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Guide to the Plácido Vega Papers, 1855-1864
Special Collections M0098  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Biographical Note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Plácido Vega Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1855-1864
    Collection number: Special Collections M0098
    Creator: Vega, Plácido.
    Extent: 5.5 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Gift of August Berner, 1915.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Plácido Vega Papers, M0098, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of documents (passports, invoices, inventories, financial statements certificates, records of judicial, legislative, and military proceedings, proclamations, etc.) and correspondence pertaining to the administration of Placido Vega as civil governor of the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, and as chief of the western division of the Liberation Army during the War of the Reform (1858-1860), and later, after 1862, as commander of the force from Sinaloa aiding the national government in resisting the French, in months following the French invasion at Veracruz.
    This collection of papers, extending over a ten-year period from October, 1855, to November, 1864, gives insight into the progress of political and military affairs in Sinaloa and the northern states in particular, and in Mexico in general, during these years. The letters and documents of the collection, which concern both political and military matters, reflect the working of local and national politics, the development of personal animosities and intrigues, and the various difficulties of many natures which beset the national government, especially during the term of Benito Juarez as President of Mexico, after 1857.
    The correspondence, often mingling the personal with matters of political or military interest, consists of
    1. Letters written to Placido Vega (occasionally to other officials) by correspondents falling, for the most part, into the following categories:
      1. Military officers under Placido Vega.
      2. Military officers in charge of divisions of the army in other parts of Mexico, especially in the South (Many of these include Mexicans who figured prominently in national history, among them Generals Zuloaga, Zaragoza, Zarco, Jesus González Ortega, and Porfirio Díaz).
      3. Local officials of civil government, including employees of Prefectures.
      4. National political figures, among them many of prominence, such as Juarez, Comonfort, Lerdo de Tejada, and Doblado.
      5. Diplomatic and consular officials, including representatives of Mexico abroad and representatives of foreign nations in Mexico.
      6. Governors of other States of Mexico (Pesquiera, Sonora; Patoni, Durango; Gomez, Colima; Ogazon, Jalisco, etc.).
      7. Customs officials.
      8. Captains of foreign vessels, and owners of these ships.
      9. Representatives of foreign businesses.
      10. Relatives.
    2. Copies of letters, many of them replies, sent by Plácido Vega to others.
    Correspondence extends from November, 1855 into November, 1864. Correspondence is scanty from 1855 and the early months of 1856. From the years 1863 and 1864, there occur gaps in correspondence (which perhaps may be filled by the Bancroft collection, extending from 1863-1868). Letters written by Plácido Vega (copies) are lacking from the month of August, 1863, and from the months of January and April, 1864. The file also appears incomplete for the months of July, August, and November, 1864. The letters and documents of the collection present in special detail record of the uprising staged at Fuerte, in Sinaloa, by Remedios Meza and others in 1861 and the political conspiracy allegedly plotted and led against Plácido Vega by Ramón Corona in 1862 and 1863. Through the exchange of letters between Pesquiera and other officials in Sonora and Plácido Vega, considerable detail is recorded about efforts to suppress the Yaqui and Mayo Indian tribes in Sonora, while correspondence between Plácido vega and political figures, especially Juárez, at the capital and military officials in the South reflect the course of national developments, from events foreshadowing the French invasion, including the financial crisis of the Mexican government, to the landing of troops at Veracruz, the battle for Puebla, and the moving of the Federal government to new headquarters. In letters of 1863 appear first references to Plácido Vega's decision to go to San Francisco to procure arms and supplies for Mexican soldiers. Correspondence from 1864 includes letters written from Plácido Vega in San Francisco to supporters in Mexico, and from correspondents in Mexico to Vega in San Francisco (May, 1864, on).

    Biographical Note

    Plácido Vega
    Organized opposition in Sinaloa in 1855 to the government of Santa Anna.
    Served as Commander-in-Chief of Constitutional forces in Sonora and Sinaloa during the War of the Reform (1858-1860).
    Served intermittently as governor of Sinaloa in the years 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, and 1863, turning the office over successively to Francisco de P. Maldonado, Fortino León, Manuel Márquez, Fortino León, and Jesus García Morales, and A. Rosales.
    After the invasion of Veracruz by the French in 1862, Plácido Vega sent men from the army in Sinaloa to the South in support of the Federal government, in its attempt to repel the French, and made a trip to the capital himself, stopping to converse with various officials along the way.
    In the spring of 1864, with Jesus García Morales serving as governor of Sinaloa, Plácido Vega departed for San Francisco, California, to negotiate for arms and supplies for soldiers of the Mexican army.