While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Frank Wagner

ARAGO, JEAN (1788–1836). Dominque François Jean Arago, soldier, was born at Estagel, Pyrénées-Orientales, France, in 1788. In 1815 he was unjustly indicted for official misconduct in the French treasury and fled to the United States, where he joined Francisco Xavier Mina in an attempt to liberate Mexico. He sailed on the Calypso on October 10, 1817, and landed in Galveston, where he joined Louis Michel Aury. Mina made him military commander of Guanajuato. After the departure of the Spanish, Arago supported the Plan de Iguala, proclaimed by Anastasio Bustamante. He participated in the successful Plan de Casamata in 1823 and was put in command of the militia division of Puebla in 1828. His ardent adherence to the York Rite Masons made him a leading liberal influence in the Mexican army. Vicente Guerrero put Arago in command of the Brigade of Zapadores (Sappers) in 1832. He was named director general of the Corps of Engineers in 1833 and was awarded "Ciudadano Benemérito" by the states of Mexico, Veracruz, Guanajuato, and Tamaulipas. He was pardoned after the overthrow of Guerrero under the Plan de Jalapa and named commanding general in the Army of Mexico. He was a general in command of a division of engineers encamped at Las Chimineas on Nueces Bay, about four miles from Corpus Christi, during the Texas Revolution. Owing to a severe illness, possibly malaria, that he contracted in May 1836, Arago went for medical treatment to New Orleans, where he died. He was highly esteemed in Mexico as a French supporter of Mexican liberty. See also MEXICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.

Dominique François Jean Arago, The History of My Youth: An Autobiography of Francis Arago, trans. Rev. Baden-Powell (London: Longmans, Green, and Longmans, 1862). Hobart Huson, Captain Philip Dimmitt's Commandancy of Goliad, 1835–1836 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1974).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Frank Wagner, "ARAGO, JEAN," accessed May 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/far31.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...