Primo de Verdad y Ramos, Francisco (1760–1808)

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Primo de Verdad y Ramos, Francisco (1760–1808)

Francisco Primo de Verdad y Ramos (b. 19 June 1760; d. 4 October 1808), lawyer and early martyr of the Mexican independence movement. Born in Ciénega del Rincón, Aguascalientes, Primo de Verdad studied law in Mexico City, where he became a representative in the cabildo. The cabildo was a stronghold of nationalist sentiment in New Spain and a leading institution in the independence movement. Shortly after Napoleon invaded Spain and forced the abdication of the Bourbon king, Ferdinand VII, Primo de Verdad called for a meeting of New Spain's regional cabildos and other authorities in July 1808. Acting as spokesman for the criollos, he delivered a speech that effectively called for New Spain's autonomy. The region's loyalty, he reasoned, was never to Spain or the Spanish people but rather to the monarchy and the legitimate king, Ferdinand VII. In the king's absence, civil authority reverted to the Mexican people. His speech failed to convince powerful peninsular interests, whose sentiments still rested with Spain. In September 1808, Primo de Verdad was thrown into jail, where he died under questionable circumstances. Had Primo de Verdad and the other criollo leaders succeeded, Mexican independence could have occurred as early as 1808.

See alsoFerdinand VII of Spain; Mexico, Wars and Revolutions: Coup d'État of 1808.


Enrique Lafuente Ferrari, El Virrey Iturrigaray y los orígenes de la independencia de Méjico (1941).

O. Carlos Stoetzer, The Scholastic Roots of the Spanish American Revolution (1979).

                                     J. David Dressing