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Data Base of Prisoners and Deportees
During the Ten Years War (1868-1878)




This data base represents a compilation of records that exist about prisoners and deportess during the Cuban Ten Years War ("The Great War") against Spain, arranged in a manner that facilitates searching by their surnames.


The data base currently only includes prisoners deported during the first two years of the war (1868-1870).


A major portion of the data base is a list of the first prisoners deported to the island of Fernando Poo, in the Gulf of Guinea, off the West coast of Africa in March 1869. The original list was kindly provided to us by Humberto Estrada del Sol (see Reference 1 below). These individuals were deported by order of General Dulce acused of fighting or conspiring against Spain.


We have now been able to correct and expand the original Fernando Poo list with the information contained in Reference 2. We have also added the names of individuals sent to other Spanish prisons listed in Reference 2. We have not included the names of families expelled from their places of residence but not imprisoned.


Census of Deaths in Ceuta

Emilio Barranco, resident of Ceuta, has made a notable compilation of the records of Cubans who died while they were interned in the penal colony of Ceuta during the Cuban wars of liberation. He has made this detailed census available, acompanied by more than 300 photographs of the original inscriptions of these deaths in the records of the church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios in Ceuta.


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To view the data base of prisoners please first read the notes below and then go to the Search Form by clicking on the following button:

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  • Where "note 1" appears in the place and date of death, the individual, according to Reference 2, died on the ship or in the hospital after landing on account of bad treatment, exposure, bad ailments and want of medicines.
  • Dates appear in the form YYYY-MM-DD (where YYYY = year, MM = month and DD = day) to facilitate sorting the records chronologically.
  • As in all of our databases, all accents and umlauts have been removed to facilitate sorting. Surnames such as "de la Torre" or "del Sol" appear as "Torre (de la)" and "Sol (del)" again to facilitate searching and sorting.
  • We have tried our best to merge the information from References 1 and 2. Where there were differences in names or spelling we used Reference 2 as the primary reference and placed the alternate form shown in Reference 1 in square brackets [].
  • The steamship Francisco de Borja, transporting over 250 prisoners to Fernando Poo, departed Cuba on 21 Mar 1869 and arrived in Africa on 21 May 1869, with the prisoners disembarking during the next several days. In the data base we have used the departure date.
  • As a mater of interest, here are the professions of 250 of the prisoners transported to Fernando Poo according to Reference 2:

    7 Administrators of sugar plantations
    1 architect
    3 Attorneys-at-law
    3 Brokers
    2 Bankers
    10 Carpenters
    5 Clegymen
    11 Clerks of Notaries, Lawyers, etc.
    33 Clerks of Merchants
    6 Clerks of Railroads
    2 Clerks of the Post Office
    1 Consul of Great Britain
    3 Dentists
    4 Druggists
    3 Distillers
    4 Engineers
    20 Farmers
    2 Justices of the Peace
    6 Lawyers
    4 Masons
    4 Military Officers
    2 Mortgage recorders
    8 Notaries
    6 Physicians
    1 President of a Gas Company
    1 Painter of history
    17 Property holders
    3 Police officers
    2 Pilots
    5 Sugar Masters
    4 Surveyors
    3 Students
    3 Shoemakers
    1 Schoolboy
    2 Silversmiths
    7 Teachers
    5 Tobacco Manufacturers
    1 Tailor
    15 Sailors, musicians, boatmen, sugar makers, journeymen, and other professions



Abbreviations used in the data base:

Fernando Poo Volcanic island in the Gulf of Guinea, off the West coast of Africa, which was a spanish posession from 1778. The island is currently known as Bioko or Bioco.
Ceuta Spanish possession in Africa, just across the Stait of Gibraltar, near Tangier.
Africa Spanish colony in Africa, otherwise unidentified in the documents.
Isla de Pinos Isle of Pines. Island off the south coast of the main island of Cuba which has been used to house prisoners even in modern times. In 1978 was renamed "Isle of Youth"
Spain Prison within the countryof Spain.
CG Chain gang forced labor (in some instances the prison is not specified - in these cases it's likely to be either Ceuta or Cuba)
Y years of sentence
Porto Rico archaic name for Puerto Rico - then also a Spanish colony


Types of Prisoners
PG Prisoner of War (Prisionero de Guerra)
D Political Deportee ( Deportado Político)


HE Humberto Estrada del Sol (Reference 1)
BB Book of Blood (Reference 2)



  1. La Revolucion (newspaper), May 1869, New York - data extracted and provided by Humberto Estrada del Sol.
  2. Book of Blood - An Authentic Record of the Policy Adopted by Modern Spain to Put an End to the War of Independence of Cuba (October 1868 to December 1870), Jose Ignacio Rodriguez, 1871, M.M Zazamendi, Translator and Printer, 40 & 42 Broadway, New York. Available for free download for personal, non-commercial use from


Because of the paucity of existing records from the Cuban "Great War", we invite our readers to contribute any other names that they know, through family or other records, of individuals who were prisoners or deportees during any of the Cuban struggles against Spain that so we can preserve their memory by adding them to the data base. Please be sure to supply all relevant information.


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Prisoners Data Base - Updated 23-May-2015

Copyright © 2007-2015 - Ed Elizondo
All Rights Reserved - Todos los Derechos Reservados


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