Trina Padilla de Sanz papers
Scope and Contents
The Trina Padilla de Sanz papers date from 1845 to 1968, with the majority of records dating from 1902 to 1957, and document the life and literary career of Puerto Rican poet, writer, suffragist, and composer Trina Padilla de Sanz. The collection consists mostly of correspondence, original manuscripts, and printed works and also contains a small number of photographs and family papers.
The collection is arranged into three series: "I. Correspondence, 1845-1957 (Bulk: 1902-1957)", "II. Writings, 1910-1966 (Bulk: 1910-1956)", and "III. Personal and family papers, 1905-1968".
Series "I. Correspondence” dates from 1845 to 1957, with the majority of correspondence dating from 1902 to 1957, and consists of correspondence with friends, family, and notable musicians, poets, politicians, and writers of her day. Prominent correspondents include, but are not limited to: Luis Llorens Torres, a well-respected Puerto Rican poet, playwright, and politician; Luis Muñoz Marin, the first democratically elected governor of Puerto Rico; Cayetano Coll y Toste, an esteemed Puerto Rican historian and writer; José de Diego y Martinez, a statesman and journalist known as the “Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement”; Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature; Manuel Fernandez Juncos, a Spanish journalist and poet who wrote the lyrics to Puerto Rico’s official anthem “La Borinqueña"; Braulio Dueño Colón, co-writer of the song series “Canciones Escolares” and lauded as one of Puerto Rico’s greatest composers; and Lola Rodriguez de Tio, the first Puerto Rican-born poetess to achieve widespread acclaim throughout Latin America. Other noteworthy correspondence includes a letter penned by José Gualberto Padilla, known as “El Caribe”, in 1845 and correspondence between La Hija and her son, Angel A. Sanz Padilla, and daughter, Amalia "Malín" Sanz Padilla. This series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
Series “II. Writings” dates from 1910 to 1966, with the majority of writings dating from 1910-1956, and consists of articles, essays, poems, short stories, and open letters in both manuscript and printed formats. The series also contains newspaper and magazine clippings of La Hija’s work, writing fragments, and a small number of articles published after her death. Featured in this series are La Hija’s published works in several prominent Puerto Rican magazines, includingAlma Latina,Condor Blanco,Heraldo de la Mujer, andPuerto Rico Ilustrado. This series is arranged alphabetically by title.
Series “III. Personal and family papers” dates from 1905 to 1968 and contains newspaper and magazine clippings related to La Hija and her family, writings about La Hija, photographs, keepsakes and ephemera, a scrapbook documenting La Hija’s musical career, and a small number of papers belonging to her son, Angel A. Sanz Padilla. This series is arranged alphabetically by record type and chronologically thereunder.
This collection will be useful for researchers interested in the social, cultural, political, and economic issues specific to Puerto Rico during the first half of the twentieth century. It provides in-depth insight into a variety of topics of the pressing current events of that era. For researchers focused on the feminist movement, this collection offers insight into the role of women in society, inequality between genders, and domestic affairs. For those interested in the political sphere, La Hija’s writings contain analyses of not only Puerto Rican liberation efforts, but also the dynamic between the country and more powerful foreign influences, specifically the United States. Researchers who wish to study social problems faced by Puerto Rico will find various articles penned by La Hija related to poverty, wealth disparity, divorce, the death penalty, and juvenile delinquency.
- 1845 - 1968
- Majority of material found within 1902 - 1957
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.
Biographical / Historical
Trinidad (Trina) Padilla de Sanz (1864-1957) was a Puerto Rican poet, writer, suffragist, and composer. Her lifetime spanned several of the most defining moments of Puerto Rico’s history, all collected in her writings and correspondence with some of the most influential people in Puerto Rico and Latin America at the time. She adopted the pen name “La Hija del Caribe” in honor of her father José Gualberto Padilla (1829-1896), a prominent medic, poet, and political activist known as “El Caribe”. La Hija enjoyed a prolific literary career over the course of several decades, with her corpus consisting of articles, essays, poems, and short stories on a variety of socio-political, artistic, and musical topics.
La Hija was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico in 1864. During her formative years, her education included a mix of private tutors, secondary school, and self-education. She later moved to Madrid, Spain to study music at the Real Conservatorio. She married Ángel Sanz Ambrós in 1883 at the age of 18. Together they had five children and eventually settled in the community of Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
She considered Arecibo to be her adopted home and was an active member of the community, promoting cultural and educational initiatives to benefit Arecibo and its citizens. A strong advocate for education, she helped establish a primary school, El Colegio de San Felipe, in 1932. Eager to instill a love of music in the next generation, she spent forty years as a piano instructor, often offering free lessons to disadvantaged children.
La Hija’s community engagement encompasses only one facet of her fulfilling and dynamic life. As a poet, she published several books of verses includingDe mi collar (1926) andCálices abiertos (1943) and edited several volumes of her father’s poetry. She wrote articles and essays for a vast array of magazines and newspapers, such asAlma Latina,El Mundo,El Imparcial, andPuerto Rico Ilustrado. Her work addressed a variety of subjects including the preservation of Puerto Rican culture, Puerto Rican liberation, women’s rights, politics, history, music, the arts, and everyday social and domestic issues. Rounding out her literary career, La Hija also dabbled in short stories, publishing works such as "Colín" and "Valeria".
La Hija’s remarkable career was defined not only by the high quality of works she produced, but also by its longevity. After decades without pause, she continued to write every day as she aged into her nineties. She valued hard work and productivity, filling her days with writing, teaching, playing the piano, and corresponding with friends, family, fellow writers, and politicians. Long after she lost her hearing, La Hija continued to play piano and provide lessons to eager students.
In 1957 Trina Padilla de Sanz died at the age of 93 in her beloved Arecibo. Her legacy as an accomplished poet and writer cements her place among the great twentieth century literary figures. Remembered for her passionate defense of Puerto Rican liberty and women’s rights, La Hija is today a treasured cultural and historical icon in Puerto Rico.
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Trinidad (Trina) Padilla de Sanz (1864-1957) was a Puerto Rican poet, suffragist, and composer. Her lifetime spanned several of the most defining moments of Puerto Rico’s history, all collected in her writings and correspondence with some of the most influential people in Puerto Rico and Latin America at the time. She adopted the pen name “La Hija del Caribe” in honor of her father José Gualberto Padilla (1829-1896), a prominent medic, poet, and political activist known as “El Caribe”. La Hija enjoyed a prolific literary career over the course of several decades, with her corpus consisting of articles, essays, poems, and short stories on a variety of socio-political, artistic, and musical topics. The Trina Padilla de Sanz papers date from 1845 to 1968, with the majority of records dating from 1902 to 1957, and include personal correspondence, original manuscripts, published works, photographs, clippings, and a small number of family papers. This collection not only depicts the exceptional life of Trina Padilla de Sanz, but also documents a time of great socio-political and cultural change in Puerto Rico.
Series "I. Correspondence, 1884-1957 (Bulk: 1902-1957)" is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Series "II. Writings, 1910-1966 (Bulk: 1910-1956)" is arranged alphabetically by title. Series "III. Personal and Family Papers, 1905-1968" is arranged alphabetically by record type.
- Series "I. Correspondence, 1845-1957 (Bulk: 1902-1957)" is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
- Series "II. Writings, 1910-1966 (Bulk: 1910-1956)" is arranged alphabetically by title.
- Series "III. Personal and Family Papers, 1905-1968" is arranged alphabetically by record type.
Preservica Internal URL
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Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection is the gift of Joseph A. Unanue and Carmen Ana Casal de Unanue to Archives & Special Collections Center via the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute in 2008.
- Feminism -- Puerto Rico.
- Padilla de Sanz, Trinidad, 1864-1957. Trina Padilla de Sanz
- Padilla de Sanz, Trinidad, 1864-1957. Written works
- Puerto Rican literature -- 20th century.
- Puerto Rico -- History -- Autonomy and independence movements.
- Women -- Suffrage -- Puerto Rico.
- Women's rights -- Puerto Rico.
- Trina Padilla de Sanz papers, 1845-1968 (Bulk: 1902-1957)
- Amanda Mita
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository
Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US