José María Tornel

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José María de Tornel y Mendívil
Governor of the Federal District
In office
23 February 1828 – 3 December 1828
Preceded by José Ignacio Esteva
Succeeded by José Ignacio Esteva
Governor of Veracruz
In office
Preceded by Miguel Barragán
Succeeded by Sebastian Camacho Castilla
Governor of the Federal District
In office
24 November 1833 – 12 January 1835
Preceded by José Ignacio Esteva
Succeeded by Ramon Lopez Rayon
Personal details
Born (1795-03-01)March 1, 1795
Orziba, Veracruz, New Spain
Died 1853
Tacubaya, Mexico City

José María de Tornel y Mendívil (1795–1853) was a 19th-century Mexican army general and politician who greatly influenced the career of President Antonio López de Santa Anna.


José Maria Tornel y Mendívil was born March 1, 1795 in the town of Orziba, Veracruz, New Spain to Julian Tornel, a prominent shopkeeper, and Manuela Jacinta Bernarda Mendívil Vidal.[1]


Tornel was prominent among the "santanistas,"[2] a group of politicians and officials who helped Santa Anna return to power frequently, despite defeats in the 1836 Texas Revolution and the 1846–48 Mexican-American War. Tornel advocated a federalist agenda in the 1820s. During that time, Tornel y Mendivil became Mexico's first president Guadalupe Victoria's right arm. Victoria named Tornel the Mexican ambassador to the United States in 1830.[3] His mission was to inform Victoria on Americans' ambitions to take Texas. Thanks to that collaboration, Victoria's government came victorious in the Fredonian Rebellion. Although Tornel supported federalism during the Victoria presidency, he changed his political views to support Santa Anna's reactionary dictatorship in the 1850s. He helped orchestrate the Plan of Cuernavaca revolt in 1834. Tornel served as Minister of War, and helped plan the campaign that led to the Battle of the Alamo.


  • The "Tornel Decree" of December 30, 1835 was a key element in the Texas Revolution, giving Santa Anna license to execute all prisoners.[4]
  • Santa Anna, Antonio López de; Castañeda, Carlos Eduardo; Tornel y Mendívil, José María; Urrea, José; Filísola, Vicente.; Martínez Caro, Ramón. (1970). The Mexican side of the Texas Revolution, 1836. Graphic Ideas – via HathiTrust. 


  1. ^ Fowler 2000, p. 1.
  2. ^ Haynes et al. 2015, pp. 103.
  3. ^ Jackson & Wheat 2005, pp. 435–442.
  4. ^ Fowler 2007, pp. 167,169.


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