Manuel de Mier y Terán

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Manuel Mier y Terán
Mier y Teran.png
Born February 18, 1789 (1789-02-18)
Mexico City, Mexico
Died July 3, 1832 (1832-07-04) (aged 43)
Padilla, Tamaulipas, Mexico

Estandarte de Hidalgo.svg Mexican insurgents
Flag of Mexico (1821-1823).svg First Mexican Empire

Flag of Mexico (1823-1864, 1867-1893).svg First Mexican Republic
Service/branch Mexican Army
Years of service 1811—1832
Rank Brigadier General

Mexican War of Independence:

Barradas Expedition:

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.

Mexican independence[edit]

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.

Following the Embrace of Acatempán, Colonel Terán joined the Army of the Three Guarantees under General Nicolás Bravo.

First empire and republic[edit]

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.


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 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, tired and depressed because his wife had just left him. 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.


The city of General Terán in Nuevo León, Mexico, is named in his honor. Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, however, was named after Francisco Mier y Torre, the governor of Nuevo León from 1710 to 1714.

He was also the namesake of Fort Terán on the Neches River in modern Tyler County, Texas.

See also[edit]