Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 246

              [loose newspaper clipping, beginning of article missing]
designs, and to his fate, was a famous figure in
the fifties.  Though an American of the Ame-
ricans, he was the son of a Scotchman, but on
the mother�s side he had Kentucky blood in his
veins.  He was trained for the ministry, and
the rigid personal morality which he acquired
in that process never forsook him through life.
He was quite remorseless in the pursuit of his
ends, but he was ascetically pure and temperate,
and he had the greatest horror of profanity.
He went to Edinburgh to study medicine,
finished his education in a tour through the
Continental hospitals, and returned to America
in practice, but not for long.  Next he went
into the law, then into journalism.  He was
still some years short of thirty when he
was ready to become a filibuster.  He was
a man of exceedingly few words, but such
as they were they gave him unbounded in-
fluence over the fierce adventurers that followed
his banner.  He found his first true vocation in
leading a filibustering raid into much enduring
Mexico to conquer new territory for the South,
and extend the empire of slavery.  In 1853 he
captured La Paz, got himself proclaimed
President, and gave as many other offices of
State as would �go round� among his motley
following.  They were but a handful, and they
were not strong enough to hold their prize.  The
Sonora Expedition proved an utter failure, but
WALKER came off with a whole skin.  One of
his companions, who afterwards served in the
American Civil War, said �the Rebellion was a
�picnic to it for horrors.�  Next he turned his
thoughts to Nicaragua, and once more leading
a handful of adventurers, captured Granada by
a coup-de-main, and soon had all Nicaragua at
his feet.  He became General-in-Chief of the
little State, and afterwards President, and he
lost no time in reinstating slavery with all
the solemnity which the occasion demanded.
He took pious credit to himself for bestowing
�comfort and Christianity� upon the blacks.
But Providence proved ungrateful.  Great
Britain was jealous, the Union, as a Govern-
ment, gave him no support, and Guatemala,
San Salvador, and Honduras took the field
against him in support of the independence of
their neighbour.  With the aid of an American
ship of war they drove him out, and he retired
to his own country, but only to meditate a new
venture.  A year or two later, with another
desperate band, he set out for Trujillo, in
Honduras, and captured the place; but he had
hardly done that before a British war steamer
came in sight, captured him, and handed him
over to the outraged native Government.  He
had an exceedingly short shrift.  He was tried
one day by court-martial and shot the next.
So died the last of the filibusters, in his thirty-
seventh year.               
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