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Urrea, José de (1797–1849)

Urrea, José de (1797–1849)

José de Urrea (b. 1797; d. August 1849), Mexican general. A fourth-generation frontier military officer, Urrea was born in the presidio of Tucson. He followed in his father's footsteps: commanding frontier garrisons; fighting insurgents; seconding Agustín de Iturbide's plan for independence, but supporting the republicans against the empire. The involvement of both father and son in the rebellion of the Plan of Montaño led to his father's exile and José's dismissal. He reentered the army two years later (1829), rising to the rank of general in 1835 as a protégé of Santa Anna. He distinguished himself in opposing the independence of Texas. As military commander of Sonora and Sinaloa, Urrea launched a series of unsuccessful revolts to reestablish the Federal Constitution of 1824, first in that region in 1837, and then nationally in 1839, 1840, and 1841. With Santa Anna's return to power that latter year, Urrea returned to Sonora as governor and commander general (1842–1844). His aggressive policies against the economic interests and political power of centralist sympathizers, and against the autonomy of the Yaqui and Mayo Indians, provoked a civil war in the state that continued for three years, until a new national government forced him to yield his command. He then fought under Santa Anna in the war with the United States (1846). He died in Durango, of cholera.

See alsoIturbide, Agustín de; Santa Anna, Antonio López de.


Francisco R. Almada, Diccionario de historia, geografía y biografía de sonorenses (1983), pp. 709-712.

Additional Bibliography

Salmerón, Rubén. "La aventura federalista del General Urrea en el noroeste de México." Simposio de Historia y Antropología Regionales. La Paz, Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, 1994: 17-26.

                                        Stuart F. Voss

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