MIL-OSI Translation: In the archives of the Chancellery: Francisco de Paula de Santander, first decree for the migration of foreigners in 1823


MIL OSI Translation. Region: Spanish / Latin America / UN –

Source: Republic of Colombia

Francisco de Paula Santander (1792-1840) In:

Bogotá (June 18/21). Without a doubt, one of the most prominent figures in the history of Colombia is General Francisco de Paula Santander. Son of landowners in Villa del Rosario near Cúcuta, he stood out in the liberation campaigns as an ally of the independence cause that led him to fight throughout the national territory, first in the campaigns of the central regions together with Antonio Nariño and later with Simón Bolívar, in the campaigns of the north of New Granada.

His outstanding performances earned him extensive military recognition among the troops, leading him to be one of the main leaders along with Bolívar of the Liberation campaign that began in 1819.

In this feat, his participation in the battles of Paya, Gámeza, Pantano de Vargas and Puente de Boyacá was definitive, which sealed the defeat of the Spanish armies and opened the way to the independence process of the New Granada provinces.

This process made possible the creation of the Republic of Colombia, which was finally consolidated with the promulgation of the Constitution of Cúcuta in 1821. By this Magna Carta, Simón Bolívar was also appointed as President and Francisco de Paula Santander of Colombia as Vice President. The latter was in charge of the government of the republic, while the former headed south to consolidate the independence of Peru, which until then was the only territory that remained loyal to the Spanish Crown on the continent.

Therefore, the first decrees for the political organization of the republic were ordered and signed by Santander, which in the following years was dedicated to organizing a series of institutions that would shape the State and that would govern the provinces of Colombian territory.

For example, the first decree promulgated on October 7, 1821 was the appointment of the secretaries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Finance and War and Navy, which will mark in a short time the two hundred years of creation of these ministries in the political history of Colombia. .1

However, this decree is part of a large volume of administrative acts in various fields also signed by Santander and that show his vision as a statesman.

For example, another signed on June 18, 1823 shows what his vision for the future of the nation was like, because after having organized a large part of the State, this president sought to promote the first migration of foreign settlers to Colombia.

Through such an administrative act, his vision was to grant lands and give the possibility to become owners to different settlers and foreign families.

This delivery consisted of two or three million bushels, which sought to develop the provinces, under rules such as the creation of surveying offices, promote the settlement of foreigners near ports and navigable rivers, stimulate trade and seek that the authorities provide a greater security, for the establishment of new populations in the Colombian territory.2

Beginning of the Decree and signature of Francisco de Paula Santander, to promote migration in Colombia through the delivery of land on June 18, 1823.3

Likewise, this decree sought the creation of new locations for the security of Colombians, promoting justice and seeking to open new businesses between foreigners and citizens previously settled in the territory.

This would be a great antecedent of what during the 19th and part of the 20th centuries various governments in Colombia tried to do in regions such as Santander, Boyacá and the Atlantic Coast, by promoting the arrival of migrants for trade and opening better roads. to connect to the country.

Therefore, these types of administrative acts are part of a great memory of the nation and of its political transfer of the country in these two hundred years. Likewise, this type of document raises new research perspectives on the mentality of the rulers at the beginning of the republic, as well as the various national projects that tried to form and that finally had their debacle at the end of the 19th century.

Finally, this volume after having been protected for all these years by the Archive of the Chancellery, demonstrates the uninterrupted management of the officials under their charge and the preservation of this type of memory for the future of the nation.


2. MRE Central File, Administrative Acts Series, Caja, 67263, Folio 87 r-88r.

3. MRE Central File, Administrative Act Series, Caja, 67263, Folio 87 r-88r.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI