Eventually released he was found guilty and sentenced

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eventually released, he was found guilty and sentenced to ten years of hard labour in the Ceuta penal colony (PRO, FO 72/664; PRO, CO 23/118; PRO, FO 84/520). Six years later diplomatic pressures were continuing in an attempt to secure his release (PRO, FO 72/771). 94 See Rebecca J Scott, Slave Emancipation in Cuba: the Transition to Free Labour, 1860-1895 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985). 95 Curry-Machado, ‘Catalysts in the Crucible’. 96 PRO, FO 72/664. Free blacks in general were seen as a threat to the established white order in Cuba throughout the nineteenth century (see Jean Stubbs, ‘Race, Gender and National Identity in Nineteenth Century Cuba: Mariana Grajales and the Revolutionary Free Browns of Cuba,’ in Naro 29
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Conclusion In 1812, events occurred that were remarkably similar to those of the Escalera , albeit on a somewhat smaller scale. Then too, a series of slave uprisings culminated in the uncovering of a conspiracy to bring about a general rebellion. As in the Escalera, it was alleged that the leader of the plot – the free, black carpenter, José Antonio Aponte – had promised his followers external military assistance: not from Britain, in this case, but from the newly independent black republic of Haiti. 97 Poorly guarded words and rumour of impending emancipation played a crucial part in fuelling unrest, and Aponte and his co-conspirators were arrested and executed to set a brutal example. 98 The Haitian Revolution had long-lasting effects upon the entire Caribbean region. 99 Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Frederick Douglass recognised that despite the positive role played by the North American and British abolitionists, ‘we owe incomparably more to Haiti than to them all’. Haiti was ‘the original pioneer emancipator of the nineteenth century’; 100 and along with the Aponte conspiracy it continued to provide an inspiration, both positive and negative, in the period of the Escalera . While free blacks and slaves could (ed.), Blacks, Coloureds and National Identity , pp.95-122). It was they who bore the brunt of the repression that followed the Escalera . 97 Matt D. Childs, ‘The Aponte Rebellion of 1812 and the Transformation of Cuban Society: race, slavery and freedom in the Atlantic World’, PhD diss., University of Texas at Austin, 2001; Matt D. Childs, ‘”A Black French General arrived to conquer the Island”: images of the Haitian Revolution in Cuba’s 1812 Aponte Rebellion’, in David Geggus (ed.), The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2001), pp.135-56; José Luciano Franco, ‘La Conspiración de Aponte, 1812’, in Franco, Ensayos Históricos , pp.127-90. 98 Rumours that emancipation had been decreed in Spain, but denied by local authorities in Cuba, fuelled slave uprisings at the time both of the Aponte and Escalera conspiracies. See David Murray, ‘The Slave Trade, Slavery and Cuban Independence’, Slavery & Abolition , 20/3 (Dec. 1999), pp.112-13. Similar events occurred in Jamaica in 1831, sparking unrest there (see Michael Craton,
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