A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Colombia


Colombia effectively achieved its independence from Spain by 1819, and the country was recognized by the United States in 1822, when President Monroe received a Colombian diplomatic representative in Washington. The United States established a diplomatic mission in Colombia in 1823. At that time, the Colombian federation included the territory of the present-day republics of Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Panama. U.S. relations with the government in Bogotá were not interrupted when Ecuador and Venezuela left the federation in 1830. From 1830 to 1856, the country was known as New Granada, and from 1856 to 1863, it was known as the Grenadine Confederation. The country became the United States of Colombia in 1863, and it changed its name to the Republic of Colombia in 1886. Panama separated from Colombia in 1903.

Modern Flag of Colombia


U.S. Recognition of Colombia, 1822.

The United States recognized Colombia on June 19, 1822, when President James Monroe received Manuel Torres as the Colombian Chargé d’affaires.

Consular Relations

Establishment of Consulates in Cartagena and Santa Marta, 1823.

The first U.S. consulates in the present-day territory of Colombia were established in the Caribbean port cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta in 1823. In Cartagena, where a commercial agent had been appointed in 1821 and a consular agent appointed in 1822, James Macpherson was appointed Consul on March 3, 1823. Harris Fudger was appointed Consul in Santa Marta on July 11, 1823. The Consulate in Cartagena closed in 1948, and the Consulate in Santa Marta closed in 1933.

Consular posts were also established at different times in Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Buenaventura, Cali, and Medellín. None remain in operation.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1822.

Diplomatic relations were established in 1822 by President Monroe’s reception of Colombian Chargé Manuel Torres.

Establishment of the U.S. Legation in Colombia, 1823.

Richard Anderson of Kentucky was named U.S. Minister to Colombia on January 27, 1823, and he presented his credentials to the Colombian Government on December 16, 1823, thus establishing the U.S. Mission in Colombia.

Elevation of Status of Legation in Bogotá to Embassy, 1939.

The U.S. Legation in Colombia was raised to the rank of Embassy in 1939. Spruille Braden became the first U.S. Ambassador to Colombia.

Treaties and Agreements

General Convention of Peace, Amity, Navigation, and Commerce, 1824.

The first commercial treaty between the United States and the Republic of Colombia (then comprising present-day Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, and Venezuela) was signed in 1824 and ratified and proclaimed in 1825. It expired in 1836.

General Treaty of Peace, Amity, Navigation, and Commerce, 1846.

A treaty of friendship and commerce between the United States and New Granada (present-day Colombia), still in force, was concluded in 1846 and proclaimed in 1848.


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Colombia
  • Department of State Country Information: Colombia