José Servando Teresa de Mier Noriega y Guerra
An Inventory of His Papers at the Benson Latin American Collection
Dominican friar, writer, orator, revolutionary for independence from Spain, politician. Born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, October 28, 1763; died in Mexico City December 3, 1827. Entered Dominican order in 1780. By 1790 Mier had his doctorate in theology and had been ordained.
On December 12, 1794, Mier gave a sermon arguing that the original painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe was on the cloak of Saint Thomas the Apostle, who had preached in the Americas long before Spanish conquest. As a result, he was sentenced to ten years in exile and reclusion in Spain, forbidden ever to preach or hear confession again, and stripped of his doctoral degree.
Between 1795 and 1800 Mier was imprisoned in Veracruz, Cadiz, Las Caldas, Burgos, and Salamanca; he escaped and was recaptured at least twice. In 1801 he escaped to France where he met Simón Rodríguez, future teacher of Simón Bolívar. Together they opened a Spanish language academy. Mier returned to Spain in 1803 and was imprisoned, escaping in 1804. In 1805 he was employed as secretary to Spanish consul in Lisbon. Between 1808 and 1811 Mier was involved in military struggle against Napoleon, was imprisoned, and escaped.
In 1811 Mier went to London, where he wrote and published “Cartas de un americano al español” and “Historia de la revolución de la Nueva España”, using the pseudonym José Guerra (1813). With Francisco Javier Mina, he planned and participated in military expedition to assist revolutionaries in New Spain. In 1817 the Mina expedition arrived in Soto la Marina in Mexico and constructed a fortress. Mier was left in charge of the fortress but was defeated by Joaquín de Arredondo. Mier was imprisoned in Mexico City and tried by the Inquisition. While in prison he wrote Apología and Memorias.
He was deported to Spain in 1820 but escaped from jail in Havana. In 1821 Mier lived in Philadelphia and wrote “Memoria político-instructiva”. In 1822 he returned to Mexico, was imprisoned by royalists, released by the First Constituent Congress, elected as deputy for Monterrey to same congress, and then jailed for his criticism of Emperor Agustín Iturbide. In 1823 Mier escaped prison, was recaptured, and later freed by infantry uprising against Iturbide. The same year Mier became representative of Nuevo Leon to the Second Constituent Congress. In 1824 he signed the Federal Constitution of the United States of Mexico. He died on December 3, 1827.
Correspondence, literary productions, lists, financial documents, proclamations and other official documents pertaining to Mier's life and works; the history, events, and conditions of Spanish America; and Mier family matters. Included are manuscripts concerning Mier's life (filed as G368, G379); his persecution by the Inquisition (G384, G404); history of New Spain (G326, G380); and Mier's opinions of Spain's policies in the Americas and the independence movement (G343, G376, G377, G378, G409), of New Spain's caste system (G349), and of Emperor Iturbide (G403).
“Constancias de la prisión del Dr. dn. Servando Mier por el gobierno español el año de 1820” (G375) contains the Inquisition's opinion of Mier. “Cartas de América” (G355) contains Mier's answers in Latin to theological questions posed to him by Reverend William Hogan, and Mier's response to an anonymous critic. Also included is “Acaba de llegar a Phyladelphia” concerning Mexico's struggle for independence.
Literary productions in the archives include essays, biographical accounts, speeches, poems and reports. Proclamations include those which dissolved the office of the Inquisition and granted amnesty to persons exiled by the Inquisition. Biographical information on Mier is also housed with the papers.
The papers are in Spanish.
José Servando Teresa de Mier Noriega y Guerra Papers, 1808-1823, Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries, University of Texas at Austin
The José Servando Teresa de Mier Noriega y Guerra Papers form part of the Genaro García Collection, which was purchased by the University of Texas in 1921 from the heirs of Genaro García.
The José Servando Teresa de Mier Noriega y Guerra Papers were arranged into Archives and Manuscripts subgroups by earlier library staff. Series were created by the Mexican Archives Project staff, which completed the processing of the collection in January 1994.
Finding aid initially prepared by the Mexican Archives Project, February 7, 1995.
The collection is also available on microfilm.
Other Finding Aids
The following guide is available in the Benson Latin American Collection Rare Books Reference: Castañeda, Carlos Eduardo, 1896-1958.Guide to the Latin American Manuscripts in the University of Texas Library.
Subgroups and Series