Around the time that Adams seized the Black Seminole leader, the maroon
community faced another, more widespread threat: slaveholders in Texas who
wanted to annex Northern Mexico.
Throughout this period, there were efforts to colonize new lands for American
slavery. From 1849-1851, southerners backed three failed invasions of Cuba by
Narciso Lopez, who wanted to liberate Cuba from Spain and reinstitute slavery.
In the wake of Lopez’ failures (and execution), a secret southern society, “The
Order of the Lone Star,” formed in 1851 with the object of sponsoring more
invasions of Cuba and exploring efforts to acquire parts of Mexico. By 1856,
expansionists had tried to acquire new slavery territories from New Mexico to
Nicaragua. Their goal was to bolster slavery’s political power—also to find new
places for economic exploitation. The expansionists were not centrally
organized; and their invasions of foreign lands drew as much ire from the U.S.
government as from the governments they attacked. Yet everywhere that the covert
movements took shape, they found powerful allies among the slaveholding elite.
May, Robert E., Manifest Destiny 33-38, 252-262.