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Antonio Lopez de Santa-Anna

SANTA-ANNA, Antonio Lopez de, president of Mexico, born in Jalapa, 21 February, 1795; died in the city of Mexico, 20 June, 1876. He entered the Spanish army as a cadet on 6 July, 1810, and served ngainst the patriots, rising gradually till in April, 1821, he pronounced for the Plan de Iguala and joined the army of Hurbide, by whom he was promoted brigadier and governor of Vera Cruz. After Hurbide was proclaimed emperor, Santa-Anna began to conspire against him, and, when he was relieved of his command and ordered to Mexico, he proclaimed the republic in Vera Cruz on 2 December, 1822. In 1823 he pronounced in San Luis Potosi for federation, and when that principle was victorious he was appointed governor of Yucatan, and afterward of Vera Cruz. On 12 September, 1828, he headed a revolt against the election of Gomez Pedraza, declaring in favor of General Vicente Guerrero, and after the triumph of the latter he was appointed governor and commander of Vera Cruz. There he began to assemble forces against a threatened Spanish invasion, although his enemies insinuated revolutionary motives, and when, on 29 July, 1829, General Barradas, with an army of 3,000 men, landed near Tampico, Santa-Anna, without awaiting orders from Mexico, marched against the enemy, whom he defeated on 20 August and 10 September, and forced to capitulate on the next day. He was promoted major-general, but. retired to his estate, where he began to intrigue against the new president, Bustamante. On 2 January, 1832, he pronounced in open revolt at Vera Cruz, and after finally defeating Bustamante on 12 November, 1832, at Casas Blancas, he was elected president, but withdrew to his country place, leaving the vice-president, Val-entin Gomez Farias, in charge. He defeated several insurrections against the government, until in 1834 he headed a revolution to overthrow Gomez Farias, who was deposed by congress, 5 January, 1835. General Barragan was appointed provisional president, as San-ta-Anna persisted in his policy of leaving the responsibility of the executive to another, whom he couldcontrol. He now al-lied himself entirelywith the reactionaryparty; the Federal system was abolished, and the governors of the former states, now provinces, were made dependent from the centrM government. This gave a pretext for the separation of Texas, and that province declared its independence. Immediately Santa-Anna abandoned his estate to take the field in person, and in February. 1836, passed the Rio Grande with 6,000 men. On 6 April he stormed the Alamo fort at San Antonio, killed its defenders, afterward massacred the garrison of Goliad, and for several weeks was victorious. But on 21 April he was surprised at San Jaeinto, and totally routed by the Texan army under General Samuel Houston. He fled, but was captured three days afterward, and was fortunate in escaping retaliation for his cruel execution of Texan troops. He gave a written order to his second in command to retire across the Rio Grande, and on 14 May signed a treaty with the provisional president of Texas, David G. Burnett, recognizing the independence of that state. He was a prisoner for eight months, but was finally sent by General Houston to the United States, and released in February, 1837. On his return to Mexico he was coldly received and retired to his estate. When Vera Cruz was attacked by the French fleet on 27 November, 1838, Santa-Anna offered his services to the government, was appointed commander-in-chief, and prepared the city for resistance. Before daybreak of 5 December a landing force of the French surprised his headquarters and captured his second in command, General Arista, but he had time to escape, and, gathering his troops, he forced the French to re-embark. Near the port he was wounded by a cannon-ball, and it was found necessary to amputate his left leg. By his valiant defence he regained his popularity, and when President Bustamante left to suppress the revolution of Tamaulipas, congress appointed Santa-Anna his substitute. Notwithstanding that his wound had not yet healed, he was transported to the capital, and took charge of the executive from 17 February, 1839, till 11 July, when he retired to his estate. He was afterward made general commander of the coast department, but conspired against Bustamante till the latter's government was overthrown, and Santa-Anna was appointed by the consulting junta provisional president, 10 October, 1841. From that date till 6 December, 1844, either as provisional or constitutional president, sometimes personally, sometimes through his substitutes, lie exercised virtually a military dictatorship. At the latter date there was a nn{tiny in the capital, the provisional president, General Canalizo, was arrested, Santa-Anna was impeached, his statue was demolished, and his portrait was burned by the mob. His troops abandoned him, and on his flight toward the coast he was arrested, 15 January, 1845, near Jico, and imprisoned in the fort of Perote till the amnesty of May, when he retired to Havana. When the war with the United States began, and after the unfortunate battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Pahna, a mutiny under General Mariano Salas deposed President Pa-redes and recalled Santa-Anna, who returned on 16 August, 1846, was appointed commander-in-chief, and became president in December; but leaving the vice-president, Gomez Farias, in charge, he went to the north, organizing an army to oppose the invader. After a march, full of hardships, through the desert of Potosi, he attacked the American army under General Zachary Taylor near the ranch of Buena Vista on 22 February, 1847. The battle continued the next day, but, as his cavalry could not operate in the narrow passes, and the American artillery occupied strong positions, he retired on the evening of the 23d with great losses. Hearing of the overthrow of Gomez Farias, he hastened to the capital, and occupied the executive on 21 March; but when Vera Cruz was taken by General Winfieid Scott, he left General Anaya in charge, and took command of the forces in the state of Vera Cruz. He established his headquarters at Cerro Gordo, where he was attacked on 17 April, and totally defeated on the 18th. With the fragments of his army he retreated to Mexico, where he adopted stringent measures against his opponents, established a severe censorship of the press, and organized an army to defend the capital against the advancing American forces. He collected 20,000 men, for the greater part militia, and after the van-guard under Gem Valencia had been routed at Contreras on 19 August, and General Rincon at Churubusco on 20 August, an armistice was signed on the 24th. Hostilities began again on 7 September, Mo-lino del Rey was stormed on the 8th and Chapul-tepee on the 13th, and on the 14th Mexico was occupied by the American army: Santa-Anna resigned the presidency and retired toward Puebla He tried to retrieve his reputation by besieging that city, but was defeated, and retired to Tehuacan, soliciting from Juarez, then governor of Oajaca, permission to reside in that city, which was refused. When Tehuacan was captured by G en. Lane, Santa-Anna barely escaped to the mountains, and from his estate obtained permission from the Mexican government and General Scott to leave the country, sailing on 5 April, 1848, for Jamaica. in 1850 he established himself in Turbaco, near Cartagena. In consequence of the revolution of 7 February, 1853, he was recalled, arrived in Vera Cruz on 1 April, and on the 20th took possession of the executive. On 21 December a congress of his creation appointed him president for life, with the title of Most Serene Highness, and the power of nominating his successor. His rule soon became so despotic that revolutions began everywhere, the principal one being that of Ayutla, directed ;by General Juan Alvarez. After a severe struggle and many defeats, he abandoned the capital on 9 August, 1855, and on the 16th sailed for Havana, and thence to Cartagena. He lived afterward for some time in Venezuela, and finally in St. Thomas, whence he appeared, after the French intervention, in February, 1864, in Vera Cruz to offer his services to the regency. He was permitted to land only after signing a pledge not to interfere in politics; but from Orizaba, where he had been assigned a residence, he published a manifesto, exciting disturbances in his favor, and General Bazaine ordered him to leave the country, sending him in the frigate "Colbert" to St. Thomas. Maximilian afterward made him grand marshal of the empire, but he rewarded the emperor by a conspiracy against him, and fled to St. Thomas again in 1865. In the following year he went to the United States, proposed to See. Seward to raise an army to overthrow the empire, and even offered his services to Juarez, but no response was made. In June, 1867, he chartered the steamer "Virginius," and appeared before Vera Cruz, which was still occupied by the imperialists, to raise the banner of revolution ; but he was detained by the United States squadron of observation, and after the surrender of Vera Cruz, 4 July, was permitted to sail for New York. He tried to effect a landing at Sisal, was captured by the blockading squadron, imprisoned at San Juan de Ulua, and sentenced by a court-martial to death, but was saved by his counsel, Alcalde, who represented his attempt as the ridiculous enterprise of a decrepit old man. He was pardoned under condition of leaving the republic forever, and came to the United States, whence he fostered a revolutionary movement in Jalapa in 1870, headed by his son, Angel. After Juarez's death he took advantage of the amnesty that was given by Lerdo de Tejada, returning to Mexico, and after his request for reinstatement on the army list and back-pay had been refused he died amid general public indifference, his services being obscured and almost forgotten by the misfortunes that his subsequent conduct had brought upon his country.

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