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Juan de Arago

Lifespan: (1788 – 1837)
Profession: Regular Army Officer


Juan Arago (1788-1837) was a soldier born in the Pyrenees, France. He was from a middle-class family and was educated in Sorèze. Arago began his career as a soldier at the age of eighteen. Leaving the army in 1813 due to his political ideals, he joined the Royal Mint at Perpignan as director. As he was apprehended for his Liberal convictions he moved to New Orleans in the United States of America in 1816. Arago moved to New Spain where he joined the Spanish Artillery before defecting to the revolutionary forces of Xavier Mina during his expedition in Mexico in 1817. He took part in the entire campaign up until the defeat of the Spanish leader by Orrantía, 10 October 1817. The remainder of Mina’s troops named Arago as Military Commander of the Province of Guanajuato. Plagued by illness, however, he was forced to take a rest from his military pursuits in 1819.He then settled in Guanajuato where he lived in great poverty, refusing to serve the Vice regal government. Arago was one of the signatories of the Plan of Iguala. He also supported Anastasio Bustamante. He was promoted to Commander of Guanajuato, attaining the rank of Colonel in December 1821. Arago joined in support of the Plan of Casa Mata in 1823 and was involved in the triumph of this movement. He was also active in the Army of Puebla up until 1828. He was an active member of the Masonic Rite of York. Vicente Guerrero placed him in charge of the Zappers Brigade. He was named Director General of the Engineering Corps in 1833. This same year he was declared ‘honoured citizen’ by the States of Mexico, Veracruz, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas. As a result of his military expertise he was named Commander General in the State and Federal District of Mexico and General of the Military Brigade in Mexico City. Arago died in 1837.


Signatory of
Proclama iturbidista (19 May 1822; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)