Joseph W. Fabens and Henry L. Kinney letters, 1855.

Fabens, Joseph Warren, 1821-1875.

New-York Historical Society

Access: open to qualified researchers at The New-York Historical Society.


1 : folder (2 items)
Access: open to qualified researchers at The New-York Historical Society.
Two letters from Joseph W. Fabens to Henry Lawrence Kinney, both dated Salem, Mass., March 13 and 17, 1855. In the first letter Fabens complains of being confined to his room with influenza and states that he hopes to be in New York by the end of the week or soon after; he makes reference to "the affair," presumably the Nicaraguan "expedition." The March 13th letter has another letter attached, from Kinney, addressed "Dear Judge," and dated Philadelphia, March 16, 1855. Kinney refers both to his "matters" with Faben and a pending land deal in Corpus Christi. In the March 17 letter to Kinney, Fabens declares he will leave for New York on the 19th and discusses the practicalities of hiring and outfitting a ship with lumber and framing materials for "the colonists," who "must go out as the first settlers of California went with their tents, mining tools, &c.".
This collection is owned by The New-York Historical Society. Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Curator of Manuscripts of the New-York Historical Society Library, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024.
Author and commercial agent Joseph W. Fabens and land speculator Henry L. Kinney were filibusters in Central America in 1855. In 1854, largely financed by New York backers, Kinney purchased millions of acres of land in Nicaragua under dubious legal circumstances, with the intent to start a colony. In February 1855 Kinney was warned that his proposed colony might violate the U.S. Neutrality Act as well. In April 1855 both Kinney and Fabens were arrested in New York and their vessel blockaded by the U.S. Navy at its East River wharf. Released on bail Kinney slipped out of New York and travelled to Nicaragua. With a handful of followers he launched a failed revolt against both the Nicaraguan government and the regime of fellow American William Walker.

Related Resources

View this description in WorldCat: