Salgar, Eustorgio (1831–1885)

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Salgar, Eustorgio (1831–1885)

Eustorgio Salgar (b. 1 November 1831; d. 25 November 1885), president of Colombia (1870–1872). Scion of prominent Santander families, he was born in Bogotá, where he received his law doctorate in 1851. Salgar's talents and Liberal affiliation brought him responsible posts in Cundinamarca. He went on to govern portions of Santander (1853–1855, 1856–1857), was elected a senator (1858–1859), was governor of Cundinamarca (1859), and was a delegate to the Rionegro Convention (1863). He served as Colombian minister in Washington, D.C. (1865–1866), and was elected president in 1870 (nominated in part to attract votes away from General Tomás Cipriano Mosquera). A devout Catholic and friend of Archbishop Vincente Arbeláez, Salgar won easily. His administration sponsored educational expansion at the primary and secondary levels and established normal schools. Other notable achievements during Salgar's presidency were the chartering of the Banco de Bogotá, Colombia's first successful bank (1870); a reduction of the army by 29 percent; and the construction of roads and of asylums for the insane and leprous. Salgar's elegant personal style and courtesy won him plaudits from both parties. After his term as president, he was governor of Cundinamarca (1874–1876), minister of war (1876), minister of foreign affairs (1878), and minister of the interior (1884). Salgar died in Bogotá.

See alsoColombia, Political Parties: Liberal Party; Parra, Aquileo.


Antonio Pérez Aguirre, Los radicales y la regeneración (1941), pp. 87-97.

Helen Delpar, Red Against Blue (1981), pp. 67ff.

Arizmendi Ignacio Posada, Presidentes de Colombia, 1810–1990 (1989), pp. 137-141.

                                        J. LeÓn Helguera