José María Montealegre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
José María Montealegre
José María Montealegra Fernández.JPG
President of Costa Rica
In office
14 August 1859 – 8 May 1863
Preceded by Juan Rafael Mora
Succeeded by Jesús Jiménez Zamora
Personal details
Born 19 March 1815
San José, Costa Rica
Died 26 September 1887(1887-09-26) (aged 72)
San Jose, California, US

José María Montealegre Fernández (19 March 1815 – September 26, 1887) was President of Costa Rica from 1859 to 1863.

Born into a wealthy family of coffee plantation owners, he was sent to study medicine in Aberdeen, where he graduated as a surgeon. He married twice: in 1854 to Ana Maria Mora (1819-1854), sister of the future President Juan Rafael Mora (1849-1859), and in 1858 to Sofía Matilde Joy Redman (1823-1908), a Londoner, who was a relative of British diplomat Sir William Gore Ouseley.

He came to power through a coup d'état against Juan Rafael Mora. In the first months of his presidency he convened a constitutional conventional, which produced the Constitution of 1859.

Under the new constitution he was popularly elected to a three-year presidential term in 1860, after which he handed on the presidency, peacefully and democratically, to Jesús Jiménez.

After earning the animosity of President Tomás Guardia, Montealegre decided to leave Costa Rica. He died in San Jose, California and his mortal remains laid near Mission San Jose (located in what is now Fremont, CA) until they were repatriated in 1978.

His sister was Gerónima Montealegre, and his great-great-grandniece is actress Madeleine Stowe.


Political offices
Preceded by
Juan Rafael Mora Porras
President of Costa Rica
Succeeded by
Jesús Jiménez Zamora