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Home BIOGRAPHIES Independence INDEPENDENCE / IGNACIO RAYÓN

INDEPENDENCE / IGNACIO RAYÓN

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Ignacio Rayón (1773-1832)



I
gnacio Rayón was born in Tlalpujahua, Michoacán, and he entered St. Nicholas College, in Valladolid (now Morelia) in 1786. He studied law in San Ildefonso College in Mexico City, graduating in 1796. He returned to Tlalpujahua and devoted himself to agriculture and mining. He favored independence for Mexico, and was one of the first to join Hidalgo’s forces.

 

Ignacio Rayón (1773-1832)



                He was secretary to Hidalgo, whom he accompanied in several battles. In Guadalajara, as Secretary of State, he struggled to reorganize the government and he was involved with the gazette El Despertador Americano, which promoted the cause of independence. He was in favor of establishing diplomatic relations with the United States. In the defeat at Calderon Bridge, he saved the Army’s war chest, which amounted 300,000 pesos.

 


                In Saltillo, in anticipation of future events, he was designated Chief of the Army, and given instructions to continue the war. After the arrest and execution of the instigators of the independence movement, he returned to Michoacán. He entrenched himself in Zitácuaro and defended it successfully.



                In August 1811, he organized in Zitácuaro the Supreme Governing Junta, of which he became president. He issued laws, proclamations and regulations—that were printed on a printing press that used wooden letters, which he later replaced with a better one.



                On January 1, 1812, a well supplied army—sent by Félix María Calleja—arrived in Zitácuaro. Although the rebels put up a strong defense, they had to cede ground. From there, Rayón went to Toluca and Lerma, establishing his headquarters in Campo del Gallo, not far from Tlalpujahua. He became a member of the Congress held by Morelos in Chilpancingo.



                In 1813, together with his brother Ramón, he took up a fortified position on Cóporo Hill. Attacked by Agustín de Iturbide, Rayón resisted the siege for months but surrendered with all honors on January 7, 1817 delivered by Nicolás Bravo to the royalist forces.



                In Mexico City, he was tried and sentenced to death. His execution was postponed, but he remained imprisoned until 1820. Once independence was achieved, he was made treasurer in San Luis Potosí. He was Commander General of Jalisco and President of the Military Court.



                He died in Mexico City.

 


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