Richardson Hardy, An Authentic History of the Cuban Expedition (Cincinnati: Lorenzo Stratton, 1850), pages 79-81.


"A. J. Gonzales, who received at Mugeres, the appointment of Adjutant General, was born of respectable parents, at Matanzas, in the Island of Cuba. He left the place of his nativity at an early age, and in the city of New York, carried off the highest honors of his class. By excellent fortune, the directors of his college were exiles from sunny France, who spared no pains to imbue the young man and promising Cuban, with correct ideas of Republican principles. Returning to his oppressed country, the pursuit of the law seemed to afford the best avenue for his restless spirit. We find him graduating in that department at the age of twenty. The rank pollution that beset him on every side, soon disgusted him with the avocation in which he had embarked. Until the age of twenty-six, (a thing unprecedented in the history of literary institutions,) he remained a Professor of latin, mathematics, geography, and modern languages, in the two royal colleges of Havana. There are few instances on record, of one so young, possessed of such varied accomplishments and occupying so prominent a position. It is not surprising, that the requisite confinement, and application and assiduity would soon impair the most vigorous constitution. At this time, the sudden death of a beloved parent weighed heavily upon the natural buoyancy of his spirits. He resolved upon a change of employment and scenery. Two years were now spent in the excitement of travel in Spain and the United States. If his ardent soul had faltered at any previous time, in the choice between tyranny and the glowing charms of Republican freedom, he could palter to the sense no longer. Oppression, in its most abject and loathsome character, afforded a wonderful contrast to the pervading happiness and prosperity of a people who exercised, in its fullest extent, the right of government. He loved his native isle, and like the daughters of Judea, he wept in secret, as he remembered her woe and captivity. The polished man of letters, the adept in ancient and modern lore, determined, from that time forth, to devote his recruited energies, and the talents which the God of nature had bestowed upon him with no unsparing profusion, to the redemption and disenthralment of the bright and sunny island that gave him birth. We find him again in Cuba, a full-blown conspirator, plotting, in conjunction with the noble Creoles, against a foul foreign domination. While we reflect, that a very large body of the more gifted and influential of the islanders are solemnly committed to this enterprize, and that Gen. Gonzales was unanimously appointed one of the four of the secret 'junta for the promotion of the political interests of Cuba,' and that he was deputed a commissioner to solicit the services of Gen. Worth in aid of the contemplated revolution, it can well be imagined that a spotless reputation, and inordinate talents, could alone have inspired such boundless confidence.

"A casual observer would pronounce Gonzales a deep and powerful thinker. A heavy, and somewhat sluggish, yet strongly marked countenance would indicate a preference for the closet, with its seclusion and dusty tomes, rather than a desire to mingle in the fierce excitement and personal hazards of a dangerous revolution. We would say that the extreme benevolence and kindness of heart apparent in every feature, would induce the General to perform acts of private and unostentatious charity, and then hurry to his studio to pen a political essay enforcing the amelioration of his fellow creatures. But a glance at his strong, and full, and restless dark eye, dissipated the illusion. You might as well attempt to confine the Hyrcanian tiger in a fisherman's net, as subject to the quiet walks and pursuits of life this same Gonzales. Converse with him five little minutes and he will display to you the most erudite knowledge of character and the general world. I shall say that deep policy and mental activity were his distinguishing characteristics. I have often thought that a blending of the different traits that distinguished Lopez and his Adjutant-General, would revolutionize the world--the tiger and the fox, divested of ferocity and meanness. Without any tuition in that particular department, General Gonzales has displayed, upon several occasions, powers of oratory of no ordinary character. Once instance suffices in corroboration. Upon a complimentary dinner given to Elwood Fisher, by the Legislature of Virginia, some time during the year 1849, he startled the assembled crowd by the pathos in which he depicted the horrors of his native land, and the wild tones of defiance he launched against her besotted oppressors."