Herrán, Pedro Alcántara (1800–1872)

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Herrán, Pedro Alcántara (1800–1872)

Pedro Alcántara Herrán (b. 19 October 1800; d. 26 April 1872), president of New Granada (1841–1845). Born to gentry in Bogotá, Herrán served with the patriots from 1814 to 1816 and the royalists from 1816 to 1820, rising from private to captain. In the service of New Granada from 1821, he became a general by 1828. A partisan of Bolívar, he left Colombia in mid-1830 for Europe, where he lived until 1834. During that sojourn, he forged ties to generals Francisco de Paula Santander and Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, and he married the latter's daughter in 1842. Back in Colombia, Herrán served as minister of interior and foreign affairs (1838–1839), and commanded the army during the War of the Supremes (1839–1842). During his presidency, the regime sponsored education, recalled the Jesuits (1842), and centralized government via the 1843 Constitution. Herrán was minister to the United States from 1846 to 1848. He later worked for Mosquera and Company (1851–1854) in New York, then returned to Colombia to lead the constitutionalist army against General José María Melo (1954). He was Colombian envoy in Washington from 1855 to 1859. The following year he returned home; he was fired by Mosquera (1862). Again in Washington, he was Guatemalan minister to Peru (1863) and Salvadoran minister to Peru (1865). After being restored to Colombian military service (1866–1867) by Mosquera, Herrán returned to Colombia, where he was elected senator from Antioquia (1870–1872). He died in Bogotá.

See alsoNew Granada, United Provinces .


Robert H. Davis, "Apuntes biográficos e interpretativos sobre el General Pedro Alcántara Herrán," in Archivo epistolar del General Mosquera … Correspondencia con … Herrán, vol. 1, edited by J. León Helguera and Robert H. Davis (1972).

Eduardo Posada and Pedro María Ibáñez, Vida de Herrán (1903).

Additional Bibliography

Arizmendi Posada, Ignacio. Manual de historia presidencial: Colombia, 1819–2004. Bogotá, D.C.: Planeta, 2004.

Sanders, James E. Contentious Republicans: Popular Politics, Race, and Class in Nineteenth-century Colombia. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004.

Tirado Mejía, Alvaro. El estado y la política en el siglo XIX. Bogotá: El Ancora Editores, 2001.

                                     J. LeÓn Helguera

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Herrán, Pedro Alcántara (1800–1872)

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