There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 11:00
Part One: The Dumbest Colonizer in History
Peace to the planet. I go by the name of Charlemagne the God, and this summer I'm bringing my show back to Comedy Central with a new title and a new podcast. It's called hell of a week. But don't worry, every Friday I'll be keeping that same, calling out the ******** energy, and I'll have some of the biggest names in comedy, politics and entertainment with me. So if the news is terrorizing your timeline and causing your anxiety to rise high and gas prices, don't worry. We got you. Listen to hell of a week with charlamagne the God on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Ebony K Williams. Host of holding court and I'm so excited to announce that Holden Court has a brand new home at interval presents. That's right, we're back and better than ever. Season 2 is here and we're bringing you the same in-depth legal analysis and cultural commentary that you know and love. Listen to Holden Court on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. So y'all, let's hold court. I'm Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of Iheart Media. On the new season of my podcast Mathemagic, I sit down with the Trail Blazers on the frontiers of marketing leaders like Susie Deering, CMO of Ford Motor Company. And when it all changes, and I think that a big part of the why we're at that moment is because of the F-150 Lightning. It changed everything. Listen to the new season of math and Magic premiering September 22nd on our own iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcast. Podcast ****. I'm Robert Evans. This is behind the ******** the most poorly introduced podcast. In the podcast game we also talk about bad people from time to time when I'm not introducing the show badly. My guest today is Mr Miles Gray. Thank you so much. How you doing, miles? Great. Since, I mean, I don't know when this comes out, but we saw each other recently. That was a pleasant experience we had. That was nice. You came up to Portland. They wouldn't let us play with knives on the stage because they were cowards, but otherwise nice people, they don't respect the laws of the state. Yeah, exactly. Bladed weapons are not they're they're tools over there. They're they're wildly unregulated, and it's beautiful. Now miles, yes. When I when we, when Sophie asked you to guest on this week's episode, you had a simple request which was don't make it horribly bleak and depressing so that I want to die more or less. Not your exact words, but your sentiment yeah is that this was how bleak is this one going to be? Because you know, these shows, these episodes, I've done a few now they kind of fall into a couple of different buckets. Some are like, so out of this world, what the **** is reality kind of thing where you're just, you're gobsmacked. Because of that. Other times you're gobsmacked or laughing because sometimes it's fun. Other times you so brilliantly bring the focus of the show in to talk about evil people that I found myself in a place where jokes do not exist and the only only response I could have is, Oh my God, that's so ****** **. I think 3 hours. You're gonna like this one. This is obviously, it's a story about a terrible person. Right, right. Thousands of people die. But it's it's a story of a of a monster that gets his comeuppance in the end. Oh, wow. So yeah, this is yeah. Yeah, this this one should be fun. And it's not, you know it. It's not mass child rape like we sometimes get into on this show. So that's nice too. Yeah. Felt like even the like, prevailing sentiment from listeners was like, damn, I think that was one of the darkest episodes ever. Yeah, yeah, as it should be. It was very dark. So today, miles, have you ever heard of a fella named William Walker? I mean, that sounds like a very common name where I'm trying to rack my brain being like, I'm pretty sure I do know a William Walker. It it's. To to put it shortly. Walker is an example of one of my favorite kind of history stories because he's a guy who is incredibly well known by millions and millions of people around the world, very close to the United States. In fact, if you go to Nicaragua, if you go to Costa Rica, if you go to Mexico's Baja Coast or Sonora, uh Walker is a very prominent historical figure, and even though he's an American, he's almost completely unknown in the United States today. I'm going to guess most Americans have not known his name and the reason. He's well known in Baja and Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Is that he almost single handedly tried to conquer all of those places? What? Yeah. When? Recently? Yeah. Like the 1850s. Like, not all that long ago. Wow. You really think about it. Yeah. OK. Look at him. Yeah, he was like a one man. Colonialism. Yeah, that's like, it's weird. The, the, the, the term makes me shudder. But also I, I, I dig the dedication. If you're like, I'm going to do this whole colonialism thing just with me. Colonialism is usually the very bleakest stories, and there's a lot of, I mean, obviously Walker was a horrible person who who did horrible things that impacted huge numbers of people's lives. But there's also one of the things that's kind of, I guess, makes this a little more of an upbeat story is that this is one of those cases of colonialism. Was completely unsupported by the government that this guy's country. And so he he gets his comeuppance in the end. Like, it's not one of those tales where he exploited these people and got away with it forever. And his great, great grandkids are still rich today. Right. And now that's good. They have a whole line of hotels that we, yeah. Constantly patronize. Is is he one of ours? Good old American. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. No. There was no other country in the world this guy could have come from. But I thought maybe states of. Yeah, because I guess. Even then, an English guy would be like, I think we've had our time, I don't need to. I don't need to like, be a one man wrecking crew. Yeah. You know, the English weren't really good at being one man wrecking crews, they were more, you know, that slow Nazi ****. This is a very American story of a guy who just like looked at a forward several foreign countries in a row and was like, I bet I could take that. So that's truly an American attitude. Looking at a map. Yeah. What about this one? Rob, we who cost her, yeah, alright, Costa doing business with me. You were the right call for guest. Alright, let's get into it. William Walker was born in Nashville, TN on May 8th, 1824. He was the first of six children of James Walker and Mary Norville Walker. His family was not like super rich, but they were probably like the wealthiest family or among the wealthiest family in their frontier community. OK, His father was a Scottish immigrant from Glasgow who'd moved to the United States at age 22 and started a general merchandise store with his uncle in 1820. Soon the business was successful enough that James and his uncle. Partnered with three other men to build a riverfront warehouse and by a fleet of steamboats. Now, Nashville was a big old shipping hub at the time, and as the nation expanded westward, the walkers made a small fortune facilitating the movement of tobacco, corn and cotton across the country. Since this was the early 1800s, all these products came from the Deep South, and the Walkers business relied heavily on slavery. So the family fortune, such as it is, is absolutely built off the blacks that, well, backs, you know what I'm trying to say here? Yeah, no. I'll let you slide with that one, yeah. After a few years, uh James sold out and got into the business of selling commercial insurance, which, oddly enough, sounds like maybe even more exploited. Yeah, he was doing before. I'm sure it's not. That's just my opinion of the insurance industry. Wife Mary was the sister of his two former business partners. Now, since his records from 1830 when William Walker was six indicate that his family owned no slaves, which was odd for a family at their level of wealth in Nashville at that time. By the time William was 14, this had changed, and the Walker family owned 4 enslaved black human beings, 2 men and two women. So we absolutely comes from a slaveholding background grows up with us. Religion was also a big part of the Walker family life. His mother's family were prominent within the Baptist community, and his father was a member of the Disciples of Christ. The walkers were described as being strong and stern, and they were also extremely political. Uh William's mother was a good friend of Sarah Polk, the wife of future president James K Polk. While William was a child, James was named Speaker of the House and then the Governor of Tennessee since Polk was a Democrat and Democrats were at the time the party of even more white supremacy than the Republicans. Uh, you can assume for yourself what kind of politics William imbibed as a child. Uh, really, really wholesome stuff, I'm sure. Yeah. Oh my gosh. A lot of people would like to move back to those days, and that's all. We'll leave it. You're talking about John Kelly? I'm talking about. Yes. Stephen Miller. Yeah. A whole lot of. Well, John Kelly was at least gracious enough, showed his grasp of history to actually refer to like, basically the antebellum S without, like, fully saying that or like, I think we know what you mean. Yeah, we're we're respect each other. OK. Yeah. You mean white people? Yeah. Right. And I guess we had what we would call back then indentured independent contractors. Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's like, I don't know if there's no good joke to me. No, there isn't. Yeah. And it only had one and it wasn't even that good. We're just going to breeze right on past that. So William was recalled by a family friend at the period as very intelligent and as refined in his feelings as a girl. I used to go often to see his mother and always found him entertaining her in some way. Uh, William was devoted to his mother. His father was kind of a giant *******. Very, very strict and stern. His mother. Just kind of more, uh, someone he could like, deal with and get comfort from. But she was also very ill throughout his childhood, and he often spent his mornings in her room reading to her while she struggled to start the day. William grew into a child his contemporaries described later as cold, quiet, studious, painfully modest, slight, effeminate, almost insignificant in appearance. Oh boy. Yeah, yeah. Effeminate. Yeah. You could, yeah. The the You tell what they're trying to say there. Yeah. And I can also just see, like the if we're looking at a biopic of this guy, we're starting to see the foundations of when he goes, Oh yeah, you know what I'm going to do then? I'll show you ******* you call me a feminine, OK? Watch me ******* be a one man wrecking crew. Yeah. Yeah. That is really the story here, right? Yeah. He was small, thin, and not very masculine. At a time when that was something a boy would pay dearly for, the only physical feature that stood out about him were his eyes, which were a unique shade of Gray that people without his throughout his life would notice. Everybody would comment on this guy's eyes. He's just sort of one of those people who everyone's like. That dude's eyes are *******. Something's up there, right? It's never the ones you're like, Oh my God, you have such beautiful eyes. It's always like, yo, did you see that ******* guy's eyes? You see that dude's eyes? What the ****? I think he's gonna conquer Nicaragua. Yeah, he looks like he's. Transitioning into some kind of zombie or Wraith. Yeah, yes. Now, possibly due to his mother's sickness, Williams classmates found him to be grave and seemingly always afflicted by sorrow. Which, if you're a kid growing up in, like, the 1830s, I guess sorrow is really the only reasonable way to approach life. But yeah, I don't think he was horrified by the injustices of his time. No, I think that was just like we we started. That word was just used to describe what we call emo kids now. Absolutely would have been, yeah. And with his, I'm sure if he wasn't like super masculine, he would have got the little fringe haircut, had like 1 black fingernail and been crying to like Dashboard Confessional lyrics to. Yeah, absolutely. He just may have been in the wrong time, you know? This kid would have been a huge dash head. Oh my gosh. Yeah. His eyes are so high that your kiss might kill him. You just revealed something about yourself there. That's one dashboard song I know, and I just think the lyrics are so great. I know, right? Cut to my full sleeve tattoo of dashboard album covers. So yeah, William was like quiet and kind of sad, but he was not unfriendly. And one classmate, later noted quote none in school, was more ready to oblige his fellow student with a little or extra help with a difficult lesson. So he's a really smart kid and he helps out his fellow classmates a lot. He kind of is is known for that. I heard that very cynically. Like, yeah, he was always down to teach someone a ******* lesson rather than like, hi, do you need some help with your studies? Yeah, I get the, I get the legitimately helpful thing more from. Like reading stuff that his his fellows reported about him. He was a good student and developed something of a complex around his grades. Uh, when he got an answer wrong in class, he would cry, which did not help with his perceived level of manliness. Yeah, yeah, one friend noted. Quote, I never saw him lively in my life. That is, I never heard him laugh out loud as boys do it play. Oh ****. Yeah, you're getting some not great, right? Kids should laugh. That's a Bandera roja right there. Red flag. Yeah. Pretty sure Spanish two skills haven't failed me. The the non laughing thing as a team. Yeah, I mean, that's a little boy. Yeah, it's dark there. That's like some real dark **** because it's usually not to like young adulthood. You meet people who have like completely just gone into themselves and don't have any joy. And I don't want to be like, you know, there's a fine line between being, like, it's kind of weird that this guy never laughs and, like, being one of those dudes who's, like, why don't you smile, ma'am? But like, right. It is like, you hear, like, everyone talks about this guy when he's a little kid. He's like, yeah, he never really, like, laughed or played around. And that is like, yeah, like, I'm. I'm in the moment. If I'm just taking him in and, like, looking at it in a vacuum, my heart kind of goes out to this young. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. He's not an aspiring. At this point he's blameless, even of the slavery. Like, he's a little kid. He doesn't have any choice in that. Yeah, I don't know, maybe he could have grown into maybe he, like, he's clearly like a sensitive boy and we just really don't know enough about his actual thoughts at the time because it's ******* 1830s. And yeah, anyway, at least when they start doing the this show like 100 years from now, when your consciousness has been uploaded to some kind of like bio algorithm, at least we'll be able to look at like, the Twitter and Facebook posts of our future fascists. And be like, yeah, this is what they were going through at the time. Ohh no. They'll come through my Twitter and be like, well, I mean, obviously he was going to do what he did to Nicaragua. Spoiler, Spoiler alert, for the 20 years from now when I conquered Nicaragua. Wow. Bold. Not a not a colonialism thing. Just like, just love conquering. Yep, just just leave it at that. In 1827, when Billy was three, his grandfather, Lipscomb Norvelle moved to Nashville to be with the family. Lipscomb wound up having a profound impact on growing William. See, he was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and he had fought at like most of it. He'd been at the Battle of Brandywine Creek, the Battle of Trenton, the Battle of Monmouth. He was one of the battle hardened survivors of the hellish winter at Valley Forge. What? Yeah, so this, like, like, his grandpa was like there for the ******* war. Like God, Trenton and Valley Forge. Yeah, like you're like, he sees some ****. I get it. I'm a *****. You've eaten human flesh. We know now it's starting to make sense. Your grandpa is probably has in no way can look at a sensitive child and be like, yeah, it's going to work. No, he's probably chewing bullets for gum. He's like done with that pewter dish. I'm going to melt down to some musket shot. Going to make my morning bullets. You're not using that tea service, are you? Norvell was present at the surrender of Charleston, which ended in defeat for the revolutionaries, and he was imprisoned for a year as a POW. So, like, dude goes through it. So this is a big influence on on William when he's young. His war hero grandfather, his uncles were also major influences on his future life because, you know, William's dad was kind of very like a very boring and stern businessman who doesn't really, he doesn't really identify. Much with his uncles and his grandpa, he does more. So four of his uncles either founded or worked as editors at newspapers, three more got involved with local or national politics, and five served in the military. So in short, wait, how many, how many numbers did you, how many ******* uncles? **** low to uncles. I mean, you got 10 different people, basically. Yeah, yeah, he's got like 4, seven, yeah, like 12 uncles. I keep forgetting me, too. We're talking about the 17th century and 18. You don't survive. You don't survive Trenton and Valley Forge and then just not **** out a couple of basketball teams worth of kids. Seriously. Like, yeah, I got a I got two starting fives plus A6 man, for each one. Yeah, yeah, he he just goes right from war to pounding. Oh, that's a real talking about real the real baby boom coming after. Yeah. ******* lip. Surviving Valley Forge. It is impressive. Yeah. I mean, some of those are probably his moms. Uncles? I don't know. Sure, sure. Either way, dude, as a ******** of uncles, most of them are. They're all in journalism, politics, or the military. So he grows up surrounded by influential, powerful men who either exercise political power directly or through the press, or who are in the military, fighting, colonizing the United States, killing Native Americans, Mexicans. So these are like the the people who raise him, right? They're not. They're not just like, kick back and relax if someone does some ****. No family. Yeah. It's a high achieving family. Yeah, like they're well off. But these aren't like, they're not like inherited money, sort of like lazy aristocrats. They're like everybody's like up and out of bed and ******* up the continent from like 8-8 to 9, you know? Yeah, I like to wake up and **** the country, right? And it's just just colonize the **** out of this, this Mother's Day. Colonize the day. That's the. That's the motto in that house. Yeah, that is. Absolutely how this kid is raised, and it's not surprising that he grew up to be a very ambitious boy. In 1837, at age 13, he finished his primary school education and enrolled in the University of Nashville. And yeah, a lot of sort of like contemporary articles that you'll find talking about this guy will make it like he was a child genius writing. I found like deeply written biographies of this guy by historians say that this was actually not that unusual at the time. He was a little young, but it wasn't super weird. You know, it's not as many year of college is at 13, not for everybody, but it wasn't. It wasn't weird. It's not like in the era we live in now. It's like this. Yeah, baby genius is going to college. Yeah, they should be in academia 1st, 19 years. Yeah, he had a friend who went to college at 14. Like, it wasn't like super bizarre. It wasn't like the norm, but it wasn't super weird. High school exist yet back then? Or like your primary school. You're like, you're gonna learn everything you know by 14 and then look, you can be an apprentice or whatever the ****? Yeah, that's kind of the thing. By like 1314, you're starting to be an adult, like in Germany. And like the 1870s, at 14, you are legally an adult. Like, it's time to go. You know, so it's not that weird that he's he's, you know, he's in college at 13, right? Lives were shorter back then, right? And education was rarer. You know, you want to get a head start on things before you die of cholera at age 23. Or a broken leg. Yeah. Or a broken leg or just like a splinter from the wrong piece of wood. Say, hey, I didn't have any. I didn't have the right salve to do with the infection. I got a splinter. I I've loved you all. It's been a good life. Cereal. Glad I went to college. Page 9. So yeah, college was rigorous for a 13 year old boy, and it's hard to imagine any modern team dealing with this level of discipline not coming out ****** **. That said, again, this was not abnormal for the time, and here's how the biography William Walker's Wars, which is a very good biography, describes his his college education quote entering. Students were expected to be accurately acquainted with the grammar, including prosody, of the Greek and Latin tongues, as well as with English grammar. Math and geography once admitted. Students pursued trigonometry, principles of constitutional and international law, philosophy, Natural History, and religious studies. Discipline was strict. Students attended Chapel twice a day and stood for a communal prayer before each meal. Quiet hours were enforced and activities like horse racing, dancing, or going to the theatre were strictly prohibited. Yeah, no, no horse racing or dancing. No, absolutely no dancing miles. That list of the horse racing, dancing and the miles. Every step you take is a dancer is a step you take with the devil. Oh wow, I'm pretty sure that poster was at one of in my, like, kindergarten classroom. Yeah, yeah. Dancing is Satan's golfing. And that's sadly though the image was like, if people break dancing, they're like, just not that kind. Umm, I would actually argue that break dancing is the only acceptable kind of dancing. But I mean, yeah. Anything like capoeira? Seventh-day Adventist? Yeah, if you can **** somebody up with your dance moves. Like the hell yeah, just keep keep on, keeping on. So William grew into an extremely devout adolescent, and there was talk of him becoming a minister. But then his interest took a turn towards politics. He joined a debating society and eventually became its president. He proposed several debate topics during his time, including was it politic for the French to assist the US in the American Revolution? Was it preferable a monarchial or republican form of government? And has the career of Napoleon Bonaparte been of benefit or injury to the world? Wow. Yeah. Hot takes to even pose those questions, Sir. Some hot takes. You notice one of them is wondering like whether it was worthwhile for the for France to intervene in a foreign nations like political development militarily. And the other is wondering, is this imperialist warlord, was he good for history? You know, I'm just asking what he's thinking. I'm just asking. I'm just, I don't really have an opinion on it. I'm just seeing what you mean. It's a question. Yeah. I don't know, maybe I have one and I'm not gonna share it with you, but I just want to see where that how that sort of stacks up with the rest of the world. But anyway, just ask. Yeah. I mean, I'm a big Napoleon fan. Not of his conquering, but of his ******* huge. Oh my gosh, that dude. Yeah. Ohh, he was laying down. Oh my God. Like a ****. ******* Mario, man. No. Ohh yeah. Oh, here we go. Oh yeah, yeah. So. William graduated summa *** laude on October 3rd, 1838, half a year after his 14th birthday, so college wasn't long back then either. By this time his interest had changed yet again and he decided to seek a medical degree. First he spent two years as an apprentice under local physicians. Then he was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated in 1843 and headed to Paris to further his medical education in Europe. He arrived at age 19, a doctor, but one wildly unready for the cosmopolitan realities of a progressive city like. Paris. In a letter home to his parents, he noted this of his new Parisian acquaintances. Quote most of them have mistresses, and nobody thinks them any the worse for it. Indeed, the relations of the two sexes among all classes of society are horrible. You find many married couples between whom there exists a tacit agreement that the husband may have as many mistresses and the wife as many lovers as they choose. The poison of infidelity is found in every vein. The effects of it may be seen in the whole body would a striking lesson made, the moralists learn here. So he's like, everybody's ******* and they're fine. That yeah. How horrible, right? I can't. Yeah. And the women have lovers as well. Yeah. I wanna make it clear. He's not like, he's not like seeing that all of his friends are cheating on their wives and being like, that's ****** **. He's seeing, like, all these people are ******* other people that they're not married to and everyone knows and is OK with it. This is awful. Yeah. Wow. How is this? How is this city not gone asunder? Yeah. How has God not turned it into salt? Yeah. So William was fascinated by the power and culture that radiated from old Europe, even though he didn't really gel with its libertine values. He also wasn't a fan on what he saw as its limitations on individual rights. He left Europe after two years, feeling more American than ever. He also felt less like, yeah. Yeah. Nothing like getting around different opinions to get you to double down on your bad opinions. Yeah. I mean, there's an extent to which I understand every time I go to Europe, I realize how fundamentally an American I am, but it's not in a positive way. It's like itchy that I can't blow **** up in the middle of nowhere. And it's like, I don't know that that's a healthy thing to do, but it's just the way it is. Like, what do you mean you don't sell Tannerite in this hardware store? What is this, Communist Russia? Yeah, uh. William also felt less like a doctor than he had. Upon moving there. In a letter home to his parents, he admitted that his interest in his chosen vocation had begun to fade. Quote It is said that no idea which enters our mind is ever entirely removed. Often we see the spectre, as it were, of our departed notions or opinions. By experience I know how firm is the hold of these early and long cherished ideas. With me whilst a child and a boy, I determined on a political career. There have been times when I thought that the last vestige of such an idea had disappeared, but often it reappears to me and my waking dreams leaving me. Certain, whether it be an Angel of light or an Angel of darkness. Darkness, buddy boy. Yeah, darkness. Don't get into politics. Bet on black on that one if you have the gambling table. In 1844, near the end of Williams European Tour, his family friend James K Polk won the presidential election. James was an expansionist and supported the annexation of the Republic of Texas, which most people considered to be America's greatest mistake. Uh. He also supported the United States taking over Oregon, which Great Britain also claimed at the time. Pokes victory over the Whigs showed that a majority of the American people supported these expansionist, colonialist values. It was in the air in 1845, writer John O'Sullivan coined the term. Manifest destiny. The idea that God himself had decreed the United States should expand to control all of North America. Hmm. It's one of those. I'm assuming we all remember this from history class. Yeah. The worst ******* idea put in anyone's head. Yeah. What if all this was ours? What if, like, God said like, yeah, just take all this **** dude. I'm on your side. Dude. I'm God. Listen to me. You can remember, though, all those times in the Bible where Jesus stole people's houses. That was that was Jesus. He would houses left and right. Yeah. Manifest destiny. I need your my chips too. Bra. Yeah. Sorry. Manifest destiny coming through. Get the **** out. Manifest destiny. Now, William returned to the United States shortly after Polk's victory and very soon made the decision to move to New Orleans. This was a risky proposition at the time, the city swampy conditions and horrible water quality meant that it had a death rate twice that of other American cities. So, like moving to New Orleans is a little bit like playing Russian roulette in this. And now, to be honest. Yeah. I don't know. Yeah. I have some friends there who just had both of their neighbors murdered. Oh my gosh. Yeah. It's just like, it's just like a thing. Like, I'll check in on them on Facebook and it'll be like, found some bullets in my lawn today. Like some shells and casings. Like more gunshots last night. I don't know. I haven't been. I also hear it's a wonderful place. And I have a lot of friends who love it. Like, they live there, but. It's always been a little bit of a roll of the die. Yeah, Rolaids right. I can always count on you to be like, be like, Oh yeah, I know someone lives there, and then they knew somebody who was murdered, like, how what happened? What happened? Well, you know, if I'm not mistaken, in that case, it was like a murder, suicide because, like, the guy's mom had told him home that, like, she couldn't afford her healthcare. And it was like a yeah, it was like a really dark ******* tale, man. It's ****** **. Yeah. Now. So that's really not on New Orleans as much as America. Yeah, yeah, I was like, yeah, this is alright. This episode is pretty light. And then you bring it to, like, the real real. Oh, boy. We're getting off topic. Yeah. And that is. That's not on New Orleans. That's on our entire country. No. Back to the best. Sorry, nola. Yeah. So, yeah, it was dangerous moving to New Orleans in this. Luckily, William was ethnically wealthy, and he was able to shack up with a classmate from his college who had a nice townhouse in an affluent part of town so he didn't have to deal with, like, as much of the disease as, like, you know, the tenements and stuff. Right. I have. In New Orleans, William officially made the shift from medicine to politics. And he began to study to become a lawyer. Uh now in New Orleans? As in Paris, Walker was horrified by the fact that everyone wasn't an insufferable Goody 2 shoes. He wrote to his parents that they had no idea of the profaneness of the people of New Orleans. I just love the Pearl clutching of this guy. Yeah, and just cut to whatever dark **** is inevitable here. But still, somebody's saying poop. Yeah, it's so profane. Yeah, like it is like he's literally talking about curse words. And he was particularly horrified by the profanity used by one of his law teachers, a man named Mott. Quote, looking at him, I would suppose him almost incapable of using an oath, but yet I hadn't been in the office long before my ears were saluted with such words that I had deemed long before. And signed to dream and importers, this comment use of oaths appears to be prosecuted by, I think he meant to say, precluded by an absurd affection of energy, not content with activity and simple power. They must have bustle and swelling words. A man wants to have the appearance of strength, although he is conscious of weakness. Oh, wow. OK big. Yeah, yeah. You know, it's kind of like, you know, some people, like when folks are like pose with guns and stuff, they'll be like, that person must have a tiny ****. He's kind of doing the same thing but with curse words. Right. It's like you're yeah. The reason to use curse words is because you have a little Weiner and that's it exactly. You know, and that's why I was talk nice words because my P also big. Now, miles, you know whose pee pee is also big? One of our sponsors. This the eggs? Absolutely. I know this show, baby. Listen to these big swinging **** ads. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tiktok. You maybe even heard the rumors, your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions sometimes. Their answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know. Now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read books.com or wherever you find your favorite books. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. His unspeakable crimes and the incompetence or unwillingness of the police to stop him brought the entire country of Belgium to the brink of revolution. Just December. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is la Monstra. A story of abomination and conspiracy that led to the demise of the entire institution of Belgian federal police and rattled the foundations of its government. The story about the man who simply become known as La Monstre. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up you guys? It's your girl Betty who here? And you know this about me. It has always been very important to me to stand out and be authentically me, not only with my music, but my style and my vibe. And JBL really gets that. They know your headphones and speakers should look as original as the music you're listening to, or in my case, making. That's why I'm obsessed with my JBL headphones and speakers that help me reflect who I really am, from true wireless headphones to pulsing party boxes. Ohh yeah, party boxes guys. JBL has a wide and colourful range of products that help me feel myself when I wanna vibe my way. I literally record this entire podcast on my favorite JBL headphones. They are absolutely incredible. So JBL wants us all to listen on our terms living in the moment. Our moment unfiltered. The JBL podcast at jbl.com. We're back miles, yes. In 1846, the United States went to war with Mexico. William was skeptical of this venture and called it a type of fever. In a letter to her friend, he noted that quote for a little time the patient was far gone and a delirium of joy and destruction. War was preached as being the noblest and sublime list of all States and conditions of men, a spectacle of delight for gods and demigods. He evinced a particular discuss that the people of Mexico were being treated. As pagans by many of his fellow Americans, and not the good Christians that they were, the war sparked a deep interest in current events and William in a growing obsession with the news that increasingly pulled him away from his nascent law career. He passed the bar in 1847, but his young practice saw little success. He got a gig working briefly at the Commercial Review, a local paper. The work didn't last long, but William found journalism appealing. In early 1849 he put together $1000 of probably mostly his parents money and bought an interest in the Daily Crescent newspaper. Now, the Crescent was at the time a moderately liberal publication, which meant then that they accepted ads for slave markets, but didn't attack abolitionists as literal demons deserving of violent murder. Ohh, so like MSNBC? Yeah, yeah, they're the MSNBC of the time? Absolutely. Yeah. In 1849, New Orleans. This was a pretty progressive attitude for rich white guy to take. Now, 1849 proved to be a pretty bad year for Walker. He'd fallen in love with a young woman, Ellen Martin, a socialite and a deaf mute whose parents had, unusually for the time, insisted on letting their daughter live a normal life. That summer, a horrific bout of yellow fever hit New Orleans, afflicting William and forcing him to temporarily flee the city. It reached a more vicious. Role on the Martin family killing First Ellen's cousin and then taking hold of her. She spent several miserable weeks battling the illness until on April 18th it finally claimed her. Walker was devastated by this, and his friends would later claim that it marked a turning point in his life. He became cold, calculating and increasingly violent. His coverage in the Daily Crescent turned over and over to confrontational, attacking his fellow journalist for, among other things, reporting on corruption within a local bank. Walker's angle seemed to be that by reporting on this, journalists were damaging. Public confidence in the bag and revealing personal details about the lives of several bankers. This new Walker was also more inclined to support colonialist ventures. In the late 1840s, Marisco Lopez, a Spanish general and a former governor of Trinidad, Cuba, began agitating for the island to rebel against Spanish control and join the United States. Lopez did not do this for reasons of Cuban self-determination. He was worried that the island would be taken by a slave uprising like the one that had liberated Haiti, and he wanted the military backing of the United States to protect he and his fellow property owners. Spain. It ended slavery and most of its domains in 1811, and so Lopez and his fellow people owners were worried that they would lose their ability to own people. Lopez initially sought the help of the US government in this, but President Polk's administration was unable to start a war with Spain. He became convinced via delusion that the United States would step in if he could spark an uprising on the island. And so he hatched a plan to recruit hundreds of random Americans with guns and use them as an army to invade Cuba. By 1849, he was recruiting men directly from the streets of New York City. Uh, now, Zachary Taylor, the president who followed Polk, issued Proclamation 51 to warn Americans against participating in Lopez's scheme. He promised that they would face charges at home and would receive no aid in their endeavors. And it's kind of a mark of where we are right now that I think if the same thing happened today, the President of the United States would be completely on board. I ohh, it's so many things even what you're saying, like just mirror the positions of so many people. It's also really interesting to know that. The real I was like, when's the fork in the road moment come for this guy? And it's when he lost his it was his girlfriend or his wife. His girlfriend. His girlfriend to yellow fever. And yeah, that is like when he this sounds like the beginnings of the end for him. What was yellow fever exactly? I don't know, some horrible fever kills you ***. Guessing it's a fever. I think it's one of those poop yourself to death fevers. Ohh. God, you hate one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No good. Yeah, yeah. I'm not a yellow fever expert though. And you never claim to be. I think we just get never claimed to be. Early enough I am. Uh, I don't know. I don't have a joke for that anyway. Yeah, let's move along here. So, yeah. Lopez succeeded in gathering up several 100 armed men boats and $80,000 in funding, which was enough money to run a war. At that point in history to avoid arrest, he and his men disguised their endeavor as a trip to California to mind gold. This did not fool anyone, and Lopez's army was broken up. He fled from New York down to New Orleans, reasoning that the lawless swamps of Louisiana. Would be friendlier to someone trying to raise an army to invade a sovereign state in order to further the cause of human *******. And he was not wrong in this. William Walker, for his part, loved General Lopez and supported his efforts. He justified this by pointing out that a slave uprising in Cuba so close to Florida might spread the contagious disease of wanting to be free to enslaved black Americans. Quote from one of his editorials if, for example, the great number of ******* now being carried into Cuba should end in a second Haitian insurrection. And an establishment of a ***** state on the island, it would be very injurious and dangerous for our southern partners to have such a neighbor. Of course we have the right and ought to exercise it, of preventing any policy that would lead to such a disaster. Oh boy. It's funny how a disaster of freedom, these moments where like, class power structures are about to be disrupted and then the, the the dominant class has to go. All right. So how are we going to ******* make sure this doesn't happen here? It's like we're going to make sure this freedom thing doesn't spread. Yeah. And then, like, with Haiti, it's like, OK, well, we'll just punish them forever monetarily with the banks. Yeah. And we'll make sure not they'll never prosper. And we'll keep them, like, indebted to this other system for long. We'll keep punishing them right up until the modern era, 2020. And no one will talk about it because, like, we'll just assume at that point that Haiti's always been ****** ** for inexplicable reason. Right. And then City Citibank is like, oh, wait, what? What? Ohh, is that us back? Ohh, OK, we gotta, we gotta get a a real Haiti episode up in here. Oh my God. Jesus. Yeah, I mean, like, because that really was weak, that all those slave uprisings really had people shook. Like in this way you're talking about, they're like, wait, we can't. We don't want people getting ideas about like like liberation over here. They had so many different ways to to combat it that weren't like, hey, if you stop owning people, they won't want to murder you, right? Just just just a pitch just to pay that. Yeah, yeah. So Umm Walker, uh, claimed that he supported an invasion of Cuba on humanitarian grounds, arguing that the US could stop Cuba from importing new slaves and then slavery on the island would take the mild and comparatively inoffensive form in which it exists in the southern states. Ohh, **** right off. Yeah, it's real ***** ** ****. **** I just love again. Same, same pattern, OK? This country is doing something that we don't want to give ideas to our people. That might be a good thing. Therefore, we were just going to force our way in with this weird, lame *** subterfuge of, like, no, we care about the people. It's about the people. Yeah, it's really about the people. It's not about, like, humanitarian, not about preserving these power structures that we need to, like, extort and, you know, exploit the weak. But anyway, it's fine. Yeah. Call it a humanitarian, humanitarian, humanitarian. In his constant editorials, William began to explicitly endorse the practice of filibustering or freebooting. Now, this is not a term we used today, often in its original form. Filibustering like it's the Congress thing where you talk for a long time and probably have to wear a diaper. But back in the 1850s, according to the book filibusters and financiers, filibusters were basically people who would have been described as pioneers if they'd turned their attentions toward colonizing parts of North America already controlled by the government. Quote. If, on the other hand, they happen to direct their attention towards another nation whose sovereignty was formally recognized by their own, they were called filibusters. The term filibuster was originally one of a probrem banned its use in the 50s. Was much resented by those to whom it was applied in, as much as it was regarded as synonymous with pirate or Buccaneer. And it stops meaning pirate in this. Because a lot of people like filibusters, but really, it is piracy. It's just grander than normal piracy. They're just ******* around and switching labels around to make it seem different. Yeah, it's just the label. They're like, oh, God, please don't call me a Buccaneer, right? Yeah, I prefer genocidal. I'm, I mean, filibuster. Yeah, like a friend decide. Oh **** yeah, no, that doesn't work out. So I find that book filibusters and financiers really interesting because it was published in 1916, an age in which most white people considered colonialism to be a clear good, and an age in which a lot of people still remember the 1850s. It credits the growth of filibustering and its support by men like William Walker to the fact that the blank map of North America was rapidly being filled in quote, there is a proverb current among Frenchmen to the effect that the appetite comes with. Eating, and in the case of the land hunger of the American people, the truth of this assertion seems well established. As soon as they set foot on American soil, the colonists from Europe were compelled to rest their lands from the savages, many of whom resisted the invaders to the death. Nature as well as the natives had to be subdued, rode in field, were cleared with acts and spade. Pioneers built their log cabins far in the wilderness, and like the advanced guard of a marching army, kept always ahead of the main body of westward moving settlers. There was no arrest of this westward progress, till the pioneer stood on the shores of the Pacific. In 1803, the boundary was moved from the Mississippi to the Rockies, and the next generation sought extending from the Rockies to the sea. A whole continent had been won, but the land hunger seemed keener than ever. The appetite had increased with the eating. And, you know, it's a yeah, I think that's pretty accurate. Yes. And, like, obviously they're kind of pro that, but it still doesn't mean it's an inaccurate assessment of what's going on. It's funny, too, because I was just reading this study about how, like, when people who aren't used to the American diet come to the United States and begin eating like typical foods, like, you know, people like that, normal people would eat, like, not gourmet **** all the time. Yeah, like 19 pounds of bacon wrapped up in cheese and deep fried fat, high sugar diet. It leads to a normal breakfast. It leads to more eating. So like, yeah, it's still like, like, the metaphor even holds for the way in which we've been consumed. Food in this country is also like, yeah, and then that also extends to aggressive land grabs where you get a little bit and then you get such a ***** for boundary pushing. They just keep going until you get to a body of water that apparently you can't put a flag in. Yeah, it's amazing. Like, the American culture is very much like, if you. I don't know, somehow, like, magically were to take, like, the collective hunger of like, all past generations of human beings who struggled with, like, the wilderness and the seasons and and the tides, and then just, like, lumped that into a relatively small chunk of human beings. Like, like, like we're just filled with this insatiable need to consume. That's almost metaphysical. And it's it's yeah, boundaries. Anyway, the hunger never ends. Yeah. So we're talking about this guy Lopez trying to conquer Cuba. He carried out a couple of different unsuccessful expeditions to Cuba. He was eventually like executed and ****. It didn't work out. But this did not dissuade Walker from breathless support for the idea of filibustering. He was, in general, more aggressive after the death of his girlfriend than he in all spheres of his life. In late 1849 he got into a dispute with the editor of New Orleans largest Spanish language newspaper over the arrest or kidnapping of a Cuban citizen by the Spanish government. The dispute was based mainly on a misunderstanding by both men, but incensed by an editorial that had insulted. William Walker found the other publications editor and beat him with his cane. So he is like, and he's not, he's never before this, like, a violent physically person. So this is like, he's. There's really a change going on in this dude. Oh, wow. Yeah. I'm up over maybe what? The whole thing. I thought your time might. Elian Gonzalez for a second in the beginning if I kidnapped Cuban national. And. No, no, no. Completely different. Very similar. Different. Very different. Story. But then he solves his beefs by just cane whooping somebody. He gets really comfortable with violence after this point, and it's one of those things. It's totally plausible that, like, the death of a loved one could lead to that kind of change. I also wonder, maybe maybe just got hit in the ******* head at some point, and that's like a part of the story that's just not reported because nobody thought it was a big deal. Whenever I hear about, like, a personality change that leads to violence, I wonder, maybe a TBI? Yeah, yeah. Or something. Yeah. Going on with your brain. Yeah. Some CTE up in here. Yeah. No, geez. Or just. Yeah or hey maybe you were called you know, effeminate your whole life and and old celery stick arms and now you just have had it and now you're toxicity is now the world's problem. Yeah maybe this was something that was just simmering inside him his entire childhood and it finally blew over. And yeah, maybe the death of a loved one was a catalyst. Who knows? Either way, he is a very aggressive man from this point forward. Right in 1850. Walker left New Orleans and his job at the Daily Crescent for the Windy City that never sleeps, San Francisco. His journey there was nightmarish by modern standards. He had to take a series of boats down to Panama. He had to hike through the mountains for days and then book passage on a steamer headed for the West Coast. It took around five months. How long would it have taken over land? I guess worse, probably. How it depends. Oh yeah. Because it's like they there's it's very much less developed, you know, at that point. I mean in a lot more dangerous. You take the 10 W yeah. Can take that from Jacksonville all the way. Well, I don't know. To Santa Monica, 10 at this point is a series of gunfights with bandits. And there's no carpooling. Yeah. Now, when Scottson, California, William got another job at another newspaper, The Daily Herald. He'd immediately set to work waging a personal war with the entire city's justice system, which in fairness was incredibly corrupt. In ****** ** crime was rampant in San Francisco, which at that point was a night lawless frontier town. William viciously attacked the District Judge Levi Parsons for his failure to adequately prosecute criminals after a local businessman was murdered during a robbery gone wrong, William began to advocate armed crowds of murderous vigilantes is a good solution to San Francisco's crime problem. Oh boy. Yeah, he wanted armed mobs to clean up the streets. Who doesn't? Miles you? Good old fashioned armed moths. So weird. I just feel like this could be a headline we're going to read in like 3 months from now. Yeah, it is. I mean it. There it is. Like a focus of right wing grifters right now. The fact that there's poop in the streets of San Francisco sometimes. Yeah, it's like, buddy, I got some news about Dallas for you. Hey, just get some, hire some Pinkertons and they'll clean it up. It's like, what? So here's how Walker wrote. About his desire for vigilante murder squads quote when citizens are murdered and robbed in their houses, are Feloniously entered in the most populous portions of the city? Is it not time that there were some action taken to vindicate the law? We have urged the formation of a volunteer night patrol. Until such a body be organized, we doubt if there can be any security. A summary example must be made of the first person detected in the Commission of these crimes. So we just we just got to go out and and shoot US1 criminal and that'll scare the rest straight. It's it's it's good to know. That those terrible ideas. People have been having those for centuries now. Yep. Because people never learned a single thing. Ever. Yeah. Not once, ever. History has anyone learned a single lesson. That is the lesson of history that we don't learn. Yeah, we'll create order by creating more fear. I'm pretty sure that's how it's going to work. Walker was particularly furious when Judge Parsons ruled in the case of another judge who'd been accused of bribery what he felt, probably accurately, that the judge had just done a favor for his buddy. Walker was further outraged when this judge, a guy named Morrison, assigned the property of a dead man to one of his colleagues, even though the deceased had family. Back in Boston, Walker attacked these corrupt judges with admirable ferocity, eventually provoking one of their proteges to attack Walker as a liar, a poltroon coward. This prompted William to challenge. A man to a duel, which was accepted by another one of the judges proteges. The terms were set as revolvers fired at 10 paces. Back when there was honor. Back when there was honor. Right before we just cancel people. Exactly. When we would cruelly cancel people, instead, we would nobly stand 10 feet away and shoot each other with handguns. Oh my God. 10 paces, Sir. Not a semblance. William lost and received a bullet in his leg. For his trouble he kept writing, though, and eventually earned himself a charge for contempt of court. He was basically he posted through it. He was fined $500.00 which he refused to pay. The people of San Francisco mostly seem to back William, and this seeing his crusade against a corrupt judiciary is fundamentally just next. According to the book filibusters and financiers, a mass meeting was held on the Plaza on March 9th, 1851, with several thousand citizens in attendance. Resolutions were quickly adopted, approving Walker's conduct, calling on Parsons to resign his seat, and asking the local representatives in the legislature to initiate impeachment proceedings. After adjourning, the citizens marched in a body to the jail and made. Walker visive sympathy. Habeas corpus proceedings were next instituted before a judge of the Superior Court, who held that Parsons might institute a suit for libel, but that his punishment for the contempt alleged in a newspaper statement was inconsistent with the freedom of the press and a violation of the Constitution. Walker was thereupon set free. He had once presented a memorial to the legislature, and the committee to which it was referred recommended on March 26th that Parsons should be impeached. A special committee was then appointed to investigate the charges, and upon its reporting insufficient grounds for impeachment. The case was ended had Walker. Missed anything like personal magnetism? He might have made of this episode the foundation of a successful career in California politics? He was indeed not without political ambition, but in the prime requisites of the successful politician, he was woefully lacking. So he's just unable to turn this into any kind of political what? How more could you fail upward as a white man? You're like, look, I started some **** with a judge. I got clapped, I had to take that L then suddenly I became like, I got a lot of sympathy. I could have turned that into something. But then I just didn't even know how to do that, so I'm just gonna rob people. Hey, Robert. Yeah, Robert. Yes. You know what isn't woefully lacking? Robert this is an I feel like I know but I felt like the longer he wanted was quiet to funnier. It got he wanted to let you sit with that one. Ohh I did. What a cruel man. And now you at home can sit with these products and services. That was shameful. Robert. I know. Ads. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tiktok. You maybe even heard the rumors from your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions, sometimes their answers that people would rather us not. Explore now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format. You can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read books.com or wherever you find your favorite books. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. His unspeakable crimes and the incompetence or unwillingness of the police to stop him brought the entire country of Belgium to the brink of revolution. Yep. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio this is la Monstra. A story of abomination and conspiracy that led to the demise of the entire institution of Belgian federal police and rattled the foundations of its government. The story about the man who simply become known as Le Monstre. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up you guys? It's your girl Betty who here? And you know this about me. It has always been very important to me to stand out and be authentically me, not only with my music, but my style and my vibe. And JBL really gets that. They know your headphones and speakers should look as original as the music you're listening to, or in my case, making. That's why I'm obsessed with my JBL headphones and speakers that help me reflect who I really am, from true wireless headphones to pulsing party boxes. Ohh yeah, party boxes guys. JBL has a wide and colourful range of products that help me feel myself when I wanna vibe my way. I literally record this entire podcast on my favorite JBL headphones. They are absolutely incredible. So JBL wants us all to listen on our terms living in the moment. Our moment unfiltered. The JBL podcast at jbl.com. We're back. A quick question about duels. Did you or you only allowed to shoot one shot when you turned? Like it was like, no, no, no, you could. One of these one at a time, all six at once? No, no, it's one at a time, though. Like, I think you have to, like, wait for the other person to do their second shot if you miss. Oh my God. Yeah, well, I mean, it's pretty cool. It's pretty cool. I'm surprised people just didn't cheat to like, you know what I'm just going to unload. This whole clip, when I turn, I give a ****. Yeah. I'm sure people did cheat. Yeah. And then it would just be like, it would be a terrible. It would be, yeah. Dishonorable. Andrew Jackson cheated at a duel and killed a guy. Yeah. And it ruled. But anyway, we'll get we'll talk about that at some other day. So Williams time in California turned him into a powerful supporter of manifest destiny. You'll remember he was kind of like on the edge about the Mexican American War at first, but, like, he's on board at this point. Over his months in San Francisco, he switched from writing about crime to authoring more and more essays about the necessity of American expansionism. He could see the writing on the wall. The old United States was filling in, and one entire massive continent was, in his view, not enough for the awesomeness that was America. He believed the US needed to annex not just Cuba, but Nicaragua, and probably parts of Mexico too. He also felt that the annexation of Central American states might eventually provide the US with more slave states, which would be pretty cool in his view. There it is. There it is. Yeah. That's debated, but seems to scan. Yeah. Oh, that's debatable whether that's what his actual intent was. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We'll talk about that a little later, too. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I was like, what's what does he think you're gonna do with all this land, huh? He's not the only person to believe that there was actually like a southern, like a Confederates after the Civil war who moved to. I think it might have been Costa Rica. I forget exactly where to, like, try to start a new Confederacy in Latin or in Central America. So this is like, he's not the only guy with this basic idea. Yeah, and all the all they were able to do is create Cancun. Yeah, well actually Cabo San Lucas comes up in this quite a lot. So as Williams career in journalism petered out in his brief career as a lawyer proved unfulfilling, his attention drifted more and more to the possibility of filibustering himself and possibly adding new territory to the glorious United States. Perhaps he was inspired to this work by the example of his heroic grandfather and I achieving family full of soldiers and politicians and newspaper owners conquering a sovereign nation was just about the only way to stand out. He found an opportunity lurking just a few 100 miles South of San Francisco in the untamed Wilds of northern Mexico at that point. Sonora Desert and the place we now call Baja was still largely unsettled. It was occupied by numerous indigenous people, of course, but by the standards of racists in the US and Mexican Government, it was essentially empty. The few villages that existed there, this is just the way people thought. That's so aggressive. Like, yeah. And what they modern racism at that time just meant and nobody's there. Well, and it's it's funny because, like, the big problem Mexico has is that the villages that are there have all these problems with, like, Apaches and Comanches raiding them. So it's like. This place is too empty for us to control. And this is a problem because all of the people that are there want to kill us, all of the people that are there in this empty place. Yeah, there's kind of like they're not worth it. So the first kind of freebooters who sort of sailed in to try to deal with this problem, we're actually French, a guy named Charles de Pendre and like a bunch of French San Franciscans like traveled to a gyrus, which is like sort of like the Big city in Sonora port. And they developed an agricultural settlement to like essentially try and provide a base of people that would like allow them to like basically provide some sort of order against the Apache. Meters, right? So, like, that's the goal here, and it doesn't work out. Pendre is eventually murdered after getting into a loud argument with the Sonoran government. So, like, the Mexican government kinda wants these French people there because they're having trouble, like, controlling the territory and fighting off these native tribes. But at the same time, they don't really trust these people because they're like, you're trying to steal this land from us, like, we're pretty sure. So it's like it's it's it's fraught. And there's a complicated history here that we're not going to get into enough. But like, both sides are stealing, so they have to be. So they're like, we're trying to take this land too, but we kind of need you. But I feel like you're gonna steal it more. What do we do? Yeah. The colonizers catch 22. Yeah, they are both colonizers here. I guess you could say Mexico's less colonizer dry at this point. Because there is at least like they've been there longer. I don't know. I'm not going to try to parse that out more. Sure. Sure. No, not at all. Yeah. Another wave of French freebooters came next, led by a French Count Gaston de. So, boubon, I'm not gonna pronounce that right, but **** him. He received permission from the Mexican government to do the same thing, basically to start a settlement to try and like provide a defense against the Apache. But again, these would be colonists in the local government wound up at loggerheads. The accountant has men eventually decided to settle their differences with the Mexican government by marching on a nearby city and conquering it at gunpoint. They succeeded in this, but were eventually beaten by like a kind of a grassroots insurgency. And the survivors. Chased out of Mexico in December 1852. All this was closely observed by William Walker, who thought the whole mess sounded very exciting. He'd actually put together a plan with a couple of business partners to establish a settlement in Sonora, with the goal of protecting Mexican villagers and ranchers from Apache and Comanche Raiders. They'd been unable to get the Mexican government to give them permission, though, and Walker had shelved the idea until the counts efforts ended in bloody failure at the end of 1852. In June 1853, William Walker and two business. Partners traveled to Guaymas, Mexico with the goal of scouting out possible locations for a border settlement. They received passes from the Mexican consulate to visit the country, but they were most definitely not allowed to go there in order to plot how they could illegally build towns full of white settlers in Mexico. The captain of the port was immediately suspicious of Walker and his friends and sent this message off to the local general quote. Your Excellency will perceive that there is undoubtedly an intention to invade this portion of the Mexican territory. There's like, yeah, everyone knows what's going on here. You're like, you're not. Click. Yeah, it's the same thing. Like a timeshare, like pitch. Yeah, it's like, yeah, yeah, you're you're offering me a ******* free trip. I believe that. What are you trying to ******* steal? Yeah, now, the governor ordered Walker and his friends detained, and they spent the next month trapped in Guaymas trying to convince the governor that, Nah, really guy, we're cool dudes. We're not trying to conquer part of your country. And while they waited, Walker made a bit of a name for himself around town for dressing like a maniac. He was described as wearing a huge white fur hat, whose long nap waved with the breeze despite the 100 plus degree summer heat. Yeah, OK bro. The ******* big fur white fur hat in the Mexican summer. Ohh my for to do what? To let people know you're a pickup artist. He's picking up the whole country. I'm negging the whole country, bro. I'm negging him right into my bedroom. Kinda is actually. Now. Despite his best attempts at argument, the government held to the heart of the line that William Walker was absolutely not allowed to travel further into Mexico. And so, at the end of July, William and his friends left. Despite their failure, he was optimistic, for he had received some very exciting news, which he related in an article published shortly thereafter. Quote, Apaches had visited a country house a few leagues from Guaymas, murdering all the men and children and carrying the women into captivity. Worse than death. The Indians sent word that they would soon visit the town where water is carried on ***** backs, meaning hymus. And the people of that port, frightened by the message, seemed ready to perceive anyone who would give them safety. So he's like psyched about this, like some Apache murder a bunch of people and he's like, **** yeah, this is my chance. Oh boy. Yeah. The tactics are always the same, right? Yeah, absolutely. What, is there an atmosphere of fear there I can exploit for my own gain? Fantastic. Let me hop right in. Let me roll right up in that you guys. Here for your Life OK, how about I come through the homies who have no training, but we will settle. Absolutely no training, but we have guns. Way more guns than we should have. Despite the fact that literally no one he had met in Mexico had wanted him there, William Walker insisted to his readers that several women in the country had begged him to repair immediately to California and bring down enough Americans to keep off the Apaches. Walker was not the least bit dissuaded by the Mexican government's refusal to work with him. He felt that the ease with which those French settlers had captured a whole town meant that a comparatively small body of Americans would surely see even greater success. Enough Americans with guns could protect local families. From rampaging natives and of course secure themselves significant financial benefits, Walker wrote insistently that such an act would be one of humanity no less than of justice, whether sanctioned or not by the Mexican government. And so William Walker returned to California intent upon the goal of invading Mexico. He wrote that his plan was to establish at as early a time as possible, a military colony not necessarily hostile to Mexico, on the frontier of Sonora, with a view of protecting that state from the Apaches. Not necessarily hostile, no. I mean, yeah, we have guns and we're shooting people that, like, don't agree with us. But, like, that's not the point, though. We're here. Like, that's only possible if you don't agree with us. You just. It's pretty simple. I'm pretty sure we laid it out. You disagree with me? I shoot you. It is the geopolitical equivalent of that scene in Simpsons where Bart walks forward swinging his fists and a windmill. And as I hit you, it's not my fault exactly. You're the actually, you're the aggressor because you know it's coming your way and you got in the line of fire. Now, what Walker was doing was wildly. Legal, and so we had to hide his activities. But he was really bad at secrecy and almost immediately local papers started commenting on the rumors that he was going to invade Mexico. There was criticism for the idea in some papers, but at the time many Americans supported the idea of conquering more Mexico. One of Walker's fellow Californians wrote this in an 1854 op-ed speaking for a sizable chunk of the territory. Quote It is the fate of America ever to go. She is like the rod of iron that became a serpent and swallowed up the other rods. So Will America conquer or annex all lands? That is her manifest destiny. Only give her time for the process to swallow up. Every few years of province as large as most kingdoms of Europe is her present rate of progress. Sometimes she purchases the mighty morsel. Sometimes she forms it out of waste territory by the natural increase of her own people. Sometimes she annexes and sometimes she conquers it. Oh, boy. Who wastes territory? Yeah, this is the attitude common at the time. I mean, yeah. You realize, like, whenever I think about this. They hire people so callous and, like, brazen. And this time it's like, yeah, I get it. The language you're using is just sort of, it's merely looking at it like you're, you know, at a ******* like a parking lot swap meet, and you want to make sure you get there early enough to get the good spot. We don't often talk about that with manifest destiny. It was not, I won't say the majority of Americans felt this way, right. But a not insignificant number of Americans were like, Oh no, we're supposed to take the whole ******* world, or at least all of South and Central American, 100%. Yeah, if I can walk there. And I don't need a boat. Yeah, I think it should be ours for as long as that goes. Now Walker, in a growing circle of comrades, raised money for their venture by selling $500.00 bonds at half face value for the Independence Loan Fund of the Republic of Sonora. They promised that purchasers of these bonds would receive 7 square miles of Mexico sovereign soil once their new country was established. In conversations with his supporters, Walker did not even bother to pretend that his goal was to create a settlement for humanitarian reasons. Now he was openly raising funds to conquer Mexican territory and establish his own country. In order to avoid running afoul of the Neutrality Act, Walker carefully worded his sales pitch to prospective soldiers. Rather than outright saying I'm recruiting mercenaries, he would talk up all the wealth and spoils and excitement to be gained in the venture in the hopes that his target would ask if they too could join. For some reason lost a time Walker felt that people volunteering to invade Mexico with him was more legal than him hiring people to invade Mexico. So he it wasn't. He would just have, like a really cool pitch and like, the whole point was like, dude, Bateman was such a dope. Pitch that they're gonna be like, yes, I would like to join this illegal expedition. I'm not raising an army. An army asked me if they could help me invade Mexico. That's totally different. So different, your honor. Are you kidding me? I was like, this is how it started. I'm like, yo, Brett, this place Mexico's ******* cool. I'm going to check it out. I don't know what you're thinking. Next thing you know, he's coming with, like, a bunch of homies out have guns. What do you want me to do? Yeah, it just sort of happened. Yeah. Wow. What a pitch, though, too. And you're like, also. Can you put in like 5 bucks on my ******* like colonizer fun and you will get you will secure your own piece of land. This all does kind of make me want like an 1850s like version of the hangover where like they all wake up having conquered Baja, Mexico and they're like, what happened? What happened? Where's William Walker? You can make a fun movie out of that. Walker hired a ship called the Arrow to carry he and his men to Sonora and of course both the Mexican and US governments. Almost instantly realized what was happening. The boat was seized while full of guns in San Francisco. Walker responded by suing the government to release his boat, arguing that it had no authority to take possession of a ship without evidence of a criminal act. He loudly denied he was planning any kind of invasion. A media storm enveloped the whole issue and Walker was once again successful in getting the people of San Francisco on his side. While all this attention was focused on the Arrow, William Walker went and chartered another ship and filled it with guns and ammunition a little bit after midnight on October 16th, 1850. Or the local police caught some of Walker's men moving supplies into the boat. They seized a bunch of ammo, prompting Walker to panic and rouse all the men he could get his hands on 45, most of whom were drunk, and rest them aboard his new ship with whatever guns they had on hand. The men set sail later that night, severely undermanned and under armed, but finally on their way to Sonora. Yeah, ******* disaster. Get on the boat. Get out the boat. I don't care how drunk you are. Hey, what's going on? Hey, what's going on? And there's a cops are coming, man. Do you wanna get on a boat? I don't have my musket. That's it. Cops are angry because we're trying to invade Mexico. Get on the boat. The schnarr all. ****. Hurry, ****** ******. There's they'll be ******* booze on the boat. Just get on. Bring your gun now. Walker named his small army slightly larger than a platoon. The first independent. Italian he declared himself Colonel because it was the 1800s and everybody was a Colonel. Yeah, and then, shockingly, he succeeded in using his small force to conquer the town of La Paz, population 6000. This was less impressive than it sounds. There was no one to defend the town. Walker and a bunch of his men just stumbled, probably drunk, into the governor's office, waving guns and terrorized everyone there into giving them control. As soon as the governor surrendered, William Walker ordered the Mexican flag taken down and replaced with a new flag he had designed himself. The flag of the Republic of Sonora. Looking out from his new base of operations, his ambitions expanded. No longer was he content in creating a small Republic of Sonora. La Paz had fallen so easily that he now desired to conquer the entire Baja Peninsula. Within days of capturing the town, he renamed his new country, issuing a declaration that the Republic of Lower California is hereby declared free, sovereign and independent. And all allegiance to the Republic of Mexico is forever renounced. OK? Just like that, huh? Ambition, man. You just you gotta fake it till you make it. Just like that. And also, wow, way to get slowly. Like, deceived by how easy ones like, Oh well, that was pretty easy. Lapad this small town easily. You know what? **** it. I'm gonna do. You know what? Yeah, let's do the whole thing. Let's do. Clearly, this is the hardest thing we'll ever have to do. Do you know what did that flag look like? I'm always curious when people, like, pretty boring. Yeah. OK. It wasn't like indulgent. Talked about it if it was cool. Yeah. No, no, it wasn't. Sorry. Damn it. That's when these guys *******. Disappoint me when there's like a real opportunity for some just straight up buffoonery and it's like, yeah, no, actually took flags very seriously. Very minimal design, very minimal design. It's a pretty yeah. It's not super crazy. Uh. Walker concluded his declaration by announcing that he was now the president as well as a Colonel, which is a pretty impressive series of title changes for a single week. Yeah. Yeah, he's telling the president I'm the Colonel of the hair club for men president. Colonel. Colonel president. Yeah, Colonel. President. Walker set to work at once. Having a bunch of other people fancy titles, appointing a secretary of war who was by himself 3% of the army. He said most critically, he appointed a propagandist who started mailing off dispatches to the San Diego Herald in order to inform Americans about what Walker and his men had done. He set to work at once, confiscating the arms and ammunition of the citizens of La Paz so they could not rise up against him. He attempted to fortify the city, but eventually realized that it was indefensible if the Mexican army attacked. And so he moved his forces to Cabo San Lucas, which he felt would be an easier place to draw Americans and to fight for his cause. Wow. He moves to Cabo because he's like, this is where if I want to get more Americans, I gotta go to Kappa. This is where it's at La Paz is so last year. I mean, if you haven't been to Cabo, you really must. So it's it's he makes the same decision as an insurgent general, as Jimmy Buffett does, as Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville does he is he just thinking, like, because of location? He's like, OK, yeah, this is this is an easier place to get reinforcements like he's relying on. He's not an idiot. He knows that, like, 45 min isn't enough to take all of Baja, but he hopes that, like, the the stories that are spreading in the news will send hundreds of Americans to join his army. And he knows that Cabo San Lucas, it's easier for people from California to get to. Right, right? Right. Yeah. Just going straight down the coast. Yes. OK. I also, I'm in my mind, I'm also thinking of a dude who's, like, starting at, like a terrible vacation spot, too. And he's like, Nah, you know what? We're not going to get a lot of business here. We got to go to Cabo, man. They're gonna see these beaches. They're gonna love it. And they'll fight my war and they'll fight my war. Uh. So, yeah, well, he and his men were loading up their boat to flee the capital of their new country for the new capital of their new country, which they would have to conquer. Once they got there, they ran into a passenger ship, waving the Mexican flag. Walkers men boarded the ship at once and realized it held Juan Climaco Rebolledo, the new governor of La Paz. They arrested him immediately and took him prisoner, along with the old governor. The Americans hold up on their boat for a few nights with their prisoners waiting in the harbor of the city they'd conquered when a few of them landed to get. Firewood that were ambushed by Mexican soldiers and townspeople. Walker and his troops responded to the ambush by returning fire, which is fair, and also by lighting random people's houses on fire, which is not fair. They made it back to the boat and told Walker what had happened. His first reaction was to load his ship's cannons and opened fire on La Paz, which was again the capital of the new country he had founded. Walker landed with 30 of his men after this and took to the fight to the enemy. For 90 minutes or so. The ambushing Mexican forces fled and Walker wrote a glowing report of their victory. To be shared in the newspapers back in California, the enemies loss was six or seven killed and several wounded. Armen did not so much as receive a wound except from cacti, while pursuing the enemy through the chaparral in the rear of town. Thus ended the Battle of La Paz, crowning our efforts with victory, releasing lower California from the tyrannous yoke of declining Mexico and establishing a New Republic. Oh my God man. Yeah, he he got into a gunfight over firewood, burned down 1/4 of the town, and then called it the Battle of La Paz. And this goes back to ******* Grandpa, too, where you're like, yeah, yeah, that ************. He he he's got a few stories and then he's having to, like, self mythologize when he writes back because he's like, well, I'm never gonna do that. So let me just really pump this story up so it sounds a lot way cooler. Yeah. And miles, that's where the story is going to have to remain for the end of part one. And we're gonna we're going to talk about what happens next with William Walker and his men in Part 2 on Thursday. Great. You get some Muggles to to drop in the P zone here before we roll out. You know I do dailies if you wanna colonize this podcast. We all want bugs. I wanna put the flag deep into the fertile soil of behind the ********. Right now. Yeah. I do want to shout out my new show, 420 day fiance that I co-host with one of your other esteemed guests, Sophia Alexandra, where like we just get high and talk about 90 day fiance. It's like an excellent if you need a break from life, you know, that's that's sort of like why we do it. It's like. We're talking about all kinds of serious ****. I'm like, can we just talk about my favorite show, but, like, get faded before? That sounds great, and that's all. Well, I have no plugs to plug because I do nothing but this episode of this podcast, which is the entirety of my breadth of work. So the episode is now done. No, it's not, Robert. Is it not? No. Do I do other things? You do other things you almost worst year ever disappointing with. Oh, that's you with our good friends Katie Stoll and Cody Johnston. I guess so. Yeah, I guess. You can also find Robert on Twitter at I write. OK. And you can find us on the Twitter stagram at ******** pod. And we have a two public store. And to be honest, I don't know about all that, but if Sophie says so, I guess I'm not going to argue. I'm good. Thank you so much. That's so kind of you. Now the episode is over. Excellent. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your cohost for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. For four months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Doctor Laurie Santos, host of the Happiness Lab podcast the show that presents the latest science based strategies to help us live happier, more joyful lives. In the next season of the Happiness Live, we'll explore how to make friends happier parenting strategies and why drinking the world's hottest hot sauce can be fun. Oh my God. Listen to the Happiness lab on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. My name is Alex Fumero and I host the new podcast more than a movie, American Me, a film directed by and starring Edward James Olmos. I'll be diving into the behind the scenes controversy, including an alleged backlash from the Mexican mafia. Several people who worked on the movie have been murdered. I don't want to speak about why would people be murdered for being in a movie. Listen to more than a movie, American me on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.