The Origin of Nicaragua Smith from Shattered Souls
“He died as he had lived, with unmentionable wickedness on his lips—a sad spectacle of depravity, unwept and unregretted by all!” Thomas North on Nicaragua Smith from Five Years in Texas, 1871.When I heard that Galveston Texas had a real ghost, and he wasn’t a nice guy, I knew I had my antagonist for Shattered Souls.Supposedly, there is a ghost hanging out in Old City Cemetery in Galveston who howls, screams, and curses his executioners on the night of January 8 every year.Research revealed little more than what the locals told me.It is thought his name was Thomas Smith and that he was born in New York, but nobody knows for sure. He got his nickname, “Nicaragua” after he went on an expedition headed by William Walker, in 1856.Nicaragua jumped ship in Galveston and after a string of burglaries, was arrested and then put on a steamer to Houston, told to never return.But he did. He came back after joining a Confederate artillery battery and was stationed in Galveston. He wasn’t the type to join the military and it’s unclear why he did; perhaps because he had no other means of survival.Unhappy with military life, he stole a boat and surrendered to a union vessel in the harbor.Through a series of events I won’t bore you with, but you can read about here and here, Nicaragua Smith ended up back in Galveston, was arrested, tried and found guilty of treason.He was executed in Old City Cemetery in Galveston Texas at daylight on January, 8, 1863 by a firing squad.Rumor has it, Smith rode in a wagon with his coffin to the cemetery. Then, tapped his foot on his coffin in time to the “execution music.” When given a chance to say some last words, he cursed his executioners and demanded to be buried face down, facing Hell, swearing vengeance from the grave.My perfect villain.I’ve been to Old City Cemetery on January 8th, but did not hear Nicaragua Smith screaming from the grave, though local residents swear he can be heard over the sea wind if you listen hard enough.Thanks, Lauren, for having me on your blog today.
No thank you, Mary for providing such a great guest post!
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