Heroes in the Fight for Mexican Independence (Part II)
The second in our two part series about some of the important Mexican participants in the war for independence from Spain
Many brave men and women defended the insurgent cause, some even gave their lives in order to gain independence from Spain. Some supported Fernando VII, King of Spain from 1808-1833, and some understood the truth about sovereignty, liberty, and the rights of mankind and a nation.
Mariano Jiménez (1781-1811)
Engineer by profession, originally from San Luis Potosí. He was living in Guanajuato, and he joined the insurgent cause and used his military talent to rise to the rank of General. He was shot in 1811. His head was cut off in the same fate as Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende in the Alhóndiga de Granaditas.
Andrés Quintana Roo (1787-1851)
A lawyer originally from Merida, Yucatan. He supported the insurgent cause through the press. He held important posts in the government and defended federalism after the War for Independence was won. He was also well known for his literary works and his good work in the government up until his death. His spouse was Leona Vicario.
Vicente Guerrero (1782-1831)
A mestizo of humble origin. He is well known for his great show of valor from the beginning to the end of the insurgent fight. His phrase “Father, the Homeland comes first”, upon rejecting the pardon issued by the authorities through his own father, who was then shot as a result of his own son’s refusal to turn himself in. After being betrayed, he was caught and taken to Huatulco, Oaxaca, to a place called La Entrega, where he was handed over and then taken to the village of Cuilapa, where he was shot. There is a church in this location which is in ruins but still has beautiful architecture and frescos.
This woman donated her fortune to the insurgent cause, besides alerting them to information about the royalist army. She was taken prisoner but later managed to escape. Her help was recognized at the conclusion of the war. Today, one of the regions of Quintana Roo is named after her.
José Ma. Morelos y Pavón, “Servant of the Nation” (1789-1842)
Mestizo priest of African descent. Originally from Morelia (formerly Valladolid) in the state of Michoacan, to many he is the true ideology and strategy of the independence movement. In an ironic twist, years later his own son went to France looking for an emperor to govern Mexico. The first laws of the new country of Mexico were owed to him, and were established in the document “Feelings of a Nation” (Sentimientos de la Nación), bringing to light liberal, anti-slavery and human rights ideas; although he still defended Catholicism, he still criticized it. From the beginning of the fight for independence, he demonstrated great strength and bravery on the battlefield, and also demonstrated his great capacity for military strategy. He was named a high ranking general. According to legend, news of his bravery reached the ears of Napoleon who said “Give me 100 Morelos and I conquer the world!” Morelos went down in history as “Servant of the Nation”, due to his interest in service to his country and fellow man. Today, the city of Morelia in Michoacan and the state of Morelos bear his name in his honor. Even Maximilian honored him by building a statue in Morelos’ honor.