Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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IGLESIAS, Jose Maria, Mexican statesman, born in the city of Mexico in 1823. He studied law in the university of his native city, was admitted to the bar in 1844, and appointed Professor of jurisprudence. He began his political career in 1847 as member of the municipal council of Mexico, and during the American invasion of that year was appointed member of the supreme military tribunal, following the Army of the East as auditor. After the peace of Guadalupettidalgo in 1848, the government made him chief of a section of the treasury, and in 1850 promoted him to membership in the court of appropriations of the same department. In 1852 he was elected to congress, where he soon became known for eloquence and thorough knowledge of constitutional law. He opposed the nomination of General Lombardini and the recall of Santa Anna. In 1856, under President Comonfort, Lerdo de Tejada made Iglesias chief clerk of the treasury, and as such he prepared the law forbidding the church to hold landed estate. From January till May, 1857, he was secretary of justice, from May till September secretary of the treasury, being elected on 16 September, by popular vote, judge of the supreme court. He also served several times in the general administration of taxes and in the custom-house of Mexico. During the French invasion he was a firm supporter of the constitutional government, and when after the fall of Puebla, 17 May, 1863, Juarez with his government abandoned the capital on 31 May, retiring to San Luis Potosi, Iglesias accompanied him, and was appointed by him in September secretary of justice, which post he held until the return of the Republican government to Mexico in July, 1867. He accompanied Juarez in all his movements before the advancing French forces, and while in Saltillo held provisionally from January till May, 1864, the portfolio of the treasury. After the return of the Republican authorities, Iglesias was elected to congress, from September, 1868, till October, 1869, was secretary of the interior, and in that month was called again to take charge of the portfolio of justice. He retired to private life in 1871 to restore his health, but in 1872 accepted the collectorship of customs of the city of Mexico. In July, 1873, he was elected president of the supreme court, and as such, when the president of congress declared Lerdo de Tejada re-elected, on 26 September, he issued the next day a manifesto declaring" the election illegal and the constitutional order interrupted, claiming in consequence, according to the constitution, the provisional presidency. As some of the judges who had declared in his favor were imprisoned by order of Lerdo, Iglesias left Mexico secretly for Muana-juato, where he was recognized as president of the republic by Governor Antillon, Gen. Garcia de la Cadena, and the military commander of Jalisco, General Cebalhs, and he issued a manifesto from Salamanca announcing his assumption of the executive and organized a cabinet. When, after the battle of Tecoac, 16 November, Lerdo with his cabinet abandoned the capital, General Diaz began negotiations with Iglesias for a peaceful agreement, but, the latter having refused to recognize the "Plan de Tuxtepec," Diaz marched against him. After a fruitless interview of the two chiefs in the estate of Capilla, Iglesias fled to Guadalajara, where he installed his government on 2 January, 1877. His forces under Antillon being defeated at. Los Adobes, he fled with his cabinet and General Ceballos to Manzanillo, and on 17 January sailed for the United States. He returned to Mexico in 1878, but has since lived in retirement, devoting himself to literary work. He has been editor-in-chief of various journals, and has published "Apuntes para la Historia de la guerra entre Mejico y los Estados Unidos " (Mexico, 1852), and "Revistas Historicas sobre la Intervencion Francesa" (1870).
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