Herrera, Tomás (1804–1854)

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Herrera, Tomás (1804–1854)

Tomás Herrera (b. 21 December 1804; d. 5 December 1854), army officer and governor of Panama (1831–1840; 1845–1849). Born in Panama City, Herrera participated in the Wars of Independence, serving under Simón Bolívar. After rising to the rank of colonel in the armed forces of New Granada, he was named governor of Panama in 1831.

In the midst of the political chaos created by the liberal revolt in New Granada in 1839–1840, a Panamanian popular assembly declared its independence on 18 November 1840 and persuaded Herrera to assume the presidency. In 1841, however, discussions with negotiators from New Granada convinced Herrera to denounce Panamanian autonomy, and in December he signed an agreement that provided for the reintegration of Panama.

As a result of his participation in the act of secession, Herrera was forced into exile in 1841. But by 1845, Herrera was rehabilitated and that year was appointed as governor of Panama by the president of New Granada, Tomás Mosquera. After Herrera's term ended in 1849, he became minister of war in the cabinet of New Granada's liberal president José Hilario López. In 1854 Herrera took a leading role in the defense of New Granada against the dictator José María Melo (1854) and was mortally wounded in battle near Bogotá on 4 December.

See alsoBolívar, Simón; Panama.


Concha Peña, Tomás Herrera (1954).

Juan Cristóbal Zúñiga, El General Tomás Herrera, Hoy (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Araúz, Celestino Andrés, and Patricia Pizzurno Gelós. El Panamá colombiano (1821–1903). Panamá: Primer Banco de Ahorros y Diario La Prensa de Panamá, 1993.

Gaviria Liévano, Enrique. Historia de Panamá y su separación de Colombia. Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia: Editorial Temis, 1996.

                                         Wade A. Kit

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Herrera, Tomás (1804–1854)

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