Julio Arboleda Pombo Biography

Julio Arboleda Pombo (Timinbiquí, Cauca, 9 June 1817 – Sierra de Berruecos, Nariño, 13 November 1862).

Landlord, Lawyer, Speaker, Military Leader, Political Leader, Diplomat, Parliamentary, Poet, Playwright, Journalist and Colombian Writer, who became elected, in 1861, President of the Grenadinad Confederation. As a Military, he participated in the civil wars that plagued the country, in which he fought on the Conservative side.

He also opposed the abolition of slavery, although some of his direct ancestors had promoted the Law decreed the Freedom of Slaves, promulgated in Colombia in 1852. As a Poet he has been listed by literary critics as one of the most important romantic writers of New Granada, along with his contemporary José Eusebio Caro. His poem Gonzalo de Oyón is listed as his greatest poetic work.

Ascension and early life

Julio Arboleda Pombo was born on June 9, 1817, in the town of Timbiquí, located in the department of Cauca, thus becoming the firstborn of the marriage between José Rafael Arboleda Arroyo and his wife Matilde Pombo O’Donnell.

By the time of his birth, his parents were sheltering at one of his properties the Timbiquí Mine, after having to flee to this area of the Pacific due to The triumph of Sámano in southern New Granada. His family was one of the most influential, wealthy and important styro-pes of the Popayán aristocracy.

Also in his lineage were an illustrious ancestor, such as Manuel de Pombo, of whom Julio was a nephew; Francisco de Ulloa, his cousin; the Count of La Bisbal, D. Enrique José O’Donnel, who was his great-uncle; and Francisco José de Caldas of whom he was a great-nephew. For his part his father would also have become a great friend and confidante of the Liberator Simon Bolivar, who stayed at his home, north of Popayá, during some rest seasons.

Years in Europe

In 1819, when Julio was two years old, the family decided to return to Ponpayán. His first lyrics were learned from his maternal grandmother Beatriz O’Donnell and Anethan, who also taught him French.

For his part, his maternal grandfather Manuel Antonio Pombo taught him Grammar and Geometria. He also had Manuel María Luna as a teacher. In 1830, when he turned thirteen, his father José Rafael Arboleda Arroyo became seriously ill, so he decided to undertake a trip to Europe, in order to seek treatment, in which he takes Julio as his companion.

This is how he continues his studies in London, England at the hands of a Catholic preceptor of Irish origin. A few months later he earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of London.

Military career

In 1831, he lost his father during a stay in Pisa, Italy. However, he continues his journey through Europe alone, while continuing his academic training. Five years later, in 1838, he returned to Pompayán, where he enrolled at the University of Cauca, in order to study Civil Law and Political Science.

During this time he also dabbled in journalism, writing the publication El Independiente. Two years later, in 1840, he was forced to suspend his studies after the outbreak of the War of the Supremes, where Julio Arboleda, holding the rank of Lieutenant of the National Guard, fights in defense of the Government. From that moment on he will remain active in the army, having the opportunity to participate in several battles of the long era of the civil wars in Colombia.

His brave entries would make him worthy of several promotions, eventually serving as Army General and serving as Chief of the 6th Division. Likewise, in 1860 he entered combat again, facing Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, his staunchest enemy, in several battles.

Political career

His political career would also lead him to hold important positions, including his support for General Herrán in Pasto, as well as his participation in diplomatic negotiations with Ecuador in the 1840s.

A few years later, in 1861 he was elected as President of the Grenadine Confederation, however the Congress, who was to invest him in his office did not meet on April 1, 1861, so the presidency was temporarily taken over by the solicitor Bartolomé Calvo. However, the solicitor was taken to prison, being appointed Julio Arboleda as Procurator, and therefore as President.

The following year, in 1862, he fought in the Battle of Tulcán, against Gabriel García Moreno, president of Ecuador, whom he would defeat, together with his two natural grass colonels: José Francisco Zarama and José Antonio Eraso.

Final years

On the return of his triumph in this South American country, While transiting through this territory, on November 13, 1862, he was shot three times, which – although he could never prove anything – were believed to have been executed by the Caucano Juan López, he asked to Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, who would have rewarded him with two hundred pesos of the time. He was survived by his wife, Estefanía Mosquera, whom he married in 1842 and had ten children. His remains currently rest in the Pantheon of the Próceres in Popayán.

Major works

Among his main literary works are the publications El Independiente (1838); The Patriot (1842); The Payanés (1843); The Three Candidates (1844); The Myophore. He also supported his uncle Lino de Pombo in the writing of The Century. However, his greatest work is the Poem Gonzalo de Oyón, which he published in New York, in 1833, in his book ‘Poetry’, edited by Miguel Antonio Caro. It is considered by literary critics to be a warrior legend, which at times rises to the lyrics of an epic poem.

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Julio Arboleda Pombo Biography
Source: Education  
August 14, 2019

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