Arrival of Confederate Refugees in Spanish Honduras;This photo by E. Coleman, Jr., 1996, was taken of a section of a mural that commemorates the event. The mural is located in The Museum of History and Anthropology in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The Confederados Of Spanish Honduras

"My father and a group of friends went to Honduras after the Civil War, in which he fought all four years in the First Georgia Cavalry. I have his sword. After Sherman's march through Georgia, when he burned and destroyed everything in our part of the state (around Kennesaw Mt. And Marietta), things were very bad, and this group of young soldiers and their families decided to go to Honduras. Others went to Brazil." Laura Kolb (Coleman) Kingsbery, (1884-1971)

Following its defeat in the War Between The States, the South was in economic ruin. Poverty, lawlessness and fears of an occupying Union Army caused great anxiety among the Southern people. There were those who were angry and bitter of the South's loss and others were on a quest for adventure. For many reasons, Confederate exiles from across the Southern United States began an exodus to various countries of Latin America. Among those countries that offered refuge, freedom, and economic opportunity were Brazil, British Honduras (Belize), Mexico, Spanish Honduras (The Republic of Honduras), and Venezuela. The subject of this essay concerns those Confederate emigrants and refuges of the Republic Of Honduras known also as Spanish Honduras.

Having previously planted a Confederate colony in Mexico, Major Green Malcolm of McNairy’s 1st Tennessee Cavalry now planed to set up a system of plantations, modeled after those in the Mississippi River Delta, along the rivers of the interior of Spanish Honduras. Organizing and setting out from Atlanta, Georgia in the Spring of 1867; his colony of thirty Confederate families, seventy in all, made their way to New Orleans where they booked passage to Spanish Honduras.
Despite their difficulties, upon arrival at Fortress Omoa, near Puerto Cortes, Major Malcolm led his colony of Southern refugees into the interior of Honduras where at Comayagua, Honduras he met with representatives of the Republic and presented a letter for President Medina of the Republic of Honduras explaining their reasons for emigration and an offer of services in exchange for citizenship, certain considerations and concessions.

"GENTLEMEN: The undersigned respectfully submits to your consideration that on the 10th of April, after a passage of ten days, I arrived in the city of Omoa with seventy souls, emigrants to your beautiful land. These persons consist of men, women and children who are what might be termed the forerunners of perhaps thousands of the best citizens of the Southern States, of the United States. We wish to make this our home.
To find in this that which we have lost in our own native land, liberty.
To make this what our country was before it was destroyed by our enemies.
Our desire is to become citizens of the Republic at once, to be a part of your people, to claim your protection, to defend you with our lives from foreign invasion, and to do our whole duty to our adopted country.
In coming among you we would state that on account of our recent great misfortunes, many of us are greatly impoverished, and without going into further preliminary remarks, would give this as our reason for asking you to grant the following privileges and donations. ...With the highest consideration, I am gentlemen, your obedient servant.
G. MALCOLM.Comayagua, Honduras, C.A., May 3, 1867."

The concessions listed below were requested by the Confederate colony and were included in Major Malcolm’s letter to the government of Honduras on May 3rd, 1867.

1st. A grant of land as indicated in the accompanying map.
2nd. A free port at Port Acabellos for three years, for the exclusive benefit of the colony.
3rd. The exclusive navigation of the rivers Chamilicon, Ulua, and their tributaries for ten years.
4th. The right to build roads through public or private lands for the benefit of the Colony and Government.
5th. The right to construct aqueducts and bring water through our and adjacent lands.
6th. The exemption from taxation for two years from the day of arrival.
7th. The privilege of enacting our own municipal regulations in conformity with the laws of the Republic.
8th. The privilege of organizing our city adjacent to San Pedro, separately from that town and naming it the city of Medina.
9th. The exclusive privilege of establishing manufactories for the manufacture of woolen and cotton goods in the Republic for ten years.
10th. The exclusive privilege of introducing for five years, wagons, buggies and carriages, the common sense sewing machine, washing machines of all descriptions with machines for making tin-ware.
11th. The privilege of distilling liquors from the productions of our farms. The privilege of planting and harvesting all seeds in our colony, and introducing the still known as the Log Still.
12th. The privilege of introducing for eight years the circular saw mill run by steam or water, planing machines and shingle machines.The above we acknowledge appears liberal and we would not have you think us asking too much, for we by these privileges and grants, desire and are determined as far as possible to use them to the improvement, development and welfare of thecountry as well as ourselves. ....G. Malcolm.
In reply to Major Malcolm’s letter on behalf of the Confederate colony, permission to settle in Honduras and the following privileges and concessions were granted by President Medina and his Honduran government.

(Extract of document translated in English.)
The President, in whom resides the supreme executive power of the Republic of Honduras.Whereas, Mr. Green Malcolm, a native of the United States, for himself and in behalf of the various families of his nationality has presented a petition, soliciting permission to settle in the territory of the Republic, with the privileges of citizens of Honduras, and subjecting themselves to the laws now in force or that may hereafter be enacted in this country, with which intent they ask certain privileges and concessions.Considering That the Republic is in need of industrious Immigrants to develop the natural resources which abound in our country, and at the Legislative Decree of 23d February of last year authorises the Government to protect this class of enterprises;Therefore, now makes and decrees the following concessions:
1st. It is permitted to the honest and industrious Immigrants from the United States, of the South of North America, who have already come or may hereafter come to this country, to establish, in the District of San Pedro, Department of Santa Barbara, acommunity which shall bear the title of City of Medina.
2d. Besides the common use which the Municipality of San Pedro has granted to said Immigrants in its public lands, under the conditions laid down in the Act presented by Mr. Malcolm, and which the Government has approved, they are also granted thenational lands contiguous to those of San Pedro towards the south, and included within the following boundaries; the Chamilicon and the base of the mountains of the south-west of the said village of San Pedro, a delineation of which will be opportunely made.
3d. Port Cortes shall be free during three years, in order that the settlers of the city of Medina may introduce everything necessary for their consumption, and for the establishment of houses, manufactories, machinery, etc.
4th. Navigation by steam or horse power of the rivers Chamilicon, Ulua and its tributaries, shall be the exclusive privilege of said Immigrants for a period of eight years.
5th. They are also granted the following exclusive privileges:
(1) For ten years, the establishment of machines for manufacturing cotton, woolen and other fibrous goods, and for refining sugar.
(2) For eight years, the establishment of steam or water power mills, for sawing and planing lumber, also wash machines.
(3) The introduction during five years , of wagons, buggies, carriages, the sewing machine known as the Common Sense Sewing Machine,the machine for making tin-ware and the still known as the Log Still,for the distillation of spirituous liquors, and the sale of the same, under the regulations relative to this branch
6th. They shall have the right of constructing roads over national lands, or lands of private persons, for the benefit of themselves and of the Government, and to construct aqueducts to conduct water for the irrigation of their lands.
7th. The settlers of the city of Medina, shall be exempt from military service and forced contributions during two years from their arrival.
8th. They shall have the right to elect for their government, and in conformity with the laws of the Republic, a municipal body; and may, in the meantime, and until they number 500 persons, be ruled by a Governor and a Judge of the Peace whom they shall elect from among themselves, those officers being subordinate, the former to the Governor of Santa Barbara, and the latter to the Judge in the First Instance of Omoa.
9th. They shall have the right to make their own rules and regulations for the internal government of the community, in conformity with the laws of the Republic, and shall submit these to the approbation of the Congress, or the Supreme Executive Power.
10th. The articles which said settlers may ship in the ports of the Republic shall be free from all export duty during a period of eight years.
These concessions shall in no manner operate to the prejudice of the projected Inter-Oceanic Railroad; for, whateverprivileges have been, or may hereafter be granted to the latter, shall be an exception to the present concessions. Let it be understood: that the privileges before mentioned relative to the establishment of machines, shall be confined to the departments of Santa Barbara, Gracies, and Comayagua; excepting for the machine for manufacturing cloths, which shall extend to the whole Republic. If within three years the number of persons within the city now to be founded does not ascend to five hundred at least, the privileges granted under this Act shall remain without effect; but, in such case the immigrants who may already be established shall have the right of property to suchportions of the land granted as shall be found under cultivation.Written in Comayagua, in the Government House, on the 8th dayof May, 1867.___J. Lopez, Ponseano Leiva.{seal} San Pedro, Jan. 29th, 1868.J. REYNAUD.
Soon after establishing their colony, it was decided to place the government of their local interests under the control of a council, in order to avoid the necessity of assembling the entire colony when any question of interest or expediency should arise likely to affect their welfare. At a public meeting, an election was held of the following representatives:

Major Malcolm as their presiding officer, L. G. Pirkle, H.H. Briers, George W. WaltersJ.H. Wade, and P. Goldsmith, Secy.

The above council stayed in office until February 18, 1868 and at that time a new council was elected of the following representatives:

Dr. G.P. Frierson, Presiding Officer, W.B. Tindle, Sr., D.P. Ferguson, L.G. PirkleG.A. Haralson, and A.J. Hill, Secry.

The group led by Major Greene Malcolm in 1867 was the first of approximately three waves of immigrants to follow. The first families of colony Medina included ex-Confederate soldiers and their families as well as Charles R. Follin, the American Consulate at Omoa who formed a close association with the colony and was considered as one of its members. Another who joined the colony was Wilhelm Bahr, a German born soldier of fortune who had the misfortune to have been serving in Emperor Maximilian's Army in Mexico and fled from that place after the regime's demise. There was also Captain Jose D. Perez of Santiago, Cuba, A Cuban Patriot, and the nephew of Generalissimo Maximo Gomez-Baez , Commander of the Cuban Liberation Army and an ally of Jose Marti. During my research, I have gathered the following names who were at one time members of Colony Medina:
Major Malcolm would later be appointed Minister of Immigration by the government of the Republic of Honduras in order to facilitate their transition of new arrivals to the colony. The Confederados of Honduras or Southerners,as they called themselves, came from through out the Old South.

Allen, Andrews, Barnes, Bahr, Beall, Becker, Briers, Caron, Coleman, Collier, Cunningham, Doubleday, Duffie, Ferguson, Follin, Frierson, Goldsmith, Grow, Haralson, Henderson, Hill, Higginbotham, HunterJohnes, Lubbe, Malcolm, McClellan, McCollum, Mitchell, Murphy, Pennington, Noren, Perez, Pierce, Pirkle, Porter, Schmidt, Skinner, Swett, Sylvester, Tanner, Thomas, Thompson, Tindle, Troy, Wade, Waller,Walters, Warren, Weinreich.

They established their colony adjacent to the town of San Pedro, (San Pedro Sula), and named it the city of Medina in honor of the President of the Republic. They were granted land upon which to build their farms, and given other considerations. They were granted permission to elect their own municipal council and establish regulations in conformity with the laws of the Republic for
their colony. Economic failure, disease, and other hardships took their toll andby 1870 many of these families left Honduras going their separate ways. Enough, however, stayed, became successful, and played an important role in the industrialization and modernization of the Republic. Eventually the city of Medina was absorbed by San Pedro Sula.