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José María Lafragua

Lifespan: (1813 – 1875)
Profession: Author, Lawyer, Politician
Place of birth: Puebla


José María Lafragua (1813-1875) was born in Puebla to José María Lafragua and Mariana Ibarra. He undertook his studies in the Colonia Carolina, Puebla where he graduated as a lawyer in 1835. Lafragua moved to Mexico City in 1837 as representative of the federalist party of Puebla. A prominent member of the liberal party and having proved himself to be consistently an adroit diplomat as well as an efficient administrator, he was responsible for external relations under the governments of Ignacio Comonfort, Benito Juárez and Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada. In 1857 he set off to Spain as representative of the Republic and in 1860 he was asked to leave this post. After this he travelled to Europe and the United States of America. He returned to Mexico in 1861 and worked tirelessly in the service of his state up until his death in 1875. He was a member of various scientific, literary and political associations as well as being first director of the National Library. He was responsible for work on civil codes and civil procedures of this period also working collaboratively on editing the Penal Code. In 1841 along with Casimiro del Collado he founded a literary and theatre review publication known as El Apuntador. Along with Manuel Payno and Ignacio Ramírez he translated numerous French theatrical works. Lafragua was also author of diverse historical works. He left unpublished his Memorias íntimas and a large body of his literary work remains in the newspapers of this period. He wrote one of the few known examples of the short romantic novel of the time Netzula (1832), which he set in the time of Moctezuma. He gathered a valuable collection of publications associated with literary and political history known as the Colección Lafragua which are now kept in the National Library of Mexico. He died in Mexico City.


Signatory of
Exposición de la capital del departamento de Puebla (24 November 1837; Puebla, Puebla)

Signatory and supporter of
Decreto que premia a los restauradores de la paz (8 April 1856; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)