Heroes in the Fight for Mexican Independence (Part 1)
Soon after the beginning of the fight for Mexican independence, the “royal” army, which consisted of the Spanish and some Creoles (those of Spanish descent born in Mexico), captured and shot insurgent leaders Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, Mariano Jiménez. Later, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla met the same fate. Their heads were cut off and hung from the corners of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, in Guanajuato. They were made an example of in order to scare other insurgents. Below is a brief biography of each of these heroic leaders.
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811)
Considered the “Father of Mexico” for being the first to take charge of the insurgent movement. Born in Corralejo, Guanajuato, he entered the priesthood in Valladolid and eventually became rector of the Colegio de San Nicolás. In the curates where he was assigned, he created a fine arts school for the native population, teaching them to cultivate wine and silk. His revolutionary ideas were born from his liberal European education, leading him to unite with the independence movement.
Ignacio Allende (1769-1811)
The child of Spaniards, he was born in San Miguel el Grande, which is now named San Miguel de Allende in his honor. He was the head of the viceroy’s army in San Miguel, and participated in conspiratorial meetings for the insurgent cause. As a military strategy, it was Allende who was called to be head of the insurgent army, but he had shown signs of hesitation when he began to be involved with the insurgents, which lead Hidalgo to be the protagonist of the story. Instead, he was named captain of the army. Later, he would have differences of opinion with Hidalgo, due to Hidalgo’s inexperience in military matters, and for having permitted ransacking and a lack of discipline within the insurgent army.
Juan Aldama (1774-1811)
Soldier in the viceroy’s army, born in San Miguel el Grande, cooperated with insurgents. In San Miguel he was advised that the insurgent conspiracy had been discovered. He rode to Dolores to warn Hidalgo and Allende. He then fought alongside Allende in the defense of Guanajuato.
Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, “La Corregidora” (1773-1829), y Miguel Domínguez (1756-1830)
Married to Miguel Dominguez, mayor of Queretaro, Josefa played a vital role in the fight for independence. She and her husband participated in the conspiracy meetings against the Spanish crown. After her husband discovered her participation in these meetings, he locked her in her room for her own safety. This gave rise to the famous passage that she made arrangements to send word to Hidalgo, Aldama, and Allende that they had been discovered. Because of this, the date of the fight for independence was begun earlier than planned. If this hadn’t happened, history might not be the same.
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez