Josefa

closeup detail of Mexico 5 Peso 1969 banknote front (2) featuring portrait of Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez
Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez

Introduction.

We started calling her La Corregidora when Jose Miguel Dominguez, her husband, was made Corregidor, which is a high political office in Mexico, kind of like your governor or mayor.  Charles VI was still king of the Spanish Empire, but here in Mexico, everyone knew who was really in charge; it was the gachupines, which is what we called them; it means “the ones who wear the spurs”.  These claimed, not only to have purer blood than the rest of us, but also to be unspoiled by birth in the New World, that is, they were born on the Iberian peninsula, Spain itself, and hence, they called themselves, peninsulares.  In Mexico, the gachupines controlled everything, the key positions in the military and in politics; they had the best haciendas.  Josefa, of course, hated us calling her La Corregidora; and she’d curse us, but with a twinkle in her eye that made it kind of fun; and it was fun, and she made it fun, in a time when there wasn’t much fun to be had.  And then, when things got really bad, and we saw the pain growing behind her eyes; we stopped, for awhile, because, well, as you’ll see, we’d come to adore her.

Chapter 1.

Josefa was born in Valladolid Mexico around 1768; and a family of three became a family of four; Mama, Papa, big sister Maria, and little Josefa.  Four years later, for some reason or another having to do with his job in the army, Papa passed away; and the family of four became a family of three; Mama, big sister Maria, and me.  And when I was six, mama called us into her room; and she was smiling, but she’d been crying; and sadness and love filled the whole room with a kind of quietness.  And to my sister she said, you must learn, you must grow your mind, because the inside you, is the true you, and, so, much, bigger, than the outside you, which people only see, and try to categorize you by, and decide things about you, and limit you.  You mustn’t let them.  And you must see that your little sister is educated too.  And to me she said, I love you; and she said, give your love to others; and you must learn too, and listen to your sister.  I said, we both said, ok Mama.  And so, around 1776, the family of three became a family of two, just about the time their northern neighbor, the United States, declared independence from their British colonial masters. 

In accord with the laws of the time, Maria became custodian of Josefa; and did everything she could to see to her education, teaching her what she herself could learn, and employing relatives and friends to teach what they could.  And in-between bouts of education, Josefa did what children do.  Gravitating to the littler persons in any situation, and, finding eyes that bounced back the twinkle in her own; soon they were at play in that world of wonder, common to the luckiest of humanity, children, where all things are possible, and great exploits achieved with companions gained just that morning, blessedly free from the inculcated prejudices of adults.  And as she grew, she learned from life on the streets, things that only orphans would know.  We don’t really know her precise experience, but it is apparent that by the time she entered college, she’d already had a well developed camaraderie with mestizos, mulattoes, criollos and indios, the street scene of an orphan in Valladolid, and a complete disdain for the caste system that had obsessed Spain for centuries. 

Chapter 2.

It was Maria who discovered the school, known as Colegio de las Vizcaínas, and urged her little sister Josefa to apply.  The school, the dream child of three wealthy Basques a generation before, was established as a support for, in the founders’ words, “unlucky women”, that is, orphans and widows. And it was fully funded so that it might be free from restrictions by church or state.  After decades of difficulties and construction challenges, at last, the institution opened, just about the year Josefa was born.  Upon the urging of her sister, we are told that Josefa wrote the application eloquently in her own hand, and was welcomed into the College.  Then the day came when the unique institution was being toured by a group of prominent townspeople, one of which was a rising young attorney named Miguel Dominguez, four years a widower, and father of three. 

Some, who tell the story, say, there must have been love at first sight, another success in a long line for Cupid.  But others suggest that their union resembled more the careful, the more rare craft, of Destiny.  For Miguel, this was not his first love.  For him, life was wounded, almost mortally, by bereavement; and now weighted by single parenthood.  Josefa, for her part, had been bearing with bereavement for as long as she could remember and found life and fun on the other side. And so, love happened.  Miguel sought the appropriate permissions; together they followed the prescribed courtship; and, were married.  It was 1791, the same year Haiti began to rebel against their French colonial masters.

Chapter 3.

One tries to imagine the love that new bride brought to those three motherless children.  She loved them from both sides; as a mother, bringing to them what none of them had had enough of; and as a child, who, like them, had lost a mother way too soon.  She determined that they would never feel again what she knew too well.  And when step sisters and brothers arrived, the love remained the same.  Such distinctions didn’t make sense in the Dominguez household.  And so it was when schoolmates and neighborhood playmates arrived, Mestizos and mulattoes, criollos and indios, the fount of welcome never failed and never ran dry.  The endless distinctions made by government and society were lost in the ocean of love and respect in the Dominguez household.

Miguel marveled.  Good fortune had taken him by surprise.  He’d been ahead of his peers in the study of law, with a bright future. And then it all went, as onto a sandbar, when his wife became unexpectedly ill; and then it all wrecked, as upon a reef, when she died; and his little lifeboat, with his three littler children, became in danger of complete disintegration in the unstopping waves of everyday life.  His mentors urged him to buck up, to endure, to focus on his career and the future, which he tried; but three sets of eyes undid him every evening, and again every morning.  And then Josefa arrived; and, somehow, the family boat was righted, and somehow reorienting itself, it found a guiding star again, after endless months in foggy doldrums, and, catching a fresh wind, he heard the sound of whipping sails, and looked up, and there they were, billowing full, and those flags he’d picked out himself, but long forgotten, were waving at the top of those sails, and the ship held a course, and began to pick up speed, and the smell of salt was in the air, and he felt the rudder, and looking down found that the wheel was in his hands once again, and he could steer, and it felt good, and he set the course, and it held, and it was straight and true.  Looking forward, he relished, as if for the first time, the rhythm of the sea and sky, the swells and spray, and hearing the sounds of the children laughing, he looked back behind him, and saw Josefa in the middle of it all, and turning forward, squinting into the sun through the salty sea spray, or was it tears, he looked to the horizon, while his mind remained behind him; and he knew he’d be devoted to her for the rest of his life.

Chapter 4.

The growing family navigated forward into the sun, counting the passage of time by the arrival of children.  The family of five became a family of six; and then seven.  Miguel’s star ascended in the legal community, while the growing family spread warmth, like a new morning across the valley of Valladolid.  Mestizos felt it.  Mulattoes felt it.  Everyone who came into contact with Josefa’s influence felt it.  All were respected without distinction, Indios and corillos were loved and treated the same.  All were welcome in the Dominguez home with equal respect and equal love; the children all learning that every individual was uniquely valuable.  And so they continued forward, a lively family, with a structure completely undermining the rigid caste system of late 18th century New Spain.  Then, when the family of eight became a family of nine, Miguel came home with the news that he’d been commissioned as Corregidor in Queretaro.  And so, the Corregidor’s family traveled to Queretaro, bringing with them, the template of the future of Mexico.  It was 1802 and Europe was momentarily at peace.

Chapter 5.

Queretaro was a city bustling with the excitement of a new century, when the family arrived.  Settling into the Corregidor’s mansion and enrolling the children in the local schools, the family opened their home to the city; and soon the house was filled with people, playmates by day, neighbors by night, and frequently visiting dignitaries.  In those days, the Enlightenment literature, pouring out of Europe and America, was the evening conversation of parlor rooms across the land.  The Dominguez household quickly embraced the social scene and soon their home was opened for literary meetings, such as were in vogue in those days.  People would gather in homes in the evenings to read and discuss the latest philosophical and political writings of that movement that has come to be known as the Enlightenment.  All men are created equal, they’d read; endowed with unalienable rights, they’d marvel; among which are life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They’d read satires on the divine rights of kings; and be scandalized and laugh, and return for more the next meeting.  They were exciting days, befitting a new century, and the Dominguez household proved an unembarrassed host to the latest thinking.  Did the philosophers decry the caste system? So had the Dominguez household for as long as anyone could remember.  Were the political scientists opposed to slavery?  So were Miguel and Josefa since the beginning.  Did the new humanitarians advocate equal respect to all? No one could remember an instance where they experienced anything different from Josefa, Miguel, or their children.  Then Miguel’s first two commissioned reports as Corregidor were published, the first on the working conditions of the silver miners and the second on the working conditions of the farmers, both decrying the poverty and abuse of the laborers, and both arguing for increased protections and payments.  The Dominguez household found itself elevated to celebrity status among the common people; while the bosses grimaced, and the gachupines watched and made notations in their journals.

Chapter 6

That first decade of the century proved to be one of rapid changes everywhere.  Napoleon was ascending in power and worried nations recalibrated alliances accordingly.  In 1802 Napoleon double-crossed the hero of the Haitian independence, the beloved Toussaint, and imprisoned him in exile.  Then Spain sold a vast portion of their New World territory to Napoleon for political favor, in a deal kept secret, until the whole thing burst into daylight when Napoleon sold that same territory, known as Louisiana, to the United States, for cash, to replenish his war chest.  It was 1803.  Countries were startled, some seeing good fortune for the United States, many alarmed at the designs of Napoleon, and not a few surprised by the weakness of Spain.  Then, in 1804, desperate for cash, the Spanish King imposed the Consolidation Tax upon Mexico, appointing a new viceroy for its management. This notorious tax effectively called in all mortgages throughout the land; requiring money to be transferred to Madrid, in the infamous words of the decree, “without delay”.  The vast silver mining industry of Mexico, which underpinned much of the wealth of New Spain, mounted an early and large protest, in support of which, Miguel added a well-reasoned legal argument. But the tax passed, nevertheless, and progressed, and many began to find their properties confiscated by the crown, including some, who would become notables in the independence movement to come, Allende and Aldama and Hidalgo.  In 1805, Miguel wrote a second legal opinion in which he argued the tax to be illegal and harmful to livelihood of the people as well as the general economy.  Upon this, the viceroy was furious, and terminated Miguel and installed a replacement as Corregidor of Queretaro.  

When the people on the streets heard that news, they could hardly believe their ears, and they just looked at one another in amazement and wonder.  They were all feeling the economic pressure, as a new wave of foreclosures arrived, sweeping through the land, following the last wave of foreclosures.  Factories were closing and jobs were disappearing; but their honest and fair-minded Corregidor, Miguel Dominguez, had been a lighthouse of hope amid the gloom.  And then they heard that the termination was done while Miguel was sick, and away from home in Spain, for specialized medical treatment.  And then they heard that Josefa was evicted with her children from the House of the Corregidor, to make room for a new Corregidor.  And the people became agitated; and good people became angry.   

There is not much record of this next period of time; but we are told it lasted 18 months; we are told it lasted from 1805 until 1807; and we are told that an outcry arose among the common people on behalf of Josefa and Miguel. We are told that the outcry on behalf of Josefa and Miguel grew, and continued to grow, until, across the ocean it was heard, and Madrid took notice and was concerned; and the King overrode his own appointed viceroy and ordered the reinstatement of the beloved Corregidor, with financial recompense.

Chapter 7  

Josefa marveled; the change of fortune was complete.  Just months before, she’d been living from house to house with her children, dependent upon the kindness of friends, her husband terminated from pubic office, restrained in Spain, ill in health, and threatened with retaliatory political investigation.  And then the people arose; and the cry of the poor, the mullatoes, the indios, and many of the criollos continued to swell until their voice reached the court of the King; and the indignation in Queretaro grew so great that the King overrode the orders of his viceroy, ordered the reinstatement of Miguel in the office as Corregidor, and directed a check be drawn from the royal treasury for full backpay, and sent, “without delay”.  And there Josefa stood, in the middle of her own room, a royal check in her hand, her house restored and the sounds of her children in the surrounding rooms, laughing and playing; and Miguel due home in a few days. It was not law that changed things, it was love, just as the little girl in her had heard her mama say those many years before.  And it wasn’t just politicians; real people had real power, just as that orphan girl had learned on the streets of Valladolid, not so many years ago.  And here she stood, in her own room, her own children filling the house around her, Miguel due home in just a few days, check in hand for 18 months back pay, drawn directly from the royal treasury.  With pleasure, she began planning payments for the next month’s supplies, and a few remaining debts, but her mind turned towards the people whose outcry brought this change to pass; and she knew she’d be devoted to them for the rest of her life.

Miguel was soon home again, and not long after, reengaged with his duties as Corregidor. He did everything he could to hold the society together; but it is likely, that at this time, Josefa began to be open to a new way forward.

Chapter 8

The family was together again; but the world was coming apart. In late 1807 Napoleon, having an agreement of friendship with Spain, marched his army across Spanish territory to invaded Portugal.  And then in 1808, Napoleon turned upon Spain, and, forced the abdication of the King, installing in his stead, his brother Joseph, making a Bonaparte, now, the monarch of the vast Spanish Empire, including Mexico and Queretaro.  Like the first thunderclap of a long building mighty storm, the news of the abdication arrived in Queretaro.  People looked up and across the Atlantic, and then at one another, and thought of their families; and, realizing the imminence of a downpour, they scattered, each to the best shelter they could find. 

Mexico was in turmoil.  Many wished to remain loyal to Ferdinand, their deposed king, especially as compared to the a Bonaparte; but that loyalty implied a loyalty to the monarchical system, which others were against.  Some supported the Bonapartes, mainly the gachupines, arguing for order while hoping to retain their chief positions in America.  Still others thought that the time or independence was nearing and that perhaps the new republican form of government should be tried in Mexico.  Everyone with a philosophical opinion earlier in that decade, had a political opinion now.  The literary circles turned political; many disbanded, and many went underground, and some began to plot the new way forward.

Chapter 9

Anxiety was high, and hardly a conversation was unpunctuated by a  snarled curse upon the gachupines, and a spat boast of what one would do if only one could.  Some proposed to defy Napoleon and claim Mexico for Ferdinand.  Haiti was successful against France and they are smaller than us! they’d say.  Others proposed independence from the whole colonial system,  They did it in the United States, why can’t we here? they’d say.1   Plans developed, and then, with some turn of events, dissipated, and bore no fruit.  Plots were discovered by the authorities, and disbanded, before any real action was taken, the movement remaining unborn.  Other conspiracies advanced until leaders were arrested and the movement was aborted, and men cursed and spat but nothing changed.  It seemed as if new plots would arise with the evening’s wine only to dissipate with the morning’s light, while Josefa watched and listened.  The orphan, educated by force of will, the mother of 14 children who ran household and nurtured meetings, while rearing children and giving them life, was unimpressed. 

It was four days before Christmas in 1809, when arrests were made in Valladolid, and the news spread rapidly. Conspirators has planned to establish an independent ruling congress to prevent the gachupines, the peninsular Spaniards, from turning Mexico over to Napoleon.  They had the support of several military units and several indios communities, and they almost succeeded; but the plot was discovered 3 days before the scheduled insurrection, the leaders arrested, and the plan dissipated.  Watching, and foreseeing the danger, Josefa established a secret sign.

Chapter 10

By 1810, the meeting in Queretaro had been underground for many months as it sought to work out plans for the future.  Josefa’s role in the meetings had increased, while Miguel’s had diminished, she remaining to affect the outcome, he distancing himself to provide political cover as Corregidor.  By this time, the meetings were changing locations frequently to elude detection by the authorities; sometimes held here, sometimes there, often adjacent to dance parties, so that the attendees could come and go among the partiers, and remain inconspicuous, and their discussions inaudible, to any who might be watching.    

By the Summer of 1810, it was decided that a new government was necessary, and that an interim congress should be announced to the people, a plan around which the populace could rally.  Plans were made, assignments given and weapons collected and stored against that day.  And then the date was set.  It would be December 10, 1810, at the great fair, in San Juan de Los Lagos, where many people would be gathered.

As August turned to September, news of investigations and arrests were arriving too frequently.  It was as though the gachupines were closing in to suffocate yet another live birth, to drown yet another offspring of the people in the river of their own ambitions.  Josefa could foresee it playing out in its terrible detail; another movement aborted, and the people still suffering, and she and her husband, and Hidalgo and Allende and all their friends, removed from the stage, leaving only a wish that others might find inspiration and arise, hopefully…  hope, it was time that hope became action.

Chapter 11

It was Thursday morning in Queretaro; hot and strangely overcast, when a local priest received an urgent call to administer the last rites to a poor soul, unexpectedly stricken in the night.  It proved to be a co-conspirator; and this was his death-bed confession.  The priest’s eyes, closed with practiced piety, opened with details of the conspiracy, and widened with names of conspirators.  Promising, at last, the betrayer, a peaceful departure, the cleric, arose, and choosing his government over his God, told the tale to the magistrate, which tale ran up the ladder, until orders came down, to the Corregidor, Miguel Dominguez, to arrest the named conspirators.  Miguel, startled but relieved to see his wife’s name was not on the list, quietly locked the room where Josefa was resting to keep her out of harm’s way, and proceeded, as delicately as possible, to go through the motions of investigating, and arresting, the names on that list, people he well knew. 

Chapter 12

It was hot early evening in Queretaro when Josefa arose, tried the door, and found it locked.  Instinctively knowing the significance, she would not call out.  She had not joined this movement to see no movement; she had not labored this hard to see the gachupines smother the movement; she had not lost a child yet; and not this day, not this woman.  Moving resolutely to her writing table, she penned the words that would bring Mexico to birth.  Stepping into her hard heeled boots and lacing them up proper, she found the prearranged spot in the middle of her room, then, stomping, once, hard, she waited the few seconds, stomped, the second time, hard, and then, after a few more seconds, stomped the last time.  Letter in hand, she walked to the door, and sat, and waited.  She knew it would not be long.

Chapter 13

Ignacio Perez passed as an old man now, and was possessed of that courage that is comfortable knowing there is less to lose with each passing year.  He’d been the city jailer for years, had seen imprisonments and interrogations, had been disgusted by many of them, and had become an avid supporter of the liberation movement for Mexico, and a steadfast friend of Josefa; and he lived in the apartment directly below her room.  They had a prearranged signal, three knocks, and she needed him.  He’d look up after the first knock, and with the second knock he’d be in motion; the third knock saw him booted and out the door.  Josefa required him.

At her door, giving a quiet counter knock, he looked down to see a letter sliding beneath the door.  Stooping to pick it up and arising with his ear to the door he heard Josefa’s voice.  “To Hidalgo, in Dolores.  You Must Hurry!”  Ignacio took the letter to his horse, saddled and ready, and galloped out of town, thrust forth by her urgency.  Josefa watched him from the window disappear into the night, offered a prayer, and sank to the floor to wait in hope.   

Chapter 14

It was more than 60 miles of mostly open country from Queretaro to Dolores; and in those days there was no telegraph, no mechanical transportation and no lights, just old Ignacio and his horse, and Josefa’s letter and the stars.  And as he rode and pondered the events of the night and considered the swiftest way to get Josefa’s message to Hidalgo, he recalled that two friends of independence, Allende and Aldama, were residing in a town about two thirds of the way from Queretaro to Dolores.  If he rode as hard as he could to them, they could take the message on fresh horses to Hidalgo; and this would be the quickest path for Josefa’s message to Hidalgo.  This became the plan; and early Saturday morning, September 15, 1810, an exhausted old jailer, Don Ignacio Perez, faithfully relayed the message to the trusted twosome.  Making them aware of the circumstance and urgency of Josefa, the two were off on fresh horses, to Dolores.   

It was evening in Dolores when two riders were seen approaching.  Some accounts have Miguel Hidalgo already retired for the night.  But whether retired and wakened, or already awake, we know that he was soon receiving Josefa’s message from the hand of trusted allies, and ordered the bells to be rung early the next morning.

Chapter 15 

Hidalgo waited upon the steps of the church in Dolores as the people gathered.  He knew Josefa’s will; and he knew that he’d agreed; and he also knew that he was about to bring these people into a path of suffering with the prospect of a new world.  And as the people found their places, the sun arose over the ridge beside them, and in the valley before them, the edge of night was pushed aside by the dawn of the new rising sun; and the people stood before him, bathed in the golden light.

And he began.  And, crying, he cried out, from an innermost world peopled with them; people he’d respected, loved, and taught, for many years now; cocooned together as it were, facing one another, backs to a world as hard as the sun-baked sand, but faces inward, faces facing faces, faces with eyes as deep as space, knowing, empathizing, sympathizing.  Backs to the stratified casted society, stone cast hearts, unhumanly unseeing, having forgotten humanity; faces to feelings, fun eyes and family, marriages, masses, birthdays and baptisms. 

It was a mystical moment, as though Destiny herself, stood among them.  Inevitability had arrived, and Father Hidalgo’s message came forth, “My Children”, he began, “The time has come” he continued, and as he spoke and prayed, pleaded and begged, a message poured forth, gritty, guttural; Grito de Delores as it’s been known ever after; and his people believed him; and with that message and his hearer’s response, came forth a People, and, turning shoulder to shoulder, back to the governors, face to the future, that People, a new people, as one people, took their first steps and began to march towards Mexico City, marching into the future, marching into history, marching with Destiny, a new people, Mexico’s People, born that very morning, Sunday, September 16, 1810.

Chapter 16

That same day, in Valladolid, Josefa and Miguel looked up at the insistent pounding upon their door.  It was the policia with a warrant for Josefa’s arrest.  “Senior Corregidor, the warrant is signed by the Viceroy himself; I warn you not to interfere.”   Nevertheless interfering, Miguel was arrested along with his wife.  Having hoped he’d locked her into safety, Miguel looked upon Josefa and despaired.  Surely, he thought, the movement was aborted with so many friends arrested; and now, Josefa too; nothing he loved was to be spared.  And from thenceforth, he focused all his energy on rescuing his wife.  Josefa however, looked straight ahead; she alone knowing of the message secreted to Hidalgo in Dolores.  And so, mind filled with that knowledge, she did the only thing remaining; she waited in hope, expectant, strengthened only with the trueness of their cause.  Silent, she looked back at her inquisitors; they seeking one thing and she another; two trajectories that would never intersect; they seeking information to kill a movement, she, silent, so that a movement might live.  

Two days later, jailed and confronted with the news of the uprising in Dolores, Josefa held her peace.  The more they demanded, the deeper was her quiet; but one imagines a flickering gleam softening the stern features of her sphinx-like face, as the news of the birth of the revolution, found its place within her mind.  Hope was being realized, and faith was becoming sight, and, bringing with it new sights and further sights, as new hopes sprang alive, and the Daystar of certainty arose within her heart; and the light began to leak from her eyes; and her inquisitors looked upon her face, and her visage was triumphant.

Chapter 17

A year later, as the war of independence progressed, Miguel Hidalgo apprehended, arrested and about to be executed, would acknowledge regret for the carnage that the war unleashed that September morning, but not for the birth of the revolution, saying that he felt it was his destiny, as though he was carried along by a Power greater than himself.  At this, Destiny nodded, almost imperceptibly, but held her peace.

The revolution having begun, continued, with a life of its own.  Miguel and Josefa, interrogated and tried separately, were both acquitted; Miguel almost immediately; and Josefa about a month later, due to a lack of evidence of sedition.  Hidalgo had led the revolution until his arrest and execution; when another priest, Jose Maria Morelos, stood up in his place.  Josefa corresponded with Morelos and followed his movements with great interest, no doubt recognizing in him, a spiritual offspring of Hidalgo, with whom she shared a spiritual kinship, which things too she treasured in her heart.  In 1814, Josefa was rearrested and transferred under heavy guard to Mexico City.  It is then she said, “So many Soldiers to guard one poor woman?” and then, “But with my blood, I shall fashion a patrimony for my children!”, indicating her consciousness of the mighty powers she was now wielding. 

Chapter 18

With the inevitably of destiny, eleven years later, Spain at last acknowledged the truth of Mexico’s independence.  By this time, the political leadership of an exhausted Mexico had been assumed by Iturbide, who, some have suggested, was perhaps more about himself than the country.  Josefa’s role in the independence movement was publicly acknowledged and heralded.  Emperor Iturbide, for this is the title he chose for his office, invited Josefa to join his court as a reward, but also by her presence to add a sense of legitimacy to his government.  This she refused, considering his monarchical form of government a betrayal to the values of the revolution.  And so, she continued after the war, supporting various causes for the improvement of the lives of the people, and the advancement of good governance, while accepting no compromises.

Chapter 19

So, you see amigos, that’s her story; like every Mother in Mexico, she was always there, in the good days and the bad days; in the beginning of the war and after the war; she was always there; believing, loving, willing.  And then one day, when we were all occupied with the new country, and the new politics, and all the goings on; she just sort of passed away; and it was as though the world had stopped; and a sadness and love filled the whole country with a kind of quietness, and we all just looked at one another; and it was as though an age was passing; and a great parade came together and bore her along the great streets of Mexico.  And her husband, the Corregidor, walked behind her bier, weeping inconsolably, and so their children.  And, I guess you could say, her children have been following her ever since, that, even having passed on, La Corregidora is still leading the way.  She saw us, our future, she believed in us, believes.  She had set her gaze upon the future of her children, and yielded to nothing less, a future glorious, wherein all her children, all Mexico’s children, would enjoy liberty and dignity and be afforded respect and discover love and give love in their own ways.  And her will pervades to this day, and her spirit is here, with us now, to this day; can you not feel it?

And so, you see, that’s why we call her La Corregidora; because – that’s who she is; she corrected a lot of things, and she’s still correcting us.  Yea she hated us calling her that; but, if you’d seen that light in her eyes, you’d know what she really wanted.

Conclusion

And with that, Destiny smiled, and receded back into the heights, joining the Others with Josefa.

Footnotes

  1. “Clandestine literary clubs sprang up, attracting restless or openly rebellious men. Flying every ideological flag, they hatched countless conspiracies, from liberating New Spain from Napoleon, to saving it for Ferdinand VII (the “rightful” Spanish king), to demanding outright independence. One near-miss revolt was scotched by Spanish Royalists, but a dozen more were floating on the wind, especially in the Bajío, where Hidalgo’s conspiratorial clique gathered.”Mexican War of Independence: Father Miguel Hidalgo’s Revolt, Diana Serra Cary. History.net

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