Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Segundo Ruiz Belvis

Segundo Ruiz Belvis, historiographer and abolitionist, born in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico on May 13, 1829 to Venezuelan parents.

Segundo began his early studies in Mayageuz, P.R., then went on to earn a degree in Philosophy from the University of Caracas of Venezuelaa and then a law degree from the Central University of Madrid in Spain. During his time in Spain, among other Puerto Ricans, he joined a group called "Socieda Recolectora de Documentos Hisoricos de la Isla de San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico". Upon finishing his studies he returned to Puerto Rico and established his law practice. His liberal ideals led him to join, with Ramon Emeterio Betances, the "Sociedad abolicionista"(Abolitionist Society) against slavery. When Segundo's father died, he inherited the family property and immediately released all the slaves.

In 1865, Segundo returned to Spain as a representative of the abolitionist movement and and was not looked upon in a favorable manner. When he returned to P.R. he, along with his compatriots, was banished from the island. Segundo ended up in New York with Betances and friends and formed the "Comite Revolucionario de Puerto Rico" (Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico). The stage was being set in what was to become known as the "Grito de Lares". In search of financial support Segundo took off to Chile where he died, November, 1867. He never lived to see his dream, the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico in 1873.

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