The term ‘filibusters’ was first used to describe pirates of the 17th century, but later referred to an assemblage of people
(mostly war veterans and self-proclaimed “American patriots”) who believed that “manifest destiny” was not yet complete by
the mid-nineteenth century. Thus they believed there remained a “divine right” to explore and “liberate” some of the territory
belonging to countries such as Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua. During the mid-nineteenth century, Mexico was experiencing
civil unrest. Filibusters attempted to take advantage of this instability to overthrow the local governments and create their
own sovereign nations. Largely unsuccessful, filibustering missions into Mexico and Central America began around the early
1840s and continued for about fifty years, ending in the late 1890s. While most filibusters began their expeditions in San
Francisco, some famous filibusters such as William Walker, Henry Crabb, and Joseph Morehead established San Diego connections.