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Valentín Canalizo

General Valentín Canalizo

13th President of Mexico, Mayor of Mexico City, Puebla State Governor, Mayor of Cuernavaca, Minister of Defense, War Army General
In office
4 October 1843 – 4 June 1844
Preceded by Antonio López de Santa Anna
Succeeded by Antonio López de Santa Anna
In office
21 September 1844 – 6 December 1844
Preceded by José Joaquín de Herrera
Succeeded by José Joaquín de Herrera
Personal details
Born (1794-01-14)14 January 1794
Monterrey, Mexico
Died 20 February 1850(1850-02-20) (aged 56)
Mexico, Mexico
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Josefa Danila

José Valentín Raimundo Canalizo Bocadillo (12 February 1795 – 20 February 1850), known as General Valentín Canalizo, son of Vicente Canalizo and María Josefa Bocadillo and baptized on 16 February 1795 at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Monterrey, was a Mexican President, state governor, city mayor, army general, defense minister and conservative politician. He is as yet the only Mexican President from the city of Monterrey. He was a supporter of a centralist (as opposed to a federalist) national government, and a confidante of President of Mexico General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Canalizo was President of Mexico two times, for a total of about one year in 1843 and 1844, during the complex Mexican historical times after the one decade-long Mexican War of Independence and before the Mexican-American War. Valentín Canalizo had previously been the Mayor of Mexico City, after being Governor of Puebla state, and years before, Mayor of the city of Cuernavaca.

He was military governor of both the states of Oaxaca and State of Mexico in the early 1830s. At age 53, three years before his death, he served as Minister of War (Defense Minister) with President Valentín Gómez Farías.

He led the North and East Army Divisions to fight in the Mexican-American War, defending Northern and Eastern Mexican territory. In his late teens as his first job in the army, he fought in the Mexican War of Independence.


  • The War of Independence 1
  • After independence 2
  • First term as President 3
  • Second term as President 4
  • Mexican-American War 5
  • Final years and descendants 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

The War of Independence

In 1811, at age 17, he entered the Celaya Regiment as a royalist infantry cadet, fighting against the insurgents. On 2 March 1821, under the influence of Agustín de Iturbide, whom he knew and respected, he swore allegiance to independent Mexico. After that he participated in the siege of Valladolid (Morelia) and the capture of San Juan del Río and Zimapán. He was forced to surrender to General Bracho at San Luis Potosí, and he was wounded in action at Azcapotzalco. He received a battlefield promotion to lieutenant colonel, and was in command of two companies during the siege of Mexico City.

After independence

After independence, he was an aide to General José Joaquín de Herrera in the Jalisco campaign. In December 1829 he joined the Plan de Jalapa. Having been promoted to colonel, he was second in command of the brigade that pacified Jamiltepec, the Costa Chica and the Mixtecs. He was part of the court that sentenced Vicente Guerrero to death in 1831.

He opposed the revolution of 1832, but later accepted the Conventions of Zavaleta. In 1833 he revolted in favor of Santa Anna under the slogan of religión y fueros ("religion and privileges", referring to the privileges of soldiers and the clergy that had been eliminated by Liberal reformist President Valentín Gómez Farías). Under this banner he took over Oaxaca. He was military governor of the states of Oaxaca and México during the centralist period.

From 1835 to 1841 he fought intensely against the Liberals. He broke the siege of Acapulco, went on a military expedition to the Mixteca region, broke another siege in Oaxaca. He attacked Urrea in Durango and Longinos Montenegro in Tampico, occupied Monterrey and Monclova, pursued Servando Canales, and finally returned to Mexico City. In 1841 Santa Anna promoted him to brigadier general.

First term as President

In December 1842 he supported the Plan de Huejotzingo. He contributed to establishing the dictatorship of Santa Anna on 4 March 1843. Santa Anna named him president on 4 October 1843. This transfer was approved by Congress. Canalizo's period in office lasted until 4 June 1844. Santa Anna remained at his hacienda Encero during that time.

The government gave aid to the charity sisters (Hermanas de la Caridad) and the San Gregorio School (Colegio), and established the ordinances governing the Military College. They transferred the Medical School to the Colegio San Ildefonso. Taxes were increased to support the army. Congress during this time established garrisons in the Western (Occidente) and Eastern (Oriente) departments, and struggled to regulate the chopping of the nation's forests. Canalizo arranged a new meeting place for the Chamber of Deputies (House of Representatives, USA /House of Commons, UK) after flooding had wrecked the old chamber. He appointed José Joaquín de Herrera president of the Consejo de Gobierno (Government Council).

In 1844 Canalizo's presidential office term ended and Santa Anna went back into power. Canalizo went off to San Luis Potosí to take command of the Ejército del Norte (North Army) and prepare it for a campaign in Texas.

Second term as President

Valentín Canalizo returned to Mexico City in September 1844 to replace José Joaquín de Herrera as president of Mexico. This time he served from 21 September 1844 to 6 December 1844.

During this term he was in open conflict with Congress, because of its strong opposition to Santa Anna. Canalizo had received verbal instructions from Santa Anna to dissolve the Congress, but when he attempted this, the members objected. Thereupon he issued a decree suspending the Congress and prohibiting its meeting. Immediately, on 4 December 1844, the statue of Santa Anna in El Volador was decorated with a white hood and a rope noose, like a hanged man.

On 30 October 1844 the local authorities in Guadalajara revolted under Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga. On 30 November the palace guard prevented the deputies (congressmen /MPs) and senators from entering the chambers of Congress. By 6 December the revolution had spread throughout the country. On that day the troops of the La Acordada barracks, other soldiers and much of the populace joined the revolt. The soldiers from La Acordada took Canalizo prisoner. They turned over the government to José Joaquín de Herrera.

Plans were made to bring charges against Canalizo, but soon a general amnesty was declared. Canalizo was conducted to San Juan de Ulúa, where he sailed for Cádiz, Spain, on 25 October 1845.

He returned to Mexico in 1846 and was "Minister of War" (Defense Minister) in the cabinet of President Valentín Gómez Farías (24 December 1846 - 23 February 1847). During this term he supported the mortmain law and dealt severely with disturbances of the public peace.

Mexican-American War

Canalizo was given command of the Eastern Division at the time of the United States attack on Veracruz. He prevented the soldiers under his command from joining the 1847 Revolt of the Polkos and he negotiated an end to the revolt with Matías de la Peña y Barragán. (The convention ending the revolt was signed on 21 March 1848.) He then marched to Veracruz, but Santa Anna took command of the troops. Puente Nacional was abandoned without a fight, and Santa Anna was decisively defeated at Cerro Gordo. The Mexicans abandoned a supply of arms at the castle of Perote, Veracruz. Canalizo abandoned the war, and refused to return to battle because of severe war strategy disagreements with Santa Anna, and thus took no part in the defense of Mexico City.

Final years and descendants

Retired from public life as of December 1847, he died of pneumonia in his Mexico City house on 20 February 1850 at age 56. He was buried at the Convent of San Diego in central Mexico City (today, Ex-Convento de San Diego). His granddaughter Josefa Canalizo Valdez, daughter of his son Antonio Canalizo Danila and Procopia Valdez Osuna, married Don Guillermo Haas de la Vega, a legendary half-German entrepreneur from Mazatlán city and grandson of Sinaloa state governor Rafael de la Vega y Rábago of the de la Vega family dynasty of state governors.

Because Don Haas was a prominent figure in Sinaloa state, President of Mexico Francisco I. Madero invited him to become state governor in 1912, a political post that he turned down due to his numerous business responsibilities. Among others, he owned "El Roble", a Sinaloa sugar cane hacienda and village founded by him (the famous Mariachi song El Sinaloense is dedicated to El Roble and the Haas Canalizo family); and the Mazatlán Central Hotel (the largest and finest in town), as well as his silver mines, his two department and hardware stores (the only ones in the city), his farming haciendas in Navolato, his company "Northwestern Liquors"; and he held posts as co-founder of the Occidental Bank of Mexico, chairman and president of the Mazatlán Chamber of Commerce, and co-founder and vice president of the Mazatlán Water Supply Company.

Josefa Canalizo's husband, Guillermo Haas de la Vega, was the son of German immigrant Agustín (August) Haas Bertram and Rafaela de la Vega, daughter of Sinaloa state governor Rafael de la Vega y Rábago of the Veguist historic period also known as Veguism when all Sinaloa governors were members of the "De la Vega" family. Today's Casa Museo Haas in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, was the family mansion of Doña Josefa Canalizo and Don Guillermo Haas de la Vega and their eleven children.

The mansion's last inhabitant was a grandson of theirs, and great-great grandson of President Valentín Canalizo, Antonio Haas,[1][2][3] a renowned lawyer and economist from

  • (Spanish) Short biography
  • (Spanish) Short biography at Encarta

External links

  • (Spanish) "Canalizo, Valentín," Enciclopedia de México, v. 3. Mexico City, 1996, ISBN 1-56409-016-7.
  • (Spanish) García Puron, Manuel, México y sus gobernantes, v. 2. Mexico City: Joaquín Porrua, 1984.
  • (Spanish) Orozco Linares, Fernando, Gobernantes de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial, 1985.
  1. ^ Antonio Haas (English titles) government of Mazatlán Institute publications
  2. ^ Antonio Haas biography and Mazatlán Literature Award creation
  3. ^ The Antonio Haas files, Sinaloa College (El Colegio de Sinaloa)
  4. ^ Haas Canalizo family, descendants of President of Mexico Valentín Canalizo, Mexican national newspaper


Political offices
Preceded by
Antonio López de Santa Anna
President of Mexico
4 October 1843 - 4 June 1844
Succeeded by
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Preceded by
José Joaquín de Herrera
President of Mexico
21 September – 6 December 1844
Succeeded by
José Joaquín de Herrera

(Isabel II de Borbón). Queen of Spain Isabella II of Bourbon and Prime Minister of Spain Luis González-Bravo and also great-great granddaughter of [4]

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