Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GRANJA, Juan de la (gran'-ha), Spanish journalist, born in Bahnaseda, Spain, about 1785; died in Mexico, 6 March, 1853. He was in business in Madrid from 1800-'14, when, in consequence of the political disturbances in Spain, he resolved to settle in Mexico. After traveling widely in that country and the United States, he engaged in mercantile business in Mexico in 1820-'6, but in the latter year fixed his residence in New York, where he established the "Noticioso de Ambos Mundos," probably the first Spanish newspaper published in this country. He called the attention of the Mexican government to the proposed annexation of Texas, and in acknowledgment of his services was appointed, in May, 1838, vice-consul of Mexico in New York. When in 1842 the truth of his assertions of an intended annexation of Texas became apparent, the Mexican government declared him a Mexican citizen, and promoted him to consul-general in New York. In 1846 he resolved to share the fate of his adopted country, and sailed for Mexico, where he was elected member of congress for the state of Vera Cruz, and took an active part in the discussion of the treaty of peace with the United States in 1848, being one of the few deputies who voted in the negative. Afterward, Granja devoted himself to his long-cherished idea of establishing telegraphic communication in the republic. To obtain the means for his preliminary studies, he embarked first in a mining enterprise in San Luis Potosi, and afterward established a bookstore in the City of Mexico. After many failures he formed a company, and on 5 November, 1851, the first telegraphic line in Mexico, from the capital to Nopalucan, a distance of forty-five leagues, was opened. The line was now rapidly extended; but Granja had overtaxed his strength, and the unusual labor soon caused his death.
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