Arboleda, Julio (1817–1862)

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Arboleda, Julio (1817–1862)

Julio Arboleda (b. 9 June 1817; d. 12 November 1862), Colombian poet, politician, and presidential claimant (17 August-12 November 1862). Born to a family of aristocrats in Timbiquí, Cauca, he studied at Stoneyhurst College in England (1831–1834) and the University of Popayán (1837–1838). He lost part of his wealth while serving in the War of the Supremes (1839–1841). A gifted orator and an elegant essayist, Arboleda served as congressman (1844–1846). He opposed President José Hilario López in the press, was jailed, and led a revolt against López (1851). Fleeing to Peru, he remained in exile there until November 1853, when he was elected to the senate. Back in Bogotá, in 1854 he escaped from the dictator José María Melo, against whom he had campaigned. Elected president designate (stand-in) in 1857, 1858, 1859, and 1860, Arboleda won the presidency (1860) for the 1861–1865 term but was not sworn in. During the Liberal revolution led by his uncle, Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, he fought at Santa Marta (November-December 1860), moved his forces across Panama, and reached Pasto in May 1861. A year of bitter civil warfare that wracked southern Colombia ensued. Arboleda routed an invading Ecuadorian army (July 1862), and was killed at Berruecos (Narino) four months later. Although Arboleda was celebrated for his literary genius, his greatest work, the epic poem Gonzalo de Oyón, survives only in fragments.

See alsoMosquera, Tomás Cipriano de .


Daniel Zarama, Don Julio Arboleda en el sur de Colombia (1917).

Carlos Arturo Caparriso, Arboleda (n.d.).

J. León Helguera and Alberto Lee López, "La exportación de esclavos en la Nueva Granada," in Archivos (Bogotá), 1, no. 2 (1967): 447-459.

Gerardo Andrade González, Prosa de Julio Arboleda: Jurídica, política, heterodoxa y literaria (1984).

Additional Bibliography

Arboleda, Julio. Obra lírica y poemas desconocidos, edited by Héctor H. Orjuela. Colombia: [n.d.], 2004.

                                           J. LeÓn Helguera