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Francisco Ponce de León

Lifespan: (1795 – 1861)
Profession: Regular army officer


Francisco Ponce de León (1795-1861) was a soldier born in San Luis Potosí. In 1813, he was a lieutenant of the Royalists of Celaya and in 1817 he moved over to the Dragoons of Potosi. He seconded the Plan de Iguala with Anastasio Bustamente. As a lieutenant colonel, he supported the Plan of Casa Mata. He fought in Tampico against the expedition of General Isidrio Barradas, and was head of the army of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. He was President Bustamante’s aide in 1832 fighting against the followers of Manuel Gómez Pedraza, los pedracistas. In 1835 he rejoined the Dragoons of Potosí and three years later he joined the Squadron of Veracruz. In 1840 he fought against the rebel forces in defense of the government. Attaining the grade of general in 1841, he fought against the liberal Gordiano Guzmán. He became Commander General of Querétaro in January 1843 and later in the year occupied the same post in Sinaloa as well as governor from 7 September to 19 December and from 6 March to 7 May 1844. Ponce de León was then also Governor and Commander General of Sonora. On 29 December he found himself faced with the responsibility of an uprising for not recognizing President Canalizo. Ponce de León temporarily retired from the army in 1845. He then became the Manager of Maritime Customs of San Blas. He fought in the Mexican-American War in 1847 and in 1853 Santa Anna promoted him to the rank of brigadier general. He was in charge of the military forces in Sayula, Jalisco and was Chief Political Officer and Military Commander of Colima from 31 January 1854 to 29 July 1855. He was in charge of the legal fund of Manzanillo and he inspected local judges, and negotiated regulations between household heads and their servants as well as prohibiting the trafficking of the drug marihuana. Opposed to the partisans of the 1854-55 Revolution of Ayutla, he was removed from positions of power and confined to Colima for his conservatism. In 1857 he directed the motion against the state government of Manuel Álvarez, but refused to replace him when this functionary died, and went into exile. He acknowledged the government of General Félix Zuloaga, when he fought against the liberals in Guadalajara. Ponce de León’s life ended in Mexico City in 1861.


Signatory of
Acta de Rancho de San Francisco (11 June 1839; Tuxpan, Veracruz)
Pronunciamiento del general de división Valentín Canalizo (2 October 1841; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)
Acta de la guarnición de Querétaro (13 December 1842; Querétaro, Querétaro)