Slavery Ends In Mexico

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September 15 | Mexico's First Black President Ends Slavery

Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña

A half-length, posthumous portrait of President Vicente Guerrero by Anacleto Escutia (1850)i

On September 15, 1829, North America’s first Black President, Vicente Guerrero, Mexico’s second president ended slavery in Mexico over a quarter of a century before the United States ended slavery.  President Guerrero was elected president of Mexico 179 years before it’s northern neighbor elected Barack Obama as the first Black president of the United States.

The multiracial future leader of Mexico was born on August 10, 1782 (baptism date) actual birth date may be different in Tixtia (Southern Mexico). Guerrero would become a great General, war hero, a top revolutionary general of the Mexican War of Independence and  the nation’s second president.

 

As a member of the Liberal Party, after being elected President, Guerrero  began his term on  April 1,  1829 and championed the rights of the poor, education for all with public schools, trade and industry development and land title reforms (which infuriated conservatives of the nation).  Many were already angry that a man of his racial heritage was the president. His hallmark action was the national elimination of slavery in Mexico.  Unfortunately, the consequences of Guerrero’s progressive and humanitarian leadership would spark a violent rebellion led by his conservative Vice President Anastasio Bustamante. While he was away from the capital fighting in the south, he was deposed by the Mexico City garrison on December 17, 1829 and later captured, tried by court martial and executed by firing squad on February 14, 1831.  

Vicente Guerrero, principios del s. xix

Profile portrait of Vicente Guerrero on an early 19th-century snuffbox (enamelled brass on lacquered wood)

President Guerrero was married to María Guadalupe Hernández and they had two children.  Today he is revered in Mexico as one it’s greatest leaders.  The state of Guerrero is named after him.  Some would say he was a man ahead of his time, but actually he was the right man at the right time for Mexico.

Two Monuments Below Honor President Guerrero

Monumento a Vicente Guerrero en la ciudad de México

Monument to Vincente Guerrero in Mexico City.

Mexico City (2018) - 468

Monument in the Colonia Guerrero.

Words That Matter

General Vicente Guerrero

Compañeros, this old man is my father. He has come to offer me rewards in the name of the Spaniards. I have always respected my father but my homeland comes first.“

(Words That Matter Quote Reference) In 1819, Guerrero’s father was sent to him by the Spaniards to convince him to end the rebellion.

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