Román Baldorioty de Castro
Román Baldorioty de Castro was born in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and studied in San Juan. He went to Madrid on a scholarship and completed studies in Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He then went to France and studied in the Central School of Arts and Manufactures in Paris. In 1853 he returned to Puerto Rico and became a teacher in Botany and Maritime Sciences at the School of Commerce, Agriculture, and Maritime Studies in San Juan as well as Physics and Chemistry at the Seminario Conciliar. From 1860 to 1865 he also was secretary of the Exhibitionary Fairs that were held in Puerto Rico for which he wrote reports. During those same years he began his political career by joining the Partido Liberal Reformista which he represented at the Universal Fair in Paris in 1867.
In 1870 he was elected to be a deputy to the Spanish Cortes, supporting abolitionist and autonomist causes. He founded and edited the magazine Asuntos de Puerto Rico and contributed to Correo de España. He returned to Puerto Rico in 1873 where he founded the newspaper El derecho in Ponce. Soon after he fled Puerto Rico and took refuge in the present-day Dominican Republic. While there he founded the Colegio Antillano. Returning to Puerto Rico in 1878, he started a political weekly again in Ponce, La crónica, as a vehicle for his autonomist ideology. In 1887 he founded the Partido Autonomista. But that year also saw a crackdown against political dissenters and Baldorioty was accused of publishing seditious propaganda and jailed in El Morro Castle. Despite his rapid release, his imprisonment affected his health and he died soon after in Ponce in 1889.