Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid to the José Marcos Mugarrieta Papers, [ca. 1837-1886]
BANC MSS 69/93 m  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: José Marcos Mugarrieta Papers,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1837-1886
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 69/93 m
    Creator: Mugarrieta, José Marcos, 1822-1886
    Extent: Number of containers: 8 boxes and 1 oversize folder
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence, passports, army orders, accounts, certificates of appointments, fragments of diaries, mainly relating to his military career in Mexico and to his activities as Mexican consul in San Francisco, 1859-1863. Also included: ship manifests with related papers, copies of documents relating to Baja California, tracings of lands of the Santa Barbara mission, an espediente for Rincon de San Francisquito, and some papers pertaining to the American conquest of California.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in Spanish

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], José Marcos Mugarrieta Papers, BANC MSS 69/93 m, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    • Printed items in the collection (miscellaneous pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides) have been removed and cataloged separately under the call number
      Identifier/Call Number: xF1203 M8.
    • A portrait has been removed to the Portrait Collection.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The papers were purchased for the Library by the Friends of The Bancroft Library in February 1969. A small body of additional material was given by Wellman Topham on February 13, 1970.

    Biographical Sketch

    José Marcos Mugarrieta, prior to his term as Mexican consul in San Francisco, 1857-1863, served in the Mexican army from 1837. He saw action in numerous battles and campaigns -Jamaica, under General Canalizo in 1841; Campeche, 1842-1843; Merida, 1843; Veracruz, 1845; Mexico City, 1846; Angostura and Cerro-gordo, 1847; Guanajuato, 1848, and Sierra-Gorda under Bustamante, 1848-1849; and Matamoros, 1849-1850. He directed the Sierra-Gorda colonies until ordered by General Mariano Arista, then Minister of War, to return to Mexico via New Orleans and Veracruz, reporting on activities there. Arista retained him in his service until January 1, 1851. Mugarrieta then became private secretary to Manuel Robles, who succeeded Arista as Minister of War. In October 1851, Mugarrieta, aide-de-camp to General López Uraga, traveled to the northern frontier, and accompanied the general on a reconnaissance trip in January 1852 from Brownsville, Texas to Washington, New York, and Havana, coming back to Mexico to resume his position as secretary to the Minister of War. In this capacity, he attended Robles on an official visit to the principal points of the Gulf of Mexico. In November 1852, Mugarrieta was appointed aide to Arista, who was then President. When Arista fell from power in 1853, he chose Mugarrieta as official secretary and translator. Mugarrieta then left with the former president for exile in England in April 1853, returning to Mexico in September of that year. At Arista's request, Mugarrieta sailed for Europe in the fall of 1855, but before he arrived, learned of Arista's death. He completed his journey, settled the estate, and came back to Mexico with Arista's heart.
    In April 1857 Mugarrieta received an appointment from the Comonfort government for the consulship in San Francisco. He did not actually begin his new duties until September 1, 1859, due to illness and to the political situation in Mexico. Once an established consul, Mugarrieta directed Mexican patriotic society activities in California, and was involved in Baja California affairs. In the fall of 1863, he was replaced by Manuel E. Rodríguez as consul. According to Mrs. Mugarrieta, the reason for her husband's dismissal was his refusal to help General Plácido Vega in his quest for weapons, ammunition and supplies for Mexico in 1863. It was expressly forbidden to export weapons during the American Civil War, but Vega, angered by Mugarrieta's refusal, managed to oust him and have him replaced by Rodríguez. Mugarrieta, who never received his full pay, not even a travel allowance to return to Mexico, remained in San Francisco, broken in health, working as a Spanish instructor and translator. He died on June 14, 1886.

    Scope and Content

    This collection, which reflects Mugarrieta's military and consular careers, contains many communications from military figures and from friends relating to the troubled times in Mexico; the strong patriotic movement of Mexican nationals in California; and events in Baja California. Manifests and related documents from American, Mexican and Colombian vessels also constitute a sizable group. The span of Papers is roughly from 1837 to 1886, the bulk being in the 1860s. A few early California documents are to be found in the collection, as well as tracings of California land papers, certificates of military appointments and awards and passports. Mugarrieta's outgoing letters from 1843 to 1878 are mainly rough drafts of an official nature, requesting various positions, protesting injustices of the military system, and reporting on consular activities.
    A key to arrangement and a partial list of correspondents follow.