The disastrous result of the last rising of the slaves in Cuba is well known. Betrayed, and driven into premature collision with their oppressors, the insurrectionists were speedily crushed into subjection. Placido was arrested, and after a long hearing was condemned to be executed, and consigned to the Chapel of the Condemned. How far he was implicated in the insurrectionary movement it is now perhaps impossible to ascertain. The popular voice at Havana pronounced him its leader and projector, and as such he was condemned. His own bitter wrongs; the terrible recollections of his life of servitude; the sad condition of his relatives and race, exposed to scorn, contumely, and the heavy hand of violence; the impunity with which the most dreadful outrages upon the persons of slaves were inflicted,—acting upon a mind fully capable of appreciating the beauty and dignity of freedom,–furnished abundant incentives to an effort for the redemption of his race and the humiliation of his oppressors. The Heraldo, of Madrid speaks of him as ‘the celebrated poet, a man of great natural genius, and beloved and appreciated by the most respectable young men of Havana.’ It accuses him of wild and ambitious projects, and states that he was intended to be the chief of the black race after they had thrown off the yoke of bondage.
Star of the West, and Ocean's gem most rare,
Oh, say to those who mock thee with such wiles:
Take off these flowers; and view the lifeless spoils
Which wait the worm; behold their hues beneath
The pale, cold cheek; and seek for living smiles
Where Beauty lies not in the arms of Death,
And Bondage taints not with its poison breath!
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