VARELA, MARIANO (ca. 1770–?). Mariano Varela, a creole Spaniard born in Mexico about 1770, was a captain at Guajoquilla (present-day Jiménez) in western Coahuila in May 1807, when Zebulon M. Pike arrived there from Chihuahua. Pike, being escorted out of Spanish territory, traveled thence with Varela to Presidio del Rio Grande (San Juan Bautistaqv), where Varela assumed command. Pike found him to be “a gentleman in his manners-generous and frank; and I believe a good soldier.” Varela, by Pike's account, had begun his military career as a cadet some twenty years previously at Guajoquilla. Captain Varela had won, “by his extraordinary merits,” advancement to his present rank, which he considered “his ultimate promotion.” The tide of revolution was to remove such a limitation. When the entourage arrived at Presidio del Rio Grande, Varela found his new post, which he had not seen previously, somewhat less attractive than the descriptions he had been given. In August 1808 he was summoned to San Antonio de Béxar to a war council convened by Texas governor Manuel Antonio Cordero y Bustamante. The matter to be dealt with was the visit of Napoleon's agent Octaviano d'Alvimar. By June 1809 Varela had been assigned to the staff of Bernardo de Bonavía y Zapataqv, the newly appointed military commander of Texas. He served as secretary of the juntas called by Bonavía to deal with economic reforms.
Full article on the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas Online