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Manuel Lorenzo Justiano de Zavala y Sáenz

Other names/titles:
Gender: M
Ethnic origin: White

Biographical details

Mexican liberal politician and writer, born Tecoh, Yucatán on 3 October 1788. By 1813 he had set up two liberal newspapers in Yucatán, El Aristarco Universal and El Redactor Meridiano in which he defended reading Voltaire and Rousseau. He was imprisoned in San Juan de Ulloa from 1814-1817, during which he studied English and medicine. He was in favour of the restoration of the 1812 Spanish Constitution and elected representative of Yucatán to the 1821 Mexican Congress. He held this position until 1829. He strongly supported the 1824 Mexican Constitution. He was a mason and helped to found the federalist York Rite. He obtained land in Texas, promoted colonisation of the state and settled there himself. In 1832 he became governor of the state of Mexico. He was re-elected representative of Yucatán and worked to reform in line with the 1824 Constitution. This led to clashes with Santa Anna and Zavala was appointed Ambassador to France. He resigned in 1834 and returned to Texas. He reluctantly supported Texan independence and was elected interim Vice-President of the Republic of Texas in March 1836, but resigned following differences with President David Burnett. He wrote Ensayo Histórico de las revoluciones de Megico desde 1808 hasta 1830 (Paris, 1831) and Journey to the United States (Paris, 1834). He died on 15 November 1836. (Morgan, 1638-1639)

Life Events

Born 1788He was born in Tecoh, Yucatán, 3 October 1788.
Other 1813He established two liberal newspapers in Yucatán.
Other 1814He was imprisoned in San Juan de Ulloa, Veracruz from 1814-1817.
Other 1821He was elected representative of Yucatán from 1821-1829.
Other 1832He was governor of the State of Mexico.
Other 1833He was Ambassador to France around 1832 to 1834.
Other 1834He resigned as representative to Yucatán.
Other 1834He returned to Texas from France.
Other 1836He became Vice-President of the Republic of Texas in March 1836.
Died 1836He died on 15 November 1836 at Buffalo Bayou, Texas.


Werner, Michael S., (1997), Encyclopedia of Mexico


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