Mejía, Tomás (1820–1867)

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Mejía, Tomás (1820–1867)

Tomás Mejía (b. 1820; d. 19 June 1867), Mexican general. Born in Pinal de Amoles, Querétaro, Mejía became an important military officer while retaining his ethnic ties to the Indian villagers of the Sierra Gorda. An Indian cacique, he led troops from his native region in support of the conservative cause during the Revolution of Ayutla, the War of the Reform, and in support of Maximilian's empire.

Mejía began his career in 1841 as a second lieutenant in the militia, engaging migratory Indians in the North in his first campaigns. He fought against the invading U.S. troops in Monterrey, Angostura, and Buena Vista in 1847 and was promoted to squadron commander in 1849. He reached the rank of lieutenant colonel during the Revolution of Ayutla and division general during the Three Years War. Defeated by Jesús González Ortega in 1860, Mejía later became one of Emperor Maximilian's most trusted generals, and one of the most feared by his republican counterparts. As Maximilian's empire collapsed, Mejía chose to join the emperor in Querétaro, where he was captured, tried, condemned to death, and executed by firing squad alongside Maximilian and Miguel Miramón.

See alsoFrench Intervention (Mexico); Mexico, Wars and Revolutions: Mexican-American War.


Diccionario Porrúa de historia, biografía y geografía de México, 5th ed. (1986).

Alfred Jackson Hanna and Kathryn Abbey Hanna, Napoleon III and Mexico: American Triumph over Monarchy (1971).

Additional Bibliography

Duncan, Robert. "For the Good of the Country: State and Nation Building during Maximilian's Mexican Empire, 1864–67." Ph.D. diss., 2001.

Hamnett, Brian R. Juárez. New York: Longman, 1994.

Reed Torres, Luis. El general Tomás Mejía frente a la Doctrina Monroe: La guerra de reforma, la intervención y el Imperio a través del archivo inédito del caudillo conservador queretano. México: Editorial Porrúa, 1989.

Rodríguez O, Jaime E. The Divine Charter: Constitutionalism and Liberalism in Nineteenth-century Mexico. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005.

                                          D. F. Stevens