July 13, 1854

The U.S. warship Cyane bombarded San Juan del Norte (Greytown) in Nicaragua, partly in revenge for an alleged insult against diplomat Solon Borland of Arkansas, who had arrived in Managua in September 1853 and immediately started causing trouble. In a public address, he announced that his greatest ambition was to see Nicaragua join the United States. This speech, and Borland’s incessant demands, caused Secretary of State William Marcy to reprimand him; Borland resigned. As Borland was leaving in May 1854, he interfered with the arrest of an American in the coastal town of San Juan del Norte. Borland was almost arrested. The enraged diplomat reported the incident, and the Cyane was dispatched.

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