Nicolás Estévanez

Nicolás Estévanez Murphy.

Nicolás Estévanez Murphy (17 February 1838 – 19 August 1914) was a Spanish military officer, politician and poet.

Born in Las Palmas (Canary Islands) in 1838, the son of captain Francisco Estévanez and Isabel Murphy. Very young, in 1852, he entered the military academy in Toledo and participated in the northern African war of 1859–1860 where he served with distinction and was awarded Spain’s highest military honor, the Laureate Cross of St. Ferdinand (Cruz Laureada de San Fernando).

On 27 November 1871 he was stationed in Cuba with the rank of captain when eight students were executed by the authorities who found them guilty of anti-Spanish activities and of vandalizing some tomb sites. On hearing the news he publicly protested and, for this reason, was expelled from the army but he never apologized or renounced his actions and was always proud of what he did. To this day, in the façade of the Hotel Inglaterra in Havana, Cuba, there is a plaque bearing his name and commemorating his protest.[1]

He participated in the revolution of September 1868 and joined the republican insurrection of 1869 for which he was imprisoned.

He later was elected member of parliament and was appointed minister in the cabinet of Pi y Margall during the First Spanish Republic but with the restoration of the monarchy he went into exile and died in Paris, France, in 1914.

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