Manuel de Mier y Terán
|Manuel Mier y Terán|
|Born||February 18, 1789
Mexico City, Mexico
|Died||July 3, 1832 (aged 43)
Padilla, Tamaulipas, Mexico
|Allegiance||United Mexican States|
|Years of service||1811—1832|
José Manuel Rafael Simeón de Mier y Terán (February 18, 1789 — July 3, 1832), commonly called Manuel de Mier y Terán or General Teran, was a Mexican general involved in the Mexican and Texan revolutions.
Mier y Terán graduated from the College of Mines in Mexico City in 1811. The same year, he joined the cause of Mexican independence under José Morelos. As a lieutenant colonel, he fought under Ignacio Rayón and captured the region of the modern province of Puebla. In 1814, he besieged the Royalist forces at Silacayoapan in Oaxaca; although unsuccessful, the campaign elevated him to colonel. He failed in an attempt to become leader of the rebels and, after seeing combat in Puebla and Veracruz, surrendered at Tehuacán in 1817.
First empire and republic
He was elected to the First Mexican Congress as the representative for Chiapas and served on its committee for the colonization of unoccupied territory. Two years later, he made brigadier general and served as Minister of War under President Guadalupe Victoria, although he resigned within nine months over differences with the administration.
He then served as State Inspector at Veracruz, part of a Mexican mission to England, and director of the Mexican School of Artillery until 1827 in that year he went to Tamaulipas and Texas.
Tamaulipas and the Boundary Commission
General Terán first came to Tamaulipas and Texas as the head of the Comisión de Límites (Boundary Commission). The expedition included mineralogist Rafael Chovell, botanist and artist Jean-Louis Berlandier, and cartographer José María Sánchez y Tapía. It was sent by Mexican President Guadalupe Victoria to demarcate the United States border established by the Adams–Onís Treaty in 1819 between the Sabine and Red Rivers. In addition, General Terán was tasked with reporting on the natural resources of the province, the condition of its Indians, and the number and disposition of any American or French settlers.
Traveling in a coach inlaid with silver over muddy roads, he reached San Antonio on March 1, 1828, San Felipe de Austin on April 27, and Nacogdoches on June 3. The expedition concluded its work January 16, 1829. His report stressed that resisting United States expansion would require additional garrisons and increased trade. He also encouraged more Mexican and European settlement, in lieu of more Americans.
These recommendations were enacted in the law of April 6, 1830, which briefly prohibited slavery in Texas and closed the borders to (legal) immigration from the U.S. The law would become a major factor in fomenting the Texan Revolution.
After returning to Mexico, General Terán served as second in command to Santa Anna during his defense of Tampico against the Spanish invasion of 1829. He participated in the Capitulation of Pueblo Viejo. Their success made them both national heroes. Considered a strong candidate for president, he lost his chance when Santa Anna and Zavala's coup d'etat briefly gave the position to Vicente Guerrero. The next year, another coup elevated Anastasio Bustamante, who named Mier y Terán as his commandant general for the northeastern provinces, giving Terán military and civil authority over the provinces of Coahuila y Tejas, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.
Headquartered at the recently renamed city of Matamoros, he arrived in Galveston Bay in November of 1831, to review the port of Anahuac and install the Serb George Fisher as its new customs agent. Texian scofflaws had been smuggling and evading taxes, so he granted Fisher authority over the mouth of the Brazos River, as well. The general instructed John Bradburn to enforce title fees and remove an unauthorized ayuntamiento installed at Liberty. These administrative changes led directly the Anahuac Disturbances.
With the prospect of renewed civil war in Mexico and difficulties in Texas, Mier y Terán was in poor health and depressed. Following a Federalist victory near Matamoros on July 3, 1832, the general committed suicide, falling on his sword in the church of Padilla, Tamaulipas. It was the same location where Emperor Agustín de Iturbide had been executed in 1824, following his return from exile by the men of General de la Garza. The general's remains were buried with Iturbide's until 1838, when the emperor's bones were re-interred in Mexico City.
General Terán was the youngest of the three sons of Manuel de Mier y Terán and his wife María Ignacia de Teruel y Llanos. He never married.
- Fort Tenoxtitlán, established 1830
- Margaret Swett Henson: Manuel de Mier y Terán from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- McKeehan, Wallace. Manuel de Mier y Terán 1789-1832. Sons of DeWitt Colony, Texas, Website.