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Home BIOGRAPHIES Independence
Independence

T
he call to arms of the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, accompanied by Ignacio Allende and Juan Aldama, marked the beginning of the War of Independence and Mexico’s liberation from Spain, to which many exceptional men and women contributed. Here we present the biographies of some of the most well-known heroes of the Independence movement.

AGUSTÍN DE ITURBIDE

AGUSTÍN DE ITURBIDE

Agustín de Iturbide—a royalist soldier and later emperor of Mexico—was born in Valladolid (today Morelia), Mexico, and son of José Joaquín de Iturbide, a Spaniard, and Josefa de Arámburu, whose family came from Michoacán. He studied in the seminary in Valladolid, and when he reached the age of 15, he devoted himself to working the land.

ANDRÉS QUINTANA ROO

ANDRÉS QUINTANA ROO

Born in Mérida, Yucatán, Andrés Quintana Roo studied in the Mérida Conciliar Seminary, and in 1808 he began law studies in the University of Mexico. He married Leona Vicario. As part of the insurgent movement, he publicized the cause in the newspapers Semanario Patriótico Americano and in the Ilustrador Americano. He presided over the National Constituent Congress that endorsed the declaration of independence in 1813.


FRANCISCO PRIMO DE VERDAD

FRANCISCO PRIMO DE VERDAD

Born in Ciénega del Rincón, Aguascalientes, Francisco Primo de Verdad was a lawyer of the Royal Audiencia (appellate court) and a prominent member of the College of Lawyers.

GUADALUPE VICTORIA

GUADALUPE VICTORIA

Guadalupe Victoria, the first president of Mexico, was born in Villa de Tamazula, in the province of Nueva Vizcaya (today the state of Durango). His original name was Miguel Fernández Félix, which he changed to Guadalupe Victoria. He studied at the Durango Seminary and in Mexico City at the College of San Ildefonso.

HERMENEGILDO GALEANA

HERMENEGILDO GALEANA

Hermenegildo Galeana is born in Tecpan in what is now the state of Guerrero. According to all accounts, he was descended from an English sailor who shipwrecked south of Acapulco.

IGNACIO ALLENDE

IGNACIO ALLENDE

Ignacio Allende, a Creole, was born in San Miguel el Grande, Guanajuato, and joined the Spanish army in New Spain in 1802. He was a captain when he began meeting with Miguel Hidalgo, Juan Aldama, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez and her husband and mayor of Querétaro, Miguel Domínguez, to plot against Spanish rule.

IGNACIO RAYÓN

IGNACIO RAYÓN

Ignacio Rayón was born in Tlalpujahua, Michoacán, and he entered St. Nicholas College, in Valladolid (now Morelia) in 1786. He studied law in San Ildefonso College in Mexico City, graduating in 1796. He returned to Tlalpujahua and devoted himself to agriculture and mining. He favored independence for Mexico, and was one of the first to join Hidalgo’s forces.


JOSÉ MARÍA MORELOS

JOSÉ MARÍA MORELOS

José María Morelos y Pavón was born in the city of Valladolid (now Morelia) in 1765. During his youth, he was a student of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla at the San Nicolás College where Hidalgo was rector. After finishing his studies, he was ordained as a priest and became the parish priest of Carácuaro and then of Nicupétaro in the state of Guanajuato.


JOSEFA ORTIZ

JOSEFA ORTIZ

Daughter of Juan José Ortiz and Manuela Girón, Josefa was left an orphan and under the care of her older sister at an early age. Born in Mexico City on April 19, 1773, she was educated there in the Colegio de las Viscaínas.

JUAN DE O’DONOJÚ

JUAN DE O’DONOJÚ

Juan de O’Donojú was the 63rd and last viceroy of New Spain. He held the post from August 3 to September 27, 1821. Of Irish descent, he was born in Seville and died in Mexico. Lieutenant general and a high officer of the Masons, he arrived in Mexico appointed by Spain’s Overseas Ministry as captain general and jefe político superior, which gave him the authority but not the official title of viceroy.

LEONA VICARIO

LEONA VICARIO

Leona Vicario, a heroine of the War of Independence, was born in Mexico City and left an orphan at a young age. She was brought up by her uncle, Agustín Pomposo Fernández de San Salvador, a lawyer whose office employed Andrés Quintana Roo.

MIGUEL DOMÍNGUEZ

MIGUEL DOMÍNGUEZ

Mayor of Querétaro, he was born in Mexico City and studied at the College of San Nicolás in Valladolid (now Morelia) and in the College of San Ildefonso. He held various positions in the offices of the viceregal government of New Spain.

MIGUEL HIDALGO Y COSTILLA

MIGUEL HIDALGO Y COSTILLA

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, known as the Father of the Nation, was born on the Corralejo hacienda in Guanajuato on May 8, 1753. His father, a Creole, was the hacienda administrator. Miguel Hidalgo, who learned French while at school and was influenced by the ideas of the French Revolution, was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1778.

NICOLÁS BRAVO

NICOLÁS BRAVO

Nicolás Bravo is born in Chilpancingo in what is now the state of Guerrero. After completing his basic education, he devotes himself to agriculture on his family’s Chichihualco hacienda.

SERVANDO TERESA DE MIER

SERVANDO TERESA DE MIER

Born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, he becomes a monk of the order of Santo Domingo. He studies at the College of Porta Coeli in Mexico City and receives a doctorate in theology. On December 12th, 1794, he gives his famous speech about the Virgin of Guadalupe and, as a result, is exiled to Spain. This starts a series of escapes and reincarcerations from various jails and convents in Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal over the coming years.

VICENTE GUERRERO

VICENTE GUERRERO

One of the leaders of the independence movement and second president of Mexico, Vicente Guerrero was born into a poor peasant family in Tixtla, in what is today the state of Guerrero. A Mestizo with a strong African background, he had a little education and dedicated himself to farming the land. He started his military career under Hermenegildo Galeana in 1810.

XAVIER MINA

XAVIER MINA

Xavier Mina is born in Otano, Navarra, in Spain. He starts law studies in Pamplona, but leaves to fight against the French invasion in 1808. A supporter of liberal ideas, he is forced to emigrate from Spain, first to France and then to England, where he associates with Servando Teresa de Mier and other supporters of the Mexican independence. Convinced that he can fight for the independence of New Spain and against the absolutism personified by Ferdinand VII in either Spain or America, he embarks for the United States in May 1816.


 

1 INDEPENDENCE / AGUSTÍN DE ITURBIDE
2 INDEPENDENCE / IGNACIO RAYÓN
3 INDEPENDENCE / VICENTE GUERRERO
4 INDEPENDENCE / ANDRÉS QUINTANA ROO
5 INDEPENDENCE / FRANCISCO PRIMO DE VERDAD
6 INDEPENDENCE / NICOLÁS BRAVO
7 INDEPENDENCE / HERMENEGILDO GALEANA
8 INDEPENDENCE / JOSEFA ORTIZ
9 INDEPENDENCE / XAVIER MINA
10 INDEPENDENCE / SERVANDO TERESA DE MIER
11 INDEPENDENCE / GUADALUPE VICTORIA
12 INDEPENDENCE / MIGUEL DOMÍNGUEZ
13 INDEPENDENCE / LEONA VICARIO
14 INDEPENDENCE / JUAN DE O'DONOJÚ
15 INDEPENDENCE / IGNACIO ALLENDE
16 INDEPENDENCE / MIGUEL HIDALGO Y COSTILLA
17 INDEPENDENCE / JOSÉ MARÍA MORELOS Y PAVÓN
 


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