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Romero, Matías (1837-1899)

    He made a career as a diplomat and a finance minister under Liberal governments. He was born in Oaxaca, Oaxaca on February 24, 1837, the states of both Benito Juárez and Porfirio Díaz, both of whom became President. He studied in Oaxaca city and in the Instituto de Ciencias y Artes. he received his law degree in Mexico City in 1857. He joined the Juárez government in his foreign ministry. He became the secretary to Melchor Ocampo in Veracruz and helped negotiate the McLane-Ocampo Treaty. In 1859 he was sent to head the Mexican mission to the United States and became Ambassador in 1862. He returned to Mexico in 1863 to fight the French who had invaded.  Colonel Romero was again sent to Washington by Juárez in 1863 to secure the cooperation of the Lincoln government. He was effective. He returned to Mexico in 1867 and, in January, 1868, became finance minister but in May returned to Washington to negotiate damage claims arising from the War of the Reform and the French Intervention. He again became finance minister from late 1868 until 1872. He retired to Chiapas to farm and, in 1875, was elected alternate Senator.  In 1876, he became a federal deputy from Oaxaca. He supported  Porfirio Díaz after he was elected in 1876. He served as finance minister again from 1877 to 1879. After traveling the country, he became Ambassador to the United States and then, in 1892 to 1893, as finance minister still again. He died in New York in 1898 while on a diplomatic mission.
    He was a promoter of a railroad from Mexico City to Oaxaca to Guatemala. He wrote on agriculture as well, a lifelong interest.

Based on Juan López de Escalera, Diccionario Biográfico y de Historia de México. México, Editorial del Magisterio, 1964, pp. 927-8.

 Don Mabry