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Cazneau, William Leslie (1807–1876)

Cazneau, William Leslie (1807–1876)

William Leslie Cazneau (b. 5 October 1807; d. 7 January 1876), a wealthy Texan and supporter of William Walker's filibustering scheme in Nicaragua. As an expansionist in the 1840s, Cazneau encouraged the annexation of Cuba and Mexico's northern states to the United States. Subsequently, he fought in the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), for which he received the rank of general. In 1853 Secretary of State William L. Marcy appointed Cazneau special minister to Santo Domingo to negotiate a commercial treaty and to obtain Samaná Bay as a coaling station. The mission failed, and Cazneau returned to the United States in 1855. In 1856, he contracted with Walker to send one thousand colonists to Nicaragua within a year to be established in settlements of not fewer than fifty families, each settler to be given title to eighty acres of land. In return, Cazneau was to receive a considerable land grant. The effort failed with Walker's ouster from Nicaragua in May 1857.

See alsoFilibustering; Walker, William.


Sumner Welles, Naboth's Vineyard: The Dominican Republic, 1844–1924, 2 vols. (1928).

Charles C. Tansill, The United States and Santo Domingo, 1798–1873 (1938).

Robert E. May, "Lobbyists for Commercial Empire: Jane Cazneau, William Cazneau, and U.S. Caribbean Policy, 1846–1878," Pacific Historical Review 48 (1979): 383-412.

Additional Bibliography

Hudson, Linda. Mistress of Manifest Destiny: A Biography of Jane McManus Storm Cazneau, 1807–1878. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2001.

                                    Thomas M. Leonard

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