Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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COMONFORT, Ygnaeio, Mexican soldier, born in Puebla, Mexico, 12 March, 1812; killed near San Luis Potosi, 13 November, 1863. He entered the Jesuit College in his native City in 1826, became a captain of cavalry in 1832, and soon after that attached himself to the liberal party, of which, from that time, he was a leader. He became prefect of the district of Tlapa in 1834, was elected in 1842 to the congress that was dissolved by Santa Anna, and in 1846 to the one that was dispersed by General Paredes. The revolution of August, 1846, followed, and Comonfort took a prominent part in it. He became third alcalde of the capital and prefect of western Mexico, but left these offices to engage in the war with the United States, and, after the capture of Mexico, organized guerillas in the west for another campaign. He was a member of the Queretaro congress, which made peace with the United States, and was then chosen senator by his native state, and served till 1851. He was again elected to congress in 1852, and was a customhouse director till 1853, when Santa Anna, returning to power, dismissed him, and he joined Alvarez in raising an insurrection. After a visit to New York, where he obtained financial aid, Comonfort was instrumental in forcing Santa Anna to abdicate in 1855. Alvarez assumed the government, but retired on 11 December, and made Comonfort provisional president. The new president was vigorously opposed by the clergy, the army, and the conservatives, and on 19 December the junta of Zacapoastla declared against him. In February, 1856, the conservatives assembled at Puebla a force variously estimated at from 5,000 to 15,000 men; but Comonfort marched on the town, forced the rebels to surrender on 20 March, and on 31 March 702 COMPOSTELA issued a decree confiscating church property, following it, on 28 June, by another, forbidding the clergy to hold landed estate. These measures caused several revolts, and, though they were promptly quelled, the country remained in an unsettled state. On 11 March, 1857, congress promulgated a new constitution, vesting in itself all control over religious and military affairs. Comonfort was proclaimed constitutional president, with extraordinary powers; but the opposition of the clergy and the army rendered his position critical. Zuloaga's brigade, the last to remain faithful, declared against him on 11 January, 1858, and, after a bloody struggle of several days, the rebels gained possession of the capital on 21 January Juarez, who had been appointed provisional president by Comonfort, while the latter took the field in person, convened a congress at Guanajuato in his friend's interest ; but Comonfort, finding all efforts in vain, fled to the United States in February, and then to France. Soon after the success of Juarez over the church party, in 1859, and on the first movement of the French for the invasion of Mexico. Comonfort returned, was appointed commander-in-chief of the troops, and showed great skill and bravery. On his way from Mexico to San Luis Potosi he was murdered by banditti.
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