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Bustamante, Carlos María


Mexican politician, newspaperman, historian, and editor in the independence and republican era (180548);b. Oaxaca, Nov. 4, 1774; d. Mexico City, Sept. 21, 1848. After being educated in Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Guadalajara, he practiced law (graduated, 1801) and became a journalist (1805). After the initiation of the independence movement, he joined Morelos in the south and later suffered many privations and imprisonments. Although he accepted a Spanish amnesty offer in 1817, he escaped and was caught and imprisoned in San Juan de Ulúa and elsewhere until iturbide's triumph in 1821. Soon his opposition to Iturbide, in his paper La Abispa de Chilpancingo, again brought imprisonment, but from 1824 until his death Bustamante served almost continuously in congress as a deputy from Oaxaca. The Jesuit historian Mariano Cuevas has written of him: "The Church can be especially grateful to him for the defense he made of her rights, of the Society of Jesus, and of the Guadalupan Apparition" (Historia de la Iglesia en México 5:370). A faithful Catholic all his life, Bustamante fought for the return of the Jesuits to Mexico. He was a prolific but disorderly writer who published some 107 works of various kinds, including Cuadro histórico de la revolución mexicana (184346), Historia del Emperador D. Agustín Iturbide (1846), and El Nuevo Bernal Díaz o sea historia de los anglo-americanos en México (1847). The last title is said to reflect the depression and sadness he felt at the victory of the Americans in the war with Mexico and their occupation of the capital of the country. His editions of the historical works of Gómara, of the Jesuits Cavo and Alegre, and of Sahagún's Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva España, 3 v. (182930), the only edition of this fundamental work available for more than a century, mark him as a pioneer in modern Mexican historiography and letters.

Bibliography: c. gonzÁlez peÑa, Historia de la literatura mexicana (Mexico City 1940; 7th ed. 1960), Eng. History of Mexican Literature, tr. g. b. nance and f. j. dunstan (rev. ed. Dallas 1945).

[p. v. murray]

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