ALMONTE, JUAN NEPOMUCENO
ALMONTE, JUAN NEPOMUCENO (1803–1869). Juan Nepomuceno Almonte, Mexican official and diplomat, was born in Necupétaro, Michoacán, on May 15, 1803. He was reputed to be a son of an illustrious priest, José María Morelos, by an Indian woman named Brigida Almonte, but conclusive evidence is lacking. In 1815 Almonte was sent to be educated in the United States, where he acquired both social and political principles that influenced a considerable portion of his public life and career. A resolute enemy of Spain, he joined Vicente Ramón Guerrero's supporters upon his return to Mexico. Almonte was on the staff of José Félix Trespalacios in Texas in 1822 and in 1824 was sent as a part of the Mexican legation to London, where he was instrumental in negotiating a commercial treaty with England in 1825-Mexico's first treaty with one of the major powers. In 1830, while serving in the national Congress, Almonte became an object of government persecution and was forced to hide. About this time he, as editor of El Atleta,accused President Anastasio Bustamante of permitting foreign intervention in Mexican affairs. The paper succumbed under heavy fines imposed by the government. In 1834 Almonte made an inspection tour of Texas and wrote a detailed and comprehensive report on what he found (see ALMONTE'S REPORT ON TEXAS). He accompanied Antonio López de Santa Anna to Texas in 1836 and was taken prisoner at San Jacinto. He was subsequently sent with Santa Anna to the United States and returned to Mexico with him in February 1837. He continued in diplomatic and military service and rose to the rank of general of a division. In 1839 he headed the Mexican legation in Belgium but in 1840 returned to the War Department. Almonte was accredited minister plenipotentiary to Washington in 1841 and held the position until 1845, when he returned to Mexico upon the annexation of Texas. He was appointed minister to France, but on his arrival in Havana he joined Santa Anna and returned to Mexico. During the Mexican War Almonte served for a time as secretary of war. He went to Europe in 1856 as minister plenipotentiary to London, but neglected his duties somewhat and devoted himself to the promotion of foreign intervention and monarchical schemes that culminated in the French intervention in Mexico. He returned to Mexico with the French troops. In March 1862 he landed at Veracruz to aid in establishing the monarchy. He was declared supreme chief of the nation by the French and was president of the regency that brought Maximilian to the throne. After Maximilian appointed him envoy to France, Almonte died in Paris on March 21, 1869.
Juan Nepomuceno Almonte Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Juan Nepomuceno Almonte, "The Private Journal of Juan Nepomuceno Almonte, February 1-April 16, 1836," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 48 (July 1944). Juan N. Almonte, "Statistical Report of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 28 (January 1925). Vicente Filisola, Memorias para la historia de la guerra de Tejas (Mexico City, 1848, etc.; abridged trans. by Wallace Woolsey, Memoirs for the History of the War in Texas, Austin: Eakin Press, 1985). Celia Gutiérrez Ibarra, Como México perdió Texas: Análisis y transcripción del informe secreto 1834 de Juan Nepomuceno Almonte (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1987). Helen W. Harris, The Public Life of Juan Nepomuceno Almonte (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1935).
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Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on March 28, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.