Declaration of Independence of Guatemala [Translation]

Bibliographic Information

Gainza, Gabino, 1760-1824, La declaración de la independencia de Guatemala (Guatemala, September 16, 1821)

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Title: Declaration of Independence of Guatemala [Translation]
Funding from: Funding for the creation of this digitized text is provided by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Author: Gainza, Gabino, 1760-1824
Statements of responsibility:
  • Creation of digital images: Center for Digital Scholarship, Rice University
  • Creation of translation: Lorena Gauthereau-Bryson, Americas Studies Researcher, Humanities Research Center
  • Conversion to TEI-conformant markup: Roxana Loza, Student Researcher, Humanities Research Center
  • Parsing and proofing: Humanities Research Center, Rice University
  • Subject analysis and assignment of taxonomy terms: Robert Estep, Cataloger
Publisher: Rice University, Houston, Texas
Publication date: 2010-06-07
Identifier: aa00240tr
Availability: This digital text is publicly available via the Americas Digital Archive through the following Creative Commons attribution license: “You are free: to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work; to make derivative works; to make commercial use of the work. Under the following conditions: By Attribution. You must give the original author credit. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.”
Digitization: Page images of the original document are included. Images exist as archived TIFF files, JPEG versions for general use, and thumbnail GIFs.
Translation: This document is an English translation of the "La declaración de la independencia de Guatemala." Translated by Lorena Gauthereau-Bryson. The language of the original document is Spanish.
Provenance: The Humanities Research Center at Rice University, under the direction of Dr. Caroline Levander, purchased this material from a manuscripts dealer in 2005. The Gilder Foundation funded the development of the physical archive. Original materials are housed at the Woodson Research Center, Rice University.
Description: Folio. 3 pp.
Source(s): Gainza, Gabino, 1760-1824, La declaración de la independencia de Guatemala (Guatemala, September 16, 1821)
Source Identifier: Americas collection, 1811-1920, MS 518, Box 2 folder 6, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University. Contact info:
Description of the project: This digitized text is part of the Our Americas Archive Partnership (OAAP) project.
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This text has been encoded based on recommendations from Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Any comments on editorial decisions for this document are included in footnotes within the document with the author of the note indicated. All digitized texts have been verified against the original document. Quotation marks have been retained. For printed documents: Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. No corrections or normalizations have been made, except that hyphenated, non-compound words that appear at the end of lines have been closed up to facilitate searching and retrieval. For manuscript documents: Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. We have recorded normalizations using the reg element to facilitate searchability, but these normalizations may not be visible in the reading version of this electronic text
Languages used in the text: English
Text classification
Keywords: Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus
  • Declarations
Keywords: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Proclamations--Guatemala
  • Guatemala--History--1821-1945
Keywords: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  • Guatemala (nation)

On the 15th of the present the following was agreed upon:
National Palace of Guatemala, fifteenth of September eighteen hundred twenty-one

The desires of independence from the Spanish Government are public and unquestionable, manifested by the people of this capital through written and spoken word: official notices delivered by the latest courier have been received by the diverse Constitutional Councils of Ciudad Real, Comitan, and Tuxtla, communicating the people’s proclamation of and oath to this aforementioned independence and rousing others in this city to do the same: positive that the same official notices have circulated in other Councils: in accordance with the Honorable Provincial Delegation it was determined that in order to address such a serious matter, the same Provincial Delegation, his Grace, the Archbishop, delegates of the Honorable Provincial Tribunal, the Venerable Clergyman Señor Deán y Cabildo, the Honorable Council, the M.I. Senate, the Consulate and the M.I. Lawyer’s Association, the Regular Prelates, Leaders and civil servants assemble in one of the chambers of this palace: all congregated in the same room: the expressed notices read: the matter thoroughly discussed and meditated: and the clamor of LONG LIVE INDEPENDENCE! continuously repeated by the people gathered in the streets, plaza, patios, halls and palace lobby, the following was decided by this Delegation and individuals of the Honorable Council:

1st Being that it is the Guatemalan people’s general will to achieve Independence from the Spanish government, the Political Chief, without prejudice of what the future congress will determine, orders this to be published in order to prevent any fearsome consequences that would result if proclaimed, instead, by the people.

2nd That, of course, official notices be circulated by extraordinary mail to the provinces, so that they can begin to choose their Deputies or Representatives without delay. Those elected will then meet at this capital to form the Congress which must deliberate the issue of general and absolute independence, and in the case of agreement, they must also determine the form of government and fundamental law that must govern.

3rd That the Province electoral assemblies, which made or should have made the last elections of Court of Deputies, oversee the appointment of the Deputies, in order to facilitate the process.

4th That the number of these Deputies be proportionate, with one for every fifteen thousand individuals, not excluding citizens of African origins.

5th That these same province electoral assemblies use the latest census to determine the number of Deputies or Representatives that should be elected according to the aforementioned formula.

6th That, in attending to the gravity and urgency of this matter, they conduct the elections in a way that makes it possible for all the Deputies to assemble in this capital on the first of March of next year, 1822.

7th That, in the meantime, if nothing novel occurs within the established authorities, they follow these Decrees and laws, exercising their respective powers in accordance with the Constitution, until the indicated Congress has determined what is most just and beneficial.

8th That the Political Chief, Brigadier Don Gabino Gainza, remain part of the Superior Political and Military Government, and, so that he can maintain the character which seems appropriate in these circumstances, a Provisional cabinet will be formed, composed of the individuals in the current Provincial Delegation and of the following respected men: Don Miguel Larreynaga, Minister of this Court, Don José del Valle, Judge Advocate : Marques de Aycinena: Doctor Don José Valdés, Treasurer of this Holy Church: Doctor Don Ángel María Candina; and Lawyer don Antonio Robles, 3rd constitutional Mayor: the 1st in de León Province, the 2nd in Comayagua Province, and the 3rd in Quezaltenango, the 4th in Sololá y Chimaltenango, the 5th in Sonsonate Province and the 6th in Real de Chiapas City Province.

9th That this Provisional assembly consult the Political Chief in all economic and governmental matters worthy of his attention.

10th That the Catholic religion, which we have professed in the previous centuries and will continue to profess in successive centuries, be conserved as pure and inalterable, maintaining Guatemala’s distinctive religious spirit alive, respecting the ecclesiastic, secular, and regular Ministers and protecting their person and their property.

11th That notice be given to the Prelates of the religious Communities so that, cooperating in peace and tranquility, which is the first necessity of the people when they transition from one government to another, make sure that their individuals exhort fraternity and harmony in those who are united in the general sentiment of independence, they should also be so with everything else, suffocating individual passions, which divide the spirits and produce disastrous consequences.

12th That the Honorable Council, to which the conservation of order and tranquility corresponds, take the most active means to maintain this entire capital and nearby villages imperturbable.

13th That the Political Chief publish a manifesto to make public the People’s general sentiments, the opinion of the authority and corporations, the measures taken by this government, the causes and circumstances that, at the request of the people, led them to place the pledge of independence and loyalty to the American Government which will be established in the hands of the 1st Mayor.

14th That the same oath be taken by the Provisional Assembly, the most Honorable Council, his Grace, the Archbishop, the Courts, the Political and military leaders, the regular Prelates, their religious communities, Revenue Leaders and employees, authorities, corporations, and troops of the respective garrisons.

15th That the Political Chief, in accordance with the Honorable Council, instill solemnity and designate the day in which the People should make the proclamation and expressed oath of independence.

16th That the Honorable Council negotiate the minting of a medal that will perpetuate, for centuries to come, the memory of the FIFTH OF SEPTEMBER EIGHTEEN HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE, the happy day on which independence was proclaimed.

17th That, upon being printed, this act and the expressed manifesto be circulated to the Honorable Provincial Deputies, Constitutional Councils, and other regular ecclesiastic, secular, and military authorities.

18th That on the day designated by the Political Chief, a solemn mass of thanks be offered, complete with artillery salutes and three days of illumination, with the Provisional Assembly, all the authorities, corporations, and leaders in attendance.

National Palace of Guatemala, September 15, 1821. Gavino Gainza. Mariano de Beltranena. José Mariano Calderon. José Matias Delgaos. Manuel Antonio Molina. Mariano de Larrave. Antonio de Rivera. José Antonio de Larrve. Isidoro de Valle y Castraciones. Mariano de Aycinena. Pedro de Arroyave. Lorenzo de Romaña Secretary. Domingo Dieguez Secretary.

The present act was communicated to the Messrs. D. [Don] Miguel Larreinaga. D. José del Valle, Marquez de Aycluens. D. José Valdéz, Lawyer D. Antonio Rubies, and Dr. D. Angel María Candina: and having concurred to swear the agreed upon oath, they indeed did so in the presence of 88 individuals from the Honorable Delegation and Trustees. =

Gavino Gainza. Miguel de la Reynaga. José del Valle. José Mariano Calderon. Manuel Antonio Molina. Matias Delgado. Mariano de Beltranena.Marques de Aycinena. Antonio Robles. Antonio de Rivera. José Valdés. Angel María Candina. Mariano de Larrave. José Antonio de Larrave. Isidoro de Valle y Castraciones. Mariano de Aycinena. Pedro de Arroyave. Domingo Dieguez Secretary.

And I communicate it to you for the corresponding effects. National Palace, September 16, 1821.

Gavino Gainza.

Rice University
Date: 2010-06-07
Available through the Creative Commons Attribution license