Lemba was a symbol of American antislavery struggle that, with his skill and courage under fire, was able to maintain rebellion for almost fifteen years. His image appears in all the studies on the history of American slavery. The first to mention him was Juan de Castellanos, not on a history treatise but on his huge “Elegy of the Illustrious Men of the Indies.” The poet Castellanos was never in Santo Domingo and learned of Lemba’s exploits in South American soil where the echo of his extraordinary rebellion also arrived.
Lemba traveled throughout the entire island in his antislavery actions, eventually dying in a field of San Juan de la Maguana. After a persecution that lasted years and the fear that the mere mention of his name raised among the Spanish slavers, to ease the fear and prove to the inhabitants of the colony he had died, the colonial authorities ordered to amputate his head to show it in one of the entrances to Santo Domingo City.