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Guide to the Filibuster Expeditions Collection MS 161
MS 161  
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This collection contains primarily secondary sources related to several filibustering expeditions into Mexico and Central America in the 1850s, including one later filibustering attempt in the 1880s.
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.
0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.
This collection is open for research.