Prior to the Civil War, the future of slavery as an institution was in doubt. Some people in the South began to look towards Latin America as a way to expand America and strengthen slavery. William Walker, a Tennessee lawyer, funded a number of military expeditions for this purpose, known at the time as “filibustering.” At one point in 1856, using illegitimate elections, he declared himself the President of Nicaragua, but was deposed in 1857. In 1860, after a second attempt in Honduras, he was executed. Walker’s actions show us that America’s borders were much more fluid than we often claim. They also reveal the extent to which the South was willing to protect and strengthen slavery on the eve of the Civil War, raising questions as to what “states rights” actually entailed.