ARTICLE INTERWOVEN WITH THIS WEBSITE AWARDED THE
2013 DAVIS PRIZE BY THE MIDDLE ATLANTIC COUNCIL ON LATIN
AMERICAN STUDIES (MACLAS) — "CULTURAL GEOGRAPHIES OF
GRIEVANCE & WAR: NICARAGUA'S ATLANTIC COAST REGION
IN THE FIRST SANDINISTA REVOLUTION, 1926-1934," DIALECTICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, DEC.
SEE ALSO MY RECENT PUBLICATIONS IN THE OPEN-ACCESS ONLINE
ACADEMIC JOURNAL, REVISTA DE TEMAS NICARAGÜENSES,
ED. JOSÉ MEJÍA LACAYO, 2012—2014, AT
AS FEATURED ON NICARAGUAN TV, CDNN CHANNEL 23, FEB 21, 2012
& IZQUIERDA VISIÓN •
A JOINT INTERVIEW WITH WALTER C. SANDINO BY
NICARAGUAN FILMMAKER MARCIO VARGAS, NOW ON
PART 1 •
ALSO ON YOUTUBE, INTERVIEW WITH LA REVISTA
TIERRA NICA IN JINOTEGA, JULY 2014:
AND AS FEATURED ON CDNN CHANNEL 23
'DANILO LACAYO EN VIVO ' FRI 16 JULY 2010 (©
"Los centroamericanos y en
particular los nicaragüenses tenemos que agradecer y
aprovechar la existencia de este portal Sandino Rebellion
que contiene numerosos documentos y fotografías que ilustran
sobre la intervención y ocupación militar norteamericana en
Nicaragua y la heroica resistencia de Augusto C. Sandino.
Este importante y destacado esfuerzo del historiador Michael
Schroeder y de quienes han colaborado con él, nos permite
asomarnos, desde nuestros lugares, a documentación que de
otra forma, solamente sería accesible a unos pocos."
- Dora María Téllez, former Sandinista commander &
public servant, founding member of the Sandinista Renovation
Movement (MRS), and now historian and Nicaraguan
representative of Enlace Académico, at
"Amor, Paz y Justicia, sea para todos nuestros Hermanos y Hermanas que
visitan este Web Site.
Y de manera muy especial en nombre de
toda nuestra familia,
sea también este deseo para nuestro querido Hermano el
Profesor Michael Schroeder, por haber dedicado una parte
importante de su vida a la recopilación de información sobre
la Vida y Obra del General Augusto C. Sandino y de sus
compañeros de lucha, pues reconocemos la dedicación y el
esfuerzo en su trabajo, logrando avanzar en beneficio de los
nicaragüenses y de la humanidad. No creo que exista en la
Web un historiador capaz de haber recopilado tanta
información sobre estos acontecimientos historicos.
allá . . . "
C. Sandino, grandson of Augusto C. Sandino, Executive
President of the Fundación Augusto Nicolás Calderón Sandino (FANCS),
and author of
El libro de Sandino: El Bandolerismo
de Sandino en Nicaragua (Managua: INPASA, 2009).
Visit the FANCS website at
"A stunning enterprise — a virtual Sandino online
encyclopedia and data base — and an obligatory starting
point for anyone researching twentieth century Nicaraguan
Barry Carr, Senior Fellow, Institute of Latin American
Studies, La Trobe University
"Discovering your site was like finding a
buried treasure ..."
read more from
William Alvarez, US Marine Corps,
of Atlanta GA
artist friend just forwarded me your website. I've
read enough to know that it is like finding gold on the
Linda John of San
SEEKING VOLUNTEER TRANSLATORS & TRANSCRIBERS
Siu in Florida. Linda Pudder in Rivas, Nic.
Brandon Ray in Illinois. Three volunteers who've
contributed mightily to this website, because they saw & see
its historical value, and because they are generous human
beings. Might you volunteer to work on this project? Right
now thousands of documents on this topic cry out to be
transcribed. Thousands more desperately seek
translatation into Spanish. Maybe you could work on
If your work ends up on this website, you'll be thanked and
your work acknowledged. All the work can be done
electronically. Meantime, copious
thanks to Richard Siu, Linda Pudder & Brandon Ray!
BUSCA TRANSCRIPTORES Y TRADUCTORES VOLUNTARIOS
Richard Siu en Florida. Linda Pudder en Rivas, Nic. Brandon
Ray en Illinois. Tres voluntarios que han contribuido
poderosamente a este sitio web, porque vieron y ven su valor
histórico, y porque son seres humanos generosos. ¿Podría usted ofrecer su mano de obra para este
proyecto? Ahorita hay miles de documentos que
están pidiendo a gritos ser transcritos. Miles más
buscan desesperadamente ser traducidos al español.
Quizás usted podría trabajar en uno
de ellos! Si los resultados de su trabajo aparecen acá
en este Website, se le agradece por nombre y su trabajo será
Todo el trabajo se puede realizar por vía
electrónica. Mientras, muchas gracias a Richard Siu, Linda
Pudder y Brandon Ray!
PLEET INITIATIVE GRANT RECIPIENT AT LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE
In Spring 2009 this website was awarded $5,000 from Lebanon
Valley College's Pleet Initiative for Student-Faculty
Research Across the Curriculum.
Funded by a generous gift from David & Lynn Pleet of
Lebanon, PA, the Pleet Initiative sought to foster student collaboration in
faculty-driven research initiatives.
Copious thanks to David & Lynn Pleet and the Pleet Initiative Committee for their generous
funding of this website. More information on the Pleet
Initiative can be found
SANDINO REBELLION DIGITAL HISTORICAL ARCHIVE AWARDED $9,000 ARNOLD GRANTS AT LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE
In Spring 2011 this website
project was awarded $5,000 from the Edward H. Arnold and Jeanne
Donlevy Arnold Program for Experiential Education,
intended to support student-faculty research, independent
student summer research, and independent student
internships. In Spring 2013 the project was awarded
another $4,000 Arnold Grant. Muchisimas gracias to the
Arnolds and Lebanon Valley College for their generous
support of this project.
here for more information on the Arnold Grant program.
ECO-TOURISM IN NICARAGUA
A great way to see Nicaragua's countryside and support local
businesses is the award-winning Finca Esperanza Verde in the
verdant mountains of San Ramón near Matagalpa.
To quote from FEV's promotional materials,
relax at our organic coffee farm complete with 5 hiking
trails, gorgeous views, a butterfly garden, yoga pavilion,
hammock hut and waterfall swimming hole ...
All of Finca Esperanza Verde's ecotourism income stays
in the community supporting local jobs and businesses."
FEV is a project of Sister Communities of San Ramón,
the Finca Esperanza Verde website
to the Site
Website is envisioned as a comprehensive,
interpretive, open-access digital archive on the
nationalist rebellion against US military intervention in Nicaragua led
by Augusto C. Sandino in the 1920s and '30s. Rigorous accuracy,
judicious interpretation, and the democratization of knowledge rank
among its most important guiding principles. (Right: Statue in
Managua commemorating the 1979 Triumph of the Sandinista Revolution,
July 19, 2009; photo by the author.)
Right now this Website
houses and integrates over 4,100 archival documents
on the rebellion, comprising around 11,000 pages of hard-copy text &
a good portion of the text transcribed and fully searchable (see
below). It also lists & identifies the
specific archival locations of another 5,000
or so documents, which together comprise over 15,000 pages of text. Eventually (by the year
2016, I hope) this Website will house and
integrate over 30,000 documents
— and thousands more pages of published texts
— materials collected over two decades in archives & libraries in the United
States and Nicaragua. All but a handful are public domain, though I do suggest
some simple protocols for using &
citing this material.
This tsunami of evidence
oft-mentioned but little understood guerrilla war and nationalist
campesino rebellion offers an unprecedented look at events "on the
ground" in a major episode of foreign invasion & occupation during the
golden age of US imperialism in the circum-Caribbean (c. 1898-1934).
The portrait of Sandino's revolt that emerges from this documentary
deluge is vastly more nuanced and complex than any scholar or poet has
however nuanced this portrait, however intricate and
messy and confusing, it is also true that most everything you read about
in these pages was rooted in a
simple reality: the executive branch of the US federal government,
as part of a larger imperial project, invaded & occupied this small Central American country, and a small group of
Nicaraguans, led by a charismatic patriot, resisted that invasion &
occupation by force of arms.
(Left: 1984 Bulgarian
postage stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of Sandino's death)
Website's Focus. As a social & cultural historian, I am mainly interested in the Sandino
revolt as a social and cultural process, as a local response to foreign
invasion and occupation. The documents presented here reflect this
focus. They were selected because they speak, in some fashion, to
the agency of Nicaraguans and Segovianos in shaping their own history.
By Way of Background & Context.
The US Marines first intervened militarily in
Nicaragua in the civil war of 1912, and were stationed in the country more or less
continuously for the next 20 years. Nicaragua effectively became a
U.S. protectorate, surrendering much of its sovereignty to the United
States, as was true of much of the circum-Caribbean during this period.
the late 1920s this rugged region bordering Honduras was home to about 120,000
people spread over some 6,000 square miles of mountains, valleys,
forests, and jungles, in several dozen towns and hundreds of villages,
hamlets, and homesteads. Even before the Marines arrived,
extreme inequality, oppression, exploitation, poverty, and violence dominated the
social landscape. After May 1927 Segovianos flocked to Sandino's banner. The Marine invasion
intensified; the US-created National Guard grew in power; and by 1932
the Sandinista rebels, based in Las Segovias and organized into a
government of their own, threatened to topple the national government.
mid-1927 there is very little documentation on Las Segovias, a frontier region
bordering Honduras mostly ignored by the national state. Then in
June 1927 came the Marine invasion & occupation, and our documentary
base explodes. For 5½ years the US
imperial spotlight — expressed in a dazzling variety & quantity of
illluminated the hidden corners & crevices of a culture & society &
history hitherto almost totally obscured. The interpretive
challenge for scholars is to read these texts against the grain,
in the words of Ranajit Guha in his classic
Prose of Counter-Insurgency (1988) — and with a fertile & reasoned
historical imagination. Alongside this explosion of
imperial texts was the proliferation of texts & artifacts created by the
Sandinista rebels that the Marines & Guardia were trying to eradicate.
In January 1933 the spotlight vanished, and a month later Sandino's
armed rebellion basically ended in a provisional peace treaty with the
newly elected Sacasa government. The Marines went home, carting
hundreds of boxes of records with them. What the US imperial gaze
spotlighted for those 6 or so years constitutes
the bulk of what I wish to share here — alongside a wide variety of
sources from Honduras, Mexico, Great Britain, Germany & beyond. Smaller in scale but often
punchier in impact are the
textual fragments & social memories produced in Las Segovias that survived the brutal repression
that followed Sandino's assassination in 1934.
of questions inspire & animate this website.
Mainly I'm interested in what the US invasion &
occupation, the formation of the Guardia Nacional, and
Sandino's revolutionary movement meant for ordinary
Segovianos — campesinos, Indians, tenants &
sharecroppers, smallholders & squatters, miners &
migrant workers, seasonal & day laborers (who together comprised some
85-90% of the region's population), as well as townsfolk, artisans & smugglers, peddlers &
traders, boat-drivers & mule-drivers, ranchers &
coffee growers, merchants & professionals, politicians &
military leaders — individuals, families & communities
caught up in a whirlwind of foreign invasion and
insurgency as complex and multifaceted as any in
history. I also want to know what these events meant in the broader sweep of
history — in Nicaragua, Central America, the Western
Hemisphere, and the Atlantic World — and how they intersected
with broader changes within these overlapping spheres.
What manner of revolutionary movement was this?
What were its origins, characteristics, and legacies? All
the documents here speak in some fashion to these
broader questions & themes.
woman soldier with Conservative forces in 1926-27 Civil
War; detail of one of a series of 30 photos taken by US
Military Attaché Major A. W. Blooor in March 1927,
published here for the first time, from US National
Archives II, College Park MD, in the Photo-Doc pages,
Why a Documentary History?
come and historians go, but the documents endure. These documents,
if read with enough care and attention and alongside extant
published literature, will bring us as close as we can get to
understanding what this tumultuous period meant for ordinary Segovianos, and to its
complexities as a social process locally, nationally, and transnationally.
Documents, of course, do not speak for themselves. They must be
which is the job of historians and of rational human beings generally.
Publishing these documents online creates not only a valuable tool for
students and researchers. It also means that others might
interpret these documents differently than I do. That is as it
should be. I introduce or conclude many documents with some interpretive
comments. Others might disagree with my interpretations or
emphases. If you do, let me know! Let a thousand interpretations bloom! (Left: detail
of letter from Sandino to Faustino González, 2 April 1931, one of around
1,000 Sandinista documents to be published here for the first time)
This way anybody —
you, for example — can tap into this densely
integrated web of information and ask just about any
kind of historical question you want to ask. You can ask about war-making or coffee
making. Vocabularies of political violence or
social geographies of production and trade.
Gender, class & race relations. Popular
nationalism. Poverty, malnutrition & disease. Military tactics & strategy.
Insurgency & counterinsurgency. Borderlands &
identities. Local political economies.
Historical geography. State formation & guerrilla
war. Leadership, weapons & tactics.
Production & settlement patterns. Social memory &
identity formation. Just
(Right: campesino in field, Western Segovias,
1928, George F. Stockes Collection, MCRC, one of 71 photos from the Stockes Collection
I create this site in the classic tradition
of scholarship: as a substantial and original contribution to
existing knowledge on a specific set of questions about what happened in
this time & place, what caused it, and what it meant. In part it
is envisioned as a documentary annex to my book in progress. In
part it is meant to give back to the Nicaraguan people a part of their
own history. In whole it is rooted in the hope that we — humanity,
and especially US citizens and policymakers — might learn from our
mistakes. The story told by these documents is not only edifying & important
but endlessly interesting
and should become part of humanity's common stock of knowledge.
Right now only a fraction of the
collection is published here, perhaps 10 percent. The other 90
percent awaits the publication of my book-in-progress, The Sandino
Rebellion. The goal is to make the end product — the printed
book and this website — a genuinely hybrid print-web text.
Meantime all documents
currently available can be found via this Document Update Box:
D O C U M E N T
U P D A T E B O
Primary Documents NOW Available:
80 AIRCRAFT SQUADRONS reports on the air war
23 POLITICAL cartoons & graphics on the air war, with interpretive captions
BIB & LIT
32 COLUMNS OF SALOMÓN DE LA SELVA PUBLISHED IN LA
TRIBUNA (MANAGUA) IN 1929, PLUS 2 ANCILLARY STORIEs
• & other rare published workS
DOCUMENTS IN 2,311 JPEG FILES on the atlantic coast region IN
THE TIME OF SANDINO, ORGANIZED
CHRONOLOGICALLY IN 53 WEBPAGES, WITH 14 ANCILLARY
THEMATIC & TOPICAL PAGES
unpublished Sandinista documents through march 1928
& including Most of
26 NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED DOCUMENTS FROM La colecciÓn de daniel ortega cerda,
FATHER OF CURRENT NICARAGUAN PRESIDENT DANIEL ORTEGA
26 DOCUMENTS ON
CHAMORRISTA GANG LEADER & POLITICAL MASS MURDERER ANASTACIO HERNÁNDEZ
& 26 JPEG IMAGES OF NICARAGUAN NEWSPAPERS FOCUSING ON
"guardia news letters" from oct. 1930 to dec. 1932, IN
1,929 pages of text • the "official list of
contacts," ON 510 military engagements from july 1927 to
dec. 1932, IN 111 pages of text • 15 guardia
troop distribution lists, dec. 1931 to APRIL 1935
• 17 PARTIAL issues of the boletines
(bulletins) of the guardia nacional, 1933-1935 •
never before published photos of the guardia •
63 DOCUMENTS OF THE US MILITARY INTELLIGENCE DIVISION
(precursor to the CIA) on the guardia, 1920-1941 •
152 documents on the voluntarios, jan-juLY 1929
• & MORE
120 reports on events in the honduras-segovian
INTELLIGENCE REPORTs, 1928
1934 US ARMY G-2 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE DIVISION MAP OF
NICARAGUA (NORTH OF A LINE FROM MANAGUA TO BLUEFIELDS)
• 18 MAPS OF CITIES & TOWNS, 1926-1932 •
THE COMPLETE TEXT OF THE CLASSIC GRADE SCHOOL PRIMER,
HERMANOS CRISTIANOS, GEOGRAFÍA DE NICARAGUA
(1928) • & MORE
30 hojas VOLANTES (propaganda fliers) of the mARINES-Guardia,
THE EDSN & OTHERS &
propaganda leaflets of liberal, conservative &
nationalist parties in the runup to the november 1928
IMAGES OF NICARAGUAN NEWSPAPERS: DIARIO MODERNO
(MANAGUA), JUNE-DEC. 1927
126 PATROL &
COMBAT REPORTS, WITH BRIEF SUMMARIES & ANALYSES, TO JUNE 1928
& Some after
429+ PHOTOS OF MARINES,
GUARDIA, SANDINISTAS, LIBERALS, CONSERVATIVES, LAS SEGOVIAS
& MORE IN COLLECTIONS ORGANIZED BY REPOSITORY & THEMe
• including 171 state dept photos of the november 1928
electionS • 13 PHOTOS OF THE VOLUNTARIOS OF
1929 • photos donated by readeRS
100 of the most illuminating reports on the sandinistas
from the outside looking in, with critical introductions
& accompanied by 697 ancillary documents •
incl. 486 documents in 593 jpeg files on the
international aspects of the "Sandino Situation" as
tracked by u.s. intelligence agencies, 1928-1933 (doc
95) • 7 reports in 58 jpeg files by u.s.
military attachÉ major a. w. bloor on the nicaraguan
civil war, march-may 1927 (doc 99) • 93
DOCUMENTS IN 217 JPEG FILES ON NICARAGUANS' RESPONSES TO
THE MISSION OF U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY HENRY STIMSON,
APRIL-MAY 1927 (doc 100)
personal letters of p.f.c. emil thomas of ohio (in
nicaragua 1928-1929) to his sweetheart beatrice,
comprising 186,000 words of text
• 7 oral histories of retired
marines who fought in nicaragua
the official list
of marine Corps Casualties in Nicaragua, 1927-1933
papers of wilburt s. brown, robert H. dunlap, robert l.
denig (including his "diary of a guardia officer"), logan feland & others
ACCOUNT OF THE WEBSITE'S UPDATES & REVISIONS, COMMENCING
The bulk of these
primary documents were culled from the Records of the United
States Marine Corps & Nicaraguan National Guard, housed mainly in the US
National Archives (Record Group 127, or RG127), comprising about 150
linear feet of files. Other major repositories housing materials
that are housed here include the Marine Corps Research Center; the
Library of Congress; the US State Department; la Hemeroteca Nacional
Manolo Cuadra (Managua); el Instituto de Historia
de Nicaragua y Centroamerica (IHNCA-UCA, also in Managua); and others.
Everything filtered out of these
collections and presented here speaks in some way to how Central
Americans, Nicaraguans, and Segovianos acted to shape their own history.
How is the Website Organized?
Densely. And so it's easy to use. For a full explanation, please see the
At the top of every page are links to ten document collections,
collections, eight other links, and a Google search engine. At
the heart of the site are 20 homepages serving as portals into 20 collections of
documents, sorted by type & theme. With so many documents
& branches & sub-branches, the site is designed so it's simple & easy to navigate,
find & cross-reference information, and
find your way back to where you started from & ended up.
Again, please see the
& comments invited. This website launched March 2007 & revamped in
Painting by Thelma Gómez F., Masaya,
¡Que lo disfrute!
Y que aprendamos.
website is registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as
a non-profit corporation devoted to public education and
known as the SANDINO REBELLION
DIGITAL HISTORICAL ARCHIVE (entity
SUGGESTED PROTOCOLS FOR USING &
CITING THIS WEBSITE
Except where indicated, all the
documents & images populating this website are in the public
domain & as such anyone is free to use them for any reason.
This happy circumstance coincides with the philosophy
undergirding this project that insists on the broad
democratization of information & knowledge on issues &
topics of public concern & public interest. That said, I ask that
people who use materials found in these pages cite this
website as the source & drop me a courtesy note to let me
know about it. Such information will help
me to build on the strengths of this project & to secure
additional funding to keep it moving forward.
Lebanon Valley College and the Pleet Initiative for
Student-Faculty Collaboration, the Arnold Grant for
Experiential Education, and the Dick Joyce Endowment for their generous funding of this website,
and to everyone who's ever helped with this project over the
past 25 years. It is a very long list. Agradezco
a Arturo Castro-Frenzel y José Mejía Lacayo por ayudar en
corregir mis traducciones al español.
and Mile 6 LLC of Elizabethtown, PA built the dynamic web
All original material
© Michael J. Schroeder, 2007-2015.
All rights reserved.
AIR WAR • AIR-TOONS •
ATLANTIC COAST •
US • EDSN-DOCS •
NEWS-DOCS • PATROL
& COMBAT REPORTS • PHOTOS • TOP 100
DOCS • USMC-DOCS
TOP OF PAGE