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RAMIREZ, Ignacio, called EL NIGROMANTE, Mexican philosopher, born in San Miguel el Grande, 23 June, 1818; died in Mexico, 15 June, 1879. He was of pure Aztec blood. He began his studies in Queretaro, and finished them in the College of San Gregorio in Mexico, where he was graduated in law in 1841. In 1846 he founded the paper "Don Simplicio," and began to publish a series of philosophical articles, under the pen-name of "El Nigromante," and many satirical poems, in which he severely criticised the government of General Paredes, so that his paper was suppressed and he was imprisoned. When the federal system was established in the same year, Ramirez was appointed secretary to the governor of the state of Mexico, reorganized the administration, and during the American invasion equipped and organized the state troops, taking part in the battle of Padierna. After the evacuation, he was appointed professor of law in the Literary institution of Mexico, and at the same time gave lectures on literature and philosophy; but his liberal ideas alarmed the Conservatives, and he was removed. In 1851 he was elected deputy to congress by the state of Sinaloa, and in the next year he was appointed government secretary of that state, where he introduced many reforms. The revolution of the same year caused him to emigrate to Lower California, where he discovered rich pearl-oyster banks. In 1853 he was called by Sanchez Solis to his newly founded college in Mexico, where he opened a course of philosophy that attracted students by the thousand, but fell under the suspicion of the dictator, Santa-Anna, who imprisoned Ramirez. After the fall of Santa-Anna, Ramirez was returning to Sinaloa, when he met General Ignacio Comonfort, who appointed him his general secretary; but when he saw that Comonfort was separating from the Liberals, Ramirez, being elected deputy for Sinaloa, joined the opposition. After the dissolution of congress by Comonfort, which he disapproved, he was persecuted, and on his flight to Sinaloa was captured, carried to Queretaro, and condemned to death ; but the sentence was commuted, and after long imprisonment he was liberated. He joined Juarez immediately in Vera Cruz, and was sent to the northwestern states, to prepare for the triumph of the reform measures. After the overthrow of Miramon at Calpulalpam, Ramirez returned to Mexico with Juarez, was appointed minister of justice, instruction, and public works, and as such executed the law of 5 February, 1861, dissolving the monastic orders, hastened the building of the Vera Cruz railway, reformed the law of mortgages, founded the National library, and saved the valuable paintings that existed in the convents, forming a gallery in the Academy of San Carlos. After accomplishing these reforms he resigned, and when the Republican government abandoned the capital before the invading French army, he went to Sinaloa and afterward to Sonora to organize resistance. When the law of 3 October, 1865, was promulgated, Ramirez returned to Sinaloa to defend in the courts-martial the guerillas that had been captured by the French ; but he was soon banished, and went to San Francisco, California Returning afterward to Mexico, he was imprisoned by the imperial government in San Juan de Ulua, and banished to Yucatan. After the re-establishment of the republic, he was appointed judge of the supreme court, and for some years was associate editor of "El Correo de Mexico." After his re-election as judge in 1874, he sided with Iglesias and other judges against Lerdo de Tejada, and was imprisoned in November, 1876; but after the battle of Tecoac he was liberated, and appointed by President Diaz secretary of justice, instruction, and public works. He resigned in May, 1877, and returned to the supreme court, where he served until his death. His many literary works were never collected, but his "Proyecto de ensenanza primaria," written in 1873, was published by the governor of Chihuaha, Carlos Pacheco (1884).
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