The Benson Latin American Collection

Santos Degollado:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Benson Latin American Collection

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Degollado, Santos, 1811-1861.
Title: Santos Degollado Collection
Dates: 1856-1907
Dates (Bulk): 1856-1861
Abstract: Correspondence, literary productions, and decrees relating to Mexican military and political leader Santos Degollado's life and career.
OCLC Record No.: 29747734
Extent: 1 inch
Language: Spanish
Repository: Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Military and political leader. Born 1811 in Guanajuato; died 1861 on the plains of Salazar, Mexico State. Scribe for a notary and for the Haceduría of the Cathedral in Morelia (1828-?). Imprisoned twice for insurgency (1836-1839?). Secretary of the Junta Subdirectora de Estudios of Michoacan and President of the Junta Directiva de Fomento de Artesanos (1846). Secretary of the Colegio de San Nicolas. Fought against Santa Anna and became a General. Deputy for the District of Michoacan at the Constitutional Congress of 1856-57. Governor of Jalisco (1857). Fought on the side of Benito Juarez in defense of the 1857 Constitution. Minister of War and Navy, General in Chief of the Federal Army (1858). Noted for his great organizational skill but not his military strategy, Degollado suffered many military defeats. His armies finally were victorious under the direction of Jesús González Ortega. Involved in the confiscation for military purposes of funds being sent out of the country by businessmen, Degollado was discharged from military command. He obtained reinstatement to avenge the execution of Melchor Ocampo and was killed in ambush by the forces of Leonardo Márquez on June 15, 1861.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, literary productions, and decrees relating to Degollado's military and political career. Correspondence pertains primarily to Mexican military and political affairs, mostly from 1856 to 1861. Several letters in the collection, dated after Degollado's death, are addressed to Jesús González Ortega. A few items relate to the 1876 controversy between Santos Degollado's son, Mariano Degollado, and the son of Benito Juárez, also called Benito Juárez, concerning blame for the death of the elder Degollado. Literary productions describe Degollado's life and death. Two decrees dated 1858 and 1859 are from his tenure as Secretary of War and Navy and General-in-Chief of the Federal Army.

The materials are in Spanish.


The collection is organized in six series: Correspondence; Literary Productions; Research notes on military operations, 1858-1861; Decrees; Notes; and Miscellaneous.
The documents are arranged chronologically within each series.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Degollado, Santos, 1811-1861--Archives.
Mexico--History, Military--Sources--19th century.
Mexico--Politics and government--1821-1861--Sources.

Related Material

For more information pertaining to Santos Degollado, see the papers of his sons in: Joaquín and Mariano Degollado Collection, 1861-1923, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

García, Genaro, 1867-1920.Genaro García Collection, 15-- - 1920?, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Santos Degollado Collection, 1856-1907, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Acquisitions Information

The Santos Degollado Collection forms part of the Genaro García Collection, which was purchased by the University of Texas in 1921 from the heirs of Genaro García.

Processing Information

Described by the Benson Latin American Collection's Mexican Archives Project in December 1993.

Prepared by the Mexican Archives Project January 6, 1995.

Alternate Form Available

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.
Cambridge, Mass. :
Harvard University Press,

Notes on Degollado-Juárez Dispute

  1. Mariano Degollado wrote to El Monitor imputing responsibility for his father's death to an unnamed, highly placed official. (This letter is not in the collection)
  2. Benito Juárez (son) sent González and Chavero to ask M. Degollado to defend his statement on the field of honor. They summarized the results of this meeting in a letter to Juárez
  3. Juárez wrote to the Federalista and made public his view of the situation and events
  4. González and Chavero wrote to El Monitor and explained the peaceful resolution to the dispute. (Juárez backed down). According to the text of this letter, they also wrote to the Federalista


Documents from the collection were published in:

García, Genaro, 1867-1920.Documentos inéditos ó muy raros para la historia de México (volume 11)
Mexico City :
Vda. de C. Bouret,

Series List

Correspondence, 1856-1876

Degollado-Juárez (sons) dispute, 1876

Literary productions

Biographical information on Santos Degollado, 1861-1907
Research notes on military operations, 1858-1861 and undated

Decrees, 1858-1859

Notes, undated