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Manuela Cañizares

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

Biographical details

She was born in Quito around 1770.

She held a tertulia at which the 10 August independence movement was planned. A warrant for her arrest was issued and she fled to a convent in Quito, where she hid until her death in 1813. (Cherpak, 220)

She attended Baquijano's pro-independence tertulias in Quito in 1809. (Monsalve, 39) after the overthrow of the Quito Audiencia and the short-lived junta was in turn overthrown, her name was on a list of suspects. She hid in the Santa Clara convent, where she earned the name La Mujer Fuerte. She died there in 1813. (Monsalve, 41-42)

She is described by Roberto Andrade as "de corte varonil y temperamento espartano, supo despreciar con impavidez la maledicencia de sus semejantes". She read Voltaire and Rousseau. Under the pretext of "saraos" (a knees up), the Creole elite met in her house to talk about the French Revolution and the concepts of liberty, equality and fraternity. Her image is of the "mujer fuerte", who harangued the faint-hearted on the night of 9 August 1809 when Independence was proclaimed. In 1888 Congress put a plaque outside her mansion with the words: "En este sitio y en la noche del 9 de Agosto de 1809 se reunieron los padres de la Patria para proclamar su Independencia." (Jiménez de Vega, 22-23.)

Jiménez claims that the first call of Latin American independence was made in her house. (Jiménez de Vega, 20)

El Colegio Normal Manuela Cañizares, a Quito women's college, was founded in 1901.

Described by Carvajal as "una duquesa criolla"; she "profunda en sus concepciones, con un amplio lastre de cultura para el tiempo, emerge soberbia en su calidad de mujer intelectual y valerosa". She represents "la mujer fuerte". (Carvajal, 29-33)

Arias describes the bravery of her calling and the resolution of her strong effort. (Arias, 335)

She hosted clandestine pro-independence meetings in Quito. (Monsalve, 36)

Life Events

Born 1770She was born around 1770.
Other 1809She attended Baquijano's pro-independence tertulias.
Died 1813


Lavrin, Asunción, (1978), Latin American Women: Historical Perspectives; Contributions in Women's Studies, No.3.

Rendon de Mosquera, Zoila, (1933), La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad

Jiménez de la Vega, Mercedes, (1981), La mujer ecuatoriana, frustraciones y esperanzas

Carvajal Thoa, Morayma Ofyr, (1949), Galeria del espiritu, mujeres de mi patria

Arias, Augusto, (1946), La mujer en la letra del hombre

Monsalve, José D, (1926), Mujeres de la independencia


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


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