Rayón, Ignacio (1773–1832)

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Rayón, Ignacio (1773–1832)

Ignacio Rayón (Ignacio [López] Rayón; b. 1773; d. 2 February 1832), Mexican insurgent leader. Born in Tlalpujahua, he studied at Valladolid, and became a lawyer in 1796. He joined Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753–1811) in Maravatío in October 1810 and became his private secretary. In Guadalajara, Hidalgo named him secretary of state. In March 1811, in Saltillo, he was named acting chief of the army while Hidalgo traveled to the United States and became the principal leader after the first insurgent chiefs died. Rayón reorganized his troops in Zitácuaro and, in August 1811, formed a government, the Suprema Junta Nacional Americana, which he headed. He drafted a plan for a constitution and attempted several times to establish relations with the United States.

Insurgent defeats and divisions among the members of the Suprema Junta cost him the leadership of the movement. Against his wishes, José María Morelos y Pavón (1765–1815) then convened a congress (El Supremo Congreso Nacional Americano), in September 1813, in which Rayón represented Michoacán. So ordered by Congress, he took charge of the province of Oaxaca. After the loss of its capital to the royalists, he moved on to Puebla, and in Zacatlán suffered a serious defeat in September 1814. He joined his brother Ramón (1775–1839) in Cerro del Cóporo, where he helped in its defense and where he stayed until September 1816. When he disavowed the insurgent government of the Junta de Jaujilla, the junta ordered his arrest, and Rayón was taken prisoner by Nicolás Bravo. In December 1817 he was captured by the royalists and condemned to death, but he requested amnesty and won his freedom in 1820. After independence, Rayón served as treasurer of San Luis Potosí, commanding general of Jalisco, and president of the Military Tribunal. He died in Mexico City.

See alsoChilpancingo, Congress of; Mexico: 1810–1910.


José María Miquel I Vergés, Diccionario de insurgentes (1969), pp. 338-341.

Ignacio Oyarzábal and Ignacio Rayón, La independencia según Ignacio Rayón (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Herrejón Peredo, Carlos, and Ignacio López Rayón. Morelos: Documentos inéditos de vida revolucionaria. Zamora: Colegio de Michoacán, 1987.

Pérez Escutia, Ramón Alonso. Ignacio López Rayón: Militar y político de la Independencia. Morelia: Comité Editorial del Gobierno de Michoacán, 1985.

                                             Virginia Guedea