soon afforded that the spirit which impelled to that crime would find aliment, but not satiety, in the conquest of Cuba
Very soon after the appearance of the Ostend Circular
, one William Walker
, a Tennessean, recently resident in California
, left that State, at the head of a band as reckless and desperate as himself, for Nicaragua
, which he entered in the character of ally to one of the factions habitually disputing the mastery of that, as well as of most other Spanish American countries.
Though he never evinced much military or other capacity, Walker
, so long as he acted under color of authority from the chiefs of the faction he patronized, was generally successful against the pitiful rabble styled soldiers by whom his progress was resisted, capturing1
at last by surprise the important city of Granada
, which was deemed the stronghold of the adverse faction, and assuming thereon the rank of General.
But his very successes proved the ruin of the faction to which he had attached himself, by exciting the natural jealousy and alarm of the natives who mainly composed it; and his assumption, soon afterward, of the title of President
, speedily followed by a decree reestablishing Slavery in that country, exposed his purpose and insured his downfall.
As if madly bent on ruin, he proceeded to confiscate the steamboats and other property of the Nicaragua
Transit Company, thereby arresting all American travel to and from California
through that country, and cutting himself off from all hope of further recruiting his forces from the throngs of sanguine or of baffled gold-seekers, who might otherwise have been attracted to his standard.
Yet he maintained the unequal contest for about two years, succumbing at last to a coalition of the Central American States
, and surrendering his remnant of some two hundred men at Rivas2
By the interposition of Commander C. H. Davis
, of our sloop of war St. Mary
's, on the Pacific coast
, he and sixteen of his party were brought away unharmed, and landed at Panama
, whence he returned to this country, and immediately commenced at New Orleans the fitting out of a new Nicaraguan military expedition.
Here he was arrested, and compelled to give bonds in the sum of two thousand dollars to desist from unlawful enterprises; notwithstanding which, he very soon left that city on a steamboat freighted with armed men and military stores, ostensibly for Mobile
, but which, once at sea, headed for Nicaragua
, landing him and his followers at Punta Arenas, Nov. 25th.
Here Commodore Paulding
of our Navy compelled him to surrender,3
with one hundred and thirty-two of his followers, bringing him to New-York
as a prisoner.
, by Special Message to Congress,4
condemned the Commodore
for thus violating the sovereignty of a foreign country!
and declined to hold Walker
as a prisoner.
Being thus set at liberty, the “gray-eyed Man of Destiny” traversed the South
, exciting the more fanatical Slavery propagandists to aid him in fitting out a third expedition, with which he got off from Mobile
but was arrested near the