Morelos was born into a poor family in the city of Valladolid, since renamed "Morelia" in his honor, in a house that is today a museum dedicated to his legacy. He was a mestizo of mixed Amerindian, African and Spanish ancestry. His father was Manuel Morelos, a carpenter originally from Zindurio, a predominantly indigenous village a few kilometers west ofValladolid. His mother was Juana María Guadalupe Pérez Pavón, originally from San Juan Bautista de Apaseo, also near Valladolid. Valladolid was the seat of a bishop and of the government of the colonial Intendency of Michoacán. It was known as the "Garden of the Viceroyalty of New Spain" because of its prosperity.
nsurrection against Spain
Capture of Morelos on Texmeluca, Puebla, 5 of November1815.
On September 15, 1810, Hidalgo y Costilla, the former leader of the College of San Nicolás, then the parish priest of Dolores, Guanajuato (since renamed Dolores Hidalgo in his honor), called for armed revolt after the Spanish colonial authorities discovered the Conspiracy of Querétaro. The other conspirators included Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, Ignacio Allende and Juan Aldama. Hidalgo yCostilla and his followers rose in open revolt the following day.
Execution by firing squad in Matamoros 1815.
After taking all the important cities of the Bajío region and being proclaimed captain general of Mexico in Celaya on September 21, Hidalgo y Costilla advanced as far as Guanajuato.
There on September 28, the rebels captured the Alhóndiga de Granaditas in battle, killing more than 700Spaniards who had taken shelter there. Among the dead was the intendent of Guanajuato, Juan Antonio Riaño, an old friend of Hidalgo y Costilla.
The Mexican revolutionary army was excommunicated by the bishop of Michoacán, Manuel Abad y Queipo, another former friend of Hidalgo y Costilla. Hidalgo y Costilla and his army marched on to Valladolid, where the locals feared that the slaughter ofGuanajuato would be repeated, prompting many people to abandon the region, particularly the rich and middle class society. However, Valladolid was taken peacefully on October 17, 1810.
In Tacámbaro Hidalgo y Costilla was proclaimed general, and Allende captain general. Hidalgo y Costilla ordered a rest for his troops in Charo, where a few minutes before their departure, Morelos, who had read about hisexcommunication and his triumphs, found him. Still serving as the parish priest of Cuarácuaro, Hidalgo y Costilla asked Morelos to join the army. Morelos was promoted as colonel of the revolution army, ordering him to raise troops in the south and capture Acapulco, to disrupt the commerce and trade with the Philippine Islands.
A map of the military campaigns of Morelos.
Morelossoon showed himself to be a talented strategist, and became one of the greatest revolutionary military commanders of the war. In his first nine months, he won 22 victories, annihilating the armies of three Spanish royalist leaders and dominating almost all of what is now the state of Guerrero. In December, he captured Acapulco for the first time, except for the fortress of San Diego. Spanishreinforcements forced him to raise the siege in January. By quick marches, he was able to capture most of the Spanish possessions on the Pacific coast of what are now Michoacán and Guerrero. On May 24, 1811 he occupied Chilpancingo and on May 26 he took Tixtla.
In his second campaign, Morelos divided his army into three groups. The most important engagement of this campaign was at Cuautla, where hisforces were besieged by the Spanish army under general Félix María Calleja del Rey. On May 2, 1812, after 58 days, Morelos broke through the siege, and started his third campaign.
Major victories on this third campaign were at Citlala on June 8, 1812, Tehuacán on August 10, 1812, Orizaba, Oaxaca and Acapulco. Morelos arrived at Orizaba with 10,000 soldiers on October 28, 1812. The city was...