Mariano Chávez, jefe político

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Mariano José Chávez

Birthdate: (45)
Death: May 1845 (45)
Immediate Family:

Son of Gov. Francisco Xavier Chávez, jefe político and Ana María Del Carmen Alvarez del Castillo
Husband of Delores Lauviana Cháves
Father of José Francisco Cháves; Victoriana Otero y Silva and Jesus Bonifacio Cháves
Brother of Josefa Mercedes Perea (Chavez); Maria Francisca Otero; NN Otero; Antonio Jose Chávez; José Antonio Chávez and 1 other

Occupation: Chief of staff under New Mexico Governor Manuel Armijo in the revolution of 1837 and inspector general of all the military forces of New Mexico. Later served as pro-tem governor under Mexican rule in the absence of governor Armijo.
Managed by: Ric Dickinson
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About Mariano Chávez, jefe político

José Mariano Chaves y Castillo (or Mariano Chávez) (31 December 1799 – 1845) was a wealthy New Mexican landowner who was the acting governor of New Mexico for a few months during 1844. Chaves County, New Mexico is named after him.


José Mariano Chaves was born on 31 December 1799. He was the son of New Mexico Governor Francisco Xavier Chávez (1822–1823), a descendant of don Pedro Durán de Chávez, a conquistador from the Estremadura province of Spain. The governor José Antonio Chaves (1829–1832) was another prominent member of the Chávez family in New Mexico. Mariano Chaves was a member of the New Mexican landowning elite. An Anglo-American visitor to Santa Fe in 1846 described the wealth displayed in his house, which was furnished with Brussels carpets, white marble tables, gilt framed mirrors and candelabras.

Mariano Chaves married Dolores Perea, daughter of Pedro Jose Perea, a descendant of an early New Mexico settler. Their son José Francisco Chaves was to serve three terms in the United States House of Representatives as Delegate from the New Mexico Territory, 1865 to 1871. After Mariano's death, Dolores Perea married the prosperous trader Henry Connelly in 1849. Connelley was governor of New Mexico Territory during the American Civil War.


Mariano Chaves was acting political chief in 1835 after Francisco Sarracino had left office, holding this position until Albino Pérez became political chief. He was chief of staff of Governor Manuel Armijo during the revolt of 1837. He became inspector general of the New Mexico military forces. In 1840 he served as political chief. In September 1841 a force of Texans entered New Mexico heading for Santa Fe. They were captured by superior Mexican forces and forced to march south to Mexico City, suffering ill treatment on the journey. Chaves provided assistance to the prisoners in the form of blankets and provisions. In April 1843 Mariano's younger brother, the trader Antonio José Chaves, was travelling along the Santa Fe Trail between Santa Fe and Independence, Missouri when he was attacked, robbed and murdered by a party of Texans. The killers were caught by U.S. troops and the leaders put to death, largely due to the influence of Chaves.

Early in 1844, Governor Manuel Armijo decided to give up active involvement in the governor position, and appointed Mariano Chaves as gobernado interino (acting governor) as of 31 January 1844. Mariano Chaves resigned on 10 April due to illness. Felipe Sena, President of the Departmental Assembly, then became acting governor, although Armijo remained governor. In March 1844, however, General Santa Anna had removed Armijo from office and appointed the commandante militar, Mariano Martínez de Lejanza, as "constitutional governor". Martinez assumed office at the end of April and held the position until 1 May 1845.

José Mariano Chaves died in May 1845.


Mariano served honorably under Manuel Armijo in 1837. Mariano Jose Chaves from Los Padillas was governor of New Mexico in 1844. Mariano's Hacienda de Padillas was the largest along the river south of Albuquerque. His lands embraced extensive cottonwood groves and pasture land on both sides of the Rio Grande and his sprawling adobe ranch house flanked by huts of his Mexican workers and Indian servants was protected by stout mud walls with loopholes. Nearby was the hacienda of his merchant brother Antonio Jose Chavez, who was to be slain by outlaws on the Santa Fe Trail in 1843. His house was described by a visitor in 1846 as being very large with handsome Brussels carpet, gilded rings and cornice, white marble slab pier tables, chandelabras. Around the patio were chambers, storeroom, kitchen, etc.

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Mariano Chávez, jefe político's Timeline

December 31, 1799
Age 29
June 27, 1833
Age 33
e Departmento de Nuevo México of the United Mexican States
May 1845
Age 45