Hidalgo, like many other Mexicans, adopted the ideals of independence which, since 1809, had spread across the country through liberal groups. One of these, in Querétaro, was led by Chief Magistrate Miguel Domínguez and his wife, Josefa Ortiz.
Several officers of the Queen’s Regiment of Dragoons, including Ignacio Allende, Ignacio Aldama and Mariano Abasolo, would subsequently join the Querétaro conspirators.
Hidalgo then devoted his time to recruiting supporters and purchasing or building weapons. However, in early September 1810, the Querétaro conspiracy was discovered by the colonial government.
Allende had reached Dolores on the night of September 14, but he and Hidalgo were unaware of the consequences of being discovered. By then, several of the conspirators had been arrested, but on the night of the 15th, Doña Josefa Ortiz sent a message to the town of Dolores, warning Hidalgo and the other liberators about the imminent danger they faced.
Without more ado, Hidalgo marched to Dolores prison and released the inmates, whom he endowed with police weapons and the Queen’s Regiment.
At dawn, Hidalgo rang the church bell to summon the people and once the crowd gathered in the parish atrium, the fight for Mexico’s independence began.