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 History

Doña Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez Mexican Independence Heroine

Throughout her life she fought for the recognition of the Indigenous people’s rights, in addition to using her position as Chief Magistrate to involve herself in numerous charitable ventures.

La Corregidora of Querétaro was a key figure at the very beginning of the struggle for independence. She actively participated in the Querétaro conspiracy, an underground movement that in essence gave way to the armed struggle for independence from the Spanish rule.

Its main objective was to establish a governing board to assume power and thus, she opened the doors of her house to hold so-called literary social gatherings, which were in fact, meetings of a political nature where decisions were made to initiate the independence movement.

These meetings were also attended by some of the most important  revolutionaries that participated in the first stages of the struggle such as Don Miguel Hidalgo, Igancio Allende, Juan Aldama

The best known passage in the life of Doña Josefa Ortiz was when – on September 13, 1810– it was discovered that the supporters of the revolutionary movement were stockpiling weapons in their homes.  The Chief magistrate, Doña Josefa’s husband,  was immediately informed and ordered to raid the homes and the rioters jailed.

The CorregidorMiguel Dominguez, aware of the clandestine meetings in which his wife participated, decided to warn her of the plot’s discovery and in order to protect her, also decided to lock her in her bedroom, for he well knew that she was very determined and that she would immediately give notice to her friends. 

Doña Josefa was not one to be restrained or intimidated, so she wrote a note made from newspaper clippings, so that her handwriting could not be identified.  She loudly stomped her heels on the floor of her room to draw attention, and was thus able to give the missive to the mayor, Ignacio Perez, who in turn sent it to FatherMiguel Hidalgo.

Upon receiving the note, Father Miguel Hidalgo decided to advance the date of the insurgency to the morning of September 16, 1810, instead of as previously planned – for the 1st of October of that year.

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