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Caro, José Eusebio (1817–1853)

Caro, José Eusebio (1817–1853)

José Eusebio Caro (b. 5 March 1817; d. 28 January 1853), Colombian Conservative publicist and romantic poet. Caro was born in Ocaña, Norte de Santander. His mother's amorous relationships with Simón Bolívar, Francisco de Paula Santander, and José Ignacio de Márquez shadowed his impoverished youth. He received his doctorate in law in 1837 and became a government clerk (1838). A political libertarian, Caro wrote articles for the press and started composing verse. Among his best-loved poems are "El bautismo" and "Estar contigo." The violence of the War of the Supremes (1839–1842), in which he served sporadically but with distinction, caused Caro to move to more conservative political ground. He rose in the bureaucracy to chief of a section in the Secretariat of Interior and Foreign Relations (1843), and expounded his increasingly authoritarian ideas in El Granadino, which appeared sporadically between 1840 and 1845. A partisan, he deplored the bipartisanship (after 1846) of Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera's administration, though he did serve briefly as finance minister (1848). Caro's vehement opposition to the Liberal José Hilario López (1849–1853) caused his removal from government service (September 1849). With Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, he fashioned the first Conservative Party platform (1849) and was an editor of the newspaper La Civilización (1849–1850), whose editorials were a devastating indictment of López's presidency that resulted in Caro's exile (1850–1853) to New York. Upon returning to Colombia, Caro died of yellow fever in Santa Marta.

See alsoJournalism; Literature: Spanish America.


Fernando Galvis Salazar, José Eusebio Caro (1956).

José Luis Martín, La poesía de José Eusebio Caro … Contribución estilística al estudio del romanticismo hispanoamericano (1966).

Robert Henry Davis, "Acosta, Caro, and Lleras: Three Essayists and Their Views of New Granada's National Problems, 1832–1853" (Ph.D. diss., Vanderbilt University, 1969), pp. 243-299.

Lucio Pabón Núñez, ed., Poesías completas. José Eusebio Caro (1973).

Simón Aljure Chalela, comp., Artículos y escritos históricopolíticos de José Eusebio Caro (1981).

Additional Bibliography

Orjuela, Héctor H., ed. Poesía Escogida. Colombia: Editora Guadalupe, 2005.

                                    J. LeÓn Helguera

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