Juan Martín de Pueyrredón

Juan Martín de Pueyrredón
6th Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata
In office
Preceded by Antonio González de Balcarce
Succeeded by José Rondeau
Personal details
Born (1777-12-18)18 December 1777
Buenos Aires
Died 13 March 1850(1850-03-13) (aged 72)
San Isidro, Buenos Aires Province
Nationality Argentine
Profession Soldier

Juan Martín de Pueyrredón y O'Dogan (December 18, 1777 – March 13, 1850) was an Argentine general and politician of the early 19th century. He was appointed Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata after the Argentine Declaration of Independence.


Early life

Pueyrredón was born in Buenos Aires, the fifth of eight sons of Juan Martín de Pueyrredón y Labroucherie, and his wife, María Rita Damasia O'Doggan y Soria. Pueyrredon's father was a French merchant who established himself in Cádiz with his brother, and later in Buenos Aires, where he married his wife, who was of partial Irish descent.[1] He was educated at the Royal College until the death of his father in 1791. María became the head of the family, assisted by Anselmo Sáenz Valiente in business, and withdrew Juan Martín from his studies at the age of 14.[2] He then moved to live with a relative in Cádiz, Spain to learn about commerce. His first business took him to Madrid and France. He returned briefly to Buenos Aires to deal with his father's will, and married his cousin Dolores Pueyrredón, daughter of Diego de Pueyrredón y Labrucherie and Maman Mairoluo, in Spain in 1803.[3] They returned to Buenos Aires, but Dolores miscarried during the trip. Pueyrredón thought of returning to Spain with her, hoping to restore her health by visiting her family, but she miscarried again and her health worsened, until she died in May 1805.[4]

British invasions

Buenos Aires was invaded by British forces in 1806, during the first of two British invasions of the Río de la Plata. Pueyrredón was among the criollos who did not believe that the British would help them to become independent from Spain. He moved to Montevideo and got an interview with governor Pascual Ruiz Huidobro. Huidobro authorized him to organize a resistance, so he returned to Buenos Aires and secretly prepared an army at the Perdriel ranch. The British, however, discovered it and defeated the half-prepared army. Pueyrredón escaped to Colonia del Sacramento and joined Santiago de Liniers, whose army would eventually defeat the British.[5]

In 1807 he was sent as representative of Buenos Aires to Spain again, but returned in 1809 via Brazil to Buenos Aires, where he subsequently participated in the independentist movement. After the May Revolution of 1810, which gave birth to the first local government junta, he was appointed governor of Córdoba, and in 1812 he became the leader of the independent forces and a member of the short-lived First Triumvirate. From 1812 to 1815, he was exiled in San Luis.

Supreme director

In 1816, Pueyrredón was elected Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. He strongly supported José de San Martín's military campaign in Chile, and also founded the first national bank of Argentina and the national mint. After the declaration of a Unitarian constitution, revolts forced him to resign as Supreme Director in 1819 and go into exile in Montevideo. He subsequently played a very small role in politics, most notably serving in 1829 as a mediator between Juan Manuel de Rosas and Juan Lavalle. He died in retirement on his ranch in San Isidro, Buenos Aires.

Personal life

During his time in San Luis, Pueyrredón had an illegitimate daughter, Virginia, with Juana Sánchez. In 1815, at the age of 39, he married his 14-year-old second wife María Calixta Tellechea y Caviedes; Rivadavia, Pueyrredón and Chiclana of the First Triumvirate had had her father executed twelve years before as a member of the royalist conspiracy of Martín de Alzaga. The Pueyrredóns' only child Prilidiano was born in Buenos Aires on January 24, 1823. He became a civil engineer and artist, and has been called the first Argentine painter; he had no children.[6] From 1835-49, Pueyrredón and his family lived in Europe.

The Honor Bound series of historical fiction by W.E.B. Griffin gives Pueyrredón a fictional daughter, Maria Elena Pueyrredón de Frade (1812-1858). She is a maternal ancestor of Argentinian Coronel (colonel) Jorge Guillermo Frade, and of the main protagonist of the series, Cletus Howell Frade, USMCR.



  1. Luna, pp. 9-11
  2. Luna, p. 13
  3. Martín de Pueyrredón Gobernó Salta por 30 días (Spanish)
  4. Luna, p. 13-15
  5. Luna, pp. 16-19
  6. Article about the Pueyrredón family (Spanish)
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