A Guide to the Antonio López de Santa Anna Papers, 1822-1866
Antonio López de Santa Anna Pérez de Lebrón (1794-1876), soldier and five-time president of Mexico, was born into a middle class family in Jalapa, Vera Cruz, Mexico. From an early age Santa Anna served in the military, where he fought under the command of Joaquín de Arredondo, served in Texas against the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition, built Indian villages, and was promoted to brevet captain, 1820, and brevet lieutenant colonel, 1821. Additionally in 1821 Santa Anna joined Agustín de Iturbide’s rebel forces and was promoted to brigadier general. Just one year later, however, Santa Anna left Iturbide, citing personal reasons, and announced his Plan of Casa Mata, calling for the abolition of the Mexican monarchy in favor of a republic.
Santa Anna served as military governor of Yucatán and governor of Vera Cruz. In 1829 he led a successful campaign against the Spanish invasion of Tampico. He was elected president of Mexico in 1833. In 1835 Santa Anna led an army north to disperse the Texas Revolution. He was captured by Sam Houston’s army in April and sent to Washington, D.C., but soon returned to Mexico. He again served as president of Mexico, 1839, before acting as dictator, 1841-1845. Eventually he was overthrown and exiled to Havana, Cuba.
For over a decade Santa Anna attempted to return to Mexico, first through negotiations with President James Polk, and then scheming with the French. After being arrested and returned to exile, Santa Anna traveled between Cuba, Nassau, and the Dominican Republic and wrote his memoirs from 1867 to 1874. He was finally allowed back into Mexico in 1874, where he lived a quiet life in Mexico City until his death, two years later.
Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Santa Anna, Antonio López de," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/fsa29.html (accessed July 28, 2010).
The Antonio López de Santa Anna Papers, 1822-1866, include letters, field orders, a signature, an article, a mortgage bond, commissions, and an oil painting of Santa Anna. The papers contain a translated letter giving an account of the Battle of the Alamo, a commission in Spanish of Carlos Hernández, and a proclamation of veteran rank issued by Santa Anna to Rafael María de los Ríos, Lieutenant in the Fifth Company of the First Active Batallion of Mexico. Additionally, the papers include a letter from Santa Anna to Señor Don Jose Maria de la Garza from General headquarters in San Luid Potosí, acknowledging a report of enemy troop movements and requesting to be kept informed of any new developments. The field orders are a copy and translation of Santa Anna’s San Jacinto field orders, April 22, 1836. Furthermore, the collection contains a facsimile of a letter from Santa Anna to Vicente Filisola, 1836; a certificate of commission signed by Santa Anna and given to an officer in the Mexican Militia, 1852-1853; and a mortgage bond from Santa Anna to Henry G. Norton and Virgil Whitcomb, trustees, 1866. The undated oil painting of Santa Anna was created by R. S. Vasquez, and depicts Santa Anna pointing over his shoulder to the Alamo, which is on fire. Also included in the papers is a typescript and translation of Francisco de Paula Alvarez’s derogatory account of Santa Anna’s career up to 1822, written after Santa Anna’s advocacy of a Republican government and renunciation of Emperor Iturbide’s government.
The collection is open for research.
Antonio López de Santa Anna Papers, 1822-1866, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Chester Kielman, July 1964. Subsequent revisions were made by Patti Woolery-Price, September 1991 and Deborah Bloys, March 1994.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers