List of Governors of the Province of Cartagena

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The Province of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia was founded concurrently with the city of Cartagena, Colombia in 1533 by the conquistador Pedro de Heredia, thus fulfilling his part in a contract of conquest made with King Charles V of Spain.[1] The town and province were named after Cartagena, Spain, the hometown of most of Heredia's sailors.[2]

The province became independent during the 19th century, and essentially preserved its original territorial area, although it had changed names several times.[3]

The following is a list of the Governors or Presidents of the Province of Cartagena,[4][5] later known as the "Republic of Cartagena".[6]

In response to the demands of the people, the Junta de Gobierno of Cartagena declared its independence from the Spanish Crown and the abolition of the Inquisition on November 11, 1811. The Junta issued an acta de independencia declaring: "the Province of Cartagena de Indias is from today, in fact and by law, a free, sovereign, and independent state."[7] Leaders of the territory when it was an independent nation are also included here.

Province of Cartagena de Indias (1533-1810)[edit]

The Province of Cartagena in its initial form lasted from 1533 to 1810, during which time the title of the province's chief executive was Governor. With exceptions in 1539 and 1540, provisional leaders served without that title. During the Viceroyalty of Peru, the administrative power of the governor diminished due to the presence of the Viceroy in Cartagena de Indias and its selection as the alternative capital of New Kingdom of Granada.

During this period, the corregidor, or alcalde mayor, of Cartagena de Indias had both judicial and administrative powers, while the colonial governor was the military and budgetary authority in the province and semi-corregidor of the capital city, which because of its economic importance had significant autonomy from Bogotá, and played a vital role in the balance of powers in New Granada.[8]

In the 18th century Cartagena de Indias was the preeminent city of the New Kingdom of Granada, its port controlling most of the colony's trade. The Spanish government had built an imposing fortress, the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, in a strategic location on the Hill of San Lázaro, which dominated all approaches to the city by land or sea. Cartagena controlled the region commercially, politically, and militarily, and served as headquarters for Spanish army and naval stations on the Caribbean coast.[8]

In this list appears the title, name, length of the governorship and notes about the incumbent.

Peninsular War, Revolution and Independence (1810-1820)[edit]

The events of the peninsular war and the convocation of Juntas throughout Spain transformed the traditional order. Although everything remained the same, the instability of this period makes almost impossible to state what was the precise status of the province.

This triumvirate was fragile and was replaced by a "Supreme Junta" where the locals had more power, this could be regarded as a sort of fight between the virtually nonexistent royal power and the city councils.

By this time chaos dominated the political scene, with many advocating independence of the viceroyalty, others of the province, others the return of the Ancien regime, while yet others, desiring stability, wanted to maintain the status quo under the present governorship, or whatever title given the office, which always represented a short-lived victory of one faction or another.

Intendency of the department of Magdalena (1820-1832)[edit]

In August 1820, the Province of Cartagena was annexed to Greater Colombia and the revolutionary wars finally ended. In 1821 Cartagena and Santa Marta provinces merged in the Intendency of Magdalena Department, and were governed by a Prefect Intendent from Cartagena de Indias.

Province of Cartagena de Indias (1832-1841)[edit]

Republic of the Southern Caribbean (1841-1841)[edit]

Province of Cartagena de Indias (1841-1863)[edit]

Sovereign State of Bolivar (1863-1886)[edit]

Department of Bolivar (1886-today)[edit]


  1. ^ J. Michael Francis (21 December 2007). Invading Colombia: Spanish Accounts of the Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada Expedition of Conquest. Penn State University Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-271-05649-4. 
  2. ^ "Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango". 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  3. ^ Richard Graham (18 February 2015). Independence in Latin America: Contrasts and Comparisons. University of Texas Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-4773-0835-6. 
  4. ^ Nicolás del Castillo Mathieu (1998). Los gobernadores de Cartagena de Indias, 1504-1810. Academia Colombiana de Historia. ISBN 978-958-8040-08-0. 
  5. ^ Manuel Ezequiel Corrales (1889). Efemérides y anales del Estado de Bolívar. J. J. Pérez. 
  6. ^ Richard W. Slatta; Jane Lucas De Grummond (2003). Simon Bolivar's Quest for Glory. Texas A&M University Press. pp. 69–. ISBN 978-1-60344-729-4. 
  7. ^ Jaime E. Rodríguez O. (13 May 1998). The Independence of Spanish America. Cambridge University Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-521-62673-6. 
  8. ^ a b Lance R. Grahn (1991). "Cartagena and its Hinterland in the Eighteenth Century". In Franklin W. Knight; Peggy K. Liss. Atlantic Port Cities: Economy, Culture, and Society in the Atlantic World, 1650-1850. Univ. of Tennessee Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-87049-657-8. 
  9. ^ María del Carmen Gómez Pérez (1 January 1984). Pedro de Heredia y Cartagena de Indias. Editorial CSIC - CSIC Press. p. 303. ISBN 978-84-00-05914-9. 
  10. ^ Jerónimo Bécker; José María Rivas Groot (1921). El Nuevo Reino de Granada en el siglo XVIII. Imp. del Asilo de huérfanos del S. C. de Jesús. p. 39. 
  11. ^ Nicolás del Castillo Mathieu (1998). Los gobernadores de Cartagena de Indias, 1504-1810. Academia Colombiana de Historia. pp. 97, 135. ISBN 978-958-8040-08-0. 
  12. ^ Aline Helg (12 October 2005). Liberty and Equality in Caribbean Colombia, 1770-1835. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-8078-7587-2.