Republic of Baja California

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Republic of Lower California
República de Baja California  (Spanish)
Unrecognized state

November 1853 – January 1854


Location of Lower California territory on 1824 map
Capital La Paz
Government Republic
President William Walker
 -  Established November 3, 1853
 -  Disestablished January 21, 1854
 -  1853 143,390 km² (55,363 sq mi)

The Republic of Baja California was proclaimed in 1853 by soldier of fortune William Walker. He captured the poorly protected town of La Paz, declaring himself President of the Republic of Baja California. Later he merged that into the Republic of Sonora.


On October 16, 1853, filibuster William Walker sailed out from San Francisco with 48 men on his first filibustering expedition: the conquest of the Mexican Baja California Territory and the state of Occidente. He financed the effort by selling scrip in exchange for promises of land in Sonora.

Three weeks later, Walker took control of La Paz, the capital of the sparsely populated Baja California, and 200 more men joined him. Walker declared La Paz the capital of a new Republic of Baja California, with himself as president and a constitution copied from that of Louisiana.

Fearful of attacks by Mexico, Walker moved his position twice over the next three months, first to Cabo San Lucas, and then further north to Ensenada, Baja California. Even though he never took control of Sonora, Walker abolished the "Republic of Baja California", and pronounced Baja California part of the "larger" Republic of Sonora.

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