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Military and Spanish politician, Viceroy of new Spain, born in Seville in July 30, 1762, the son of Irish parents who emigrated to Spain. He participated in the war of independence against the French, Lieutenant of Hussars in the right army under the command of general Blake during the campaigns of 1808 Aragon, took part in the battles of Alcañiz and the defeat of María and Belchite.
Become one of the paramount chiefs of the Spanish masons, at the end of 1813 he was appointed Minister by the Guerra by the Council of Regency, charge he resigned for refusing to accept the appointment of the English Duke of Wellington, as general in Chief of the troops of the Peninsula.
The return of Fernando VII and after the coup of May 4, 1814, appointed a Commission to "instruct causes Liberals", among those who had very prominent position. A judgment of 18 December 1814 which establishes that it was former Minister of war and had "married" status, it sentenced him to four years in prison in the castle of San Carlos in Mallorca and "that no return to Madrid and real for another 4 years sites", in addition to declaring him unqualified for any kind of remote control. It is said that he participated in the "conspiracy of the triangle", with the general saplings.
He returned to politics with the pronouncement of irrigation, and in his rank of lieutenant general, he was appointed political Chief of Seville in the mid-1820. During his tenure it expelled a group of canons and other ecclesiastics, by extending conspiracy rumours. Senior Spanish Freemasonry, it is said that it rivaled irrigation, envious of his achievements and popularity. The Abbot charged Marchena "grievances" against him.
In January 1821, as a result of a very complex political maneuver, which involved American liberal members, Spanish courts proposed his candidacy and Cayetano Valdés war Minister announced his appointment of Governor and captain general of the provinces of new Spain. A few days later he was named "top political Chief of new Spain" and on 2 March the Ministry of the Interior of overseas communicated instructions reserved on the performance of their mission, they replied expressing their love and admiration to the King and to the Constitution, "by conservation I am soon to suffer all kinds of sacrifices".
Accompanied by his wife, don Francisco de Paula Álvarez as Secretary of Government and a small group of collaborators, took to the sea in Cadiz on May 30 at the Asia ship, they arrived at San Juan de Ulúa on July 30. After negotiating with the rebel Colonel López de Santa Anna , who was besieging Veracruz, could enter this city on 3 August to take formal possession of his mandate. He discovered that new Spain was in a chaotic situation: the capital besieged by rebels, attrition mass of officers and realistic generals and widespread dismay of European Spaniards; all this was quite irrelevant 40 clauses that made up his instructions.
It thus explained to the Secretary of State in a letter of 31 August, written from Córdoba (Veracruz): "all provinces of new Spain had proclaimed the Yndependencia, all seats had opened their doors by force or by capitulation to holders of liberty;" an army of thirty thousand soldiers..., an armed people which have spread liberal ideas, led by men of knowledge, character and put a head... a Chief who knew how to excite them... "." He later added: "remained even Mexico but that been!" The Virey deposed by his same troops: these already unworthy this attack... his number passing not two thousand and five hundred veterans and other two thousand Patriots; an authority intrusive... "."
Surrounded by enemies, in the midst of mishaps and misfortunes, without time to request new instructions, forced by the pressure of reality, he decided to publish a proclamation on August 3, which was proclaimed liberal, explained the novelty supposed restoration of the Constitution and how the new regime was prepared to meet the demands of the provinces and to agree their future by common agreement with the citizens. Knowing that the rebel chief was in Cordoba, immediately communicated with Agustín de Iturbide and agreed to an interview to discuss the text of an agreement that was titled Treaty of Córdoba and jointly signed on August 24, 1821.
In a letter from O' Donojú general José Dávila, Governor and political Chief of Veracruz, explained it thus: "it is obgeto the happiness of both Spains and put once to end the horrific disasters of strife; He is supported in the law of Nations; a. it ensures the lights of the century, the general view of enlightened peoples, the liberalism of our courts, the charitable intentions of our Government and the parent of King... "."
To communicate the full text of the Treaty to the Secretary of State, said: "the Yndependencia was unfailing without that would force in the world able to counter it; We ourselves have experienced what it does to a people that wants to be free. "It was necessary because access to America to be recognized by nation sovereign and independent and is called hereafter Ymperio Mexican". The agreement included the call to the throne of a Spanish Prince, first Fernando VII and failing other princes of the Spanish Royal House. In case of non-acceptance, it would be "the designating the courts of the new empire".
Fearful of not being successful, sent to Madrid to two of his collaborators, take the King this communication and the copy of the Treaty of Córdoba, with the hope that "is digne welcome you with kindness, given his high approval, but to my success, to my good from you... by going to the claim of these peoples who yearn for being directed by S.M. or a Prince of his house".
As the response of the King arrived, agreed both signatories decided to create a Provisional Governing Board and keep O' Donojú in their functions until the Cortes met. The Spanish general preferred to stay in Mexico until the arrival of the monarch or the response of the Spanish Government to its demand. Faced with General José Dávila in Veracruz and Pedro Francisco Novella in Mexico, who refused to surrender, he was unable to get delivery of the Fort of San Juan de Ulúa, but negotiated an armistice between the royalists besieged in the capital and the rebel army.
Installed in the vicinity of Mexico and after the exchange of successive missives with Novella, which threatened to train you cause by the attack that he had perpetrated against the authority of the viceroy legitimate it was Ruiz de Apodaca, met with him, managed him to recognize him as captain general and political boss of new Spain, got an interview with Novella with Iturbide and the 16 of September, 1821from Tacubaya to the doors of Mexico, issued a proclamation to the Mexican people in which he announced the end of the war. He entered the city the 26th of that month and the next day took part in the solemn parade organized in honor of Iturbide and his army, in the midst of the popular enthusiasm. Both the Novella and the previous Viceroy Ruiz de Apodaca, who still remained in the city, moved quietly to Veracruz, way back to Spain.
The next day was installed the Government interim Board, formed by 38 people including canons, jurists, military and aristocrats, all of them moderate and somewhat monarchical, liberal and conservative; Iturbide was appointed President. A declaration of independence was drafted and was appointed a five-member Board as Regent of the Empire: O' Donojú, Manuel de la Bárcena, José Isidro Yáñez, Iturbide and Manuel Velázquez de León. The Royal Court continued to function as the Supreme Court of Justice. At the beginning of October he was appointed four ministries and five military districts were created.
O' Donojú, which the Spaniards of Mexico had as main guarantee of survival and balance in the new political and institutional situation, while came the response from Madrid, was unable to withstand the harsh climate and, suffering from severe Pleurisy, died in the city of Mexico on October 8, 1821. His death, in the words of Ernesto de la Torre "it undermined the interim Government" while society was divided between borbonistas, Republicans and federalists, opposite largely to the power that was despotic of Agustín de Iturbide.
The death of the Spanish general prevented him from knowing the reproach of the Madrid government, dated December 7, which refused him any Faculty for "agreements that recognise the independence of any American province", as well as the decision of courts on February 13, 1822, that all treaties were rejected. In the "pardon and general pardon", established by Fernando VII in may 1824, included an exception dedicated "to the European Spaniards who took part in the Convention or Treaty of Córdoba" and expressly to don Juan O' Donojú, "odious memory", which held it.
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DELGADO, j. "the mission to Mexico of don Juan or 'donoju' in Revista de Indias. Nº 35/36. Madrid, 1949.
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RUBIO MAÑÉ, j. "Biographical news of the lieutenant general don Juan O' Donojú, last Governor and captain general of new Spain," in Bulletin of the General archive of the nation. Vol VI. 1 Mexico, 1965.
ZARATE, J. The war of independence. In Mexico through the centuries. Mexico, 1951.