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Fray Cervando Teresa de Mier (Servando)

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

Biographical details

Born in Monterrey, 18 October 1763, he moved to Mexico City in 1790, where he entered the Dominican order. In 1794 he preached a sermon rejecting the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe as dating from the Spanish, claiming that Christianity had reached the Americas in the 6th century. He was imprisoned in his monastery cell on 2 January 1795 and later imprisoned for 10 years in Las Caldas monastery, Spain. He lived in exile from 1795-1817. He lived in London from 1809-1814, where he met Francisco Miranda and Bernardo O'Higgins. He realised that independence was the solution to Spanish American problems. He published several letters in 1811-12 in the English newspaper, El Español and Historia de la Revolución de Nueva España in 1813. This began as a defence of the deposed Viceroy José de Iturgarray, but became a call for independence. In May 1813 he joined an expedition to liberate Mexico, but it failed and he was imprisoned for three years. He wrote three books, Memorias, Apologia and Manifiesto Apologético. He was sent back to Spain by boat in January 1821, but escaped in Cuba and went to the United States, where he stayed in Philadelphia until 1822. There he met Spanish American independence sympathisers. He returned to independent Mexico in February 1822. He acted as counsellor to President Guadalupe Victoria in the 1820s. He died in 1827. (Bitrán Goren, 877-878)

Franco writes that he claimed that Christianity pre-dated the Spaniards and was brought to the Americas by St Thomas. After stating this in a sermon in 1794, he had to leave Mexico. (Franco, 17)

In 1813 he was living in exile and published (in London) A History of the Revolution in New Spain anciently known as Anáhuac. This was an attack on the royalists´ action against the insurgents and justification of the independence movement. He distanced his ideas from Rousseau's, defining the Creoles as descendents of Las Casas. He likened the campaigns against Hidalgo and Morelos to the Spanish conquest. There were two more editions of this publication in Philadelphia and Mexico. (Brading, 305-306)

He is described by Rodríguez as "one of the most distinguished advocates of the thesis of American rights". (Rodríguez, Independence, 48)

He was a mason. (Racine, 538)

His Idea de la Constitución dada a las Américas por los reyes de Españantes de la invasión del antiguo despotismo, stressed that Mexican were mestizos, the descendants of the Indians and Spanish conquistadores. He believed in the Spanish institutions, but that Mexicans should rule over their own courts. (Rodríguez, Mexico, 23)

Life Events

Born 1763He was born in Monterrey, 18 October 1763.
Other 1790He moved to Mexico City.
Other 1794He preached a sermon declaring that Christianity pre-dated the Spaniards' arrival.
Other 1795He was imprisoned in Las Caldas Monastery, Spain, from 1795-1805.
Other 1809He lived in London from 1809-1814.
Other 1813He published his History of the Revolution in New Spain in London.
Other 1821He escaped from captivity and fled to the United States.
Other 1822He returned to Mexico in February 1822.
Died 1827He died on 3 December 1827.


Lynch, John, (1994), Latin American Revolutions

Rodríguez O., Jaime E., (1998), The Independence of Spanish America

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

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

Rodríguez O., Jamie E., (1989), The Independence of Mexico and New Nation

R.O. Jones, (1973), Spanish American Literature Since Independence


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


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Gendering Latin American Independence

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