Biography of Miguel o "el cura Hidalgo" Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811)

Mexican revolutionary and father of the nation, better known by his nickname El cura Hidalgo, born in San Diego Corralejo (Guanajuato) may 8, 1753 and died July 30, 1811 in Chihuahua.

Second son of don Cristóbal Hidalgo y Costilla, Manager of the hacienda of San Diego Corralejo, and Doña Ana María Gallaga mandarte, daughter of don Antonio Gallaga, tenant of the ranch of San Vicente. He/She had three brothers. At age 12, he/she went to the Mexican town of Valladolid (today Morelia), where he/she made his studies at the Colegio de San Nicolás. Already Bachelor in 1770, marched to the city of Mexico to pursue higher studies. In 1773, he/she graduated as a Bachelor in philosophy and theology, and obtained a professorship at the same College of San Nicolás by opposition. During the following years he/she made a brilliant academic career that reached its peak in 1790, when he/she was appointed rector of the Colegio de San Nicolás. In 1778 he/she was ordained priest; to receive sacred orders held several parishes, until the death of his brother Joaquin, in 1803, replaced it as priest of Dolores, Guanajuato.

Very educated man and deep knowledge of the ideas of the Enlightenment, put them into practice among his parishioners, mostly indigenous, in an attempt to improve their economic and lifestyle, so he/she taught them to cultivate vineyards, raise bees and directing small industries, which earned him the support of his parishioners.

In 1808, the invasion of Spain by Napoleon's troops and the subsequent deposition of its monarch Carlos IVand his son Fernando VII, generated great opposition both in Spain and in America. Then came numerous groups of intellectuals and educated people in general arguing around the issues of sovereignty and the way of governing. In 1809 Hidalgo joined one of these secret societies, formed in Valladolid, whose purpose was to bring together a Congress to rule the Viceroyalty of new Spain in the name of King Fernando VII, who at that time was prisoner of Napoleon, and ultimately achieve independence.

The conspirators planned to take up arms against the viceroy of new Spain the first October 1810, but were discovered in mid-September. Hidalgo and some other conspirators managed to reach safety thanks to the announcement of Josefa Ortizand moved to Querétaro, where Hidalgo met with Ignacio Allende.

On September 16, 1810, Hidalgo waved a banner with the image of our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of Mexico, in which one could read: "long live the religion. Long live our mother Santísima de Guadalupe. Viva Fernando VII. Long live America and death to bad government." Hidalgo threw so called cry of Dolores, which marked the start of the revolt; together with Allende, he/she managed to gather an army consisting of more than 40,000 members.

On 21 September, the army of Hidalgo and Allende captured Celaya, so Hidalgo was named captain general of the army, deliverer and Ignacio Allende was promoted to lieutenant general. The bishop-elect of Michoacán, issued an edict on 24 September at which were excommunicated Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama and Abasolo. Then he/she took the cities of Salamanca, Irapuato and Silao, to Guanajuato. November 17 Hidalgo went to Valladolid with seven thousand men of cavalry and two hundred forty infants, all poorly armed, entering 26 in Guadalajara, but failed to reach the city of Mexico. In Guadalajara, Hidalgo issued a declaration of independence and formed a provisional Government; He/She also decreed the abolition of slavery, the abolition of taxes paid by the Indians to the Crown and the restitution of the land usurped by the haciendas. At the end of the year it had already lost Guanajuato and Valladolid.

January 11, 1811 he/she was defeated near Guadalajara by a contingent of soldiers realistic. Hidalgo fled to Aguascalientes and Zacatecas, with the intention of arriving in United States to seek support for their cause, but was betrayed by Ignacio Elizondo and captured on the Norias of Acatita de set may 21, 1811. Led to Chihuahua, Hidalgo was tried in a court martial and sentenced to death. They degraded him as priest and shot him on the morning of July 30, 1811. His head, along with that of Allende and other insurgents, was exhibited as punishment in the alhóndiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato.

The colonial Government was convinced that with the death of the caudillos, shot in Chihuahua, would end the insurgent movement, but it was not so; with the help of the people, Ignacio López Rayón, Lieutenant of Hidalgo, resumed the fight from his refuge in Saltillo, at the time that there was the rebellion of José María Morelos, a supporter of the ideas of Hidalgo in the South of the Viceroyalty. In 1821, the rising starring Miguel Hidalgo and his men got their fruits and Mexico achieved its independence from Spain.

Following the establishment of the Mexican Republic, in 1824, Hidalgo was recognized as first insurgent and father of the nation. The State of Hidalgo bears his name and the town of Dolores became renamed Dolores Hidalgo in his honor, in addition, on 16 September, the day proclaimed his rebellion, the independence day is celebrated in Mexico. His remains rest in the column of independence, in the city of Mexico.