Biography of Ignacio María de Allende y Unzaga (1769-1811)

Military insurgent Creole born in the town of San Miguel el Grande (Guanajuato) January 21, 1769 and died was executed June 26, 1811 in Chihuahua. He/She was an initiator of the independence movement of Mexico next to the priest Miguel Hidalgo, which ceded the limelight in the direction of the insurgency.

He was the fifth son of the Spanish Domingo Narciso de Allende and Ayerdi and María Ana de Unzaga and Menchaca, distinguished family of local commerce, dedicated to the breeding of cattle and sheep. Orphaned of mother in childhood, studied at the school of the Oratory of San Felipe Neri and the Salesian College, until he/she lost his father at age 18. During his youth he/she stressed by their love of horses and his skill in bullfighting, which was struggling as one of the "catrines" most prominent among the best families of the place. In January 1791 he/she joined the grenadier Corps and he/she was assigned to the regiment located in San Miguel el Grande, in 1795 the rank of Lieutenant of the 3rd company. According to an office of the City Council was "single, robust and suitable for a military career". He/She shared the militia with his brothers Domingo and José María, lieutenants of grenadiers and Juan Aldama, second lieutenant of the first company and later companion of insurgency.

In 1800, in command of the first Regiment of dragons Queen provincial company, he/she moved to San Luis Potosí, under the command of Colonel Félix María Calleja, who was preparing to fight a robber nicknamed "Golden Mask", so it was a canton of troops. He/She distinguished himself by his zeal, discipline, and organizational capacity, as well as show off your rider skills in the celebrations organized on the occasion of the blessing of the Santuario de Guadalupe, which officiated Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, priest of San Felipe. A year later, the invasion of the American adventurer Felipe Nolland, Calleja forced to organize a division involving Allende. In 1802, back to San Miguel, he/she married María de la Luz de las Fuentes and Vallejo, who died before completing one year of marriage.

Few years later moved to the capital, where in 1806 Viceroy ordered to establish a canton of troops and in the Ejido of the Court carried out a simulation of war. He/She was subsequently assigned to Jalapa and elsewhere in the State of Veracruz, which coincided with the official José Mariano Michelena and Ignacio Aldama. It was in this canton when became the first news of the events in the Peninsula, the dismissal of the valid Godoy, the invasion of the armies of Napoleon and the resignation of Carlos IV and Fernando VIIto the throne.

Between June and September, 1808, clashes between the audience, the Town Hall and the viceroy, the formation of the criollo party supporting to Bachelor cousin truth and the final dismissal of José Iturrigaray occurred in the city of Mexico. Dissolved the canton of Jalapa, he/she moved with his regiment to San Juan de los Llanos and San Agustín de el Palmar to return early from 1809 to San Miguel, where he/she was named captain.

According to his biographers, the participation of Allende first conspiracies of new Spain had begun in Jalapa when, being a mature 39 year old Lieutenant, joined with enthusiasm the requirements of autonomy and freedom, as a response to the threat of French invasion, mostly to the violence of the Peninsular Spanish, organised around the audience and institutional vacuumwhich they dismissed the viceroy and pursued those who sought to confront the Spanish power. Precisely José Iturrigaray was convened in January 1808 maneuvers and military simulations, based in the canton of Jalapa, which brought together in this plaza a great army and numerous officers, Creole languages mostly by what took place between them the spirit of independence, companionship and friendship.

Deployed later in the provinces of el Bajío, Allende and his companions it formed several groups of criollos who, in San Miguel el Grande, gathered at the home of his brother Domingo and in Queretaro had established a literary Academy, allowing them to discuss all kinds of novelties. Based on these places, Allende began the development of a network of contacts throughout the country. The year of 1809 was prodigal in conspiracies and uprisings. Despite the confidence proclaimed by the virrey-arzobispo Lizana, in its letter of January 23, 1810, "as your virrrey is quiet, vivid you also secure", Allende and his friends organized new centers of conspiracy in San Luis Potosí, Celaya, Guanajuato, San Felipe, and even in the capital, where a so-called "society of the Guadalupes" meetings were initiated.

In may 1810, in a letter to a friend of San Miguel, wrote beyond: "I am able to take the Sabre, homeland release, shake the yoke [...] and keep this beautiful America, their legitimate masters [...] I wish and had five hundred men of the enthusiasm and verve of the friend don Miguel! "." His contacts with Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, priest from Dolores, who had illustrated, prudent, wise, and trained for the seduction of the crowds, man took to interview with him on several occasions until they took the agreement to start a popular uprising, coinciding with an important fair held every year in San Juan de los Lagos. The objectives of this agreement included the "remove command to Spaniards, seized them all, but respecting their people and their interests," "that the Spaniards were prisoners in the places of their residence to the triumph of the cause", "that if the Government opposed arms Allende, with the character of Generalissimo [...]" He/She would continue the war until victory","that achieved the triumph, chiefs and Commissioners of all cities, villages and towns would meet in the capital of the country, to form a National Board that govern in the name of Fernando VII, as was determining the form of better government", etc.

To be discovered by the authorities entreated of Querétaro, with the apprehensions of Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, wife of the corregidor and his henchmen, father Hidalgo and Allende captain decided to give the so-called "cry of independence" in the town of Dolores, in the early hours of Sunday, September 16, 1810. Father Hidalgo proclaimed: "does not agree that being Mexican, owners of a beautiful and rich country, continue for a longer time under the rule of the gachupines." Long live America, Viva Fernando VII, death to bad government! "." Meanwhile, Ignacio Allende and Juan Aldama fellow dedicated themselves to organize a column of soldiers that left Dolores mid morning and came to San Miguel el Grande in the afternoon, after reducing the resistance of the regiments garrisoned and fearful of their persons and their goods Spaniards.

To occur in San Miguel the first uncontrolled mobs looting, Allende reacted with energy, facing off against the passivity of Hidalgo. After several hours of looting there that you said, going to Hidalgo: "Father, all walked has been lost, as this disorder has nothing in common with our company and before well, it denatures it and it completely distorts, but living Christ, that in no part and much less here I allow it".

At the first meeting of insurgent leaders that was held in San Miguel, Ignacio Allende resigned from the leadership and proposed that the Supreme direction of the movement on the shoulders of Hidalgo who said: "my sword will always be in the fighting; My advice, though weak will always be available to you, sure that the luck that you run I will run it also inevitably". After constitute the first City Council independent and organized a shadowing of army, in which mixed masses of peasants and Indians lacking armament, without other ammunition than sticks, pitchforks, and arrows, and uniformed regiments began the March towards "the jewel in the Crown" of the Bajio, Guanajuato.

The column of Allende was directed by Celaya, Salamanca, Irapuato and Silao Guanajuato until September 28. The city, after a pointless initial resistance, was taken by the regiment of dragons provincials of the Queen, who began their deployment with efficiency and discipline, but the arrival of the disorganized masses caused the assault of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas and the widespread looting of the population. The side signed by Allende by which was punished with the death penalty to the thieves, was insufficient and he/she and military commanders had to intervene trying to placate the populace. The echoes what happened in Guanajuato soon became the capital and led to widespread rejection by the Creole groups that were sympathetic with the insurgent movement.

In Guanajuato Mayor appointed is new, City Council was reorganized and established a mint. Also dealt with the construction of new guns and the Army Corps was reorganized. While father Hidalgo and the general Aldama went out in search of the troops of the realist Felix María Calleja, Allende was devoted to framing and discipline the masses of peasants and Indians increasingly numerous. On October 8 a new insurgent army, with more than 60,000 men and numerous cannons began the March toward Valladolid, city in which Hidalgo and Allende received the day 17 enthusiastically.

Continuing its March toward the city of Mexico, 21 held a general journal in Acambaro, in which arose the army, composed of more than 80,000 men and several guns. In the course of this magazine was proclaimed Generalissimo Miguel Hidalgo, while Allende received the title of Captain General. The next day was restarted the March heading for the city of Toluca, where were the realistic forces, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Torcuato Trujillo, who had come to new Spain with the new viceroy, Francisco Javier Venegas. This had been ordered to don Manuel de Flon, Mayor of Puebla and the Colonel Félix María Calleja, Commander of San Luis Potosí, they come to their support.

On 30 October, after a series of sweeping maneuvers, brilliantly directed by Allende, the battle of the "mount of las Cruces", in which Trujillo lost its best heads, cannons, materials and men, deciding to retire to the capital, fought so the insurgent messengers encamped that night in the sale of Cuajimalpa, in view of the city of Mexico. Emissaries were sent to the viceroy, and upon hearing his refusal to surrender, Allende convened a meeting of chiefs, which discussed the situation. Against his opinion forward, attacking "blood and fire" the capital, prevailed the criterion of Hidalgo, who called out to Valladolid or Queretaro, to reorganize its forces. Allende, who was in top form and tasted the sweetness of victory, understood the decision of Hidalgo as a severe moral setback, which marked the beginning of their confrontation.

The withdrawal of the insurgents became disordered and without discipline, in the midst of frequent desertions. Decided to go to Queretaro, Hidalgo ignored the warnings of Allende and soon had to confront the troops of Calleja, advancing towards San Jerónimo Aculco, in whose vicinity on November 7 a battle which decimated and annihilated the insurgents fought. These, demoralized, abandoned before the victorious Calleja all his artillery, gunpowder, two flags, carts of groceries, luggage and files. In the subsequent rout, while Hidalgo and his aides passed through Valladolid towards Guadalajara, Allende and his generals preferred to lock up in Guanajuato, trying to deal with the alleged assault of Calleja.

Realistic Colonel attacked and conquered Guanajuato on November 25, initiating violent repression, which strengthened the fame of bloodthirsty of who would soon replace Viceroy Venegas in the governorate of new Spain. The majority of the city's squares were filled with forks in which the bodies of the executed were exhibited. Allende and his lieutenants managed to get to Guadalajara, where December 12 th met with Hidalgo and other insurgent leaders. The decline of the first Mexican insurgent movement had begun. The battle of the bridge of Calderón, January 17, 1811, where Calleja returned to infringe tremendous defeat of the hosts led by Hidalgo and Allende, meant an announced final certification.

During its retreat towards the northern provinces, which hoped to offer greater resistance, returned to confront the two positions, which defended the double leadership, military and political, and which advocated the majority of officers who, after stripping Hidalgo of the Supreme command, was named Ignacio Allende Generalísimo of the insurgent army. The rebel column followed up to Zacatecas and Saltillo, where in late February met with lieutenant general José Mariano Jiménez, insurgent leader in the northern provinces. The Council of chiefs who chaired Allende in Saltillo on 16 March, decided to continue its March in the direction of the United States, in order to acquire weapons and find new support.

March 21, this column reached the estate of Acatita or Norias of fall, near Monclova, where he/she received them Lieutenant Colonel don Ignacio Elizondo, who had decided to betray the insurgency. Without notice, he/she attacked and reduced to prison to Allende and companions and shortly after their own cures Hidalgo, located in the rearguard. Led everyone to the city of Chihuahua, where it arrived April 23, immediately began the instruction of the Council of war and Miguel Hidalgo and Costilla was executed a week later.

Don Ignacio Allende and Unzaga, military leader and protagonist of the first insurgent movement of Mexico, after a summary trial that lasted during the months of May and June, was shot to death June 26, along with don Juan de Aldama, his inseparable companion of weapons in the Plazuela de Chihuahua exercises. Their heads, along with those of Hidalgo and Jiménez, were sent to the city of Guanajuato, where they were placed and exposed in the towers of the alhóndiga de Granaditas.


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José María Miquel I Vergés. Dictionary of insurgents. Editorial Porrúa. Mexico, 1969 and 1980

Julio Zarate. Independence. In Mexico through the centuries. Company General of editions. Mexico, 1951

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Manuel Ortuño