North America 1838: Fragmentation of Central America
A united Central America had broken away from Mexico in 1823, but remained unstable. In 1837, revolution erupted in Guatemala—by far the most populous state in the federation—leading both to the fall of Guatemala City and the brief independence of Los Altos. Just as the federal government in San Salvador had regained control of Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras seceded, followed soon after by Costa Rica. For over a year, civil war raged across the isthmus, before San Salvador finally admitted defeat and let the states go their own way.
13 Dec 1837–13 Jan 1838 Republic of Canada▲
Canadian rebels, fleeing from their failed uprising in the British Colony of Upper Canada and led by William Lyon Mackenzie, established the Republic of Canada on Navy Island in the Niagara River, on the border with the United States of America. On December 29, they came under assault from British Canadian militiamen under Royal Navy Commander Andrew Drew. Drew eventually forced the rebels to retreat to Buffalo, New York, where they were captured by the US army.
8 Jan–4 Dec 1838 Patriot War▲
The Patriot movement induced over 40,000 men into an American-Canadian secret association, the “Hunter’s Lodge”, across the north-eastern United States in support of the 1837 Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada. The militants launched several raids into the Canadian colonies, but were ultimately dispersed by US and British forces.
2 Feb–5 Jun 1838 Independence of Los Altos▲
Secessionists in Quetzaltenango, in the state of Guatemala in the Federal Republic of Central America, declared the independent State of Los Altos—only a day after the occupation of Guatemala City by the revolutionary forces of Rafael Carrera. With Carrera’s temporary defeat, they joined the Central American union.
2 May 1838 Nicaraguan Independence▲
The state of Nicaragua separated from the Federal Republic of Central America, beginning the disintegration of the union.
4 Jul 1838 Iowa Territory formed▲
The Iowa District of western Wisconsin Territory, United States of America, was split off to become the Territory of Iowa.
4 Aug 1838–29 Mar 1839 Cordova Rebellion▲
Armed Tejanos led by Vicente Cordova were encountered by Texians several times in the vicinity of Nacogdoches, Republic of Texas, prompting fears of a pro-Mexican rebellion in eastern Texas. These encounters culminated in a battle on March 29, 1839, when a company of 80 men under General Edward Burleson defeated Cordova and his followers at Seguin.
5 Oct 1838–16 Jul 1839 Texan Cherokee War▲
Cherokee massacred 18 white settlers, including the Killough family, in disputed land in the eastern part of the Republic of Texas. The following year, Texas Rangers caught a Mexican agent and his party of Mexicans and Indians, discovering letters which implicated the Cherokee in the Cordova Rebellion. This prompted Texas President Mirabeau Lamar to demand that Cherokee settled in Texas move to the United States Indian Territory in return for payments. The Cherokee initially agreed, however conflict erupted when their armed Texian escort arrived. Some 100 Cherokee and Delaware were killed in the skirmish, with the remainder being removed to Indian Territory.
26 Oct 1838 Honduran Independence▲
Honduras separated from the Federal Republic of Central America, the second state to leave the union after Nicaragua.