Rivas, Patricio

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Rivas, Patricio

Patricio Rivas, provisional president of Nicaragua (October 1855–1857). Although he had served in several governmental capacities, including senator, interim chief of state (1838), and customs officer, Rivas is most remembered for his role in Nicaragua's National War. In October 1855, the American filibuster William Walker chose Rivas as his president, under the assumption that he could control the relatively inexperienced old man. In February 1856, Rivas signed Walker's revocation of the Accessory Transit Company's canal charter, a popular action, but protested the next day when Walker presented him with a charter for the Morgan and Garrison Company. The terms of this contract gave away much more than had its predecessor, and Rivas would not sign it without modifying its worst clauses. In June 1856, Rivas defected from the Walker government altogether to join the patriot forces that had opposed the foreign invasion. Although he was known to his contemporaries as "Patas Arriba" ("Feet-Up" or "Topsy-Turvy") for his supposed lack of mettle, subsequent generations have come to regard Rivas as a courageous patriot. He is buried in a place of honor in the cemetery in León.

See alsoNational War; Nicaragua; Walker, William.


William Walker, The War in Nicaragua (1860; repr. 1985).

Sara L. Barquero, Gobernantes de Nicaragua, 1825–1947 (1945).

Albert Z. Carr, The World and William Walker (1963).

Karl Bermann, Under the Big Stick: Nicaragua and the U.S. Since 1848 (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Díaz Lacayo, Aldo. Gobernantes de Nicaragua (1821–1956): guía para el estudio de sus biografías políticas. Managua, Nicaragua: Aldilá Editor, 1996.

Plunkett, Hazel. Nicaragua in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture. New York: Latin America Bureau, 1999.

                                          Karen Racine