May 11, 1797 - December 24, 1867
Born in 1797, José Mariano de Salas fought on the royalist side during the Mexican War for Independence, but became an officer in the Mexican army after the Plan of Iguala. During the Mexican republic's early years, Salas supported Guadalupe Victoria. A santanista for much of his career, he fought under Santa Anna at Tampico against the Spanish in 1829, and participated in the 1836 Texas campaign, leading an assault at the Battle of the Alamo. In 1844 he was exiled for his support of Santa Anna, but returned to Mexico two years later. In August of that year he took part in a revolt against the conservative leader Mariano Paredes, who had declared war against the United States. Assuming the duties of president, Salas reestablished the Constitution of 1824, reconvened Congress, and organized the war effort against the United States. Salas turned over executive power to Santa Anna upon his return from exile later that year, and in early 1847 fought in the field as second in command of the Mexican Army of the North. He was captured by U.S. forces in late August at Contreras (Padierna) in August 1847. After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, he became governor of the state of Querétaro.
A monarchist late in his career, Salas served as one of three members of the Regency established by the French in 1863, which offered the throne to the Austrian Habsburg prince Maximilian. Salas died at age 70 in December 1867.
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Orozco Linares, Fernando, Gobernantes de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial, 1985
"Salas, José Mariano,"; Enciclopedia de México, v. 12. Mexico City, 1996.