The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna


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JOURNAL DURING A RESIDENCE DOCUMENT Original (PDF)

He offered the possibility of a negotiated settlement to the United States and was permitted to enter Mexico through the American blockade. Once in the country he rallied resistance to the foreign invaders.

As commanding officer in the northern campaign he lost the battle of Buena Vista in February , returned to Mexico City, reorganized the demoralized government, and turned east to be defeated by Winfield S. Scott's forces at Cerro Gordo. Secret negotiations with Scott failed, and when Mexico City was captured, Santa Anna retired to exile. In he was recalled by the Centralists, but again power turned his head.

During a Residence of Two Years in that Country

To help meet expenses he sold the Mesilla Valley to the United States as the Gadsden Purchase and was overthrown and banished by the liberals in For eleven years he schemed to return to Mexico, conniving with the French and with Maximilian. After a visit from the American secretary of state, W. Seward, he invested most of his property in a vessel that he sailed to New York to become the nucleus of a planned invading force from the United States. Disappointed in his efforts, he proceeded towards Mexico, was arrested on the coast, and returned to exile.

From to he lived in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Nassau. During this time he finally abandoned politics and wrote his memoirs. In he was allowed to return to Mexico City, where he lived in obscurity until his death on June 21, He was buried at Tepeyac Cemetery, near Guadalupe Hidalgo. Oakah L. Fight for the Alamo New York: Morrow, Carlos E. All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.

The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style , 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article. Santa Anna surrendered his sword to Scott, who, in a gesture of respect, promptly returned it. To show his appreciation, Santa Anna removed his spurs and presented them to Scott.

Huger gave the spurs to his son Frank on his graduation from West Point. The following year both Hugers resigned their commissions in the United Staes Army to serve Virginia and the Confederacy. The elder Huger commanded state forces in Norfolk and eventually gained promotion to major general. In he was promoted to major and fought at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. All in all, the painter was satisfied with his exotic ancestry. It provided him with a distant memory of wealth, a connection with the European aristocracy of the Conquest, and a ration of military daring, intellectual distinction and Jewish difference.

Furthermore, varied as it was, there was no trace in it anywhere of artistic ability. In that matter Rivera was entirely his own creation.


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The heritage possessed by Anastasio and Ines was passed on to a character who is not at all mysterious, Don Diego Rivera Acosta, Diego Rivera's father; and in the life of Don Diego the older there are some strong similarities with the legend of General Anastasio de la Rivera. Diego Rivera Acosta, being the oldest of Anastasio's sons and born in , was old enough to fight by his father's side, or perhaps under his command, in the War of Intervention, since the conflict did not end until he was aged nineteen.

And this, according to his son, he did. In Diego Rivera's Words, he "fought against the French for seven years," starting at the age of thirteen. Taking both his liberalism and his military prowess from Anastasio, the teenage Don Diego took part in the final battles between Juarez and the forces of the Emperor Maximilian and was present at the fall of Queretaro on May 15, , after which the Emperor surrendered. Don Diego then witnessed his father the general by now being dead, fallen as we have seen on one or other of the fields of honour the execution of Maximilian and two of his senior Mexican generals, which took place on June 19 of the same year.

The shots rang out and the hapless Austrian nobleman crumpled to his knees. But he needed two coups de grace before death reached him and allowed him to accomplish his central role in the archetypal pantomime of pre-modern Mexican politics--the public fusillade. And as those shots rang out, witnessed or not witnessed by Don Diego, and not witnessed but immortalised by Edouard Manet, the fantastic retreats and a hard, bright vein of fact surfaces and pulses through the legend of the painter Diego Rivera.

If all we really know about "General" Anastasio de la Rivera is his name and his face, his son, Don Diego the older, has a certain identity.

LIFE IN MEXICO

We find him, whether or not returned from the field of honour, an assayer of precious metals in Guanajuato during the five brief years that remained to Juarez after the execution of Maximilian before he himself became the only Mexican head of state since independence to die in the presidential bed, of natural causes, in July Returning to his studies, Don Diego qualified and in due course distinguished himself not as a general, a diplomat or a millionaire mine-owner but as a schoolteacher.

At no time does Don Diego seem to have called himself anything but "Rivera Acosta," although his wife was still signing herself "de Rivera" in Diego Rivera later explained that his father had abandoned the longer style out of liberal and progressive conviction. Despairing of the reopening of the flooded Asuncion mine, Don Diego placed his small remaining capital in another mine known as La Soledad or El Durazno Viejo. The job he took at Dona Nemesia Rodriguez de Valpuesta's primary school was probably suggested to him by his mother, since she was a friend of Dona Nemesia's, both women having been widowed for some years.

Dona Nemesia was the widow of Juan Barrientos Hernandez, a mine operator who had been born in the Atlantic port of Alvarado. Juan Barrientos died when his older daughter was aged four, leaving Dona Nemesia in the care of his brother Evaristo, the spiritualist, and in the care of her own three brothers, Joaquin, Mariano and Feliciano Rodriguez. Because Juan Barrientos had been born in Alvarado, a port noted for its mestizo population, Rivera in later life claimed that he was of partly African descent. Gazing at himself in the mirror as he painted one of his recurring self-portraits, he sometimes accentuated his features in that manner.

PBS - THE WEST - Antonio López de Santa Anna

Rivera's African connections have generally been regarded as another of his inventions. His sister Maria said that her mother's father had been of Creole cast "with fair skin and fine features. Diego Rivera made comparatively few public references to his mother, but it was to her family that he linked one of his most original biographical inventions, and one which cast a new light on several of the more notable events in Mexican and European history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Feliciano Rodriguez, brother of his maternal grandmother Nemesia the schoolmistress, had served as a colonel in the War of Intervention, not on the side of Juarez but among the reactionary forces of the Emperor Maximilian. In the course of time Tio Feliciano had become an admirer and eventually the lover of the Empress Carlotta. If one had to have an uncle on the wrong side in a civil war, it must have been some comfort to Diego that he should at least have seduced the foreign tyrant's wife.

On returning to her native Belgium in Europe in in an attempt to raise support for her beleaguered husband, Carlotta collapsed in the Vatican, thus becoming the only woman known to have spent the night there. The conventional view of history is that next morning she recovered consciousness but not her senses and spent the rest of her life confined to the castle of Bouchout in Belgium, her native land.


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  • However, according to Rivera, Carlotta's collapse in the Vatican was caused not by grief but by the fact that she was pregnant. She gave birth secretly to a son who later became General Maxime Weygand, and who was none other than the natural son of Tio Feliciano. It is of course true that General Weygand was born in Brussels in "of unknown parentage" and christened Maxime, but his connection with the Empress Carlotta has never amounted to more than speculation. However, any doubts Rivera may have had about the story were dispelled in when he was staying with Dr.


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    • Elie Faure, the leading art historian of his day, near Perigueux in southern France. It was there that a chance but emotional meeting occurred between Diego and Maxime, "his mother's first cousin," rather better known at that time as Marshall Foch's chief-of-staff. Forgetting the holocaust then taking place in northern France and any plans being laid for the last "Big Push," General Weygand called out: "My little Diego!

      Come and give me a hug! How is my cousin, your mother? And your aunt Cesarea? And what news can you give me of my good friend, her husband, Ramon Villar Garda? But unfortunately there were no witnesses. The meeting with General Maxime Weygand is the last performance of the military theme in the legend of Rivera. The bridegroom was fifteen years older than his bride, and whereas she, like her mother, was a devout Catholic, he was a notorious Freemason and reputedly the son of a Freemason.

      Any potential incompatibility was resolved, according to their daughter Maria, by Maria del Pilar Barrientos's progressive adoption over the years of most of her husband's opinions. Rivera saw very little of his parents after he left Mexico for sixteen years in aged nineteen, but in his infrequent references to them it is noticeable that he never made a public criticism of his father and almost never mentioned his mother except in belittling or dismissive terms.

      This does not seem to have been because he felt that he had been neglected or slighted by his mother; if anything, he found her affection stifling. But it suggests that he denied his true feelings about his mother and may have taken his father's side in the silent confrontation that was the consequence of his parents' incompatibility. In any case, emotional elusiveness was to become a distinguishing feature of Rivera's adult life. In the early years of his marriage, Don Diego, the frustrated silver miner and outcast from the economic boom that benefited Mexico in the period of Porfirio Diaz's dictatorship, adopted increasingly liberal opinions.

      At first he continued to teach. Later he secured a position with the state administration of Guanajuato. In a new state governor was appointed, General Manuel Gonzalez, a former president of Mexico and one of the most intimate colleagues of Porfirio Diaz himself. Gonzalez once boasted that he "had killed all the bandits in Guanajuato, except himself"; yet Don Diego's relations with Governor Gonzalez appear to have been cordial.

      As the son of Anastasio, who had himself been a friend of Governor Doblado thirty years earlier, Don Diego retained good enough connections to secure an appointment as an inspector of schools. He was also elected to the municipal council of Guanajuato City; he founded an escuela normal for the training of rural schoolteachers; and he became a contributor to, and then in editor of, El Democrata , Guanajuato's liberal newspaper.

      During the early years of the Porfiriato , liberalism was not necessarily a bar to political advancement. Diaz regarded himself as a liberal, before he became addicted to re-election and the management of foreign interests. After their marriage Don Diego and Maria del Pilar lived on the top floor of the house on Pocitos, with a splendid view over the rooftops of the centre of the town to the mountains beyond. There was a grand piano in the drawing room and the house was full of books; they had enough money to keep a little horse carriage and a groom to drive them round the town.

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      They also employed Martha, who lived with them and who was soon counted as one of the family. Maria del Pilar, according to her son, used to exaggerate Don Diego's age when talking about him, in the hope of making him less attractive to other women. On the death of Dona Nemesia, Maria del Pilar's sister Cesarea and her aunt Vicenta came to live at Pocitos 80 and the family took over more of the house.

      The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
      The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
      The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
      The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
      The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
      The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna The Fantastical Acquisition of the Sword of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

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