History of Lorenzo De Zavala They are many heroes that we have to thank in American History for making our country what it is today. We are a country made of freedom and believe in personal rights. But all these rights did not come without fighting to keep our freedom. There were many battles fought and many battles won for this freedom. Texas in particular was a battlefield for Texas’ independence against Mexico. Lorenzo de Zavala was the Republic of Texas’ first vice president, when Texas had first won its independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto and became a republic of its own.
It wasn’t until later when Texas became a part of the United States, unfortunately De Zavala would not be around to see this dream come true. Manuel Lorenzo Justiniano de Zavala y Saenz was born the fifth of nine children of Anastasio de Zavala y Velazquez and Maria Barbara Saenz y Castro in the village of Tecoh near Merida, Yucatan, on October 3, 1788(Venable, 2).
He graduated from the Tridentine Seminary of San Ildefonso in Merida in 1807, during the time he was school and a growing up he had always been interested in politics and so that is what he went on to do.
By the time that Lorenzo de Zavala arrived in Texas in July 1835, he had already held office on the local, state and national levels in the Mexican Colonial, Imperial, and National governments. Zavala was sent to prison twice for his political beliefs.
While in prison he studied English and medicine. After returning from prison Zavala used his political influence in both as a writer and newspaper publisher. He established the first newspaper published in Yucatan, and from 1807 until his death he contributed articles and editorials to his own and other newspapers.
In addition, he published a number of pamphlets, memorials, broadsides, and books. While he was in Europe he wrote his greatest contribution to his historical writing Ensayo Histories de las Revoluciones de Mague. (Venable, 18) Texans, too, acknowledged Zavala’s importance. Zavala had been representing Mexico in Paris when he got word that Santa Anna had taken dictatorial control of Mexico. He came to Texas to work for the restoration of democratic government of his country. Zavala was invited to attend a conference of all representatives in the Brazos District to be held at San Felipe July 15.
Asked to speak at meeting planned for August 8, 1835 at Lynch’s tavern, Zavala was forced to decline because of ill health. However, he wrote a summary of the political situation to be read at the Lynchburg meeting. Zavala favored separate statehood for Texas within a democratic Mexican federation. Zavala went to San Felipe on October 15 as one of the five delegates from Harrisburg to the Consultation, a meeting of representatives from around Texas that discussed on the state of affairs with Mexico and turned into Texas’ earliest provisional government.
When the Consultation finally ended on November 3, Zavala was asked to represent Harrisburg on the committee of 12 to write a declaration. With the membership split between those advocating an immediate declaration of independence from Mexico and the majority desiring to return Mexican government to a federal system, Zavala was influential in drafting the Declaration to the Public (November 7, 1835) in support of a federal Mexican government and separate statehood for Texas. The Consultation then appointed him to translate the Declaration into Spanish.
The balance of power at the Consultation had begun to swing towards those who favored separation from Mexico. Zavala realized that a national Mexican revolt against Santa Anna was not in the cards, and when the Convention met at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March 1836, Lorenzo de Zavala was forced to reassess his own beliefs. On March 3 he was among the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, an act that would brand him a traitor to his fellow Mexicans to this day. Zavala chaired the section on Powers of the Executive Branch and served on the defense, naval affairs, and flag design committees.
On March 17 he was unanimously elected Vice President. Following the adjournment of the Convention, Zavala found himself in frequent disagreement with President David G. Burnet. On April 22, stating his desire to assist the government in a more active capacity, Zavala submitted the first of three resignations. On September 11 he wrote that he expected to be strong enough to attend opening session of the government, but two weeks later, found himself still too ill to attend. On October 14, President Burnet wrote suggesting that both he and Zavala resign their offices so that the newly elected government could be inaugurated at once.
Since Congress had not accepted the previous two resignations, Lorenzo de Zavala submitted his third and final resignation dated October 17, 1836. Upon assuming the vice presidency as Zavala’s successor, Mirabeau Lama paid a glowing tribute to the man who had preceded him as the second officer of the republic (Venable, 41). He asserted that throughout his life Zavala had been the “unwavering and constant friend of…free government. ” (Venable, 41) In closing, he expressed the wish that “the evening of his days” might be as “tranquil and happy as the measure of his life had beem useful and honorable. (Venable, 42) On November 15 Lorenzo de Zavala died after contracting pneumonia, the result of a northern blowing in causing his boat to flip over and throwing him into the cold water on Buffalo Bayou. Lorenzo de Zavala was a person remembered for his strong political views, he never gave backed down from his beliefs and because of this he is noted for being one of the many heroes in the Texas Revolution. I picked Lorenzo De Zavala, because I wanted to write about someone that played an important role of the history of Texas.