Government / 4- Chronology of the Governors of the 19th Century
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Juan de la Pezuela (1848-1851)
1795-1804
Ramón De Castro y Gutiérrez.
During his term, he defended the island from an attack by English General Sir Ralph Abercromby. He once again requested authorization for free trade and the elimination of tithes.

1804-1809
Toribio de Montes.
Under his command, smallpox vaccinations were introduced by Doctor José Oller y Ferrer in 1804. The first press was founded and the island's first newspaper, La Gaceta de Puerto Rico, was published.

1809-1820
Salvador Meléndez Ruiz.
He presided over the military board that named Ramón Power the representative to the Cortes de Cádiz. He began construction of the central highway and authorized the issuance of paper money or bonds. He also separated the administration of the general headquarters, created a customs office, and founded a program to teach medicine at the military hospital.

1820
Juan Vasco y Pascual.
Under his command, the Preparatory Board of Elections was created to select the Puerto Rican representative to the Spanish Cortes. He established a lighting system in the capital and revitalized the Friends of the Country Society. He also prepared a project to create primary schools in all the towns of the island.

1820-1822
Gonzalo de Aróstegui y Herrera.
He requested and established the Court of Spain in Puerto Rico and worked to improve the justice administration. He divided the island into four military commands and seven political districts. He sponsored the celebration of monthly fairs in the centers of the districts. He created a botanical garden in the capital and a hospital for the poor.

1822
José Navarro.
His four months in power coincided with the change of government in Spain and the return of the constitutional period, which allowed the designated representative, Demetrio O`Daly, to continue the work of Ramón Power. The separation of military and civil powers in the governance of the island was achieved.

1822
Francisco González de Linares.
First civil governor under the O'Daly Law. He supported the enlargement of the Plaza Mayor in San Juan, which is today called Plaza de Armas; organized the Distinguished Battalion of Volunteers of Puerto Rico; improved lighting and water service; promoted compliance with the laws on practicing medicine; and supported the project that established a permanent theater in the capital.

1822-1837
Miguel De la Torre.
His government began when authoritarian rule was reestablished in Spain. From Puerto Rico, he aided Venezuelan monarchs with arms and money against the revolutionary forces of Simón Bolívar. De la Torre also inaugurated the Municipal Theater (today, the Tapia Theater), sponsored the project that founded the Colegio San Ildefonso; installed the Provincial Consulate and the Board of Commerce (1825); reorganized the regulated militia; activated vaccination services; sponsored the coordination of a loan guaranteed by the island government to help farmers; and, by decree of Felipe VIII, reestablished in 1832 the Court of Spain and Chancellery, which was known as the Territorial Court.

1837-1838
Francisco J. Moreda Prieto.
In his brief term as governor, he sponsored a project to pave the streets of San Juan; subsidized the Economic Society of the Friends of the Country; sponsored the organization of charitable boards; and organized the Corps of Watchmen in the capital.

1838-1840
Miguel López de Baños.
He regulated the municipal organization and supported the establishment of the charitable Casa de Beneficencia in San Juan. He also encouraged primary education and formally requested permission from the monarchy to establish a university, though permission was denied.

1840-1844
Santiago Méndez Vigo.
He founded the town of Santa Isabel de Coamo and the Casa de Beneficencia in San Juan. He also actively collaborated in the recovery of the town of Mayagüez after the fire of 1841 and facilitated the reorganization of the Economic Society of the Friends of the Country. He also created the managing committee for roads and canals; supported a project to create a firefighters corps; outlawed gambling; authorized the reconstruction of the highway from the capital to Martín Peña; repaired the militia barracks and the brick paving in the capital.

1844-1847
Rafael De Arístegui y Vélez.
First representative of the Narváez dictatorship. De Arístegui regulated the administration of the municipalities; reduced the number of town councils; organized several fire departments, including one in the capital; created the Central Statistics Commission, which conducted a census in Puerto Rico; and improved mail service.

1847-1848
Juan Prim Prats.
He decreed the Bando Negro, which consisted of an ordinance that sought absolute control of the black population of the island. It was repealed by order of the Spanish Crown. Through administrative orders, he supported road links from the town of Cangrejos to Cataño and Vega Baja; reorganized the medical license service; and supported the creation of a school for the children of laborers in the capital.

1848-1851
Juan de la Pezuela.
During his command, he created the Academy of Letters; reorganized primary instruction; published the final Good Government and Police Edict, which regulated the country until 1869. He also implemented the laborer's passbook requirement and contributed to the completion of the restoration of the San Juan Cathedral.

1851-1852
Enrique de España y Taberner.
He replaced Pezuela, who resigned before the end of his term.

1852-1855
Fernando de Norzagaray y Escudero.
During his incumbency, he ordered the repair of the south wall of the Santa Elena bastion in San Juan; requested the establishment of workshops, the construction of arsenals, and the creation and organization of a cavalry section. He also supported the routing of a highway from San Juan to Ponce and built various bridges. One of these was called General Norzagaray's Grand Bridge and crossed Los Frailes stream. In politics, his government was characterized by repression of the press.

1855
Andrés García Camba.
Authorized horse races during the San Juan and San Pedro festivals.

1855-1857
José de Lemery Ibarrola.
This governor encouraged the involvement of women in teaching and improved the Casa de Beneficencia. He also requested the establishment of banks to prevent the usury that many locals faced.

1857-1860
Fernando Cotoner Chacón.
Under his command, the construction of a network of highways that circled the island and improved military defenses was completed.

1860-1862
Rafael Echagüe y Bermingham.
He organized the third Public Exhibition of Fine Arts, Agriculture and Industry.

1862-1863
Rafael Izquierdo Gutiérrez,
Interim governor.

1862-1865
Félix María de Messina.
He supported the establishment of the Asylum of Charity in Ponce, and promoted the realization of the fourth Public Exhibition of Fine Arts, Agriculture and Industry. He also encouraged public education and created the Primary Education Board.

1865-1867
José María Marchesi y Oleaga.
He organized an electoral college to elect the commissioners that would represent the island in the Reform Investigation Board that began work in Madrid in 1866. He halted an uprising by artillerymen, condemned to death the leader of the revolt, and exiled the other participants.

1867-1868
Julián Juan Pavía y Lacy.
After the passage of Hurricane San Narciso in 1867, the governor eliminated taxes and payments for the right to import products for consumption to resolve the crisis caused by the hurricane. During his incumbency, the Grito de Lares revolutionary movement of 1868 erupted. After capturing the insurrectionists, Pavía provided amnesty for the leaders.

1868-1870
José Laureano Sanz y Posse.
He restored the rights of Puerto Ricans to elect representatives to the Spanish Cortes and implemented the Civil Guard. He also abolished the regulated militias and exiled and jailed all those suspected of separatism. In public administration, he supported a project to equip the island with a telegraph system; strengthened the mail system; established a school of agriculture; began the construction of metal bridges over the Portugues River in Ponce, the Caguitas River in Caguas, and the Yaguez River in Mayaguez. He repaired or built city halls in several municipalities.

1870-1871
Gabriel Baldrich y Palau.
He abolished the military courts created by Governor Pezuela; annulled the suspension of the Economic Society of the Friends of the Country imposed by Governor Sanz during his first term; authorized Johan W. Zacheus to establish a Protestant school on Vieques; and authorized the creation of lotteries in San Juan and Ponce. He also supported the fifth Puerto Rico Exposition (1871) and opened commerce at the port of Guayanilla.

1871-1872
Ramón Gómez Pulido.
He enforced compliance with the laws on the practice of medicine, annexed La Marina area to the capital, and planned the removal of the San Juan walls.






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Glossary
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Internal Links
1- Chronology of the Governors of the 16th Century
2- Chronology of the Governors of the 17th Century
3- Chronology of the Governors of the 18th Century
Abolition of Slavery (1873)
About San Juan
About the Lighthouses of Puerto Rico
Architecture in Puerto Rico: A Defining Paradigm for Our Identity
Brief History of Puerto Rico
Chronology of newspapers of the 19th century: 1805-1865
Crime in Puerto Rico
Historical Roots of Violence in Puerto Rico
II-Chronology of newspapers published in the 19th century: 1866-1875
Ramón Power in the Cortes of Cadiz (1810-1813)
Ramón Power y Giralt House, San Juan
Structural Complicity of Crime
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