Tennessee State Library and Archives
Grey-Eyed Man Of Destiny
The Great Filibuster: William Walker

Introduction

Engraving of William Walker in The War in Nicaragua, his 1860 apologia of his Latin American ventures.

William Walker (1824–1860), physician, lawyer, newspaper editor, and President of Nicaragua, was born in Nashville and died before a firing squad in Honduras. Walker was an idealist devoted to fulfilling America’s role in “Manifest Destiny” which envisioned U.S. dominion over North America.

For more information about William Walker, go to: http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=1453

For more information about this exhibit and other TSLA exhibits, please contact: Susan.Gordon@tn.gov or exhibits.tsla@tn.gov.

 


Map of Central America

Click to Enlarge

Walker’s birthplace and boyhood home in Nashville, 4th and Commerce.

(TSLA Picture Collection, TSLA)

 


William Walker Photo

Click to Enlarge

Photographic portrait of Walker reproduced by the H.O. Fuller Studio of Nashville.

(Picture Collection, Tennessee Historical Society, TSLA)


William Walker Hand Tinted Print

Click to Enlarge

Splendid hand-tinted print of William Walker.  In this studio portrait, Walker is seated with props symbolizing his expansionist vision: a telescoping spyglass and map.  

(Library Picture Collection, TSLA)


Click to Enlarge

Engraving depicts Walker’s troops entering the city of Granada.

(Scrapbook, John P. Heiss Papers, Tennessee Historical Society Collections)


Letter to Dr. Lindsley

Click to Enlarge

Page 1 | Page 2

Walker encouraged his old Nashville friend Dr. John Berrien Lindsley to come to Nicaragua.  “This government needs scientific men; and I will see that they do not starve if they come here.”

(William Walker to Dr. John B. Lindsley, November 26, 1855.  Tennessee Historical Society Collections, TSLA)


Buddy

Click to Enlarge

Flyleaf of William V. Wells, Walker’s Expedition to Nicaragua (New York, 1856), signed by one of Walker’s compatriots:

 

Joseph H. Horton
Company C  2nd Rifles
Nicaraguan Army
January 1856

 

 


Click to Enlarge

Newspaper woodcut of Major General William Walker, President of the Republic of Nicaragua.

(Scrapbook, John P. Heiss Papers, Tennessee Historical Society Collections)


Click to Enlarge

Color map, Republic of Nicaragua, published in Walker’s history of the war there.  He dedicated the book “To my Comrades in Nicaragua,” living and dead.

(Scrapbook, John P. Heiss Papers, Tennessee Historical Society Collections)

Click to Enlarge

Battle of Rivas, 1856.  Alarmed at the American’s growing influence in the region, neighboring Costa Rica invaded Nicaragua in March 1856.  Though Walker’s men were defeated at Rivas, a cholera outbreak forced the Costa Ricans to withdraw.

(Scrapbook, John P. Heiss Papers, Tennessee Historical Society Collection)


Click to Enlarge

500-acre land warrant issued to N.D. Ingraham, July 1856, just a little more than two weeks after Walker became President of Nicaragua.

(John P. Heiss Papers, Tennessee Historical Society Collections)


Click to Enlarge

Playbill for theatrical presentation of Walker’s exploits in Nicaragua.  Many Americans welcomed the conquest as evidence of God’s will.

(John P. Heiss Papers, Tennessee Historical Society Collections)


Click to Enlarge
Cover | Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3 | Pg 4

Fighting and bleeding for liberty were the themes of this song dedicated to Nashville native William Walker, 1856. 

It needs not a Prophet or talker
To tell you in prose or in verse,
The exploits of Patriot Walker
Whom Tyrants will long deem a curse—

(Rose Music Collection, TSLA)


Walker Flag

Click to Enlarge

Flag of Nicaragua, 1856, also known as the William Walker flag.

(from flagspot.net)


Flag of Sonora 2

Click to Enlarge

Flag of Sonora

Click to Enlarge

Flags of Republic of Sonora and Republic of Lower California, Walker’s earlier colonization efforts.  The two stars symbolize Sonora and Baja California.

(from flagspot.net)


Nicaragua Flag

Click to Enlarge

Civil flag of Nicaragua

(from flagspot.net)

 

 

 

Tennessee State Library and Archives
403 Seventh Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615.741.2997 Fax: 615.741.6471
Email:exhibits.tsla@tn.gov