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Home BIOGRAPHIES Independence INDEPENDENCE / JOSEFA ORTIZ

INDEPENDENCE / JOSEFA ORTIZ

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Josefa Ortiz (1773-1829)


D
aughter of Juan José Ortiz and Manuela Girón, Josefa was left an orphan and under the care of her older sister at an early age. Born in Mexico City on April 19, 1773, she was educated there in the Colegio de las Viscaínas.

 

Josefa Ortiz (1773-1829)



                She secretly married Miguel Domínguez in the Metropolitan Sanctuary (a small church adjoining the cathedral) in Mexico City.



                Her involvement in the independence movement was significant. History has immortalized her as “La Corregidora” (The Mayoress). As the wife of the mayor of Querétaro, she was a safe and unsuspected go-between for the future rebels, who used the city as the center of their conspiracy and whom she informed about all issues of importance to their cause. She even persuaded her husband to take part in the plot.



                When the conspirators were denounced, the mayor was forced to open a formal inquiry and to order a raid on the house where all the rebels’ arms were concealed. Before leaving to participate in the proceedings, he locked his wife in her room, but she managed to warn Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende and the Aldama brothers.



                Once the uprising began, La Corregidora was denounced. She was placed in seclusion in the Santa Clara convent, and then taken to Mexico City, where she was confined in the Santa Teresa convent. At first, her seclusion was humane because she was pregnant, but she was later transferred to the strict convent of Santa Catarina de Sena, where she remained imprisoned for three years.



                Once independence was achieved and Iturbide’s imperial regency was established, she turned down the designation of the Empress’ lady-in-waiting, and she refused to receive a compensation for her services rendered to the insurgency.



                She died in Mexico City. Her remains were buried in the convent of Santa Catalina de Sena, but almost 50 years later they were transferred to Querétaro. The Congress of that state named her a national heroine.

 


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