Manuel Urquidi Papers, 1909-1945
Born in Mexico City in 1881, Manuel Urquidi Márquez was an engineer by profession, and a government official and member of Congress during the presidency of Francisco I. Madero. As a young man he had studied at a university in the United States, where he resided for several years.
When Madero was organizing his followers against the reëlection of President Porfirio Díaz, Urquidi was one of the first members who joined the Centro Anti-reeleccionista de México in Mexico City, founded in May 1909. He held the posts of Treasurer and also of first Secretary, and in these positions he had correspondence with Madero. He was one of the delegates at the National Convention of the Partido Nacional Anti-reeleccionista in 1910. The government of President Díaz considered Madero and his followers as subversives and began sending them to prison. Urquidi himself spent several months in prison between 1910 and 1911.
After Díaz’s resignation and the interim government of President Francisco León de la Barra, elections were called for October 1911. Madero and José María Pino Suárez were on the ballot as candidates for President and Vice President of Mexico, respectively. On election day, Urquidi, Alessio Robles, and Federico González Garza accompanied Madero to vote. At the onset of the Madero presidency, Urquidi was appointed as Under Secretary of Communications and Public Works. In June 1912 he was invited to run for Congress and won the seat to represent the Distrito Federal. He was also employed as Director of Works at Lake Texcoco. He was still working as Under Secretary of Communications when the Ciudadela was attacked in February 1913 by forces opposed to President Madero. During the period called the “Decena Trágica” when President Madero and Vicepresident Pino Suárez were taken prisoners and assassinated, members of the government and other citizens left the city to escape possible arrest by the opposing forces. Urquidi’s brother, Juan Francisco Urquidi, a member of the Mexican diplomatic service, spent some time at the Mexican Legation in Washington, D.C. after the death of President Madero.
For several years Urquidi resided outside of Mexico City. In May 1913 he was appointed Military Judge of the District of Río Grande, in Piedras Negras, as part of the Constitutionalist Army led by General Venustiano Carranza. At the beginning of 1914 he received an appointment as Coronel de Caballería del Ejército Constitucionalista, División del Noreste, and later was appointed President of the Consejo de Guerra Permanente de Matamoros.
As an engineer he was appointed as Inspector of Works at the Port of Tampico in June 1914 and supervised salvage operations. During the years of 1914 to 1916 he worked in the state of Veracruz, where the governor, General Cándido Aguilar, appointed him member of the Consejo de Educación Popular del Estado and Director of the Census of Urban and Rural Properties.
In the 1920s Urquidi worked in the Departamento Hidrográfico del Valle de México and towards the 1940s he joined an insurance company. He became one of the first members of the society “Unión de Veteranos de la Revolución 1910-1913,” which was founded in 1932. In 1943 he joined the society “Unificación de Veteranos de la Revolución.”
His brother Juan Francisco worked at the Mexican Legation in London for several years during the 1920s when Mexico was seeking Great Britain’s recognition of its government. Juan Francisco became the secretary and interpreter for the Mexican American Commission of 1923, which met to resolve differences between Mexico and Washington. Towards the end of 1923 he became the Enviado Extraordinario and Ministro Plenipotenciario of Mexico in Colombia and in 1929 he was posted as Ambassador to El Salvador.
Series one, Correspondence, contains letters written to and by Mr. Urquidi. The files are arranged chronologically. Most of the correspondence is in Spanish, with some letters in English. Some letters and telegrams are in code, some with notations or drafts on them, sometimes written in shorthand. A number of letters are not signed. Included among the many correspondents are Juan Francisco Urquidi, Arturo Pani, Francisco I. Madero, José María Pino Suárez, General Pablo González, and General Cándido Aguilar. Of interest is a bill of sale for uniforms and equipment bought by General Cándido Aguilar from a store in Brownsville, dated August 1914. Some of the correspondence and documents in 1914 reflect the work being done at the Port of Tampico. In the later years there is incoming correspondence from people previously involved with the early days of the Revolution. Some are examining other people’s credentials or claims that they had served in the army or government during 1910-1913.
Of some importance is Juan Francisco’s correspondence with Mr. E.J. Bray, European agent of the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico, during 1919-1923. In his correspondence he also discusses Mexican relations with the British Foreign Office and the efforts towards recognition of Mexico’s government by Great Britain.
Series two, Written Works, includes some manuscripts written by Juan Francisco Urquidi, apparently as part of a diary. He wrote about the circumstances surrounding the arrest of President Madero, and other topics. There are manuscripts written by others, signed and unsigned.
Series three, Photographs, contains copies of some photographs from the Casasola archive. There are some unidentified photographs.
Series four, Publications, contains three publications, two of which commemorate the anniversary of Madero’s death and the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.
Series five, Oversize Materials, contains printed materials and other documents relating to the Centro Anti-reeleccionista de Mexico, 1910-1911.
The collection was accompanied by an original inventory which was incomplete, but can be made available to researchers. Inquire at the rare books reference desk for more information.
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Cite as: Manuel Urquidi Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.
Box and Folder Inventory