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Manuel de Mier y Terán

Lifespan: (1789 – 1832)


Manuel de Mier y Terán (1789-1832) was a soldier born in Mexico City. He studied in the College of Mining. He joined the insurgency movement and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was besieged by the Royalist Alfaro in Silacayoapan (Oaxaca), but succeeded in escaping. The insurgent Congress of Chilpancingo promoted him to Colonel. He continued fighting in Puebla and Veracruz and set off for Coatzacoalcos to gather important armaments. In 1815 he led the Junta which tried to dissolve the Congress of Chilpancingo. He wanted to take up command of the insurgent forces but other caudillos opposed him. He continued to fight in Veracruz and Puebla and in 1817 was distinguished for his actions in the defense of Tehuacán; although he was forced to surrender. In 1821 he joined forces with General Nicolás Bravo in backing the Plan of Iguala. When Iturbide abdicated in 1823, he was Deputy of Chiapas. Later he became Minister of War 12 March -10 October 1824. Mier y Terán left the ministry due to differences with President Guadalupe Victoria which dated from War of Independence. He was Inspector of the defenses of the State of Veracruz and in 1825 was put forward to serve as minister plenipotentiary in the United Kingdom. He was designated as Director of Artillery in 1827, year in which he also led the Commission of Borders, undertaking an exploration of Texas and the border between Mexico and the United States of America. In 1829 Mier y Terán assisted Santa Anna in the campaign of Tampico that led to the memorable victory of 11 September over Isidro Barradas’ Spanish expeditionary army. During the 1830s Mier y Terán was thought of as a possible candidate for the presidency of the Republic. However, he committed suicide in 1832 before such an eventuality could take place, by plunging into his sword in Padilla, on the very same spot where Agustín de Iturbide was executed in 1824. He asked to be buried with Iturbide, with his skin touching the former Liberator’s bones.


For an annotated translation of Mier y Terán’s Texan diary, see: Manuel de Mier y Terán, Texas by Terán: The Diary kept by General Manuel de Mier y Terán on his 1828 Inspection of Texas. Ed. Jack Jackson, trans. John Wheat. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.

Signatory of
Resolución del comandante general (24 March 1832; Matamoros, Tamaulipas)
Representación a la legislatura del Estado de Tamaulipas (25 March 1832; Matamoros, Tamaulipas)
Acta de la guarnición de la fortaleza de Chapultepec (28 December 1832; Fortaleza de Chapultepec, México D.F.)