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Ferrera, Francisco (1800–1851)

Ferrera, Francisco (1800–1851)

Francisco Ferrera (b. 1794 or 1800; d. 1851), president of Honduras (1841–1845). Ferrera was born in Cantarranas (later renamed San Juan de Flores), Honduras. Orphaned at an early age, he was educated by the village priest, José León Garín.

Ferrera rose to prominence when he laid siege to the fortresses on Honduras's north coast that Honduran conservatives had seized with aid from Spanish Cuba in 1831. He served as vice chief of state under Governor Joaquín Rivera (1833–1836) and then rose to power as he led conservative Honduran and Nicaraguan forces against Francisco Morazán's Central American government in 1839, forming an alliance with José Rafael Carrera in Guatemala. Although he suffered reverses at Morazán's hand, notably at Espíritu Santo (5-6 May 1839) and at San Pedro Perulapán (25 September 1839), he became identified with the separation of Honduras from the Central American federation. Elected president by the National Assembly on 30 December 1840, he took office on 1 January 1841 as Honduras's first constitutional president. Ferrera served two two-year terms, until 1 January 1845, and was closely allied with Guatemala's Carrera and El Salvador's Francisco Malespín, who assisted him in resisting the liberal forces of José Trinidad Cabañas. Ferrera was elected to a third term in 1847, but declined to serve; however, he did continue to be the country's dominant caudillo as minister of war and as armed forces chief until 1848.

See alsoCentral America; Honduras.


Ramón Rosa, "Francisco Ferrera," in Oro de Honduras, antología, 2 vols. (1948), vol. 1, pp. 25-31.

Paulino Valladares, Hondureños ilustres en la pluma (1972), pp. 31-33.

Harvey K. Meyer, Historical Dictionary of Honduras (1976), p. 133.

Raúl A. Pagoaga, Honduras y sus gobernantes (1979).

Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the Republic of Guatemala, 1821–1871 (1992).

Additional Bibliography

Pérez Chávez, Porfirio. Estructura económica de Honduras: Gobierno del general Francisco Ferreira, 1840–1844. Tegulcigapa: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, 2001.

                            Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.

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