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Nicolás Bravo

Lifespan: (10 September 1786 – 22 April 1854)
Profession: Regular army officer and politician


Nicolas Bravo (September 10 1776- April 22 1854) was born in Chilpancingo, Guerrero where he also died tragically. He was a caudillo who distinguished himself during the United States Invasion of Mexico 1846–1848 and in the war of Mexican Independence 1810-1821. In 1823 Bravo was given the prestigious distinction of Benemérito de la Patria for services to the country, the government of Guerrero erected a statue in his honour in the City of Chilpancingo. After his primary education he worked in agriculture in the Hacienda of Chichihualco which was property of his family. Since the beginning of the insurgency movement he showed sympathies with the rebels and fought for the political emancipation of Mexico alongside José María Morelos y Pavon. Along with other Hacienda owners he was active in rallying forces against the vice-regal authorities. In May 1811 he joined forces with Hermenegildo Galeana, when he launched the vanguard force of Morelos and attacked Chichihualco. Bravo coordinated the various military actions undertaken by Morelos in southern Mexico and he was also honoured for military bravery at Cuautla.

Later Bravo was named as Military Commander for the Province of Veracruz. He defeated the royalist Juan Labaqui in military action at Palmar where he heard news of the unjust persecution and imprisonment of his father Don Leonardo Bravo. Famously Bravo released 300 prisoners at Palmar who were lined up in front of troops in order to ascertain what action he should take with regard to them. He broke the pervading silence with his famous phrase ‘remain in freedom’. He retired to his hacienda in 1816 and was apprehended in 1817 by royalist forces and held prisoner with his legs in irons up until his liberation in October 1820.

He supported the Plan of Iguala, which granted him the title of Colonel and he entered Mexico with the triumphant Army of the Three Guarantees (Ejército Trigarante). Soon after Independence was attained he was chosen by the Constituent Congress to be State Advisor for the State of the Second Regency (11 April-18 May 1822). A partisan of the republican system he fought boldly against those who sought to maintain the Empire. He was forced to leave the capital in order to organize politically and join forces with Vicente Guerrero in Chilapa. An alliance of forces which was defeated in Almolonga situated between Chilapa y Tixtla by Brigadier Gabriel Armijo. When Agustín de Iturbide was crowned emperor, he took up arms in opposition and formed a governing body in contact with Antonio León in Huajuapan who had declared also himself against the Mexican Empire meeting in Oaxaca they formed a Governmental Junta. Bravo was vice-president of the republic under the presidency of Guadalupe Victoria (1824-29).

Bravo was an influential figure in the lodge of the Scottish Rite (los escoceses) being Grand Master of this lodge 1823-1827. However when the York Rite Lodge (los yorquinos) gained a sharp rise in political power, Bravo attempted a military uprising at the central Mexican town Tulancingo on 23 December 1827(known as the revolution of Tulancingo or the Revolt of Montaño). Due to low numbers of troops the attempt failed and led to Bravo being captured on 7 January, 1828 and subsequently exiled to Guayaquil, Ecuador until he returned under an amnesty in 1829. When he returned he took up arms against Vicente Guerrero and Juan Álvarez taking over the main square and castle of Acapulco. Bravo took over the charge of the Northern Army Ejército del Norte up until 1836 and he finally left this post after military successes at Texas and Chilpancingo. In 1839 he acted as Presidential Advisor and when Santa-Anna left the presidency Bravo took over as interim president 10 July -18 July 1839. He was elected deputy of the State of Mexico in 1841. In 1842 Santa Anna named him as substitute president with the decree of 10 October 1842. Taking oath under the Council of Representatives of the Departments, Bravo took possession of the presidency in the same month and remained in power up until 4 May 1843. In 1847 he was given the title of Commander General of Puebla and later Chief Military Officer of the Southern border of the capital and whilst in defense of Chapultepec on 13 September of this year he was taken prisoner. Damaging, bitter controversy surrounded this episode in Bravo’s life forcing him to leave the national political stage. Whilst retired in Chilpancingo the revolution of Ayutla broke out and although Bravo was invited to join the insurgent forces he was unable to accept due to both incompatible political beliefs and his ill health. He actually died shortly after this event and it is said that his wife and he died within hours of each other as a result of poisoning.


Leader of
Plan de Montaño o de Otumba (23 December 1827; Otumba, Estado de México)

Author of
Plan de Chilapa (13 January 1823; Chilapa, Guerrero)
Convenio entre Nicolás Bravo y Juan Álvarez (13 April 1831; Chilpancingo de los Bravos, Guerrero)
Plan y pronunciamiento de Nicolás Bravo y la guarnición de Chilpancingo de los Bravos (22 October 1841; Chilpancingo, Guerrero)
Proclama de Nicolás Bravo (23 October 1841; Chilpancingo, Guerrero)

Signatory of
Acta del ayuntamiento y el subprefecto del pueblo de la Piedad (15 June 1834; Piedad de Michoacán, Michoacán)
Artículos ratificados entre Juan Alvarez y Nicolás Bravo (26 August 1835; Chilpancingo, Guerrero)
Manifiesto de los generales D. Nicolás Bravo y D. Juan Álvarez (10 October 1841; Chilpancingo de los Bravos, Guerrero)
Artículos de avenimiento entre Nicolás Bravo y la comisión de Juan Álvarez (31 May 1843; Ciudad de los Bravos, Guerrero)
Acta general del ejército (2 January 1846; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)
Acta de la junta de representantes de los departamentos (3 January 1846; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Leader, author and signatory of
Manifiesto del general Nicolás Bravo (7 December 1844; Chilpancingo de los Bravos, Guerrero)

Leader and author of
Plan de conciliación del general Bravo (2 December 1833; Chichihualco, Guerrero)