Lemus, Pedro (unknown–1847)

By: Jesús "Frank" de la Teja

Type: Biography

Published: January 26, 2021

Updated: January 26, 2021

Pedro Lemus, military officer in the Spanish and Mexican armies, was born in Havana, Cuba, and began service as a cadet in Campeche. Having transferred to the Fixed Regiment of Veracruz, he served under Brig. Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo during the Mexican War of Independence, including the Texas campaign of 1813. He distinguished himself at the battle of Medina, after which he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. During his time in Texas he served as prosecuting judge in the treason trial of Erasmo Seguín. He was in command of a company of infantry and artillery on the outskirts of Saltillo in July 1821 when he rebelled against Arredondo and declared in favor of the Plan of Iguala. He subsequently became a member of the Saltillo’s provisional governing junta and later served as military commander of Monterrey.

Promoted to the rank of brigadier general, Lemus served as commandant general of the Eastern Internal States in 1834 and participated in two critical events that year that shaped Texas disaffection from Mexico. First, shortly after assuming command at the beginning of January, he carried out Stephen F. Austin’s arrest on charges of sedition and had the empresario sent to Mexico City. Second, in July he pronounced in favor of the Plan of Cuernavaca, in which Antonio López de Santa Anna orchestrated a revolt against his own vice president, Valentín Gómez Farías, and began the process of overthrowing the federal Constitution of 1824. Lemus afterwards returned to the Federalist side and in 1839 rebelled against Anastacio Bustamante’s Centralist administration while stationed in Matamoros under Vicente Filisola. Defeated outside the town by a force commanded by Pedro Ampudia, Lemus eventually made his way to Monterrey, where he reorganized his forces and marched on Saltillo, which he managed to briefly capture in May. Captured later in the year along with other Federalist rebels, he made his escape from Matamoros aboard the Campeche schooner Conchita, which ran aground at Lobos Island south of Tampico. There he was rescued by the Texas Navy sloop Austin, which took him to Campeche where Lemus became involved in Yucatan’s revolt against Mexico City, although he subsequently again changed sides and took part in the Centralist attack against Yucatan in 1843. He was military commander of Mexico City in 1847 when he died.

Joaquín de Arredondo, "Report of the Battle of the Medina, August 18, 1813," trans. Mattie Austin Hatcher, Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 11 (January 1908). Stephen F. Austin to Samuel M. Williams, January 12, 1834, Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1922, Vol. 2, The Austin Papers (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1928). Diccionario Porrúa de Historia, Biografía y Geografía de México, 5th ed. (Mexico: Editorial Porrúa, 1986). Jonathan W. Jordan, Lone Star Navy: Texas, the Fight for the Gulf of Mexico, and the Shaping of the American West (Washington, D. C.: Potomac Books, 2006). Vito Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas desde la consumación de la Independencia hasta el Tratado de Paz de Guadalupe Hidalgo, 2nd ed. (Mexico: Editorial Porrúa, 1979). Vito Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas en la época colonial, 2nd ed. (Mexico: Editorial Porrúa, 1978). Sumaria información formada contra D. José Erasmo Seguín, administrador de correos de esta capital, acusado de infidente, Fondo Colonial C35, E53, Archivo General del Estado de Coahuila, Saltillo, Mexico.

  • Military
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas
  • Mexican Texas
  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jesús "Frank" de la Teja, “Lemus, Pedro,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 17, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/lemus-pedro.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 26, 2021
January 26, 2021

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: