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Diez y Seis de Septiembre

September 17, 2008

Diez y Seis de Septiembre (September 16) commemorates Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”), a speech he made on that date in 1810 demanding Mexican independence from Spanish rulers and calling for mestizos and indigenous persons to rise up against Spanish oppression.

First page of a commission to Jose Maria Larios, dated January 25, 1814.

First page of a commission to Jose Maria Larios, dated January 25, 1814.

The complex causes of Mexico’s war for independence long predate the rallying cry of Hildago y Costilla, and Mexican forces waged war against Spanish troops for almost a decade before the Spanish crown recognized Mexico’s independence on September 27, 1821. Still, Diez y Seis de Septiembre has been celebrated as Mexico’s national Independence Day each year since 1825, the same year the date was first commemorated in San Antonio.

Diez y Seis is one of two national holidays, or fiestas patrias, celebrated by Mexican Americans; the other is Cinco de Mayo (May 5), which honors General Ignacio Zaragoza’s defeat of French forces at Puebla, Mexico, in 1862.

The sizable DRT 9 Documents Collection at the DRT Library contains a wealth of materials dating from 1519 to 1979. Included in this collection are many Spanish-language records that document the period when Texas was a province of New Spain and Mexican history in the early nineteenth century. As stated in the finding aid for this collection, DRT 9 was “formed to gather manuscript material received by the DRT Library prior to the implementation of current descriptive and cataloging practices.” Documents are arranged alphabetically by the author or creator, although there are some exceptions to this rule. Currently, the finding aid for this collection is not available online, and geographic, organizational, and personal names from the collection are not searchable through the library’s online catalog. However, a paper copy of the finding aid is available to researchers who visit the Library, and remote users can contact Caitlin Donnelly, archivist, at cdonnelly@drtl.org to learn more about the DRT 9 collection.

Announcement of Jose Maria Morelos's victory over Spanish troops.

Report of Morelos's victory, May 3, 1812.

The following Spanish-language materials document Mexico’s ten-year war for independence from Spain.

Mexico. Ejercito [Military]

Commission to Jose Maria Larios dated January 25, 1814; document issued by General Jose Maria Morelos ordering Larios to recruit for the insurgent forces.

New Spain. Viceroy (1810-1813: Venegas)

Correspondence, Mexico City, dated 1811-1813; folder includes letters sent and received by Viceroy Francisco Javier Venegas regarding a plot against him, the use of informers, and the activities of insurgents.

New Spain. Viceroy (1813-1816: Calleja del Rey)

Disability discharge of Vicente Espejo, Mexico City, dated July 19, 1813.

New Spain. Viceroy (1813-1816: Calleja del Rey)

Disability discharge of Rafael Garcia, Mexico City, dated July 20, 1815.

New Spain. Viceroy (1813-1816: Calleja del Rey)

Promotion of Epitacio Sanchez, Mexico City, dated April 17, 1816.

New Spain. Viceroy (1816-1821: Apodaca)

Printed document transmitting royal decree specifying penalties for dissent, dated September 18, 1820.

New Spain. Viceroy (1816-1821: Apodaca)

Disability discharge of Domingo Caba, Mexico City, dated February 21, 1818.

New Spain. Viceroy (1816-1821: Apodaca)

Promotion of Epitacio Sanchez, Mexico City, dated October 13, 1818.

Ximenes, Ygnacio

Announcement of victory of Jose Maria Morelos over Spanish troops, Tenango, dated May 3, 1812.

Click here for a full citation of the documents and images included in this entry.

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