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Home BIOGRAPHIES Independence INDEPENDENCE / NICOLÁS BRAVO

INDEPENDENCE / NICOLÁS BRAVO

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NICOLÁS BRAVO (1786-1854)


N
icolás Bravo is born in Chilpancingo in what is now the state of Guerrero. After completing his basic education, he devotes himself to agriculture on his family’s Chichihualco hacienda.
 
NICOLÁS BRAVO (1786-1854)


               When the War of Independence begins, he and his family sympathize with the movement to free Mexico from Spain. In May 1811, he joins Hermenegildo Galeana’s forces, participating in various attacks led by José María Morelos in southern Mexico. He distinguishes himself during the siege of Cuautla because of his bravery.


               He was made a military commander of the province of Veracruz. After defeating the royalist forces in El Palmar, he learns of the imprisonment and execution of his father, don Leonardo Bravo. He orders the 300 prisoners to line up in front of his troops, informs them of the event, and asks them what he should do with them. Breaking the ensuring silence, he says: “You are released.”


               After retiring in his hacienda, he is imprisoned in 1817 and kept in in shackles until his release in October 1820. While living in Cuernavaca, Bravo allies himself with the Plan of Iguala and goes to Puebla—which is under siege by Agustín de Iturbide—with a large brigade. Iturbide makes him colonel. Soon after, the Constitutional Congress makes him advisor of state for the second Regency.


               In Oaxaca, Nicolás Bravo joins the group that has taken arms against the Empire and forms a governing body. He goes to Puebla and then enters Mexico City with the division called the “Liberating Army”. When Iturbide is overthrown, the former emperor asks Bravo to protect him and his family until they leave Mexico.
 
 
               Attacked in Tulancingo by his former comrade-in-arms, Vicente Guerrero, Bravo is taken prisoner and tried by a grand jury. He goes into exile in Guayaquil, Ecuador, returning with amnesty in 1829.


               Bravo takes arms again against Vicente Guerrero, and after the fall of the Guerrero’s government, Bravo accepts the command of the Army of the North until 1836, retiring to Chilpancingo after the events in Texas.


               In 1839, after Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna leaves the presidency, Bravo takes the post as interim president from July 10 to July 19, 1839. He is then elected deputy for the state of Mexico in 1841. On October 10, 1842, Santa Anna makes him substitute president by decree. Bravo assumes the presidency on October 26 and governs until May 4, 1843. Because of the license granted to General Mariano Paredes to lead the army, Bravo assumes the presidency once more from July 28 1843 to August 4, 1844.


               In 1847, he defends Chapultepec and is taken prisoner there on September 13th. The accounts of this episode in his life damage his military reputation, and he is forced to leave the national stage for good. It is said that both he and his wife—who died within a difference of hours of each other in Chilpancingo—were poisoned.


               Nicolás Bravo was declared a national hero in 1823.
 


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