The Central American port of Greytown was destroyed by the U.S. Navy in 1854- to "avenge an insult to the American Minister to Nicaragua," according to official history. Two weeks later, the New York Tribune reported the intrigues that really doomed the port: Greytown had been a hindrance to the supremacy of a U.S.-owned steamboat company and to the colonization plans of American land speculators. Both interests used pretexts to convince the U.S. government to level the town. When an American sued for damages, he lost, resulting in a case law still cited to justify military interventions without the Congressional approval required by the Constitution. This book corrects the record regarding the causes of Greytown's destruction, and challenges the case law, based as it is on a gross misapprehension of events.