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HERRERA, Jose Joaquin de, Mexican president, born in Jalapa, in 1792; died in Tacubaya, 10 February, 1854. He entered the military service at the age of seventeen, and took part with the Spanish army in the campaign against the revolutionary forces, notably in the battles of Aculco, Guanajuato, and Calderon. In 1814 he was promoted captain, held for some time political and military commands, and after the advantages obtained by the insurgents on the Pacific coast retired to Perote, where he established a pharmacy. When independence was proclaimed by Hurbide, 24 February, 1821, Herrera was called by the officers of the regiment of grenadiers of Jalapa, who had pronounced for independence and deposed their colonel, to take command, and with them he took part in the final struggle against the Spanish forces, entered the capital, 27 September, 1821, and was promoted brigadier-general. He took part in the overthrow of Hurbide in 1823, and in the following year was appointed secretary of war, and was afterward military commander of Jalapa, when a Spanish invasion was threatened. He participated in the revolution that overthrew the government of Bustamante in 1832, and during the presidency of Gomez Farias was twice called to the ministry of war, but after Bustamante had again become president, and during San-ta-Anna's first and second administrations, Herrera retired from politics. In 1844 he accepted the office of president of the supreme court, and took charge of the executive after the resignation of Santa Anna, 12 September, until the arrival of the provisional president. General Canalizo, 21 September But Canalizo was deposed and imprisoned by a military revolution, 6 December, and Herrera again took charge of the executive, and was afterward elected president. During his short administration, Santa Anna, who had risen in rebellion, was taken prisoner, and confined in the fortress of Perote, and the difficulties with the United States regarding the annexation of Texas began. Herrera from the beginning had favored the recognition of the independence of that state. This rendered him unpopular, and after an abortive insurrection in June, 1845, on 14 December, the commander-in-chief of the forces marching against Texas, General Paredes, pronounced against the government, which was seconded on the 30th by the forces of the capital under General Valencia, and on that day Herrera resigned the executive and retired to his home. During the invasion of the American army in 1847, Herrera served as second in command to General Santa Anna, and retired on 14 September with part of the army toward Toluca. After the peace of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 2 February, 1848, the congress elected Herrera president, 30 Nay, and, after the evacuation of the capital by the American forces, he took charge of the government. His administration was chiefly remarkable for economy, leniency toward his enemies, and thorough honesty. On 8 January, 1851, congress elected General Mariano Arista president, and on the 15th of that month Herrera gave up the office to his successor, the change of government taking place for the first time in the history of Mexico in a constitutional manner, and without revolution. Herrera retired to his country-seat at Tacubaya.
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