Juan Francisco Maria De La Salud Donoso Cortes, marquis de Valdegamas, a Spanish statesman and author, born at Valle de la Sarena, in Estremadura, May 6, 1809, died in Paris, May 3, 1853. At the age of 12 he entered upon a course of law at the university of Salamanca. He was prepared to receive his degree at the ago of 1G, but the rules not permitting it until the age of 25, he went to Seville, and employed the intervening years in the study of philosophy, history, and literature. During the divisions which took place in Spain in 1832, with regard to the right of succession to the throne, Donoso presented a memoir to Ferdinand VII., in which he pleaded the liberal cause. The king rewarded him with a place in the ministry of justice. After the death of Ferdinand he defended the cause of Queen Isabella and her mother. He was elected to the cortes, and afterward appointed secretary to the ministerial council. Differing from Mendizabal, who was at its head, he resigned his post, and devoted himself to the tribune and the press. He was for some time the editor of the Revista, and a leading contributor to the Piloto, a newspaper founded by himself.
During the dictatorship of Espartero he defended the interests of Maria Christina. In this contest he was vanquished, and shared the exile of the queen mother to France as her private secretary, and also accompanied her on her return to Spain in 1843. He was afterward appointed secretary to Queen Isabella, and minister plenipotentiary to the court of Berlin. In his speech in the cortes, Jan. 4, 1849, he renounced so-called liberal ideas, which he designated as sterile and disastrous to human society, whose peace had been disturbed by them for three centuries. At the time of his death he was minister at Paris. A work of his in French, entitled Essai sur le Catholicisme, le liberalisme et le socialisme (Paris, 1851), maintains that theology is the proper basis of politics. Among his writings are: Consideraciones sobre la diplomacia, y su influencia en el es-tado politico y social de Europa (Madrid, 1834); La ley electoral, considerada en su base y en su relacion con el cspiritu de nuestras in-stituciones (1835); and a collection of his speeches and early writings (1849-'50). A complete French edition of his works appeared in Paris in 1859.