Arista, Mariano

Born: 1802-XX-XX Mexico

Died: 1855-XX-XX Spain

Flourished: Mexico

Mariano Arista was a soldier, freedom fighter, military commander, minister of war, and president of Mexico. Born to Spanish parents, Arista became a cadet in the army at age eleven. He fought on behalf of Mexico in the Mexican War of Independence, then became a leader of political freemasons known as Yorkinos. He also continued his military career, serving as general of a brigade in 1833 and general of a division in 1841. President Antonio López de Santa Anna appointed him second in command of the Mexican army, but political violence forced Arista into exile in the United States. In 1836, he returned to Mexico. During the Mexican War, Arista commanded Mexican troops at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, both of which ended in victory for the United States and led Arista, then a general, to be stripped of his command. He rose to prominence again when President José J. Herrera appointed him minister of war in 1848. In 1850, Arista was elected president of Mexico, a position he held until 1853 when Santa Anna's insurrection led him to resign. He soon after retired to Spain.

Parke Godwin, The Cyclopaedia of Biography: A Record of the Lives of Eminent Persons (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1878), 10; Joseph Thomas, Universal Pronouncing Dictionary of Biography and Mythology (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1901), 1:172; Amy S. Greenberg, A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012), 126-27.