The date was July 16, 1838. A group of men assembled in the home of Juan Pablo Duarte a few steps from this square. Their common cause was to gain freedom from Haitian rule. They formed a secret society called La Trinitaria (The Trinity). That meeting led to a declaration of independence in 1844 and the end of 22 years of oppression. Military conflicts ensued through 1856 until Haiti was finally suppressed. For his bravery as the visionary leader of the resistance, Juan Pablo Duarte is called the Founding Father of Dominican Republic. In 1930, this monument was erected in his honor at Duarte Park (Parque Duarte).