Biography of Félix María Conde de Calderón Calleja del Rey (1753-1828)

Military and Spanish politician, Viceroy of new Spain from 1813 until 1816, born of a family distinguished in Medina del Campo (Valladolid) 11 November 1753 and died in Valencia July 24, 1828.

He sat square of cadet in the regiment of infantry of Savoy in 1773 and reached the rank of captain. He/She took part in the unfortunate expedition of Algiers (1775); the site of Gibraltar (1779-1783), where he/she served as aide to the Marqués de Branciforte and met the count of Revillagigedo; and, finally, the site and surrender of the island of Menorca. Later, recognized graduate captain, was director of studies at the Colegio Militar of the port of Santa María (1784), where he/she instructed several companies of cadets until the year 1788, in which that Centre became extinct.

In 1789 he/she accompanied the second count of Revillagigedo, appointed viceroy of new Spain, and disembarked at Veracruz with destination to the city of Puebla, where he/she reached the final appointment of Captain and acted as an instructor of cadets, sergeants and officers. He/She enjoyed the confidence of the viceroy, who commissioned the inspection and study the situation military in the border territories, which allowed him to explore different regions. In 1790 created from Dragons of Ocotlán border militia, visited some provinces, made maps and descriptions of the area and, from 1792, formed the military standards of the Kingdom of new Galicia, the bodies of frontier of the colony and the North Division, and tuition for the ports of Tampico and Pánuco. In the opinion of Revillagigedo, Calleja "is an official application, zelo, talent and good conduct...".

The new viceroy Marqués de Branciforte commissioned in 1795 the inspection of territories of new Santander and new Kingdom of León, visiting towns and missions and by examining the existing military works. To intensify the threat of incursion by the English ships, the viceroy ordered the plans for the defence of ports and coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, and completed them by proposing that permanent military patrols be established.

With the military reorganization carried out by the viceroy Miguel Azanza, was entrusted to Calleja command of the Tenth Brigade of militia Corps based in San Luis Potosí, which was kept in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, so he/she felt deeply disappointed. In a letter of 1798 who directed, to the King and in the letter that he/she wrote to the Viceroy Azanza accompanying protesting by the fact that "my contemporaries in Spain" were already General, while he/she still did not rise. He/She achieved recognition of Colonel, new mentions complimentary of his superiors and in 1800 the promotion to brigadier, awarded the viceroy for his peacekeeping in the northern provinces.

Lived practically retired in San Luis Potosí, attentive to conflicts that occurred at the borders of the North and in 1807 married Doña Francisca de la Gándara, of Creole family, that "the General" was first called and later "la virreina Mexican", by the extensive network of friends who knew how to cultivate with the most distinguished native groups. When the French invasion of the peninsula and the first outbreaks of concern among the Creole society, was able to dominate the region "with an iron fist", promote public membership of fidelity to the King, convene subscriptions support funds to the war against the French invaders and promote the creation of bodies of volunteer soldiers, so-called "Fernando seventh".

Convened by the viceroy Iturrigaray at the city of Mexico, he/she participated in the consultations that were conducted to know the reports from Spain advised the Commissioner Jabat , after a confrontation with Iturrigaray, whose policy he/she opposed, and it supported the "coup" of Gabriel de Yermo Squire, which caused the fall of the viceroy and the appointment of Marshal Pedro Garibay. Calleja, a report from 1816, wrote that "I was appointed Governor of the capital and restore and maintain public peace". He/She later returned to San Luis and remained in the city until the arrival of the viceroy Venegas, in September 1810.

With the lifting of the cura Hidalgo and the beginning of the "revolution of independence", brigadier Calleja had a prominent role in the service of the viceroy, as responsible for the development of the counterinsurgency operations. On September 17, 1810 Venegas appointed general Calleja, Chief of the Army Corps who were to operate against rebels. Nearly three years he/she directed operations and defeated the leaders of the insurgency: Miguel Hidalgo, Rayon López and José María Morelos. In those years earned the fame of "bloody and brutal, repressive and exterminating" of towns and villages. The insurgent and historian Carlos María Bustamante called it "the new Tamerlane" (see Timur).

But, as the campaign progressed, their disagreements with the viceroy became more intense, resulting in the formation of two parties in the city of Mexico. His followers succeeded in the Regency of Cádiz to appoint him to replace Venegas, who has gone through him his powers on March 4, 1813, in the midst of a great popular festival.

Calleja felt compelled to comply with the publication of the Constitution of 1812 (see Spanish constitutionalism), made by Venegas, although his personal views were very contrary to those provisions. In his first report to the Minister of war, on March 15, 1813, explained the situation of the Viceroyalty with darker colors. However, in a proclamation addressed to the people of new Spain, praised the new Constitution "precious fruit of the cares" and the wisdom of the National Congress and promised that it would be "the first to closely observe its precepts".

So he/she had to do so initially, and elections to municipal councils and provincial councils, in accordance with the new legislation were held in April and July. To the despair of the "peninsular", all the "American" candidates, fact that was repeated at the election to ordinary courts, the month of July were elected. Calleja's response was immediate: said that the Government had no funds to pay for the trip to the peninsula of the fourteen elected members and reduced the number of representatives to two.

For almost a year the insurgent situation seemed to stagnate, proclaiming the two sides wins and wins more apparent than real, since while the viceroy boasted of the destruction of the rebel groups, Morelos and his followers, after the capture of Oaxaca and the site of Acapulco, which had fallen in his possession in April 1813, met in Congress in Chilpancingo and proceeded to draw up a Constitutionthe appointment of "Generalissimo" in favor of Morelos and the signing of a declaration of independence, on November 6, 1813. But, after several months of trials and errors, the realistic generals kept the insurgency movement.

At the end of 1813 José María Morelos failed in the attempt to take Valladolid (today Morelia), demonstrating the success of Calleja to carry out a profound restructuring of its military strategy. In January 1814 the royalists entered in Chilpancingo, forcing the Mexican Congress to start a long pilgrimage of evasion. Stripped Morelos of the high command, the insurgents were divided into factions and suffered successive defeats, with the proclamation of the Constitution of Apatzingán, which chose an integrated, plural Executive by Morelos, the doctor Cos and Mr. Liceaga cleared in October 1814.

The entry into force of the Constitution of 1812, by brief that it was, caused a burst of freedoms in the capital and in the cities of the interior, to multiply publications, discussions and gatherings conducive to the Creole self-determination, within the framework of a liberal monarchy. Alarm and uneasiness of the Peninsular families manifested itself immediately, and although Calleja published in June 1814 one side reaffirming submission to the Constitution and proposed the pardon for rebels to celebrate the return of the King to Madrid, knowing what had happened in Spain and forgetting his promises, ordered the ignorance of the Constitution, prohibited any criticism or attack on "the rights and prerogatives of the throne" and endorsed enthusiastically absolutism fernandino. In August 1814, he/she received the title of lieutenant-general.

In a few weeks, all the provisions of the constitutional period were cancelled, perpetual councils-replenishment, hearings of Mexico were re-established and Guadalajara, the society of Jesus has been recognized and down again the tribunal of the Inquisition. In the meantime, continued military clashes and multiplied the actions of both sides in a war of resistance and wear widespread in the Viceroyalty, parallel to the measures of repression and banishment from the influential criollos opposed to the policy of the viceroy. So is it consumed a year, until November 5, 1815, attacked the convoy of the Mexican Congress directed by Morelos, this fell prisoner of the realistic forces that led him to the capital. Trial and sentenced by the Inquisition was faced with a public car of faith, which qualified it of "formal heretic, fautor of heretics, Defiler of the Holy sacraments, schismatic, lewd, and traitor to God, the King and the Pope". He/She was shot on 22 December in San Cristóbal Ecatepec.

The embarrassment and the dissolution of the insurgent groups have weakened rebel activities, a situation that took advantage of Calleja for trumpeting the pacification of the Viceroyalty and the triumph of weapons that are loyal to the King. But it was a deceptive peace, that covered the disagreements and complaints from some soldiers, as the Brigadiers Cruz and Arredondo, and churchmen, like Abbot and Queipo and Antonio Pérez Joaquín bishops, critics of colonial policy. Numerous representations submitted by Spain culminated in the actual determination of cesar a. Calleja, agreement which became known to land his replacement in Veracruz, at the beginning of September 1816. The 20th of that month the viceroy Calleja captain general of the island of Cuba handed the baton to lieutenant general Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, until then.

On his return to Spain, the King named him count of Calderón, in memory of the famous battle of 1812, granting him the Grand Cross of Isabel the Catholic and San Hermenegildo, while serving as member of the Advisory military Board of overseas. On August 6, 1819 he/she received the appointment of captain general of Andalusia, Governor of Cádiz and general in Chief of the army of overseas, instead of La Bisbal. Made prisoner upon the uprising of irrigation, returned to Madrid and later moved to Valencia. When faced deported to the constitutionalists to Ibiza, where he/she remained from September 1821 to August 1822. With the return of absolutism was kept away in Valencia, where suffered judgement of purification in 1825. Died in this city on 24 July de1828.


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