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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Josefa de Dominguez

b. 1768, Morelia, Mexico; d. 1829, Mexico City

Josefa Ortiz married Miguel Domínguez in 1791 and moved to the town of Querétaro, where he was appointed corregidor (magistrate) by the viceroy of New Spain. Querétaro was a hotbed of revolutionary activity and Josefa was sympathetic to the independence cause. Miguel, as the highest official in town, had knowledge of crown affairs. Soon their home became a clearinghouse for information, with Josefa running intelligence to the independencistas, who were preparing to launch an uprising in December 1810. Colonial authorities got wind of the plans and ordered the town searched. Josefa warned the rebel leader, Miguel Hidalgo, who issued the call to arms on September 16, setting off the War of Independence. Josefa’s role in the insurrection was eventually discovered and she was imprisoned in a nunnery from 1813 to 1817. La Corregidora, as she is known, is today revered as a heroine of the anticolonial struggle.