REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL VINCENTE GUERRERO BECOMES PRESIDENT OF MEXICO
Born August 10, 1782, in Tixtla, Guerrero was of African-Mestizo heritage. In 1810, he joined José María Morelos‘s army during the Mexican War of Independence. In 1816, Guerrero defeated Agustín de Iturbide and then convinced him to join in rebellion. Under the Plan de Iguala, they demanded a constitutional monarchy and an end to the caste system of racial classification. Victorious, Iturbide was proclaimed Emperor in 1821 though his government soon collapsed. After General Gómez Pedraza won the 1828 election, Guerrero’s supporters revolted. When Pedraza fled, Guerrero became president and Anastasio Bustamante, vice president. Guerrero called for public schools, land title reforms, and trade development. He championed the oppressed, and, in 1829, abolished slavery which, while symbolic in central Mexico, went against economic interests in Texas. In December 1829, Bustamante deposed Guerrero. Guerrero was captured, court-martialed, and executed on February 14, 1831.
Source: Theodore G. Vincent, The Legacy of Vincente Guerrero: Mexico’s First Black Indian President (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001). Painting: Anacleto Escutia, 1850. Museo Nacional de Historia, Mexico. Public Domain in U.S.: Pre 1/1/1925. Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 100 years or less.