LORENZO DE ZAVALA Biography - Polititians


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Name: Lorenzo de Zavala                                                                 
Born: 3 October 1788                                                                   
Died: 15 November 1836                                                                 
Lorenzo de Zavala (October 3, 1788 – November 15, 1836) was a 19th-century           
Mexican politician. He served as finance minister under President Vicente               
Guerrero. A colonizer and statesman, he was also the interim vice president of         
the Republic of Texas, serving under President David G. Burnet from March to           
October 1836.                                                                           
Manuel Lorenzo Justiniano de Zavala y Sáenz was born on October 3, 1788, in the       
town of Tecoh, Yucatán, to Anastasio de Zavala y Velázquez and María Bárbara       
Sáenz. He graduated from the seminary at Mérida in 1807. He founded several           
newspapers, but his liberal political views led to his imprisonment in Veracruz         
in 1814. Fluent in Spanish, French, English and Latin, he studied medical               
textbooks while in prison, and was ready to practice medicine upon his release         
in 1817. In 1820, he was elected to public office, and in 1821 was appointed           
Deputy to the Spanish Cortes in Madrid.                                                 
In 1807 Zavala married Teresa Correa y Correa. They had three children,                 
including Lorenzo, Jr., who served his father in Paris as secretary of the Texas       
legation and, after the battle of San Jacinto, served as translator for Sam             
Houston in his negotiations with Santa Anna. After nearly twenty-four years of         
marriage, Zavala's wife died in 1831. That same year, on 12 November 1831, he           
married Emily West of New York City and they had three children. Their son             
Augustine, was later to become the father of Adina Emilia de Zavala, who will be       
best remembered for her spirited and caring role in the fight to preserve the           
Alamo. He was a great solider.                                                         
A leader of the Federalist Party, he served in the Senate and Chamber of               
Deputies, and took an active part in establishing American York Rite Freemasonry       
in Mexico as an alternative to the older, well-established Scottish Rite (Escosese)     
of Freemasonry that had been introduced by the aristocratic elements previously         
loyal to the royal House of Bourbon. In 1826, the Grand Lodge of New York issued       
charters to five Masonic lodges in Mexico City. These five new Yorkino lodges           
formed the nucleus of the movement that favored decentralization of governmental       
power. Zavala became the Charter Worshipful Master of Independencia Lodge No.           
454, but his political enemies forced him to leave Mexico in 1830.                     
When he traveled to New York, Zavala sought to interest Americans in the               
empresario grants he had received in 1829. These grants authorized him to settle       
500 families on a tract of land in what is now southeastern Texas. In October           
1830, he transferred his interest in the grants to the Galveston Bay and Texas         
Land Company. After spending several months during 1831 in France and England,         
Zavala decided to live in New York City until his return to Mexico in 1832. From       
December 1832 until October 1833 he again served as governor of the state of           
México, and in Congress as a deputy for his native state of Yucatán. In October       
1833 President Antonio López de Santa Anna named Zavala to serve as the first         
minister plenipotentiary of the Mexican legation in Paris. When he learned that         
Santa Anna had assumed dictatorial powers later that year, Zavala denounced             
Santa Anna and resigned his commission. Santa Anna warned Zavala not to return         
to Mexico City, but this did not stop Zavala. In 1835 he traveled to New York           
and then to Texas, where he briefly shared a house with his friend Stephen F.           
Austin. Zavala was naturally drawn into the politics of Texas. At he first             
advocated the cause of Mexican Federalism, but later he became a supporter of           
the independence movement. He served in the Permanent Council and later as the         
representative of Harrisburg in the Consultation and the Convention of 1836.           
Zavala's legislative, executive, and diplomatic experience uniquely qualified           
him to help draft the constitution of the Republic of Texas. His experience and         
respect of his fellow delegates was evident when they elected him ad interim           
vice president of the new republic.                                                     
Zavala rejoined his family at their home at Zavala Point on Buffalo Bayou, from         
where they fled to Galveston Island as Santa Anna's army approached. After the         
Battle of San Jacinto, in accordance with the Treaties of Velasco, Zavala was           
appointed one of the peace commissioners to accompany Santa Anna to Mexico City,       
where the general was to persuade the central authorities to recognize the             
independence of Texas. Shortly thereafter, Zavala returned to his home in               
failing health and gave up his part in the affairs of government. While out             
boating, his rowboat overturned in Buffalo Bayou. Zavala contracted pneumonia           
and died at his home on 15 November 1836. He preceded Austin in death by only           
five weeks.