Juan Almonte was a Mexican general, politician, and diplomat during one of the most trying periods of that nationís history. Born in 1803, Almonte traveled to the United States to seek aid for Mexican independence, and returned a few years later as a student in New Orleans. His education, family connections, abundant talent, and his familiarity with the United States made him a natural for a variety of military and diplomatic chores in the 1820s. Almonte traveled to Texas in 1834 and compiled a report about the growing tensions there. He returned in 1836 as part of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Annaís army, where he was captured at the Battle of San Jacinto.
Upon his repatriation to Mexico, Almonte rose to Brigadier General and continued his brilliant political career, serving as Secretary of War in 1839 and 1841, before receiving assignment as ambassador to the United States in 1842. He served in that role during the run up to the U.S.-Mexican War. With that conflict looming, he returned to Mexico. After running unsuccessfully for president, Almonte joined a coup against the winner, José Herrera. At various times in 1846 he served as secretary of war and secretary of the treasury for President Mariano Paredes y Arillaga. Almonte found himself unemployed after General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna toppled the Paredes regime. After the U.S.-Mexican War, he lost a second election for president, again to Hererra. Almonte died in 1869.