Mr. Scruggs to Mr. Bayard.
Bogota, November 25, 1885. (Received January 8, 1886.)
Sir: General Eustorjio Salgar, ex-President of Colombia, died at his residence in this city at 6 o’clock this morning. He was comparatively a young man, being only in his fifty-third year. He seemed in excellent health ten days ago, when he was suddenly stricken with paralysis, which proved fatal.
General Salgar was one of the very best men of Colombia, and had filled many positions of public trust. He was educated to the law. At the age of twenty-three he was elected governor of one of the New Granadian provinces, under the old Republic of 1856. In 1859 he began [Page 231] his military career under General Mosquera, and rose to the chief command of the national army at the age of thirty-one. Subsequently he was elected a member of the executive council of the provisional Government of 1863, and soon thereafter was appointed Colombian minister to Washington. I doubt not that Mr. Hunter and others in the Department remember him well.
Upon his return to Colombia he was elected governor of the State of Santander, and subsequently President of the federal Republic. All parties concede that he made one of the very best Presidents Colombia ever had. His administration was able, non-partisan, pure, and clean.
After the expiration of his Presidential term, in 1872, he retired to private life; but he was not permitted to remain. He was soon called again to the public service as cabinet minister under President Perez, with the portfolio of war. The succeeding administration (that of President Parra) called him to the position of minister for foreign affairs. He was again called to the same position by President Trujillo, in 1878, and again, for the third time, by President Nuñez, in 1884, which he, however, soon resigned.
In politics he was a Liberal, with strong convictions; but during the late civil war lived in retirement at his hacienda, taking no part whatever in the contest. It was my privilege to know him long and intimately, having served with him on the International Commission of 1875 for the settlement of some British claims. Few men of any country combined such rare aptitude for public affairs with such admirable traits of personal character.
I have, &c.,