First arrest

05/03/193611/12/1947View on timeline

"Governor Blanton Winship moved quickly, prohibiting all public demonstrations throughout the island and ordering an investigation. The Insular Police raided several dozen offices and homes, seized documents and recordings of Albizu’s speeches, and eleven days later arrested Albizu and eight other Nationalists. Lacking any evidence of murder or incitement to murder, the prosecution charged Albizu with conspiracy to overthrow the US government."

Pedro Albizu Campos. Wikipedia.

Denis, Nelson. War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony (Locais do K...

Pedro Albizu Campos, on the far right, immediately before his imprisonment.

Excerpt from Five Years of Tyranny in Puerto Rico, by Vito Marcantonio

A frame-up "a la Medici" was something at which Mr. Winship would not stop. Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, a Harvard graduate and leader of the Nationalists, together with several of his followers, were indicted under a post Civil War statute of a conspiracy to insurrect against the Government of the United States. They were framed at the Governor's palace. [...]

The trial took place, and by a prejudiced jury, by jurors who had expressed publicly bias and hatred for the defendants, Campos and his colleagues were railroaded to jail. Mr. Speaker, these innocent men languish in Atlanta Penitentiary today because they were convicted by a fixed jury, a jury representing the economic interests of Wall Street in Puerto Rico. They did the bidding of Blanton Winship. An idea of what took place in the jury room is contained in the following letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Elmer Ellsworth, one of the jurors who convicted Campos:

[The letter, written in support of a petition for clemency, concludes]

I cannot refrain from saying that my associates on the jury seemed to be motivated by strong, if not violent, prejudice against the Nationalists and were prepared to convict them, regardless of the evidence. Ten of the jurors were American residents in Puerto Rico and the two Puerto Ricans were closely associated with American business interests. It was evident from the composition of the jury that the Nationalists did not and could not get a fair trial.

Very sincerely yours,

Elmer Elisworth.

This frame-up is one of the blackest pages in the history of American jurisprudence. The continuance of this incarceration is repugnant to our democratic form of government; it is repugnant to our Bill of Rights and out of harmony with our good-neighbor policy. There is no place in America for political prisoners. As long as Puerto Rico remains part of the United States, Puerto Rico must have the same freedom, the same civil liberties, and the same justice which our forefathers laid down for us. Only a complete and immediate unconditional pardon will, in a very small measure, right this historical wrong.

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Five Years of Tyranny in Puerto Rico, by Vito Marcantonio.

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Published in 25/06/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Life of Pedro Albizu Campos:


Invalid DateBirthBirth
Invalid DateScholarship to University of VermontScholarship to University of Vermont
Invalid DateTransferred to HarvardTransferred to Harvard
Invalid DateElected vice-president of the Cosmopolitan ClubElected vice-president of the Cosmopolitan Club
Invalid DateElected president of the Cosmopolitan Club
Invalid DateAlbizu Called House Attack "Heroism"
Invalid DateBrass Tacks
Invalid DateCommunication: Porto Rico and the WarCommunication: Porto Rico and the War
Invalid DateJoins the ArmyJoins the Army
Invalid DateFirst arrestFirst arrest
Invalid DateAttempt to raise money to send him to Paris
Invalid DateJourney to the mainlandJourney to the mainland
Invalid DateDeath
Invalid DateA recording of Pedro Albizu Campos is released
Invalid DateSpeech at the Municipal Meeting in Lares
Invalid DateCrossfire at Albizu's home
Invalid DateOur Political Status, by Pedro Albizu Campos
Invalid DatePuerto Rican Nationalism, an essay by Pedro Albizu CamposPuerto Rican Nationalism, an essay by Pedro Albizu Campos
Invalid DateBecomes president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist PartyBecomes president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
Invalid DateMarried Dr. Laura MenesesMarried Dr. Laura Meneses
Invalid DateJoins the Puerto Rican Nationalist PartyJoins the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
Invalid DateRío Piedras Massacre
Invalid DateAssassination of Colonel RiggsAssassination of Colonel Riggs
Invalid DatePonce MassacrePonce Massacre
Invalid DateHospitalization at Columbus Hospital, New York
Invalid DatePuerto Rican Nationalist Party RevoltsPuerto Rican Nationalist Party Revolts
Invalid DateSecond arrest
Invalid DatePardoned by Luis Muñoz MarínPardoned by Luis Muñoz Marín
Invalid DateAttack on the United States House of RepresentativesAttack on the United States House of Representatives
Invalid DateThird arrestThird arrest
Invalid DateAttempt to assassinate president Harry TrumanAttempt to assassinate president Harry Truman
Invalid DateSuffered a stroke
Invalid DatePuerto Rican flags were illegalPuerto Rican flags were illegal
Invalid DateAdmitted to Harvard Law School
Invalid DateReturns to Harvard Law School
Invalid DateGraduates from Harvard and returns to Puerto Rico
Invalid DateTravels around Latin America
Invalid DateDefends the nationalist Luis Velasquez
Invalid DateRuns for the Puerto Rican Senate
Invalid DateSugar cane strikes
Invalid DateBarceloneta's Central Plazuela workers go on strike
Invalid Date1,200 workers from Central Coloso join the strike
Invalid Date8,000 workers join the Coloso strike
Invalid DateCentral Guánica goes on strike
Invalid DatePeak of the strike
Invalid DateAlbizu Campos speaks to a crowd of 6,000 people
Invalid DateAlbizu Campos has a lunch with Colonel E. Francis Riggs
Invalid DateThe sugar strike is settled
Invalid DateAlbizu Campos' trial
Invalid DateTrial
Invalid DateAlbizu Campos is flown to a prison in Atlanta
Invalid DateReleased on probation
Invalid DateReturns to Puerto Rico
Invalid DateThe Nationalist Party is targeted by the FBIThe Nationalist Party is targeted by the FBI
Invalid DatePublic Law 53 or "Gag Law"