William Walker (1824-1860), adventurer, and soldier of fortune who briefly ruled Nicaragua from 1856 to 1857, rare partly-printed Document Signed "Wm Walker" as President of Nicaragua, one page, 9" x 7", Granada, September 9, 1856, a promissory note issued to James Fagan for the sum of $50. Walker had a varied career and work that included: journalist, attorney, and physician, but his most notorious occupation was as a filibusterer. Simply defined, filibusterers were Anglo-American soldiers of fortune who attempted to carve out states populated by white English speakers in Latin America. The most successful of these were, of course, the founders of Texas. Walker had attempted such a plot in Mexico in Baja California and Sonora in 1853, but met with stiff Mexican resistance. In 1855, taking advantage of a civil war raging in Nicaragua, he traveled there with a small force and allied himself with one of the factions. On September 1, he defeated the Nicaraguan national army at La Virgen, and captured the capital of Grenada a month later. Interestingly, Franklin Pierce briefly recognized the Nicaraguan government under Walker's leadership, although filibustering was contrary to federal law. Walker had the support of Cornelius Vanderbilt who wanted to construct a railroad to link the Caribbean and the Pacific. However, once in power, Walker betrayed Vanderbilt and handed the rights to build a railroad to Vanderbilt's rivals, Cornelius K. Garrison and Charles Morgan. Vanderbilt then pressured Pierce to rescinded recognition of the Walker government, and organized an opposition force led by Costa Rica to thwart Walker's attempt conquer all of Central America. In an attempt to garner Southern support, in Nicaragua, he legalized black slavery that had been outlawed in 1824. Walker was defeated in 1857, and surrendered to the U.S. Navy. He was killed in Honduras after mounting a similar expedition there in 1860. Moderate creases, light toning, else very good condition. A scarce example signed in his brief tenure as the "President of Nicaragua"... the first we've seen! From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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