Agustín Stahl – Historian, Botanist and Liberation Advocate
Born and raised in Aguadilla, Dr Agustín Stahl (12 January 1842-12 July 1917) was a strong and outspoken advocate for his home country’s independence from Spain. He was also a medical doctor and scientist, with a special interest in the scientific fields of zoology, botany and ethnology. His interest in these fields led him to write a number of books and scientific papers on the plant life, history and people of Puerto Rico. Dr Stahl’s former house in Bayamón was turned into a museum highlighting his life and work, and his remains are buried in Bayamón’s cemetery. A bust of this notable Puerto Rican was sculpted by Puerto Rican sculptor Tomás Batista, and is displayed at the University of Cayey.
As a member of the Puerto Rican Autonomist Party, Agustín Stahl supported Puerto Rico’s independence from Spain. At the time he held a position at the Civil Institute of Natural Sciences in Spain, and his political views resulted in his deportation from that country in 1898. He returned to Bayamón, remaining there until his death on 12 July 1917. His legacy lives on in the work he accomplished, particularly in the field of botany, and in his loyal support of the country of his birth.