The first Constituent Congress of Mexico was installed on February 24, 1822; it met for the last time on October 30 of the following year.1 This legislature has been largely ignored by historians, who have come to view the first Empire as a blemish on the pages of Mexican national history. Also, although it was important in the early years of the nation’s independence, its work pales beside that of its successor, the Congress of 1823-1824. For these reasons, the history of the first legislature remains to be written.

Since it has been overlooked for so long, much confusion has arisen regarding the details of its membership. Even less well known is the Central American delegation to this Mexican congress—the problems involved in electing deputies from that region and getting them seated in the congress, as well as the character of the deputies chosen, their prior experience, and their later accomplishments.

When the audiencia of Guatemala established its independence from Spain under the leadership of its captain general, Gabino Gainza, many theories were advanced regarding the governmental structure that would best provide for the protection of the separated provinces and most efficiently promote the welfare of their citizens.2 The faction that advocated union with Mexico triumphed immediately; but in the long run those men who pressed for complete independence won out, largely because of the refusal of San Salvador, Quezaltenango, and others to cooperate with Guatemala in joining Mexico. In the end the kingdom of Guatemala broke up into the five republics of Central America. Nevertheless, during the brief union with the Mexican Empire, the Central American provinces participated in the Mexican congress, and some of their representatives played active roles in the government.

Within a week after Mexico secured its independence, the Sovereign Provisional Governing Junta, appointed by Iturbide, was installed. Its primary task was to establish regulations for the convocation of a national congress. After debating this question from October 30 to November 17, 1821, the junta promulgated a set of instructions on the electoral procedures to be followed in choosing representatives to the forthcoming Constituent Congress, called for February 24, 1822. Several plans had been submitted, but essentially only three were considered. The approved instructions provided that representation be based to a certain extent on special interest groups, with the Church, the military, the legal profession, the miners, and the farmers supplying many of the delegates. Elections were to be held in three different stages, the local, district, and provincial levels, with the cooperation and participation of the municipal councils. Each province should name two deputies for every three districts within its boundaries and one alternate for every seven proprietary deputies. Every province should elect at least one deputy and one alternate. Deputies were to be elected also in any provinces that united with Mexico.3

Beginning in 1810, the Spanish colonies in America had received intensive practice in holding elections. During the succeeding four years and again in 1820-1821 several series of elections were held to choose deputies for the provincial deputations and to represent the overseas dominions in the Spanish Cortes.4 The plan adopted in Mexico by the Sovereign Provisional Governing Junta in November 1821 resembled the balloting procedure as already followed under the Spanish Constitution of 1812, in that the elections were to be held in three stages and were to be indirect, with the voting populace participating only on the local (or parish) level. New elements introduced by the junta’s plan consisted in basing the number of delegates to be elected not on provincial population, as previously, but rather on provincial districts; in restricting a percentage of the congressmen to certain classes of citizens, based on occupation; and in making the municipal councils an integral part of the electoral machinery.

The number of representatives to be chosen in the Mexican provinces, excluding Chiapas, was set at 162. The instructions did not stipulate how many Chiapans were to sit in Congress, nor was there any mention of the size of the delegation from the other Central American provinces, should they unite with Mexico. In fact, no one estimated the number of deputies from Central America until just before the installation of Congress, when the delegates were filing into Mexico City. It appeared that a sufficient number of members would not be present on the date set for the opening.

By early February, however, word had been received that all the Central American provinces had decided to unite with Mexico. On the 19th Iturbide, accompanied by the Regency, attended the session of the Sovereign Provisional Governing Junta to hear the final arrangements for the installation of the deputies. In the course of the discussion he stated that, as the provinces of the audiencia of Guatemala had become an integral part of the nation, they must be represented in Congress. Since exact statistical data on those provinces were unavailable, he considered forty deputies a prudent number to represent that area, but he added that he desired enough alternate deputies to provide a quorum on February 24.5

At this same session, the junta decided that residents of Mexico City who were citizens of the far northern provinces, of the Central American provinces, and of Yucatán should meet on February 22 in an electoral body and choose fifteen alternates to sit in Congress until the proprietary members arrived. A law was issued setting forth the procedure for the Mexico City balloting. Article I of this decree stated that the 102 congressmen necessary for the opening would be computed by including those representing Central America. The second article stipulated that, in order to fulfill the requirements of the previous article, “an approximate calculation will assign forty deputies to the territory of the Audiencia of Guatemala as its total representation.”6 As a result of this election in the national capital, four Central Americans, Canon Florencio del Castillo, Lt. Col. Manuel Escandón of the Hussars, Pedro José Lanuza, and Dr. Mariano Larrabe, were chosen to sit in Congress.7

In Central America, meanwhile, elections for deputies to the Mexican Congress were taking place. As yet no one has thoroughly studied the political subdivisions of the audiencia of Guatemala in the late colonial and independence periods. Some idea of the political divisions can be obtained, however, from the “Table to Facilitate the Election of Deputies and Alternates to the Congress of the United Provinces of Guatemala” issued by Gabino Gainza, on November 7, 1821, for elections to be held in the whole audiencia.8 This table showed the provinces and districts as follows:

Based on these political divisions, and computing two deputies for each three districts, as provided in the Mexican instruction of November 17, the Central American provinces were entitled to elect only thirty-four deputies, at most, to the Constituent Congress of 1822, rather than the forty that Iturbide had judged a prudent number.

After the Guatemalan junta had decided that the general public favored union with Mexico, Gainza issued another table. In this he included those areas or districts that were cooperating with the junta in the decision to join Mexico, indicating the political divisions and the number of deputies each was entitled to elect. Whereas the earlier table had assigned two deputies for every three districts, now a pair of districts sometimes received two deputies, while two other districts were assigned only two alternates and a group of four districts together only a single deputy. All told, in his table Gainza prescribed the election of 17 proprietary deputies and 13 alternates for all or part of 31 districts in the provinces of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.9

Gainza’s new table omitted the district of Quezaltenango in Guatemala; those of Tencoa, Usula, Olanchita, and Yoro in Honduras; four in El Salvador; seven in Nicaragua, including that of Costa Rica; and all eight in Chiapas—a total of 24 districts, which under the Mexican formula were entitled to elect 17 proprietary deputies and four alternates. Gainza’s omission of these districts did not mean that all of them were opposed to union with Mexico, but that they had not recognized Gainza’s jurisdiction over them. Most of them did favor union with Mexico, and some sent deputies to the congress of 1822.

The Central American province of Chiapas was the first to move toward union with Mexico. Various towns in Chiapas declared independence from Spain as early as August 1821. On September 26 a representative group of citizens unanimously declared Chiapas separated from Guatemala and annexed to the Mexican Empire. The following month the province named a commissioner, Pedro Solórzano, to go to Mexico City to seek ratification of the union; and on January 16, 1822, the Regency issued an approving decree.

Although remote from Mexico City, Chiapas received word to elect its deputies to the first constituent congress in time to follow the schedule set forth in the November 17 instructions. Specific details are lacking, but it is known that on December 6, 1821, Juan Nepomuceno Batres, the last intendant of Chiapas, called for the elections to be held.10 Most authorities state that Chiapas was divided into three districts, Ciudad Real, Tuxtla, and Soconusco, but Gainza’s table shows eight districts, and one modern historian writes that the districts of Chiapas in 1821-1822 numbered twelve.11 Probably the last is correct, for if Chiapas had only three districts, it would have been entitled to elect only two deputies, instead of the seven known to be elected. They were Pedro Celis,12 Bonifacio Fernández de Córdova,13 Luciano Figueroa, José Anselmo Lara,14 Juan María Lazaga,15 Marcial Zebadúa,16 and General Manuel de Mier y Terán.17

Lanuza, the substitute deputy chosen in the Mexico City election of February 22, was a Chiapan, and attended the Congress from the day it opened. He apparently never considered himself anything other than an alternate, for in July 1822, after the arrival of several of the Central American proprietary deputies, he asked permission to withdraw from the body. The credentials committee agreed to give him a certificate indicating the time that he had served. The granting of the certificate must have been tantamount to dismissal, for there is no further mention of Lanuza.18

Luciano Figueroa, the next Chiapan to appear in Congress, had his credentials approved on March 16, 1822; and two days later he was seated.19 The remaining six Chiapan delegates all took their seats on April 15, 1822.20 Only one, Mier y Terán, had his credentials questioned; when the Credentials Committee brought forth the documents certifying the elections of the Chiapans, Francisco Argandar of Michoacán pointed out that Mier was neither a native nor a resident of Chiapas. José San Martín of Oaxaca, a member of the committee, replied that it was aware of Mier’s situation. The instructions for holding the elections, he stated, declared that members of the military class did not need to be citizens or residents of the province that elected them. Several of the congressmen immediately pointed out that, if this stipulation were applied to Mier, he would have to be accredited specifically as a military deputy. Francisco García Cantarines of Puebla, also a member of the Credentials Committee, assured Congress that the general had been elected as a military delegate. When the vote was taken, Mier’s credentials, along with those of the other five Chiapans, were approved.21

After Guatemalan independence was declared on October 15, 1821, a council (junta consultiva) was formed to direct the affairs of government. In January 1822, a plebiscite was held to determine whether the Central American provinces should cast their lot with Mexico. Those in favor of joining Mexico won, and on January 5 union was declared.22 Meanwhile Guatemala had received the November 17 instructions.

Gainza, on January 22, 1822, addressed a letter to the municipal council of the Guatemalan capital in which he called for immediate election of deputies to the Mexican Congress. He enclosed a schedule designating the districts where the elections were to be held; it did not include those areas that had not approved of union with Mexico in the plebiscite. The proposal which Gainza then circulated for the purposes of the election associated the districts of Guatemala and indicated the number of deputies and alternates as follows:23

Three days later, the municipal council of Guatemala City acknowledged receipt of Gainza’s letter and set its parish elections for February 3. It also instructed Gainza to issue an order announcing the date, so that the priests of the four parishes of the city could make preparations.24 On January 26 Gainza did so, outlining the procedures. The parishioners were to name electors who would go to the district seat indicated in Gainza’s table, and there they would elect deputies and alternates to the Mexican congress, all in accordance with the schedule circulated on January 22. The balloting was to be carried out, however, according to the provisions set forth in the Spanish Constitution of 1812, not the Mexican instructions of November 17.25

The municipal council of Guatemala’s capital met on January 29 to discuss the method of voting as announced by Gainza. One member, Domingo Payrés, declared that the forthcoming balloting should follow the Mexican instructions instead of the Spanish constitution, in order to avoid any future controversy with the Mexican government. The legal adviser to the municipal council countered that Gainza had undoubtedly issued the call for the elections in such a manner because Mexico had not yet agreed to the annexation. Furthermore, in September the Guatemalan provinces had agreed to abide by the Spanish constitution until a system of government was worked out and adopted. The crux of the syndic’s argument was that whereas Central America had voted for union, Mexico had not ratified it, and therefore Guatemala was not yet subject to the laws of Mexico. Now that plans were already formulated and announced and the date set, any change in electoral procedures would cause so much delay and confusion that the deputies-elect would not arrive in Mexico until after congress had convened. When the vote was taken, three members of the municipal council supported Payrés, and eight members upheld the syndic. The mode of election prescribed by the Spanish Constitution prevailed.26

Details are lacking regarding the election of the deputies. As far as can be determined, the following is a breakdown of the Guatemalan provinces and the deputies they elected:

Comparing this list of deputies with Gainza’s schedule brings out several discrepancies. Whereas Guatemala City and the district of Sacatepéquez, which included Antigua Guatemala, were assigned one deputy and three alternates, they elected three proprietary deputies and two alternates. No information has been found on elections held in Sonsonante, Sololá, Suchitepéquez, Totonicapán and Huehuetenango. Apparently they were too much embroiled with Quezaltenango in its conflict with Gainza to hold elections.

Eight of twelve proprietary deputies elected by Guatemala attended the Mexican legislature of 1822-1823, but not all represented Guatemala. The earliest to arrive was Cirilo Flores, whose credentials were approved on February 21 by the Sovereign Governing Junta, and who was a member of Congress from the day it opened. Miguel Guridi y Alcocer questioned Flores’ credentials when they were presented, feeling that Flores’ election could not possibly have been held on January 6, as stated in the certificates. The distance involved, he argued, was too great for the Mexican order to hold elections to arrive in Quezaltenango, the election to be held, and the chosen deputy to reach Mexico City by February 21. Nevertheless, after a vote the credentials were accepted as valid.28

The next Guatemalan who appeared in Mexico City to attend the Congress was Juan de Dios Mayorga, whose credentials were approved and who was seated on July 8, 1822.29 There is much confusion concerning the role played by Mayorga in Congress and exactly which interests he represented. His credentials described him as deputy from the province of Chiquimula, which, in fact, he was.30 In the same session, however, an act by the governing junta of San Salvador was read which commissioned Mayorga to represent its interests before the Mexican government.31 Furthermore, on June 14, 1822, the San Salvador junta wrote to Vicente Filisola, commander of the Mexican troops sent to Central America, stating that Salvador had placed a diplomatic agent in Mexico to undertake political negotiations and to work for that province’s regeneration under the auspices of the Mexican Empire.32

Available evidence suggests that Mayorga was not merely the commissioned agent of San Salvador, but that province’s elected delegate to the Mexican congress.33 If Mayorga’s mission was not secret, it was two-headed. This double character is indicated by a letter sent by Gainza, the captain general of Guatemala, to the Secretary of War and Navy of the Mexican Empire. In this letter Gainza discussed military activities in Central America and announced the receipt of news that the district of Chiquimula was about to unite with San Salvador, as a result of sedition sown there by Juan de Dios Mayorga, who was serving in the congress in the capacity of San Salvador’s agent.34

The next Guatemalan delegates to appear in Congress were Larreinaga,35 Montúfar, and Orantes,36 all of whom had their credentials approved and took their seats on July 19, 1822.37 These three deputies played active roles in the congressional debates and served on important committees. The last two Guatemalan delegates to arrive were Tomás Beltranena, who was seated on August 1, 1822, and Antonio Rivera Cabezas, who was sworn in two days later.38

Four of the Guatemalan proprietary delegates elected to the Congress did not attend. In June the legislature received correspondence from Dr. Antonio Larrazábal, member of a prominent Guatemalan family and delegate-elect from Chimaltenango, stating that he found it impossible to travel to Mexico because of his poor health and lack of means. The Credentials Committee voted to excuse him and to summon the alternate from that province.39 No explanation has been found regarding the failure of José Antonio Aleayaga,40 deputy for Chimaltenango, to take his place in Congress. Neither did his alternate, Mariano Aycinena,41 report.

Juan de Dios Mayorga and José Cecilio del Valle were both elected from Chiquimula. Valle was also chosen as a delegate from Tegucigalpa, and, since he was neither a citizen nor a resident of Chiquimula, Congress recognized him as the representative from the Honduran province, thereby invalidating his election from Guatemala. To fill the vacancy created in Chiquimula, the Credentials Committee ordered that a special election be held there. In September 1822, José Ignacio Grijalva of the province of Chiquimula was chosen, but by the time that his credentials reached Mexico City in midJanuary, Congress had been dissolved for two and a half months, and in its place was sitting the Junta Instituyente appointed by Iturbide. This body informed the authorities of Chiquimula that there was no need for Grijalva to journey to Mexico to fill the nonexistent post to which he had been named.42

Pedro Arrollave was elected by Guatemala City, but there is no record of his being sworn in during the regular sessions of the Congress. Iturbide appointed him, however, as a member of the Junta Instituyente, and Arrollave took his seat in that body on November 29, 1822.43

Gainza’s schedule of the districts of Central America of November 7, 1821, showed six Honduran districts—Comayagua, Tegucigalpa, Gracias a Dios, Tencoa and Usula, Olanehito and Yoro, and Olancho. Under the Mexican instructions six districts would entitle Honduras to elect four deputies and one alternate. Details of the elections in Honduras are totally lacking, except for the names of the ten persons who were elected or who, for one reason or other, thought that they should be seated in congress.44 They were, for Comayagua, six in number, for Gracias a Dios, one, and for Tegucigalpa, three: Comayagua—Cayetano Bosque, Manuel Gutiérrez, Joaquín Lindo, Juan Lindo, Jacinto Rubí, José Tinoco de Contreras; Gracias a Dios—Lic. José Santiago Milla; Tegucigalpa—José Cecilio del Valle, Presbyter Francisco Antonio Márquez, Próspero de Herrera.

In Tegucigalpa, José del Valle was elected on March 7, 1822. Perhaps Márquez and Herrera (the latter was Valle’s first cousin) were chosen on the same date.45 Valle left Guatemala, where he was residing at the time, and on May 7 he was the first to arrive in Mexico City to take his seat in Congress.46 Márquez and Herrera did not attend the Congress.47 Milla had his credentials approved and took his seat on July 19.48

Jacinto Rubí and Manuel Gutiérrez were apparently the only two deputies from Comayagua to be seated in Congress. Both took the oath of office and assumed their posts on September 23, 1822, only five weeks before the body was dissolved by Iturbide.49 Rubí, nine days before being sworn in, petitioned Congress that he be allowed to return home, apparently because he found that he had insufficient funds on which to live in Mexico. The Credentials Committee ruled that before he was granted a leave, he should take the oath of office and be seated as a deputy. His request should then be given to the Justice Committee for a decision. There is no report that a leave was granted between the date he was seated and the dissolution of Congress.50

Despite many obstacles placed before him, Cayetano Bosque probably arrived in Mexico during the spring of 1822. In February he wrote to Iturbide from Antigua Guatemala telling of his experience. On November 22, 1821, he had been commissioned to travel to Mexico: to present before its Sovereign Junta the situation in his province.51 He had begun his journey on December 3, bound for Trujillo, where he had planned to take passage to Yucatán and thence to Mexico City, but, on the night of January 6, 1822, he had been imprisoned in Trujillo. Now free, he said that he was resuming his trip the next day (February 20) via Oaxaca.52 There is no mention in the congressional records of his being seated or, indeed, any evidence that Bosque was ever elevated from the post of commissioned agent to that of elected deputy.

An interesting case of lobbying is presented by the Lindos, father and son, who were not elected as deputies to the Congress. On April 17, 1822, the Mexican Regency received their letter petitioning that the credentials given them by various cabildos and civil corporations be submitted to congress, and that they be allowed to participate in that body as alternates until the Honduran delegates should arrive. They argued that the recognition of their certificates by congress would give Honduras some form of representation until the proprietary delegates were seated, which would not be until the end of August.53 The Regency agreed to submit the correspondence to congress, but this was not done until a week later, at which time the matter was turned over to the Committees on Internal Affairs, Credentials, and Relations.54 The case was still pending before the committees two months later.55 By then Iturbide was emperor, and he appointed the son, Juan Lindo, as interim superior political chief and intendant of the province of Comayagua. The younger Lindo left for Honduras on July 4, and on October 12 he took charge of the posts to which he had been named.56 There is no record that the elder Lindo was ever seated in Congress.

The remaining delegate from Honduras to be accounted for is José Gregorio de Tinoco y Contreras, usually called José Tinoco de Contreras. At the time independence from Spain was declared, he was governor intendant, commandant general, and superior political chief of Comayagua province.57 When Honduras began to have difficulties with Guatemala in the fall of 1821, Tinoco was sent to Mexico City to present Honduras’ side in the dispute, but apparently it was some time before he left on his mission.58 No more is heard of him until April 4, 1823, when the reinstalled Congress received a request that he be allowed to assume his post in that body. The petition presented to Congress in Tinoco’s name portrayed him as the proprietary deputy from Comayagua. It indicated that he had misplaced his credentials, but that his election could be substantiated by questioning the other congressmen from Comayagua. The request was given to the Credentials Committee for its decision,59 but a month later no action had been taken. Whether Tinoco was one of the elected deputies or was merely trying to gain admission fraudulently is a matter for conjecture that perhaps only a close examination of Honduran archives can clarify.60

Nicaragua, with Costa Rica, was entitled to elect six proprietary deputies and one alternate, if Gainza’s table of November 7 was accurate. Actually Nicaragua elected four men to represent it in the Mexican Congress, two from Granada and two from León, but details of the election are lacking. Víctor de la Guardia, one of the four, was elected as a deputy from Granada.61 In August 1822, however, the Credentials Committee declared his nomination null, since the candidate was neither a native nor a resident for the required number of years in the province which had chosen him as its delegate.62

Because of the great distance between Mexico City and Nicaragua, a letter from Guardia to Congress apparently crossed another letter from that body to the authorities in Granada invalidating the election. Guardia’s letter, received by Congress on September 16, 1822, stated that, although he had been delayed in setting out for Mexico, he did not want the authorities to think that his absence was caused by a lack of zeal for the affairs of the Empire.63

On August 2, the same day that the Credentials Committee cancelled Guardia’s election, it ordered Joaquín Herdosia, the alternate deputy-elect from Granada, to take the place of the proprietary deputy in congress.64 Herdosia never arrived, and Granada remained unrepresented in the Mexican congress. Both deputies from León were seated in the congress: Juan José Quiñones on May 13, 1822, and Manuel López de la Plata on August 1, 1822.65 These two men took an active part in the debates in Congress.

Gainza’s schedule of districts shows Costa Rica as composed of only one district and as forming a part of the province of Nicaragua. Under the Mexican formula, therefore, Costa Rica would not have been entitled to elect a deputy and an alternate as it did. Undoubtedly, however, the authorities in the area did not approve Gainza’s classification of Costa Rica as a political entity. In fact, as early as March 1814, the area had assumed the title of province and divided itself into five districts—Cartago, San José, Heredia, Nicoya, and Ujarraz—in each of which elections were held for district electors, who in turn met at Cartago and elected José María Zamora deputy to the Cortes. Also in July 1820 the preparatory electoral council of León and Cartago drew up a table outlining the territorial divisions under its jurisdiction for the election of deputies to the Spanish Cortes. This table stated that Cartago was the capital of Costa Rica province, which was composed of two districts, Cartago and Nicoya.66 In December of the same year the provincial deputation of Nicaragua and Costa Rica reaffirmed that Costa Rica was composed of the two districts of Cartago and Nicoya, and had a population of 42,133 inhabitants.67 Under the Mexican formula, a province with two districts was entitled to elect a deputy and an alternate to the Mexican Congress, and Costa Rica’s actions show that the province believed that it was entitled to elect a congressman.

When Costa Rica declared its independence from Spain in the autumn of 1821, a provisional form of government called the junta of deputies was established, and it soon evolved into a governing junta. On January 30, 1822, that body received from Gabino Gainza notification that Guatemala had accepted union with Mexico. On the same date the Costa Rican governing junta acknowledged receipt of correspondence from the political chief of León in Nicaragua. Dated eleven days earlier, this included a copy of the Gaceta Extras-ordinaria Imperial de México of November 27, 1821—the issue of the official Mexican newspaper that contained the November 17 decree of the Mexican sovereign junta, outlining procedures for holding elections of delegates to the Constituent Congress. The Costa Rican junta decided to publish and circulate the instructions received from Mexico and further ordered that each municipal council, upon receiving a copy of the decree, should summon the citizens to hold elections for the town councils and deputies to the Mexican congress. The parish balloting was set for February 17.68

On that date, the towns of San José, Alajuela, Cot, Pacaca, Ujarraz, Escasú, Terraba, Curridabat, Tres Ríos, Boruea, and Tobosí reported that the district electors had been chosen.69 Certain points of controversy arose during the elections and were discussed in the March 14 meeting of the Costa Rican junta. Some members objected to the Mexican decree of November 17th, for it conflicted with the provisions of the Spanish Constitution of 1812, which made the population of the provinces the basis for choosing representatives, and also with an earlier decree of the Mexican Sovereign Provisional Governing Junta, dated October 13, 1821, which had assured the citizens that the Spanish charter would be followed in voting for members of the forthcoming congress. By giving the municipal councils so preponderant a role in the elections, the Mexican instructions of November 17 changed the constitution and invalidated the Mexican October decree. It was pointed out, furthermore, that the election of the new town councils in Cartago and San José had not conformed strictly to the provisions of the November Mexican decree. But in either case the election was compromised, for if the instructions issued from Mexico City were valid, they had not been adhered to in all details.

In its report to the Costa Rican governing junta, the electoral board unanimously agreed to suspend the election, to inform the government in Mexico of the decision, and to place the matter in the hands of the central government. The Costa Rican provisional government decided to accept the decision of the electoral board. In effect, the authorities were saying that they did not have the power to resolve their quandary—whether they should uphold the Spanish constitution, display the proper zeal toward union with Mexico by following the dictates of the November decree, or render a judgment with the possibility of committing an error and thus nullifying the elections. The only solution was to inform Mexico of the proceedings ask that the government of the Empire clarify any contradictions and send the already elected deputies to congress.70

Chosen as proprietary and alternate delegates respectively were the presbyters José Francisco de Peralta and José Antonio Alvarado.71 Alvarado, who lived in. Guatemala, had been previously reprimanded by the Costa Rican authorities for participating in the Guatemalan Governing Junta.72 He acknowledged his nomination on May 7, 1822. Peralta, who was serving as parish priest of Olocuilla in El Salvador, wrote to the ayuntamiento of San José on June 22, 1822, acknowledging receipt of the notification of his election. He stated that the news had arrived on April 24, but that hostilities between Guatemala and El Salvador had interrupted the mails and delayed his reply.73 It was not until September 2, however, that the Costa Rican municipal councils issued instructions to Peralta.74 The delegate-elect never attended the Mexican Congress, despite urgings from Filisola and even Iturbide, who later appointed him to the Junta Nacional Instituyente, which Peralta also did not attend.75

According to Gainza’s schedule of November 7, 1821, El Salvador, having eight districts, was entitled to elect six proprietary deputies and three alternates. He reported that the district of San Miguel Usulután elected as deputy and alternate to the Mexican Congress, Miguel Álvarez and Lic. Manuel Francisco Pavón, respectively.76 Neither took a seat in Congress, however, probably because of El Salvador’s growing disaffection, not only with Guatemala, but also over union with Mexico. The only man to speak for El Salvador in the Congress was Juan de Dios Mayorga, whose relation with El Salvador has already been discussed.

When Emperor Agustín I dissolved Congress at the end of October 1822 and formed the Junta Nacional Instituyente from among his supporters in Congress, he designated representatives from Central America to sit in that body of fifty-five members. The Central Americans named to the junta, including those from Chiapas, were: Chiapas—Pedro Celís, Luciano Figueroa, Bonifacio Fernández de Córdova; Guatemala—Pedro Arrollave, Miguel Larreinaga, Isidro Montúfar, Tomás Beltranena, José Vicente Orantes; Honduras—Manuel Ignacio Gutiérrez, Jacinto Rubí; Nicaragua—Juan José Quiñones, Manuel López de la Plata; Costa Rica—José Francisco de Peralta. If all thirteen had attended the Junta, they would have constituted approximately one fourth of that body, but Rubí did not participate in the sessions, and Peralta never appeared.77

The Junta Instituyente was short-lived. The revolution of Casa Mata forced Iturbide to abdicate, and the Constituent Congress was reinstalled formally on March 29, 1823. In what amounted to a second session of the original body, the Central American delegation was diminished considerably. At one time or another during the period of the reinstalled Congress, the Chiapan deputies (Figueroa, Mier y Terán, Fernández de Córdova, and Celís) participated in it. The Guatemalan deputies (Montúfar, Beltranena, Mayorga, Orantes, and Larreinaga), the Hondurans (Milla, Gutiérrez, Valle, and the mysterious Rubí), and the Nicaraguans (Quiñones and López de la Plata) also attended some of the time.

It was during the spring and summer of 1823 that the union of Central America and Mexico was irrevocably broken. In Guatemala Vicente Filisola took matters into his own hands by convoking a congress of the provinces that had formerly been divisions of the audiencia. Chiapas remained a part of Mexico, but when the Central American Congress convened on June 24, all the other southern provinces were represented. The recalcitrant Salvadoran, José Matías Delgado, was elected president; and under his command the course was set for independence.

On July 2 José Cecilio del Valle announced that he had been notified of his election to the Constituent Congress meeting in Guatemala City. He petitioned that he be allowed to retire from the Mexican congress to return home to take up his new duties. Montúfar also asked to be allowed to withdraw. These requests were turned over to a special committee for consideration.78

The special committee, to which no Central Americans were appointed, took a long time to reach a decision. Meanwhile, in early September Montúfar and Valle again urged that they be allowed to leave. The latter reiterated that he was an elected delegate to the Guatemalan Congress and stated that he had just received orders from the authorities in Central America, summoning him home to lend his assistance in the formation of the federation. Orantes and Beltranena now requested permission to leave and reported that they too had been summoned by the Guatemalan Minister General.79

The special committee finally rendered its decision on September 6, 1823, but for some inexplicable reason, this decision was not recorded in the congressional minutes nor do we know why a new committee was immediately appointed to consider further the Central American question.80 This second committee ruled in October that the Central American delegates could not be granted permission to leave until the Guatemalan congress had voted either for secession or for continued union. Valle was excepted, since he had given proof that he was a delegate to the congress meeting in Guatemala City.81 Later, when the Mexican congress was notified that Central America had declared its independence from the Empire, the members of that body voted that all Central American delegates might leave, except those from Chiapas, which had decided to remain united with Mexico.82

Out of 43 Central American delegates to the Mexican congress 39 were elected (28 proprietary and 11 alternate) and 4 were commissioned (none seated in Congress). Among the elected members 24 (20 proprietary and 4 alternates) attended the congress of 1822, 11 participated in the Junta Instituyente, and 15 sat at one time or another for the sessions in 1823 of the reinstalled congress. The breakdown of the representation by provinces shows:

In the above table Mayorga is counted only once in arriving at the totals, and three of the alternate deputies elected in Mexico City to represent the Central American provinces as a whole are not shown. At least two of the proprietary deputies, Grijalva of Chiquimula and Peralta of Costa Rica, were either elected too late or received the necessary documentation of election too late (September 1822) to appear in Mexico before Iturbide abolished the 1822 congress.

Among the Central Americans and Chiapans discussed in this paper there were five soldiers, at least six priests, six professors, nine lawyers, three medical doctors, and three who had been active journalists in conjunction with their other careers. Eight of the delegates had served in town councils, four had represented their districts in provincial deputations, five had attended the Spanish Cortes, and three had served as intendants. During the period of the union and subsequently, five of these men held cabinet posts, either under Iturbide or under later presidents of Mexico, the Central American federation, or the five independent nations which ultimately evolved from the audiencia of Guatemala. Three of them served as representatives in other Mexican congresses, while ten were delegates to later Central American congresses, either of the federation or of the individual nations. Most important of all, eight of these Central American deputies rose to the position of president or served as members of governing juntas. It is evident, therefore, that the Central American provinces chose well-educated, experienced men to represent them in the Mexican legislative body.

The story of the election and seating of the Central American deputies in the Mexican Congress of 1822-23 affords us a panoramic view of the problems presented to that area when it became necessary to organize the machinery of representative government now independent of Spain. The several provinces had strictly individual views on the meaning of independence to them. It meant independence not only from Spain but also from Guatemala City, the old capital of the audiencia. This attitude is revealed in the refusal of El Salvador, Quezaltenango, Chiapas, and others to accept the dictation of Gainza, the captain-general of Guatemala City, as well as in the manner in which the different provinces decided, not only on the number of deputies each was entitled to elect, but also on the electoral system— that of Mexico, Spain, or Gainza—which each would follow.

The long-developing animosities toward a distant central authority at Guatemala City increased the demand for more provincial self-government, fanned if not kindled by the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812 and by subsequent measures of the Spanish Cortes of 1812-1814 and 1821-1822. True, each of the provinces joined Mexico, more distant than Guatemala City; but some did so reluctantly; and all could argue that they were acting under their own volition, not under orders of a higher authority. What the provinces did in carrying out the election was a prelude to the fragmentation of Central America, for it revealed the diversity of their aspirations and attitudes toward government.


Iturbide dispensed with its sessions from October 30, 1822 to March 6, 1823.


For the Central American independence movement and Mexican policies toward the annexed area see Gordon Kenyon, “Gabino Gainza and Central America’s Independence from Spain,” The Americas, XIII (January 1957), 241-254 and “Mexican Influence in Central America, 1821-1823,” HAHR, XLI (May 1961), 176-205.


Article 8 provided that in Chiapas and in other provinces which joined, the basis for election of deputies should be two deputies for each three districts. Noticioso general, No. 143 (November 28, 1821), 1-4.


Nettie Lee Benson, “The Contested Mexican Election of 1812,” HAHR, XXVI (August 1946), 336-350; Charles R. Berry, “The Election of Mexican Deputies to the Spanish Cortes, 1810-1822,” in Nettie Lee Benson (ed.), Mexico and the Spanish Cortes, 1810-1822: Eight Essays (Austin, 1966), 10-42.


Juan A. Mateos, Historia parlamentaria de los congresos mexicanos de 1821 a 1857 (25 vols., México, 1877-1912), I, 239; Archivo General de la Nación, México, Secretaría de Gobernación, leg. 10, exp. 14, “Lista de Diputados del S. Congreso” (cited hereafter as AGN).


“Sobre que se convoque a todos los vecinos y naturales que residen accidentalmente en esta Capital de las Provincias de Guatemala, Yucatán, Tabasco, Californias, e Internas de Oriente y Occidente,” in Gaceta Imperial de México, I, 549-551.


Noticioso General, No. 28 (March 6, 1822), 4; Gaceta Imperial de México, H (March 2, 1822), 15.

Florencio del Castillo, a native of Ujarrás, Costa Rica, and graduate of the seminary in León, taught geometry there before serving as parish priest of Alajuata, Costa Rica in 1806-1807, after which he taught philosophy in the seminary and acted as vice-rector. In the Spanish Cortes of 1811-1814 he held the posts of secretary, vice-president, and president. After 1814 he became canon of the cathedral of Oaxaca. Shortly after having been seated in Congress, Iturbide named him to the Council of State. Later he served in the second Oaxacan state legislature as a professor of law and as a director of the local Institute of Science and Arts. Rafael Heliodoro Valle, “Un costarricense prócer en México,” in Revista de Revistas, XV (September 14, 1924), 60-61.

Manuel Escadón attempted to leave Congress in the early months of the session. Mateos, Historia, I, 315.

Mariano Larrabe held degrees of bachelor in philosophy and in medicine, licentiate, and doctor of medicine from the University of San Carlos, served as professor of medicine, wrote Elementos de medicina teórica, and taught at the Royal College of Surgery of the General Hospital of Guatemala City. As senior alcalde of the ayuntamiento of Guatemala in 1821, he participated as elector both in the parish and district at the time he was named alternate deputy. He also participated in the election for alternates held in Mexico City on February 21. John Tate Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment in the University of San Carlos de Guatemala (Ithaca, 1956), 329, 332, 336, 338, 349; El Amigo de la patria (Guatemala), No. 11 (January 12, 1821), 130; Pedro José Lanuza to the editor in Gaceta Imperial de México, February 26, 1822; Mateos, Historia, I, 315.


Archivo General del Gobierno, Boletín, IV (Guatemala, 1938), 168-178; Matías Romero, Bosquejo histórico de la agregación a México de Chiapas y Soconusco . . . (México, 1877), I [no more published], 96-97. Both Romero and Joel R. Poinsett, Notes on Mexico . . . (Philadelphia, 1824), 238-245, base their information on the work first published in 1809; Domingo Juarros, Compendia de la historia de la ciudad de Guatemala (3rd ed., 2 vols., Guatemala, 1936), I, 11-59 lists fifteen provinces in 1809; eight were alcaldías mayores: Totonicapán, Sololá, Chimaltenango, Saeatepéquez, Sonsonate, Verapaz, Escuintla, and Suchiltepéquez; two were corregimientos: Quezaltenango and Chiquimula; one, Costa Rica, was a gobierno; and four were intendencias de provincias: León, Ciudad Real, Comayagua, and San Salvador. Romero on pp. 59-62 says some changes were made between 1809-1821, but does not specify what they were, and Manuel Vidal, Nociones de historia de Centro America, especial para El Salvador (5th ed., San Salvador, 1957), 132, also notes some variations in relation to Juarros’ political divisions.


Archivo General del Gobierno, Boletín, IV (Guatemala, 1938), 168-178, 441-444.


Enrique Santibáñez, Comitán: Su independencia y su anexión a México (México, 1902), 13-14.


Juarros, Compendio-, Poinsett, Notes; Vidal, Nociones; and Romero, Bosquejo list the three districts mentioned above. Manuel B. Trens, Historia de Chiapas desde los tiempos más remotos . . . (México, 1942), 222, states that Chiapas had 12 districts, but does not name them. Under the formula of two deputies for every three districts, this would have given Chiapas eight deputies, but the names of only seven proprietary deputies and one substitute are known.


Pedro Celís, prior to election to Congress, was a member of the ayuntamiento of Comitán. Gustavo López Gutiérrez, Chiapas y sus epopeyas libertarias (3 vols., Tuxtla Gutiérrez, 1932-1939), I, 120.


Bonifacio Fernández de Córdova participated in economic and civic matters prior to his election and served as secretary to the Sociedad Económica de Amigos de Chiapas in 1821. El Amigo de la Patria, No. 4 (May 29, 1821), 31.


Lara had been a member of the ayuntamiento of Ciudad Real. López Gutiérrez, Chiapas, I, 117.


Lazaga had been mayor of the ayuntamiento of Ciudad Real. ibid., I, 114.


Zebadúa, an organizer and publisher of El Editor Constitutional of Guatemala, received his legal training in the University of San Carlos and in 1824 served as Minister of Foreign Relations of the United Provinces of Central America. Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment, 326-327, 337; Laudelino Moreno, Historia de la relaciones interestatuales de Centroamérica (2nd ed., Madrid, 1928), 25; Romero, Bosquejo, I, 403 ff.


Trens, Historia de Chiapas, 222; Alejandro Valdés, Guía de forasteros de este emperio mexicano y calendario para el año de 1822 (México, 1822?), 233. Arturo Valdés Oliva, Caminos y luchas por la independencia (n.p. [Guatemala City], 1956), 1, 257, lists Zebadúa as a deputy from Guatemala.


Mateos, Historia, I, 700, 726. Iturbide had sent Lanuza to Central America to agitate for union with Mexico. In 1829, he became commandant of Tabasco and from then until his death in 1855 served as a military advocate, an instructor in military law, and chief accountant of the postal administration. In 1847, he was a member of the Mexican Congress. Carlos María de Bustamante, Continuación del cuadro histórico de la revolución mexicana (4 vols., México 1953-1963), I, 21; Manuel Mestre Ghigliazzi (ed.), Documentos y datos para la historia de Tabasco (4 vols., México, 1916-1940), I, 385-389.


Mateos, Historia, I, 305, 309.


ibid., 346.


ibid., 341. This is the only indication that any Central American province followed the instruction issued by Mexico City of choosing their representatives by classes. Mier y Terán, a native of Puebla, sent by Iturbide to Guatemala to urge Central American union with Mexico, proceeded no further than Chiapas. He served for a time later as Minister of War in the Guadalupe Victoria administration and afterwards as commandant in Jalisco and the Interior Provinces. Alejandro Villaseñor y Villaseñor, Biografías de los héroes y caudillos de la independencia (2 vols., México, 1962), II, 141-150.


Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Central America (3 vols., San Francisco, 1886-1887), III, 33-34, 53-54.


“Gainza manifiesta de que deben verificarse las elecciones de Diputados al Congreso del Imperio Mexicano,” in Guatemala, Archivo General, Boletín, IV (July 1939), 423, 441-444.


ibid., 432.


ibid., 433.


ibid., 438.


The schedule referred to in note 23 above allocated one deputy and no substitute for Chiquimula. We have three deputies from that province, the reason for which will be clear later.


Mateos, Historia, I, 249-250. Flores, a medical doctor from the University of San Carlos and a Central American deputy to the Spanish Cortes, began his career in the Mexican Congress as an ardent supporter of union, but quickly changed to the most zealous defender of the separation of Quezaltenango from Mexico, withdrew from Congress in the summer of 1823, and returned to his province. He served as president of the Guatemalan Congress in August 1823, as vice-governor of Guatemala in 1824, and took the governorship, when the governor was imprisoned. In October 1826 during the civil disturbances there he was stabbed to death in Quezaltenango, because he was a liberal and his enemies thought the position he had taken threatened the Church. Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment, 285; Romero, Bosquejo, I, 252-255; Mateos, Historia, I, 328, 407; decrees of the Guatemalan Congress dated late 1823, in Zeitlin Collection, The University of Texas at Austin; Alejandro Marure, Bosquejo histórico de las revoluciones de Centro-América . . . (2 vols., Guatemala, 1877-1878), I, 169-185.


Mateos, Historia, I, 640.


Gainza stated that Mayorga had been chosen by Chiquimula, but in a revolt had fled to San Salvador and that another should be elected in his place. AGN, Secretaría de Gobernación, Leg. 10, exp. 12, entitled “El Capitán Gral. de Guatemala acompañando lista de los Diputados nombrados al Congreso.”


Mateos, Historia, I, 628. The public announcement in Congress that Mayorga was commissioned by San Salvador refutes the statement of Manuel Montúfar y Coronado, Memorias para la historia de la revolución de Centro-América (4th ed., Guatemala, 1934), 54, that Mayorga attended the Mexican Congress “with the double secret mission of San Salvador . . .” (italics ours).


Miguel Ángel García, Diccionario histórico enciclopédico de la república de El Salvador: el Doctor José Matías Delgado . . . (2 vols San Salvador 1933-1939), II, 563-565.


On January 20, 1822, the provincial deputation of San Salvador agreed to hold elections for a deputy to Mexico. Rafael Heliodoro Valle (comp.), La anexión de Centro-América a México (6 vols., México, 1924-1949), III; Documentos y escritos de 1821-1832, 144-145. Joaquín García, “Lucha de San Salvador contra el imperio, 1821-1823,” in El Salvador, Departamento de Historia y Hemeroteca Nacional, Revista, 2a época, III (June 1940), 5-98, which states on p. 25 that Mayorga was nominated in accordance with the agreement of the January 20 session of the Provincial Deputation. Mayorga accompanied José Cecilio del Valle, Fernando Dávila, José María Álvarez, and Nicolás Esponda to Mexico.


García, Diccionario . . .: el Doctor José Matías Delgado, II, 569-571. Mayorga later served as the ambassador of the Central American Federation to Mexico. Valle, La anexión, I, xliv; Louis E. Bumgartner, José del Valle of Central America (Durham, 1963), 204, note 82.


Larreinaga received the B.A., LL.B, and B. Canon Law from the University of San Carlos, taught classical languages, mathematics, philosophy, and law for many years in Nicaragua and Guatemala, and represented Guatemala in the Spanish Cortes. He held many important positions not only in the Central American Federation, but also in the government of Nicaragua, including president of the Court of Appeals and regent of the Supreme Judicial Court. Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment, 339; Pablo Hurtado, Miguel Larreinaga of Nicaragua (Pan American Patriots series pamphlet no. 16; Washington, n.d.), passim.


No additional information has been found on Montúfar and Orantes. Molina did not attend Congress. A medical graduate of the University of San Carlos, he taught medicine there and was chief physician of Guatemala. He was the first editor of El Editor Constitucional, which opposed union with Mexico. He served briefly as president of the Central American Federation in 1829-1830. Bancroft, History of Central America, III, 27-28, note 12, and 104-105.


Mateos, Historia, I, 700. For details relative to funds for their traveling to Mexico see Guatemala independiente: Recopilación de documentos históricos después de la independencia de Centro América, opúsculo número 2 (Guatemala, 1932), 5-35.


Mateos, Historia, I, 719, 729-730. In 1820, Beltranena acted as attorney general for the Church, and in 1822, as Judge Ordinary in the Tribunal of Ecclesiastical Benefices. “Estado de los empleos provistos en individuos que por sus enlaces forman una familia,” in El Amigo de la Patria, No. 3 (November 3, 1820) ; AGN, Secretaría de Gobernación, Leg. 10, exp. 12.

Cabezas held the degrees of B.A., LL.B., and B. Canon Law from the University of San Carlos, was a deputy to the provincial deputation of Verapaz, and later a member of the executive triumvirate of the Central American Federation from the summer of 1823 until the following autumn. Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment, 339; El Amigo de la Patria, No. 4 (November 11, 1820), 66; Moreno, Historia, 43.


Mateos, Historia, I, 560, 578. Larrazábal y Arrivillaga, canon of the cathedral of Guatemala, held the degrees of B.A. B.Th., B. Canon Law, B.L., Ph.D. of Canon Law and of Sacred Theology, and had been professor and rector of the University of San Carlos. Though in trouble with the Inquisition, he became a delegate to the Spanish Cortes and was imprisoned by Ferdinand VII. Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment, 339, 332, 336, 338, 349; El Amigo de la Patria, No. 3 (November 3, 1820); Moreno, Historia, 43.


Dr. Alcayaga y Lamburu, a priest, taught several years as substitute professor of philosophy in the University of San Carlos. Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment, 171, 179; AGN, Secretaría de Gobernación, Leg. 10, exp. 12.


Aycinena, a member of a wealthy Guatemalan merchant family, had received little formal education. He became a colonel in the army, syndic of the ayuntamiento of Guatemala, manager of the family’s vast estates, and in 1827 President of Guatemala. A conservative and a monarchist, he did not believe his country ready for republican government. Ramón A. Salazar, Mariano de Aycinena (hombre de la independencia) (Guatemala, 1952), 51, 56, 66, 69.


Mateos, Historia, I, 547-548; Diario de la Junta Instituyente del imperio mexicano (México, 1822), 251.


Mateos, Historia, II, 32. Arrollave (or Arroyave), a lawyer, was one of the signers of Guatemalan independence from Spain and in 1821 a parish elector for the Guatemala City municipal elections, after which he was chosen syndic of the town council. Antonio R. Vallejo, Compendio de la historia social y politico de Honduras . . . (2nd ed. only 1 vol. published, Tegucigalpa, 1926), I, 48; Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment, 339, note 72; El Amigo de la Patria, January 12, 1821, 130.


Even the exact number of deputies elected is uncertain. Some accounts give seven, others eight. Two authors list Herrera and Márquez. Rómulo E. Durón, Historia de Honduras desde la independencia hasta nuestros días (Tegucigalpa, 1956), 50, lists Bosque, the two Lindos, Rubí, Márquez, Herrera, and Valle. Vallejo, Compendio de la historia, I, 141-142, names the same and both say the elections were held on March 10.


Bumgartner, José del Valle, 185, note 7; Félix Salgado, “Compendio elemental de historia de Honduras . . .: tercera parte,” Revista del Archivo de la Biblioteca Nacional de Honduras, II (February 25, 1906), 251; Mateos, Historia, I, 729-730.


Valle, a member of a landholding creole family in Choluteca, Honduras, received the B.S. degree from the University of San Carlos, where he presented a thesis on electricity. He practiced law and in late 1820 was alcalde of the ayuntamiento of Guatemala City and in 1821, a member of the provincial deputation, opposed to union with Mexico. Iturbide imprisoned Valle in August 1822, but in February 1823 freed him and immediately made him Secretary of Foreign and Domestic Affairs, a position he held until his resignation on April 1, 1823. He participated in the sessions of the reinstalled congress. Later he became a member of the executive triumvirate of the Central American Federation. He lost in the presidential race in the Central American Federation of 1824 and then founded the newspaper El Redactor General. Late in 1824, he became a deputy to the second Central American Congress. Bumgartner, José del Valle.


Herrera, a member of a wealthy family of Choluteca, in 1825 was a deputy in the Assembly of the United Provinces of Central America. Later he went to Europe to form a company to exploit the Herrera mines with British capital and became a friend and correspondent with Jeremy Bentham. He lived in Europe from 1828 to 1831. Bumgartner, José del Valle, 9, 11, 26, 237, 258-265.

Márquez in 1823 was deputy from Tegucigalpa to the Central American Congress and served as vice-president of that body. See decree dated October 2, 1823, signed by Manuel Julián Ibarra, Ministerio del Estado, in Zeitlin Collection, The University of Texas Library.


Mateos, Historia, I, 729-730. Milla, a lawyer, graduate of the University of San Carlos, and deputy to the Spanish Cortes in 1813-1814, returned to Guatemala as secretary-general of the government, but was not allowed to assume that position until 1820. He was appointed also as intendant of El Salvador and served as a member of the Guatemalan provincial deputation. In late 1823 he was a member of the executive junta of the Central American Federation. Valdés Oliva, Caminos y luchas, 316-317; Moreno, Historia, 43; Lanning, The Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment, 107.


Mateos, Historia, I, 975, 978, 988.


“Documentos número XII” in Revista de los Archivos Nacionales [de Costa Rica], II (1940), 315-316 (cited hereafter as RAN).


No further information has been found.


Valle, La anexión, III, 201-202.


Romero, Bosquejo, I, 249-250.


Mateos, Historia, I, 383.


ibid., 573.


Rómulo E. Durón y Gamero, Biografía de don Juan Nepomuceno Fernández Lindo y Zelaya, . . . (2nd ed., San Pedro Sula, 1957), 33. Durón errs when he says that “Lindo and his father were elected [deputies].”


Durón, Historia de Honduras, I, 21. Joaquín Fernández Lindo held prominent positions dating from 1792 in the intendancy of Comayagua and later served as a deputy to the first congress of the Central American Federation. Durón, Biografía de don Juan Nepomuceno Fernández Lindo, passim; decree of October 2, 1823, signed by Manuel Julián Ibarra ratifying Central American independence from Mexico, in Zeitlin Collection, The University of Texas Library.

Juan Nepomueeno Fernández Lindo, educated in the legal discipline in Mexico City, served later as president of El Salvador in 1841 and of Honduras from 1847 to 1852, when he was responsible for the writing of a new Honduran constitution which reinstalled a bicameral legislature, limited the term of the presidency, and encouraged education. Durón, Biografía de don Juan Nepomuceno Fernández Lindo, passim; Franklin D. Parker, The Central American Republics (London, 1964), 184-185, 212; Rubén Barahona, Breve historia de Honduras . . . (3rd ed., Tegucigalpa, 1950), 122-126.


Durón, Historia de Honduras, I, 54.


Mateos, Historia, II, 195.


The Comayagua provincial deputation asked Filisola on May 8, 1822 to send someone to command the armed forces in place of Tinoco, who had left for the Empire as deputy to congress. Valle, La anexión, III, 312-314. This (and Tinoco’s petition of April 1823) supports the supposition that he was one of the elected deputies, although he is not listed by any historian as one.


AGN, Secretaría de Gobernación, Leg. 10, exp. 12.


Mateos, Historia, I, 726 (session of August 2, 1822).


ibid., 976. La Guardia, born in Panama in 1772, was in Nicaragua at the time of its independence, and Iturbide appointed him political chief of Granada. He served as vice-president of the Costa Rican assembly in 1824. “Los fundadores de la república,” Revista de Costa Rica, III (1921), 28-29.


Mateos, Historia, I, 726. No further data found on Herdosia.


ibid., 444, 719. Quiñones, a lawyer of the territorial audiencia and doctor of civil law, received his license to practice civil law in 1817. José Guillermo Salazar (ed.), “Documentos para la historia de Centro América,” Anales de la Sociedad de Geografía e Historia de Guatemala, XXXI (1958), 271-272.

López de la Plata in 1820-1821 served as a member of the León provincial deputation. He remained in Mexico, for in 1829-1830 he was a deputy in the Mexican Congress. El Amigo de la Patria, No. 4 (November 11, 1820), 66; Revista de la Academia de Geografía e Historia de Nicaragua, I (1936), 235, and IX (April 1947), 32-34; AGN, Secretaría de Gobernación, Leg. 85, exp. 21, f. 9, entitled “Lista de los Señores Diputados año de 1830, sesión extraordinaria”; Calendario manual y guía de forasteros de México para el año de 1839 (México, n.d.), 41.


“Índice de la Sección Colonial de los Archivos Nacionales de Costa Sica,” 606, 672. This is bound with and forms a part of RAN, VIII (1943).


Colección de documentos para la historia de Costa Rica recogidos por el Lic. León Fernández (Barcelona, 1907), X, 574-575.


Francisco María Iglesias (ed.), Documentos relativos a la independencia (3 vols., San José, 1899-1902), II, 86-88.


RAN, VIII (September-October 1944), 665.


Iglesias, Documentas, II, 109-112, 115-116.


Alvarado, a Costa Rican priest, served in the Governing Junta of Guatemala prior to union with Mexico and later in the Guatemalan Constituent Assembly.


RAN, VIII (September-October 1944), 669, 671.


Costa Rica, Secretaría de Educación Pública, Documentos históricos posteriores a la independencia (San José, 1923), I (only 1 vol. published), 69-70.


RAN, VII, 678.


ibid., 679-680 and IX (January-February 1945), 697. Peralta, a priest, educated at the Nicaraguan University of León, later was active in Central American politics where he participated in the 1835 revolution against Carrillo, enthusiastically supported Morazán, and worked for Central American unity. He served as president of the Costa Rican Constituent Congress of 1842. Revista de Costa Rica, III (September 1821), 40-42; Revista de Costa Rica en el Siglo XIX, I (1902), 248-249; RAN, II, 46-50.


AGN, Secretaría de Gobernación, Leg. 10, exp. 12, April 3, 1822, entitled “El Capitán Gral. de Guatemala acompañando lista de los Diputados nombrados al Congreso.” Pavón, when Aycinena became president of Guatemala in 1827, acted as his close adviser. He was related to both Aycinena and Marcial Zebadúa. Pavón served as president of the first Central American Congress. Salazar, Mariano Aycinena, 126 ; Noticia biográfica del señor don Manuel Francisco Pavón . . . (Guatemala, 1855), passim. No other data found on Álvarez.


Rubí’s name did not appear in the minutes after the first session and Arrollave was seated on November 29, Mateos, Historia, II, 32.


ibid., 429.


ibid., 497-498, 500; Águila Mexicana, September 5, 1823, 531.


Mateos, Historia, II, 502. Committeeman Quiñones was a Nicaraguan.


José del Valle and Jorge del Valle Matheu (comps.), Obras de José Cecilio del Valle (2 vols., Guatemala, 1929-1930), I, 89-90.


Mateos, Historia, II, 552.

Author notes


The authors are respectively Latin American Librarian at the University of Texas and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Louisville.