History of Puerto Rico

of establishing a United Provinces of New Granada which included Puerto Rico and Cuba. Among the influential members of this movement was Brigadier General Antonio Valero de Bernabe, a Puerto Rican military leader known in Latin America as the "Liberator from Puerto Rico" who fought alongside Bolivar and María de las Mercedes Barbudo, a businesswoman also known as the "first Puerto Rican female freedom fighter". The movement was discovered and Governor Miguel de la Torre had its members imprisoned or exiled.

With the increasingly rapid growth of independent former Spanish colonies in the South and Central American states in the first part of the century, Puerto Rico and Cuba continued to grow in strategic importance to the Spanish Crown. In a very deliberate move to increase its hold on its last two new world colonies, the Spanish Crown revived the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815. This time the decree was printed in three languages: Spanish, English and French. Its primary intent was to attract Europeans of who were not of Spanish origin, with the hope that the independence movements would lose their popularity and strength with increase of new loyalist settlers with strong sympathies to Spain. As a consequence, hundreds of families, mainly from Corsica, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Scotland, immigrated to the island.

In 1858, Samuel Morse introduced wired communication to Latin America when he established a telegraph system in Puerto Rico. Morse's oldest daughter, Susan Walker Morse (1821–1885), would often visit her uncle Charles Pickering Walker, who owned the Hacienda Concordia in the town of Guayama. Morse often spent winters at the Hacienda with his daughter and son-in-law, who lived and owned the Habienda Henriqueta, and he set a two-mile telegraph line connecting his son-in-law's hacienda to their house in Arroyo. The line was inaugurated on March 1, 1859 in a ceremony flanked by the Spanish and American flags. The first lines