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Historias de héroes: Demetrio O'Daly de la Puente, Diputado en las Cortes españolas, 1820-23

The figure of Demetrio O'Daly, Puerto Rico's representative to the Spanish Courts during the liberal triennium, is virtually unknown today. But before disappearing from history books, it went through a curious process of invention and reinvention, from the work of the earliest Official Historians of Puerto Rico under United States rule--Salvador Brau, Cayetano Coll y Toste--through that of Lidio Cruz Monclova, author of the monumental Historia de Puerto Rico (Siglo XIX) (1952), published at the time of the establishment of the Commonwealth. Successive imaginings of O'Daly speak to the evolving role of historiography in constructing a stateless nationality originating during the Spanish colonial period, and to the need to fashion its founding fathers so as to preserve a notion of ethnic identity to rise above political subordination. 

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