The upheaval of the Cuban Ten Years' War (10 October 1868-10 February 1878) prompted the largest number of refugees fleeing the island to settle ninety miles away in Key West, Florida, the southernmost point of the United States. Although the expatriates transformed the physical landscape of the coral and limestone reef and modified its social, economic, and political order, there has been no demographic study or precise statistics on the Cubans in Key West during that decade. Likewise, accurate statistical data is lacking for Cubans in the United States throughout the nineteenth century. In 1870, Key West had the second largest Cuban emigre community. A decade later, the city was the capital of the Cuban exiles and the conspiratorial center for their independence movement. This essay fills the gap in our knowledge on the status of Cubans in Key West during that era by examining statistical evidence enumerated in the United States federal census of 1870 and 1880, according to place of birth, race, age, gender, parentage, marital status, occupation, education, wealth, health, and residence.1
de la Cova, Antonio Rafael
"Cuban Exiles in Key West during the Ten Years' War, 1868-1878,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 89:
3, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol89/iss3/3