Biography of Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez (1768-1829)

Heroine of the independence of Mexico. Born on September 8, 1768 in Valladolid city, located in the province of the current state of Morelia; and died in Mexico City on March 2, 1829. Daughter of Juan José Ortiz and María Manuela Girón. Known as the Corregidor, he/she actively collaborated with the leaders of the revolt against Spain which began on September 16, 1810.

Born in a family of middle-class Spaniards, he/she was baptized September 16, 1768, with the names of the Josefa María of the Nativity. His father, Juan José Ortiz, was captain of the regiment of bruising and died in Act of war, when it had few years of age. After the death of his mother, María Manuela Girón, took over his education his sister María, which applied for membership in the College of San Ignacio de Loyola, also known with the names of school of the Vizcaínas, or peace. During the years that remained in the College learned to read, write and basic notions of mathematics, besides what was considered at the time that he/she should learn a young lady of her social class, thus learned to embroider, sewing and cooking. It was in College where he/she met that over time would be her husband, lawyer Miguel Domínguez (1756-1830), which at that time was a visit to the facilities. The College of the Vizcaínas in 1821 changed his name and was renamed the National College of San Ignacio de Loyola, Act which was invited and which Josefa went.

In the year 1791 he/she married Miguel Domínguez mentioned, which in those years worked in the Secretariat of the Royal Treasury and the oficialia of the Viceroyalty of new Spain. Thanks to its good relations with the viceroy Félix Berenguer de Marquina, Miguel, was named Corregidor of Querétaro in 1802. During these first years of marriage, Josefa Meanwhile took charge of operations domestic and the rearing and education of the two children of her husband, since Miguel was widowed when contracted marriage. Everything seems to indicate that the couple was happy and over the years that remained married had twelve children. In addition to these domestic chores Josefa was very identified with the problems of the social class of Creoles, which belonged to be descendant from Spaniards; since despite the reforms made after the arrival of the Bourbons in Spain (1700), was perpetuated the tradition that were Spanish, born in the peninsula, which occupy the senior positions of the colonial administration and the army, thus relegating the Creoles to secondary positions. Josefa defended interests of class and also echoed the demands of Mexican Indians, which were living in miserable conditions. For this reason during his life, he/she tried to that the rights of indigenous peoples recognized and also took advantage of his position, as wife of the corregidor, to carry out numerous works of charity.

Josefa was a special case, were notable in recent years profound changes in the mentality of Creole languages, not only for purchasing class consciousness, but also by the insight that in this group of Mexican society, and in general in all Creole languages of South America; the ideals of the enlightened despotism, the French Revolution, the independence of the United States, as well as the bursts of the liberal movement. These ideas came to the new world thanks to the smuggling, since works of writers such as Voltaire and Rousseau were on the lists of the Inquisition and they were banned in Spain, that is why attempted to, from the Government, that not come to American soil, as damaging to morale. In 1808, the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, which resulted in the beginning of the war of independence and the formation of the Government, in the absence of Fernando VIIcouncils occurred. The news from Spain in 1808, it seems that they initiated the independence of Mexico movement, since after the first signs of support to the King began to take shape in some minds the idea of separating completely from Spain. After a failed attempt at the viceroy to form an independent Government Board occurred first conspiracies aimed at ending the established order, to provide to the Viceroyalty of new Spain a more egalitarian society, in which the native aspirations had room. miguel Domínguez, as magistrate, supported the Viceroy in his decision to form a joint Government, but given the impossibility of putting these plans into practice, became the ideal independence supporter, it seems that at the behest of his wife who became a strong contributor to the movement.

So after the first moments of confusion, increasingly became more clear for many, the need to build a State that under democratic values in Mexico. This greatly influenced marriage Domínguez, who opened his house to a hypothetical literary gatherings, although actually held meetings of political, since they would take decisions to begin the revolutionary in the area movement, later dubbed the conspiracy of Querétaro, which after being discovered resulted in the so-called Grito de Dolores, which marked the beginning of the uprising general against Spain. This revolt with the passage of time, resulted in the proclamation of the independence of Mexico on September 27, 1821.

These political meetings at home of the corregidores, was attended by some of the most famous revolutionaries of the early days of the Mexican independence, as it is the case of the captains Arias, Aldama and Ignacio Allende, which seems to have been a daughter of Josefa suitor. In addition to the aforementioned captains, also came to the House of marriage Domínguez, the brothers Epigenio and Emeterio González, Laso and Altamirano graduates and sometimes father Miguel Hidalgo.

On September 13, 1810 was reported to the ecclesiastical Judge Rafael Gil de León, that a conspiracy in Querétaro was preparing to proclaim the independence of Mexico, since weapons were stored in the homes of sympathizers of the revolutionary movement. The reason why was reported to an ecclesiastical judge, not an ordinary judge, was because legally the conspiracies against the King was considered as a heresy, since the power of the monarch emanated directly from God, according to the absolutist conception which prevailed in the Spanish monarchy. Quickly the judge informed the corregidor Domínguez that intervene in the matter. miguel Domínguez but did not participate actively in the meetings that were kept at home, knew those involved in the conspiracy, but pretending to ignore the situation, began to make records that the judge ordered. After informing his wife that the plot had been uncovered by the Spanish authorities, he/she decided to put in your room to avoid to inform those involved, in an attempt to save his family and himself from possible reprisals, since were known both their political leanings and his wife. But Josefa decided to intervene and warn the revolutionaries. So he/she drafted a note with printed letters from newspapers; to avoid is to recognize your own calligraphy; and he/she decided to send it to Captain Allende through the warden Ignacio Pérez, which rode in search of the captain and not finding him in San Miguel el Grande, delivered the letter to Father Miguel Hidalgo.

After this notice of Josefa, father Hidalgo decided to anticipate the rising early in the morning of September 16, 1810, in principle, said rising, it was intended that began on October 1 of that same year. miguel Hidalgo taking advantage of his position as parish priest of Dolores, summoned his parishioners and urged them to fight for a more just Government and achieved its purpose, since most of the squad were Indian, which were in a precarious situation due to the poor living conditions and the tremendous inequalities prevailing in the life of the Viceroyalty.

Thanks to the announcement of the Corregidora, as it is popularly dubbed at the time, many conspirators were able to escape before being arrested by the Viceregal authorities. But Josefa went not well stop their risky action. On 14 September, after receiving news of Hidalgo, he/she sent a letter to Captain Arias, to prepare for the fight, but this gave it and both he/she and her husband were arrested the same day that came the cry of Dolores.

After his arrest, Josefa was led to the convent of Santa Clara and her husband to Santa Cruz, both located in the city of Querétaro. Miguel was tried and dismissed, but was released thanks to the intervention of popular, since during the years he/she served as magistrate he/she had demonstrated its support for the most disadvantaged classes, since previously, it had been contrary to apply the measure proposed by Viceroy, to clean up the economy and raise funds, to sell the property of the Waqf, charities that leased land at low prices. Josefa on the other hand, was moved to Mexico City, in the year 1814 and was imprisoned on this occasion in the convent of Santa Teresa. After holding his trial, was found guilty of treason, despite attempts by her husband, who served as legal counsel. He/She spent the last years of captivity in the convent of Santa Catalina de Sena, considered more stringent than the previous. The situation of the large family Domínguez was precarious for years, since Miguel, seriously ill, could barely see his wife and did not have income to maintain their children. The viceroy Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, took charge of the situation and recognized the right to receive a salary for services rendered to Miguel Domínguez and freed Josefa in June 1817.

After the proclamation of independence, on 18 may 1822 Agustín Iturbide was proclaimed emperor of Mexico and Josefa offered a post in his court, to be his wife, Ana Duarte de Iturbide bridesmaid. For Josefa was completely intolerable and resigned from the post mentioned, since he/she felt that the Constitution of the Empire, was completely contrary to the ideals that had fought during the war.

The last years of her life Josefa was related to the Liberal groups of radical character. At all times he/she refused to receive any reward, for the invaluable support provided to the achievement of independence, since he/she felt that he/she had done no more than fulfil its duty of good Patriot. He/She died in Mexico City, on March 2, 1829, at the age of sixty-one. His remains were buried in the convent of Santa Catalina, but some time later they were transferred to Querétaro, where they rest together with her husband, in the Pantheon of Queretaro ilustres, in a mausoleum built in his honor in 1847 in the former garden of the convent of the cross. Named well-deserving homeland its name is registered with golden letters in the Chamber of the House of representatives. Currently the House they occupied Josefa and her family in Queretaro, during the years that her husband was corregidor, is the seat of the State executive power.