§ From Jorge Tadeo Lozano
9 May 1811, Santa Fe de Bogotá. Announces the repudiation of the Spanish government as a consequence of the French occupation of Spain and seizure of the person of the king. In order to preserve their independence and to provide for their security, the people have written a constitution of fundamental laws and created the state of Cundinamarca, of which he has the honor to be president. Requests independent governments to recognize its political existence and establish relations with appropriate firmness in order to influence the government of the colonial despot whose system they always renounce.1
RC (DNA: RG 59, ML). 1 p. In Spanish. In a clerk’s hand, signed by Lozano. Docketed by a clerk as enclosing a copy of the constitution (not found).
1. Notwithstanding the lead that the junta of Santa Fe de Bogotá had taken in the efforts to establish a federal system of government in New Granada (see José Miguel Pey to JM, ca. 22 Dec. 1810, and n. 1), its members quarreled with the congress of provincial delegates on the grounds that the latter body was attempting to rule as a central, supreme government. The junta therefore decided to disregard the congress and in February 1811 organized another constituent body which established the province of Santa Fe as the independent state of Cundinamarca. The constitution of the new state, in addition to creating a representative government with a separation of executive, legislative, and judicial powers, recognized the Roman Catholic religion as the only true faith and conferred upon Ferdinand VII the title of “King of the people of Cundinamarca.” In the absence of the monarch, his powers were to be exercised by a president and his advisers and secretaries. Lozano was elected as first president and held office until he resigned after demonstrations against him on 19 Sept. 1811 (Henao and Arrubla, History of Colombia, pp. 211–16).