Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Colonel William Edgar Coleman

BIOGRAPHY: William Edgar Coleman, also known as Guillermo Edgardo Coleman, or Willie, was born December 8th, 1890 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras,the son of William Forrest Coleman of Carrollton, Georgia and Yndalecia Paredes of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. His paternal grandparents, William Allen and Cynthia (Riggs) Coleman were Confederate refugees who went to Honduras to escape the the era of"Reconstruction"in Georgia after the Civil war. He was a former U.S. Marine and by profession , a businessman. In addition to working in his father's business of cattle and fruit cultivation, he was involved in the mahogany lumber trade and served for a while as San Pedro Sula's Chief of Police. He became frequently involved in the politics of Honduras and during the Honduran presidential election campaigns of 1927 and 1928, his activities came to the attention of the U.S. State Department which critisized him for spreading propaganda and inciting the local population to rebellion. In the 1932 Honduran revolution , he was actively involved as a Colonel of rebel forces and on November 13th, 1932, led a successful assault on the city of San Pedro Sula which resulted in it's capture. During the following mop-up operations in the city , he was asassinated by two of his own men.

William Edgar Coleman was married to Manuela Mana Madrid of Santa Rosa de Copan. To them were born 4 children: Arturo Hector, Guillermo Edgardo, Yndalecia, and Carlos Coleman.

Biographical Note: William Edgar Coleman was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. (Woody)

Editor's Note: In an interview of my father, (Elwood R. Coleman, Sr.), before his death in 1998, he told me that he was in Honduras during the 1932 revolution and that he observed his grandfather, William Forrest retrieve the body of his son and bring it home. He said that his father, (John Allen Coleman), and his Uncle Willie were very close, and when he heard the news of his brother's death, he went to investigate and learned the identity and location of the two killers. My father said that he observed my grandfather, John Allen Coleman , arm himself, mount his horse and ride off into the mountains. My father said that when my grandfather returned, he told him that ,(in more colorful language), he had taken care of his brother's killers. ... Woody Coleman

DOCUMENT: (Transcribed by Woody Coleman)
Letter from the "Legation Of The United States Of America," Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 1, 1928, to The Honorable Secretary of State, Washington.
(National Archives file# 815.00, Presidential Campaign 1927/28; an extract follows:)

Sir: I have the honor to report for the information of the Department that William Coleman, son of William Forrest Coleman, American Consular Agent at San Pedro Sula, is now, according to reliable reports received by the Legation, actively engaged on the north coast in a campaign of propaganda in favor of General Tosta. This propaganda is said, unfortunately to be not of
a political but of an incendiary character, deliberately inciting to revolution. According to Vice Consul Myrick at Puerto Cortes, Mr. Coleman was last registered in that consulate as an American citizen, four years ago. The Foreign Office states that he has not made application for naturalization as a Honduran citizen. In view of these circumstances I do not know whether or not the Department would now consider Mr. Coleman to have American nationality, but in any case his activities are highly reprehensible, and due to the fact that on occasions convenient to himself he is reported to lay claim to American citizenship, they are even damaging to American
I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, George T. Summerlin.

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