Escandón, Manuel (1808–1862)

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Escandón, Manuel (1808–1862)

Manuel Escandón (b. 1808; d. 7 June 1862), Mexican entrepreneur. Son of an Asturian merchant and a mother linked to the military and agricultural families of Jalapa, Veracruz, Escandón was born in Orizaba, Veracruz. Educated partly in Europe, he returned to Mexico in 1826 and moved to the capital in the early 1830s. By 1833, he was operating an important stagecoach line from Veracruz to Mexico City and had become involved in political wheeling and dealing through his relationships with prominent generals like Antonio López de Santa Anna, Mariano Arista, and others. Escandón quickly took advantage of the precarious financial situation of the Mexican treasury by lending money to the government and by agreeing to provide important services to it. In 1848 he purchased the French-owned Cocolapam textile mill in Orizaba and gained even greater wealth after he and a consortium purchased the British-owned Real del Monte silver mines just before it hit a bonanza. By 1853 he and other moneylenders offered to found Mexico's first bank, but were turned down by Treasury Minister Antonio de Haro y Tamariz.

During the last years of his life Escandón turned his attention to building a railroad from Mexico City to Veracruz, a project his younger brother Antonio completed in 1873.

See alsoEscandón, Antonio; Mexico: 1810–1910; Railroads.


Margarita Urías Hermosillo, "Manuel Escandón: de las Diligencias al Ferrocarril, 1833–1862," in Formación y desarrollo de la burguesía en México: Siglo XIX, edited by Ciro F. S. Cardoso (1978).

Barbara A. Tenenbaum, The Politics of Penury: Debts and Taxes in Mexico, 1821–1856 (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Bazant, Jan. "José María Tornel, Mariano Riva Palacio, Manuel Escandón y la compraventa de una hacienda." In Cincuenta años de historia en México: En el cincuentenario del Centro de Estudios Históricos. México: Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Históricos, 1991.

Ludlow, Leonor, and Carlos Marichal, editors. La Banca en México, 1820–1920. Mexico: Instituto Mora, El Colegio de Michoacán, El Colegio de México, UNAM, 1998.

                                Barbara A. Tenenbaum