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Miguel Miramón

Lifespan: (29 September 1831 – 19 June 1867)
Profession: Regular army officer


Miguel Miramón (29 September 1831- 19 June 1867) was a soldier born in Mexico City of French ancestry. Miramón was a conservative and a monarchist who believed in defending Mexico’s so-called traditional values and institutions. Consequently, he has been repeatedly depicted as having harboured aristocratic and reactionary tendencies and is generally remembered for having been a committed defender of the fueros, the Catholic Church, and the army. He became the leader of the Conservative forces during the War of the Reforma and served as president of the rebel government in Mexico City at the time. Before this, however, in 1846, Miramón joined the Military College and fought against the North American Invasion and was taken prisoner at the age of 15 when the United States forces assaulted Chapultepec. During his late teens and early twenties he rose up the military ranks. In 1852 he became sub-lieutenant of artillery and one year later he was made captain. He taught ‘Tactics and Infantry’ in the Military College. During the 1854-55 Revolution of Ayutla he fought against the liberals in defense of Santa Anna’s dictatorial government. When the revolution triumphed he fled to Puebla to fight against Ignacio Comonfort. He was on the point of being captured but was saved at the last minute by Leandro Valle, an old friend from the Military College. In the 1858-60 War of the Reform he served at first as lieutenant. Miramón earned a reputation for cruelty when on 11 April 1859, he ordered the execution of innocent civilians and doctors along with officers of the constitutional armies. Various forces within the Conservative ranks vied for presidential power when they took the capital but Miramón was elected as interim president of the Republic by the majority of votes of the Department of Representatives on 2 February 1860. When he became president neither Juárez nor the United States government recognised the legitimacy of his government. The United States actually sent an ambassador to Juárez’s government which had established itself in Veracruz. On 13 August he placed power in the hands of President of the Supreme Court of Justice, José Ignacio Pavón. He continued the hostilities against the liberal armies. General Santos Degollado and other republican leaders of the constitutional army forced Miramón to retreat back to Mexico City. He renewed the hostilities against the liberals again and attempted to march to Veracruz until he was vanquished by the troops of General Jesús González Ortega in San Juan del Río, Querétaro, on 22 December 1860. His government terminated when he resigned two days later on 24 December and he fled to Havana and then onto Europe. In France Miramón was received by Napoleon III and took part in his negotiations with Archduke Maximilian of Austria. In Spain he was welcomed by Queen Isabel II. He moved on to Italy and then attempted to return to Mexico, although the British navy stopped him from disembarking at Veracruz forcing his return to Europe. It was only once the French Intervention (1862-67) got underway that Miramón was able to return to Mexico on 28 July 1863 where he offered his services to the Empire. The Archduke, who had been crowned Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, named Miramón Great Marshal of the Imperial Army. He was sent to Berlin to study military tactics. He returned in 1866 and organized the imperial army against the increasingly effective republican forces and was amongst those who continued to fight for the Empire after the French expeditionary army abandoned Mexico. On 19 February 1867 he reached Querétaro in an attempt to fight off the assault on the emperor. Miramón led the infantry and put General Tomás Mejía in charge of the cavalry. He took part in the battles of Casa Blanca and Cimatario which were the most significant in Querétaro. On the day this city fell he was injured in his face. Emperor Maximilian capitulated against the advice of the wounded Miramón. Miramón initially took refuge in the house of Dr. Liceaga but was captured the same day and held prisoner in the convent of the Capuchinas. On 19 June 1867 Mejía, Maximilian and Miramón were executed at the Cerro de las Campanas located in the outskirts of Querétaro.


Unknown of
Carta de Manuel Robles Pezuela a Miguel Miramón (25 December 1858; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Author and signatory of
Proclama del general Miguel Miramón (8 July 1858; Atenquique, Jalisco)
Manifiesto del general Miguel Miramón (17 December 1858; Guadalajara, Jalisco)
Proclama de Miguel Miramón (12 July 1859; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Leader, author and signatory of
Proclama de Miramón (1 January 1859; Guadalajara, Jalisco)

Author, secretary and signatory of
Manifiesto del general Miramón al ser nombrado presidente sustituto de la república (2 February 1859; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)