José de Obaldía

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José de Obaldía y Orejuela
7th Vice President of New Granada
In office
1 April 1851 – 1 April 1855
President José Hilario López Valdéz
José María Obando del Campo
None (1854—1855)
Preceded by Rufino Cuervo y Barreto
Succeeded by Manuel María Mallarino Ibargüen
Personal details
Born (1806-07-19)19 July 1806
Santiago, Panama,
Viceroyalty of the New Granada
Died 28 December 1889(1889-12-28) (aged 83)
David, Panama, Colombia
Nationality Colombian
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Ana María Gallegos Candanedo (1842—1889)
Alma mater National University of Colombia (JD, )
Profession Lawyer

José Arsenio Vicente del Carmen de Obaldía y Orejuela (19 July 1806 – 28 December 1889) was the 7th Vice President of New Granada, and as such served as Acting President in two occasions.

Personal life[edit]

José Arsenio Vicente del Carmen was born on 19 July 1806 in Santiago de Veraguas, then part of the Viceroyalty of the New Granada, to Domingo Blas de Obaldía y Latatu, a Spaniard native of Álava, and Juana María de Orejuela Cordero, a Criolla of Spanish descent.[1] In 1842 he married Ana María Gallegos Candanedo with whom he had four children: José Arístides, José Domingo, José Lorenzo, and Ana Josefa, the last two dying before reaching puberty.[2]

Vice Presidency (1851—1855)[edit]

Obaldía was elected in 1851 to succeede Rufino Cuervo y Barreto as the 7th Vice President of New Granada; he took office on 1 April 1851 as President José Hilario López Valdéz's 2nd Vice President. From 14 October 1851 to 21 January 1852 Vice President Obaldía became Acting President in charge of the Executive Power while President López was out of the capital until his return. On 1 April 1853 José María Obando del Campo succeeded López to the Presidency, Obaldía remained as Vice President as the elections for President and Vice President were held two years apart.

Although Obando and Obaldía both belonged to the newly created Liberal party, they belonged to different ideological camps, Obando was of the Draconian faction (pragmatist but defenders of the death penalty), and Obaldía was of the Golgothian faction (radical liberal reformers) this brought them into conflict from the start as the Golgothians had opposed Obando's nomination in the first place. In April 1854, Golgothians in congress moved to reduce the size and influence of the armed forces, thus prvoking a coup by General José María Melo y Ortiz, commander of the Bogotá garrison. General Melo hoped that Obando would welcome the uprise and move to suspend Congress, but when President Obando refused, Melo assumed the presidency himself establishing a dictatorship and imprisoning Obando. Vice President Obaldía managed to escape by taking refuge in the US Legation in Bogotá headed by James S. Green, the United States Chargé d'Affaire to New Granada. Obaldía and the rest of the Melo opposition reconvened in Ibagué where they headed the government-in-exile and the military campaign to take Melo from power. On 22 September, Congress convened in Ibagué impeached President Obando for irresponsible neglicence in not preventing the coup and formally removed from office. On 5 August Vice President Obaldía, who had testified against Obando in his trial before Congress, was left in charge of the Executive Power as Acting President of the Government acting in rebellion against the Dictatorship of Melo. On 4 December the constitutional forces marched into Bogotá, deposed Melo and left Vice President Obaldía as Acting President of the constitutional government now in power. On 1 April 1855 Obaldía's term came to an end and Congress elected Conservative Congressman Manuel María Mallarino Ibargüen to succeede Obaldía as Vice President and to finish Obando's term as Acting President.


  1. ^ "José de Obaldía y Orejuela". Boletín de la Academia Panameña de la Historia (in Spanish). Panama City: Panamanian Academy of History (2): 55. April 1933. OCLC 213774275. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Castillero Reyes, Ernesto J (1944). "Memoria Testamental de José de Obaldía, Vicepresidente". Boletín de Historia y Antigüedades (in Spanish). Bogotá: Colombia, National Printing Office of (353-354): 276. ISSN 0006-6303. OCLC 1606508. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 

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