Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ITURRIGARAY, Jose de (e-too-re-gah-ri'), viceroy of Mexico, born in Cadiz, Spain, about 1760; died there about 1815. He distinguished himself as a colonel in the war between Spain and France, and came to Mexico in the first days of January, 1803, assuming office as viceroy, 5 February, 1808. During his administration the first attempts in vaccination were made under the direction of Francisco Javier Balmis, and also in using quinine in yellow fever. Almost all the time of the viceroy was occupied in providing sums of money that were due to France, and in maintaining Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Florida in a state of defence, in view of the impending war with England. To provide the necessary sum, amounting to over 841,000,000, all sources of public wealth being exhausted, desperate financial measures were resorted to, and much church property was sold. On 9 December, 1803, he erected, amid costly festivities, though the funds for necessary public expenses were exhausted, the bronze statue of Charles IV., which now stands on the Paseo de la Reforma. He attended with care to the development of mines. He founded colleges, improved the public roads, organized and disciplined the militia and army, and fortified cities. He had a dispute with the United States about the boundary between Texas and Louisiana, which he arranged to the satisfaction of all. When Charles IV. abdicated in favor of his son, Ferdinand VII., Iturrigaray seemed disposed to disobey the government, but was compelled by the audiencia to proclaim the new king. When in May both Charles IV. and Ferdinand VII. were imprisoned by Napoleon in Bayonne, and the French rule began in Spain, he openly disobeyed orders from the popular junta, and it is alleged that he favored the independence of Mexico, intending to proclaim himself king. A conspiracy was now formed against him under Gabriel Yermo, a rich Spaniard, and during the night of 15 September, 1808, the government palace was occupied by a force of the conspirators, and Iturrigaray arrested and declared deposed. On 25 September he was transported as prisoner to San Juan de Ulua, and on 6 December sent to Spain in the frigate "San austo." He died before the termination of his trial, which was long delayed.
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