Alejandro Miranda Moreno

Alejandro Miranda Moreno

Male 1861 - 1937  (76 years)

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  • Name Alejandro Miranda Moreno 
    Born 1861  Lovillesca, Chontales, Nicaragua Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Unverified (no supporting Documentation) source: Geni indicating 26 April 1861.
    Gender Male 
    Died 1937  León, Nicaragua Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Source: A Central American Odyssey, Alejandro Miranda, 1861-1937
    Person ID I1847  My Family Tree | Astorga-Noris
    Last Modified 17 Feb 2020 

    Father Canuto Miranda Morales,   b. Abt. 1842, San Pedro del Lovago, Chontales, Nicaragua Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jan 1917, Granada, Nicaragua Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 75 years) 
    Mother Andrea Moreno,   b. 1841, Chontales, Chontales, Nicaragua Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Feb 1900, Chontales, Chontales, Nicaragua Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Family ID F654  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1861 - Lovillesca, Chontales, Nicaragua Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1937 - Leon, Nicaragua Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Alejandro Miranda
    Alejandro Miranda
    Picture sent to Alajandro's brother, Francisco around 2 June 1912

    A Central American Odyssey, Alejandro Miranda, 1861-1937
    A Central American Odyssey, Alejandro Miranda, 1861-1937
    Translated, edited and annotated by Stuart Witt, with a historical essay by Jordana Dym, illustrated by John Ashton Golden

  • Notes 
    • Alejandro Miranda lived with his mother for two years before being moved to his usually absent father's family hacienda in Chontales, Nicaragua, where he was raised by his two aunts and his tender grandmother, and joined his father in Juigalpa when he was eight.? He describes his childhood joys, pains, and capers, as well as his harsh experience as his stern father's servant.? When his father marries, he leaves home with a toughened character, a basic education, and adventurous spirit that would see him through many pursuits and travails throughout Central America, Cuba, and Panama.

      Miranda began writing his autobiography on his 60th birthday in 1921. While his story effectively ends in 1915, he does make brief reference to later events, such as the assassination of Sandino in 1934.? He did most of the writing by hand within a year or so of beginning it in 1921, though the last 17 pages were written after a lapse of 14 years -- shortly before in died in 1937.

      Alejandro resided for periods of 4 years in El Salvador, 5 in Guatemala, 7 in Honduras, 3 in Cuba, and 5 in Panama, in addition to periods of wandering abroad, sometimes in exile, and stays in his native Nicaragua.? He worked from childhood a as a hacienda servant, cattleman, warehouseman, stevedore, railroad gangman, oarsman , carpenter, muleteer, peddler, mail carrier, bartender, telegrapher, soldier, shopkeeper, telegraph line repair crew boss, guide, scribe, rice merchant, schooool teacher, copy editor, reporter, editor, publisher, historian, court secretary, accountant, public speaker, hacienda manager, auditor of the Honduras Mint, judge of waters, Cuban railroad locomotive engineer, railroad station manager, business manager, Singer sewing machine agent, and book store proprietor.

      Alejandro was involved in several wars, political campaigns, and movements. He fought in the 1881 Matagalpa Indian war, in the 1894 invasion of Honduras, against the Honduran revolution of Manuel Bonilla in 1903, and against the 1912 U.S. occupation of Nicaragua. He promoted liberal democratic principles through the press, within social clubs, and through public speaking at funerals and commemorations.? At some point he became a Freemason.? We find him quitting jobs on principle, fighting bullies, resisting censorship, being beat up and imprisoned for his writings, swimming through shark-infested waters, falling in love, burying one wife and leaving another, siring infants who died young, visiting his ailing mother, reconciling with his father, suffering severe illnesses and accidents, being assisted by his physician brother, reading classic literature, and being excommunicated for heresy.

      Stretched over a period that culminated in the triumph of the North American Empire over its British, German, and French competitors for dominance in the region, many of the episodes recounted by Alejandro Miranda shed light on the maneuvers of the imperial powers and the local contenders for political power within and among the countries of Central America.

      Alejandro's first experience with a Gringo was as a child aboard a steamer:? He bit him on the leg!? He roomed with a Californian for a while, and later stayed at another Gringo's hotel in Managua.? On another occasion he rescued the drowning wife of a British Consul and later worked as a scribe for a U.S. Consul.? And in the 1912 revolution, after he was ordered by his superior officer to lay down his arms and found himself at the mercy of a mob, Yankee soldiers intervened to save him.? He had little use for New York City, less even for the U.S. puppet president D?az in Nicaragua, and seemed to resent the Marine's war against Sandino.? He was a Chontalean and a Nicaraguan, but his fatherland was Central America.

      He came to know personally a number of men who were or would become presidents of their countries: R. Sacasa of Nicaragua (his father's physician), Zald?var of El Salvador (who interrogated him as a suspected revolutionary), Zelaya of Nicaragua (at first his friend, later his tyrannical opponent, and next his nation's president-in-need), P. Bonilla of Honduras (a good personal friend), Reyna Barrios of Guatemala, T. Sierra of Honduras (whom he knew a little), Jos? Mar?a Moncada of Nicaragua (with whom he fought a duel for which they were both imprisoned).? He also occupied official positions in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.

      There is an inspirational quality to Alejandro's story of honor and persistence in the face of uncertainty and adversity, as well as a self-effacing humor in a recognition of his occasional moral overreaching.? There is also a linguistic command that ranges from local dialect to formal prose, which allows him to relate the episodes of his life freshly and robustly.? His rhetorical gifts are apparent in several of his reproduced speeches at different events.

      Stuart Witt, Ph.D.