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Juan Nepomuceno Almonte

Lifespan: (5 May 1803 – 21 March 1869)
Profession: Regular Army Officer, Politician and Government Official


Juan Nepomuceno Almonte (15 May 1803 – 21 March 1869) was born in Nocupétaro, Carácuaro, Michoacán and was supposedly the son of insurgent leader José María Morelos and Brígida Almonte who was of indigenous Amerindian ancestry. He was a soldier, politician and government official. He fought in the Battle of the Alamo (23 February 23 – 6 March 1836). In the 1860s Almonte led the Conservatives in Mexico. He was ‘regent’ (Head of State) after Napoleon III of France established the Second Mexican Empire. In 1814, Almonte was promoted to the rank of brigadier general by Morelos who himself was executed in 1815. Almonte went on to work for José Félix in Trespalacios, Texas, spending part of the 1820s in London as a Mexican delegate. He supported minister plenipotentiary José Mariano Michelena in negotiations with Britain over the drafting of the first Anglo-Mexican commercial treaty. Returned to Mexico, Almonte was the editor of El Atleta in 1830 and was elected deputy in congress. In this publication he criticised Anastasio Bustamante and was forced to seek refuge in New Orleans, his arrest having been ordered by the Bustamente government. In 1831, however, Bustamante had a change of heart and appointed Almonte as government secretary with the charge of representing Mexico in Brazil under the title of Mexican Legation Extraordinary. In 1834, Almonte was selected by Vice President Valentín Gómez Farías along with Col. José María Díaz Noriega, to travel to Texas on an inspection tour and to draft a report on the state of the province. Almonte then fought alongside Antonio López de Santa Anna against the Texan rebellion as his aide-de-camp, leading the Guerrero battalion. Captured at the battle of San Jacinto, Almonte accompanied Santa Anna as his interpreter during his captivity. Santa Anna and Almonte were allowed to return to Mexico in February 1837. Almonte moved on to develop his political and military career and attained the rank of division general. In 1837, Almonte published a book on the subject of geography and held various political posts including Minister of War and Navy under President Bustamante from July 1839 to October 1841. Under President José Joaquín de Herrera, he was later appointed minister plenipotentiary to Washington from 1844-1845, returning to Mexico when the United States annexed Texas. Although he initially supported General Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga 1845-46 dictatorship he switched loyalties again in August 1846 to favour General Santa Anna. When the Mexican-American War broke out Almonte became Minister of War under interim president José Mariano Salas. He was also involved in an attempt to remove Gómez Farías from power in February 1847, an act for which he was incarcerated. When the war finished in 1848 he became senator for Oaxaca. Following this he was the Mexican representative in the United Sates of America during Santa Anna’s final presidency 20 April 1853 – 9 August 1855. Almonte then became minister plenipotentiary in England, France and Spain in 1856. In 1859 he signed the Mont-Almonte Treaty which agreed to exchange debt payments to the Spanish for financial support against the Liberal Party of Mexico. Almonte supported the French intervention in Mexico 1862. He was given the position of lieutenant of the empire and then marshal of the empire by Maximilian in 1864. After the execution of Emperor Maximilian on June 19th 1867, Almonte went into exile where he died in 1869.