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Juan Nepomuceno (al-mau'n-te) Almonte

ALMONTE, Juan Nepomuceno (al-mau'n-te), Mexican statesman, born in Valadolid, Mexico, in 1804; died in Paris, 20 March 1869. He was the reputed son of the priest Morelos, the famous partisan chief, who was shot in 1813. His youth was spent in the United States, where he secured an excellent education, supporting himself the while. Returning to Mexico he entered upon a military career, and was chosen by Santa Anna one of his aides-de-camp, in which capacity he served in the Texan campaign against General Houston, being made prisoner with his chief at the battle of San Jacinto (1836). On regaining his liberty he was made secretary of state by the Mexican president, Bustamente. In 1840 he showed great courage in quelling a revolt in the province of Urrea, but was deprived of office by a revolution that followed, and forced to support himself by lecturing. He was subsequently appointed minister at Washington; but when the annexation of Texas was resolved upon he demanded his passports, protesting at the same time against that measure. In 1845 he was a candidate for the presidency of the republic of Mexico, but failed; and afterward, on the elevation of Paredes to power, he was appointed, first, minister of war, and then ambassador to Paris° He was on his way to France when he heard, at Havana, of the return of Santa Anna to power, upon which he immediately returned to Mexico, and, joining Santa Anna, took part in the war against the "United States, distinguishing himself at the battles of Buena Vista., Cerro Gordo, and Churubusco. After the war he entered the ranks of the liberal opposition, and for the second time became a candidate for the presidency, but again without success. He was, however, appointed Mexican minister at Paris which office he held at the period when President Miramon was overthrown by Juarez (1860). He returned to Mexico with the French expedition in 1862. Juarez protested against his presence in the French camp, and demanded that Almonte should be delivered up to him; but the French commander refused, and shortly afterward General Taboada, declaring Juarez deposed, and Almonte invested with supreme power in his place, issued a proclamation. He found himself, however, unable to organize a government; and General Forey, on his arrival in Mexico, annulled Taboada's decree, and announced to the Mexicans that they were free to choose a new government. After the decisive victory of the French arms, Ahnonte became one of the triumvirate to whom they entrusted the management of affairs in Mexico, assigning him the foreign department and the finances. He was appointed lieutenant of the empire by Maximilian in April 1864, and some week's later marshal of the empire. He adhered to the fortunes of his imperial patron throughout his short reign, and, when Maximilian was executed, he fled to Europe, spending his last days in exile.

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