static statistical profiles and ignore the detailed transcribed spoken words from the court testimony, we would not know why they rose in rebellion, what they planned to accomplish, or how they made sense of the changing world they lived in. Slaves and Free People of Color Arrested and/or Punished for Involvement in the Aponte Rebellion of 1812 Name Physical Punishment Prison Term Rebellion Locationa Sex (M/F) Slave/ Free Raceb Creole/ Bozalc African Ethnicity Rural/ Urban Profession Literate (Y/N)d Marital Statuse Militia Joaquin Peñalver Execution n/a Havana M S Tomas Peñalver Execution n/a Havana M S Esteban Peñalver Execution n/a Havana M S B B R Antonio Cao Execution n/a Havana M S B Both Baltasar Peñalver Execution n/a Havana M S B R Gabriel Peñalver Execution n/a Havana M S B B Karabali R Tiburcio Peñalver Execution n/a Havana M S B Both Juan Barbier Execution n/a Havana M F B B U No Salvador Ternero Execution n/a Havana M F B B...