Walker, William

Life Span
Full name
William Walker
Place of Birth
Burial Place
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Slave State
James Walker (father), Mary Norvell (mother)
University of Pennsylvania
Other Education
University of Nashville, TN
Attorney or Judge
Doctor, Dentist or Nurse
Other Affiliations
Other Affiliation

William Walker (American National Biography)

Walker's government in Nicaragua was short-lived. He involved himself in an attempt to take over the Accessory Transit Company…. He chose the losing side in his support of this takeover effort and thus became the target of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt maintained control of the company and then set about obtaining the cooperation of Central American republics to overthrow Walker's regime. … With the specific assistance of Costa Rica, Walker's supply routes to the United States were severed, making his military defeat easy.

On 1 May 1857 Walker surrendered to U.S. naval authorities off the coast of Nicaragua. Walker's support from the U.S. government as well as some special groups had eroded since he had become the president of Nicaragua. In June 1857 the frigate Wabash arrived at New York with 138 survivors of Walker's party, including thirteen women and five children. These refugees were in wretched condition and bitterly criticized Walker for deserting his followers in their desperate situation. Walker was in New York when their complaints appeared in the newspapers, but he chose not to answer the charges. By November Walker had returned to the United States and was once again plotting to return to Nicaragua. Shortly thereafter Walker attempted to lead another group of men to Nicaragua, but U.S. naval authorities intercepted him and forced his return to the United States. President James Buchanan in an address to Congress during December 1857 struck out against filibusters as being detrimental to U.S. interests.
Joseph A. Stout,  Jr., "Walker, William," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/20/20-01068.html.
Date Event
William Walker is born in Nashville, Tennessee
William Walker and 45 followers invade Baja California, in northwestern Mexico
American filibuster William Walker proclaims himself president of an independent "Republic of Lower California"
William Walker and his fellow filibusters leave Baja California for Sonora
William Walker is driven from Mexico and taken into custody by the U.S. military
American filibuster William Walker departs San Francisco for Central America
William Walker captures the Nicaraguan capital of Granada
U.S. recognizes new Nicaraguan government under the influence of William Walker
William Walker is elected president of Nicaragua
William Walker's filibuster government in Nicaragua repeals the abolition of slavery in that country
William Walker and his followers surrender to an American naval squadron and are returned to the United States
American soldier of fortune William Walker is recaptured by the U.S. Navy
William Walker and his companions are indicted in New Orleans under the Neutrality Laws
Nicaragua and Costa Rica appeal to the European powers for protection against filibusters
Nicaragua adopts a new constitution
William Walker launches another fillibustering attempt against Nicaragua from New Orleans
William Walker's latest filibustering attempt ends before it begins with arrest by U.S. Marshals
William Walker sails from New Orleans for Honduras on his last filibustering expedition
William Walker and his men capture Trujillo on the Honduran coast
In Trujillo, William Walker proclaims his support for the Honduran people against their government
In Honduras, the British Royal Navy orders American filibuster William Walker to leave Trujillo
In Honduras, American filibuster William Walker surrenders to the British Royal Navy
American filibuster William Walker is executed in Honduras
Date Title
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “More Fillibusters [Filibusters],” January 7, 1856
New York Times, “The Chances for Walker,” March 14, 1857
New York Times, “Fillibustering Expedition Against Costa Rica,” April 3, 1857
New York Times, “Gen. Walker’s Letter,” September 23, 1857
Washington (DC) National Era, "Gen. Walker and the Administration," November 26, 1857
New York Times, "The Missing Walker," December 14, 1857
New York Herald, "The Slavery Question in Congress," January 5, 1858
New York Herald, "Kansas as a Slave State," January 7, 1858
New York Herald, "The Approaching Conclusion of the Kansas Comedy," January 27, 1858
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Revolution in New Orleans,” June 6, 1858
New York Times, “General Walker’s New Project,” November 16, 1858
New York Herald, “Gen. Walker Submitting to a ‘Legal Experiment,’” November 19, 1858
New York Times, “The President and the Filibusters,” November 23, 1858
New York Times, “The Fillibusters [Filibusters] Again,” December 9, 1858
New York Times, “Who is President of Mexico?,” December 22, 1858
New York Times, “General Walker’s Conversion to Romanism,” February 9, 1859
San Francisco (CA) Evening Bulletin, “Filibusterism and Disunion,” April 1, 1859
San Francisco (CA) Evening Bulletin, “General Walker Off Again,” May 5, 1859
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Caught,” June 27, 1859
New York Times, “Suspicious,” October 8, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Pirates,” October 10, 1859
Atchison (KS) Freedom’s Champion, “Walker vs. Brown,” December 3, 1859
New York Herald, “The Whereabouts of Walker,” August 19, 1860
New York Times, “Walker Again,” August 22, 1860
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, "What Walker's Success Means," August 29, 1860
New York Times, “Used Up,” September 12, 1860
Wiped Out
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “'Gen. Walker',” October 1, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Execution of Walker,” October 9, 1860
Chicago Style Entry Link
Benz, Stephen. "William Walker and the Discovery of Central America." Secolas Annals 24 (1993): 96-105. view record
Brown, Charles Harvey. Agents of Manifest Destiny: The Lives and Times of the Filibusters. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980. view record
Bruns, Roger, and Bryan Kennedy. "El Presidente Gringo: William Walker and the Conquest of Nicaragua." American History Illustrated 23, no. 10 (1989): 14-20, 46-48. view record
May, Robert E. "Antebellum Americans 'Meet' their Southern Neighbors." Reviews in American History 8, no. 3 (1980): 360-365. view record
Scroggs, William Oscar. Filibusters and Financiers: The Story of William Walker and His Associates. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1916. view record
Swan, Jon. "William Walker's Manifest Destiny." MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History 13, no. 4 (2001): 38-47. view record
Walker, William. The War in Nicaragua. Mobile: S. H. Goetzel & Co., 1860. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Walker, William," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/6793.