Francisco Javier Zaldúa

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This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Zaldúa and the second or maternal family name is Racines.
Francisco Javier Zaldúa
Francisco Javier Zaldúa.jpg
Altered photograph of Francisco Javier Zaldúa by John A. Bennet ca. 1850.
14th President of the United States of Colombia
In office
April 1, 1882 – December 21, 1882
Preceded by Rafael Núñez
Succeeded by Clímaco Calderón
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
In office
April 3, 1878 – September, 1878
President Julian Trujillo Largacha
Preceded by Eustorgio Salgar
President of the Rionegro Convention
In office
February 4, 1863 – May 8, 1863
Vice President Eustorgio Salgar
Preceded by Office created*
Succeeded by Office abolished
Constituency Cundinamarca
Secretary of Government
In office
April 1, 1849 – April 22, 1850
President José Hilario López
Personal details
Born Francisco Javier Martínez de Zaldúa y Racines
(1811-12-03)December 3, 1811
Bogotá, Cundinamarca, United States of Colombia
Died December 21, 1882(1882-12-21) (aged 71)
Bogotá, Cundinamarca, United States of Colombia
Nationality Colombian
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Dolores Orbegozo y Mantilla
Alma mater Colegio de San Bartolomé
Occupation Judge, Prosecutor, Professor
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic
*See Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, President of the Granadine Confederation.

Francisco Javier Martínez de Zaldúa y Racines was a Colombian, lawyer and politician, elected President of Colombia in 1882.[1]

Biographic data[edit]

Zaldúa was born in Bogotá, Cundinamarca, on December 3, 1811.[1] He died in the same city, in the Government Palace, on December 21, 1882. He was the first Colombian President to die while in office.[2]

Early life[edit]

His father was don Manuel Maria Zaldúa, a prominent member of the Nueva Granada high society and a very wealthy man. He donated most of his fortune to the cause of independence and in particular to General Antonio Nariño. When the Spanish “Pacificador”, General Pablo Morillo, made his triumphant entry in Bogotá,the Zaldúa family was attending the military parade. Zaldúa’s father was so offended and outraged, that he suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly.[1]

Zaldúa studied jurisprudence and theology at the “Colegio Mayor de San Bartolomé”, where he graduated with a double mayor and obtained diplomas in Law and Divinity.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Zaldúa was a professor of Civil Law and Canonical Law between 1837 and 1866. He later entered the judicial branch where he advanced all the way to Justice of the Supreme Court.[1] As President of this legislative body, Zaldúa became the de facto President of the United States of Colombia for 6 days, when President Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera ceded executive power to the Convention, and until the said convention elected a Council of Ministers to serve collectively as the Colombian head of state.

Political career[edit]

Zaldúa initiated his political career by being elected to the City Council of Bogotá. In 1840 he was elected to the House of Representatives and, later to the Senate, both in representation of his native state of Cundinamarca. He was also appointed as Minister of Government during the administration of President José Hilario López.[3]

Zaldúa served as President of the Rionegro Convention, a constituent assembly that created the United States of Colombia, now the Republic of Colombia.[3]

The Presidency[edit]

In 1881, the presidential campaign to succeed the conservative President Rafael Núñez was taking place. Zaldúa was a man of immense prestige and reputation and José María Rojas Garrido nominated him as candidate for the presidency. The Colombian Liberal Party, which had been divided for many years, united around his name.[1]

Zaldúa was 71 years old by then. Former president Aquileo Parra led the Convention’s commission that went to his home to request his acceptance. Zaldúa, in his acceptance speech said: “In the sunset of my life, I have nothing else to offer to the liberal party, but my last days. I hereby accept this nomination as my death sentence”. The conservative party abstained of participating in the contest, and Zaldúa, as only candidate, won the presidency election. He was inaugurated on April 1, 1882.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Arismendi Posada, Ignacio; Gobernantes Colombianos; trans. Colombian Presidents; Interprint Editors Ltd.; Italgraf; Segunda Edición; Page 117; Bogotá, Colombia; 1983
  2. ^ Arismendi Posada, Ignacio; Gobernantes Colombianos; trans. Colombian Presidents; Interprint Editors Ltd.; Italgraf; Segunda Edición; Page 120; Bogotá, Colombia; 1983
  3. ^ a b Arismendi Posada, Ignacio; Gobernantes Colombianos; trans. Colombian Presidents; Interprint Editors Ltd.; Italgraf; Segunda Edición; Page 118; Bogotá, Colombia; 1983
  4. ^ Arismendi Posada, Ignacio; Gobernantes Colombianos; trans. Colombian Presidents; Interprint Editors Ltd.; Italgraf; Segunda Edición; Page 119; Bogotá, Colombia; 1983