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Mexican Commander Requests Armistice

considered more of a politician than a soldier; yet, according to Doctor Francis Moore of the Telegraph of January 6, 1841, he seemed to be the "ablest and most enterprising of the generals now in the Mexican service; but like most other Mexicans, he is more distinguished for the attributes of the blustering braggadocio, than for true heroism." In the summer of 1841 Arista appeared to favor the Federalist cause and was

distinguished member of the "Yorkino" Party. After 1826 he was alternately a supporter and an opponent of Santa Anna, and for a time, while suffering under the latter's displeasure, lived at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he learned the saddler's trade.

In 1832 he was made a lieutenant colonel and when Santa Anna came to office was promoted to the rank of general of division. In 1833 he was forced to leave Mexico for the United States, but returned to Mexico in June 1835, to accept the terms of the Amnesty Decree of May 2, 1835, and resumed his military position. In 1835 he was named judge of the Supreme Tribunal of War, which position he held until April 1837. In June 1837, he was named a member of the Junta de Código Militar, and a little later a member of the Consejo Consultivo de Guerra, and in October 1837, became inspector of the Active Militia.

During Bustamante's second administration he was reinstated in the Mexican army and was in command of a force intended to relieve Vera Cruz when he was captured by the French on December 5, 1838, but was released after a short and easy captivity of two months. In 1839 he was given command of a brigade to suppress the revolution of General José Urrea in Tampico, afterwards becoming Commandant General of Tamaulipas. Towards the end of 1839, after the defeat of Col. Francisco G. Pavón by a combined Federal-Texas force, he was named commander in chief of the Army Corps of the North, and hurried north from Mexico City to organize the defenses of Monterey.

In September 1841, Bustamante made him general of a division and he opposed Santa Anna's efforts to oust Bustamante from the control of the government in Mexico. Upon the fall of Bustamante's government, Arista renounced his command in November 1841, but was re-named (in 1842) shortly after being exonerated of the charge of fomenting a revolution. In March 1843, he was reported in a state of declining health at his hacienda of Mamoelique. For a brief period after the commencement of the war with the United States in 1846, he commanded the Mexican troops in the North. In June 1848, he was named Minister of War by President Herrera.

He served as Commandant General of Durango in 1849 and of San Luis Potosí in 1853; soon, however, retiring to his hacienda (Lanos de Apam) because of the changed political situation, later going to Europe, where he lived for a while in Spain. Becoming ill, he started for France, but died at Lisbon, August 9, 1855, the same day that Santa Anna, who had usurped his position as president, fled from Mexico.

George L. Rives, The United States and Mexico, 1821-1848, I, 442, 448; Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Mexico, V, 133-135; Telegraph and Texas Register, Oct. 20 and 27, 1841; El Cosmopolita, March 25, 1843; Diario official (Mexico City), Oct. 19, 1881; Albert M. Carreño (ed.), Jefes del ejército mexicano en 1847: biográfias de generals de division y de coronels del ejército mexicano por fines del año de 1847, pp. 44-49.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963