Puerto Rico's History

1800 On October 16, the Municipal Library of San Juan was inaugurated.
1803 In 1803, Denmark abolished the slave trade, and Britain followed in 1807, France in 1817, Holland in 1818, Spain in 1820, and Sweden in 1824. Slavery itself is finally abolished in the British colonies in 1833, in the French colonies in 1848, and in the Dutch colonies in 1863; it is abolished in the Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico in 1873 and Cuba in 1880.
1806 The printing press was brought to the island by the Government for the purpose of publishing the Official Gazette.
1809 As a result of Napoleon's invasion of Spain, the resistance government took the first step further and recognized Puerto Rico and other Spanish colonies in America as an over sea provinces with the right to send representatives to the Spanish government. Now Puerto Rico has the opportunity to choose a Puerto Rican to represents the Island, with right to a vote, in the Spanish Cortes ("Cortes de Cádiz" or "Junta Suprema").

On August 3, a hurricane strikes the island. Few weeks later, on August 17-19, another hurricane strikes the island.
1810 Ramón Power y Giralt was elected and sent to Spain as delegate.

Rafael Cordero opened a free primary school for poor children.
1811 The Power Law was approved, by which outfits 5 ports for free commerce (Fajardo, Mayaguez, Aguadilla, Cabo Rojo and Ponce).

Don Salvador Melendez, then governor of Puerto Rico, sent military commander Juan Rosello to begin what later became the take-over of Vieques by the people of Puerto Rico.
1812 Public lighting with olive oil lamps was established in the streets of San Juan.

Cadiz Constitution was adopted, established the division of Spain and its territories into provinces, each with a local corporation or council to promote its prosperity and defend its interests, which granted Puerto Ricans conditional citizenship.

The first book of poems was printed.
1813 The Puerto Rico Lottery was founded.
1815 On August 10, the Royal Decree of Grace (commerce liberty) was issued, allowing all foreigners to be admitted to Puerto Rico and Islanders to trade with other nations. At the same time Puerto Rico's meager gold supply was exhausted, islanders struggled to develop an agricultural economy. Cattle, sugar cane, tobacco and coffee were the main investments.

Spain restored absolute power to the king, revoking the Cadiz Constitution and reinstating Puerto Rico to its former condition of a colony subject to the unrestricted power of the Spanish monarch.
1816 Simón Bolivar, from Venezuela, the Great Liberator of the Americas, lands on Vieques.

On October 16-17, a hurricane strikes the island.
1819 On September 21-22, a hurricane strikes the island.
1820 Fernando VII King of Spain proclaimed the restitution of the Cadiz Constitution.
1824 Adding to Spain enemies of the Crown, the Island became a host to an assortment of pirates and smugglers. One of the more famous was the Puerto Rican Roberto Cofresi, who is said to have shared his spoils with the poor. Pirate Roberto Cofresí and his crew attacked 8 ships one of them an American Ship. As a result, the US Naval Forces send the schooner Grampus to pursue him. After a ferocious battle Cofresi and his crew were captured by Captain John Sloat.

1825 On March 25, Pirate Roberto Cofresí was executed on the fields of El Morro castle.

Puerto Rico governors receive absolute governing faculties.

On July 6, a hurricane strikes the island. Six villages were destroyed.
1835 On June 25, Queen Maria Cristina abolished the slave trade to Spanish colonies.

On August 12, a hurricane strikes the island.
1837 On August 2-4, a hurricane strikes the island.
1839 La Perla Theater was inaugurated in Ponce.
1843 First lighthouse in Puerto Rico constructed atop El Morro.

The first book, "Aguinaldo Puertorriqueño" was published in the island.
1845 A statistical commission was created, conducting a reliable census. The total figures are:
Whites........................... 216,083
Free colored......................175,791
Slaves............................ 51,265
Total............................ 443,139
1846 The book, "Cancionero de Borinquen" was published.

On September 1st, 1846 a chart of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands by Charles Wilson was published.
1849 The book "El Jibaro" by Manuel Alonso was published.

The first horse races were founded sponsored by the local government.

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Did You Know?

La Fortaleza in San Juan is the oldest executive mansion in the New World.