Queretaro was one of the Cradles of the 1810 Mexican War of Independence. It was the site of much of the preliminary planning and many of the conspirators lived or visited here. One of these insurgents was María Josefa Cresencia Ortiz y Girón, popularly known as Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez or La Corregidora (April 19, 1773 – March 2, 1829). She was the wife of the Spanish appointed Magistrate of Queretaro and lived with her husband in the white casa below. She was very sympathetic to the plight of the aboriginal people of Mexico who were being very badly treated by the Spanish. She began to hold “Literary Study Group” meetings in her house where books and documents banned by the Catholic Church were studied and discussed. These meetings soon turned to discussions of revolution. Present at many of these meetings were the Catholic Priest Miguel Hidalgo and the Spanish Capt. Ignatio Allende.
Her activities eventually drew the attention of the local Spanish commander and she came under suspicion. Placed under house arrest and confined to her quarters, she still overheard a meeting in her house where she learned of the imminent arrest of Father Hidalgo. She is said to have passed the information to a fellow conspirator on a rolled up piece of paper passed through the keyhole of her house. The information was quickly taken to Father Hidalgo in Dolores (now Dolores Hidalgo) and Capt. Allende in nearby San Miguel (now San Miguel de Allende), Hidalgo issued his Grito “Cry for Independence” and the eleven year long Revolution began a few days earlier than was planned.
Dona Josefa was jailed for several years for her part in the conspiracy until she was released under an oath that she would refrain from supporting the rebellion, a promise she never kept. She is recognized as one of the Heroes Of The Revolution.