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The First Puerto Rican Was Irish

 
Mel Morelli
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01/06/2012 10:18 PM
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The First Puerto Rican Was Irish
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
18th century

In 1765, the King of Spain, Carlos III sent Field Marshal Alejandro O'Reilly to Puerto Rico, to assess the state of the defenses of that colony. O'Reilly, known today as the "Father of the Puerto Rican militia", took a very complete census of the Island, and again recommended numerous reforms, including the instilling of strict military discipline in the local troops. He insisted that the men serving the defense of the Realm receive their pay regularly and directly, rather than indirectly from their commanding officers, a long-standing practice that had led to abuses. Some of O'Reilly's recommendations resulted in a massive 20-year program of revamping San Felipe del Morro Castle in San Juan, now a World Heritage Site. The training which he instituted was to bring fame and glory to the Puerto Rican militias 30 years later during the English invasion of Puerto Rico in 1797. O'Reilly's civilian militias had become known as the "Disciplined Militia."[3][4] O'Reilly was later appointed governor of colonial Louisiana in 1769 where he became known as "Bloody O'Reilly."[5]

Colonel Tomás O'Daly joined O'Reilly in Puerto Rico in the quest of revamping the fort and was named chief engineer of modernizing the defenses of San Juan, which included the fortress of San Cristóbal. Later he was granted land in the vicinity of Guaynabo and O'Daly developed it into a thriving sugar hacienda. O'Daly and fellow Irishman Miguel Kirwan became partners in the "Hacienda San Patricio," which they named after the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. The plantation no longer exists, however the land in which the plantation was located is now a suburb called San Patricio with a shopping mall San Patricio Plaza.[6] He married a local Puerto Rican girl, Maria Gertrudis de la Puente and had three children, Isabel, Manuel, and Demetrio. O'Daly joined an embryonic Irish immigrant community in Puerto Rico that would come to be associated with the growth of commercial agriculture. Upon his untimely death in 1781, his brother Jaime took over the property and helped raise Tomás's children.[7] Jaime O'Daly was named Director of the Real Fabrica de Tabaco (Royal Tobacco Factory) in Puerto Rico by the Spanish Crown.[8]

Jaime O'Daly became a successful sugar and tobacco planter. His nephews, Julio and Arturo O'Neill, moved to Puerto Rico in 1783 with their slaves and plantation equipment and were later followed by Tomás Armstrong, a friend and planter in 1791. O'Daly 's connections with the non-Hispanic Caribbean and European nations helped him economically, but hindered his nomination to a post on the prestigious San Juan city council. However in 1787, the Spanish Crown appointed him director of the Royal Tobacco Factory. O'Daly remained in Puerto Rico, where he died of natural causes in 1806 and was buried in the San Juan Cathedral.[7]





Plaque honoring Ramon Power y Giralt in San German, Puerto Rico
Joaquín Power y Morgan came to Puerto Rico in connection with the Compañía de Asiento de Negros which regulated the slave trade in the island. He married María Josefa Giralt a local Puerto Rican girl and lived in San Juan. In 1775, they had a son, whom they named Ramon Power y Giralt. Ramon Power y Giralt, distinguished himself as a Captain in the Spanish Navy when he defended the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo against an invasion from French forces by enforcing a blockade from 1808-1809. Power y Giralt, who according to Puerto Rican historian Lidio Cruz Monclova, was the first native born Puerto Rican to refer to himself as a "Puerto Rican,"[9] was named Puerto Rico's representative to the Spanish Cortes in 1808 and later president of the same legislative assembly. He served in the Corte's until his death in 1813.

Demetrio O'Daly, Tomas O'Daly's son, was sent to Spain where he received his military training. O'Daly participated in the 1809 Peninsular War and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General during Spain's war for independence. Defender of the Spanish Constitution of 1812, O'Daly was considered a rebel and exiled from Spain by King Fernando VII in 1814. In 1820, he participated in the successful revolt against the Spanish monarchy which resulted in his promotion to Field Marshal. He was then appointed the Representative of Puerto Rico before the Spanish Cortes. One of his accomplishments as representative, was the creation of a law which separated the civil authority from the military authority in the island. In 1823, O'Daly was exiled by the restored Spanish Crown only to return to Puerto Rico in 1834. He returned to Spain in 1836 where he died the following year.[10]

Miguel Conway, Patricio Fitzpatrick, Felipe Doran, Jaime Kiernan, and Antonio Skerret, were also commercial farmers around northern Puerto Rico. Their properties covered areas from Toa Baja in the northeast to Luquillo in the east. Kiernan managed to acquire 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land in Hato Rey, which increased his total area to 800 acres (3.2 km2).[7]

[edit] Irish influence in Puerto Rico's sugar and tobacco industry

Irish immigrants played in instrumental role in the island's economy. One of the most important industries of the island was the sugar industry. Besides Tomás O'Daly whose plantation was a success, other Irishmen became successful businessmen in this industry, among them Miguel Conway, who owned a plantation in the town of Hatillo and Juan Nagle whose plantation was located in Río Piedras. Puerto Ricans of Irish descent also played an instrumental role in the development of the island's tobacco industry. Miguel Conboy is credited with being the founder of the tobacco trade in Puerto Rico[11] and the Quinlan family established two tobacco plantations, one in the town of Toa Baja and the other in Loíza.[12]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 8293480
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01/06/2012 10:25 PM
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Re: The First Puerto Rican Was Irish
or Jewish, hard to tell.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 7490519
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01/06/2012 10:26 PM
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Re: The First Puerto Rican Was Irish
or Jewish, hard to tell.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 8293480


Or both .
Halcyon Dayz, FCD
Contrarian's Contrarian

User ID: 1222987
Netherlands
01/06/2012 10:49 PM

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Re: The First Puerto Rican Was Irish
The first known Puerto Ricans were Ortoiroid.
CA 2,000 BC.
Hatred is a cancer upon the world.
It rots the mind and blackens the heart.


Hi! My name is Halcyon Dayz and I'm addicted to morans.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/06/2012 10:59 PM
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Re: The First Puerto Rican Was Irish
They were not considered Puerto Ricans- they were Borikens then. The Taino Indians were almost all wiped out by diseases.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1520917
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01/06/2012 11:23 PM
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Re: The First Puerto Rican Was Irish
oh no, I'm sure the first was Black...they created all the other races and built the pyramids.

yeahsure (I'm being facetious, OP. Your info is very interesting. Thank you for posting it. I love real Ancient History)

hf

.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 44046199
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09/22/2013 11:42 AM
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Re: The First Puerto Rican Was Irish
They were not considered Puerto Ricans- they were Borikens then. The Taino Indians were almost all wiped out by diseases.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 8293480


They were not considered Puerto Ricans- they were Borikens then. The Taino Indians were almost all wiped out by diseases.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 8293480


Almost, thanks to Guakia Baba, a lot of our ancestors escape to the mountains, a lot call themselves jibaros so they where not targeted, a 100 percent Taino maybe not...but 60 to 65 Taino....YES!

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