Santa Barbara of Samaná, 1869: the imperial gaze.

I am also finding my hard-drive swelling with illustrations which I cannot yet use in publications.  Hopefully, by sharing them here, these historical documents will soon find themselves useful to others.  The picture below, which appeared in the Harper’s Weekly (1869), in the eve of the 1870-71 Annexation Treaty with the U.S., illustrates a couple of lines I wrote in my book’s epilogue:

During the second half of the nineteenth century, Samaná shifted in the world’s imagination from a presqu’île with a useful gulf to a bay with a funky peninsula attached to it. This conceptual turn was the work of the Atlantic print culture (blogosphere) becoming progressively fascinated with the Samaná harbor. Foreigners invoked the term “Samaná Bay” even when they had the peninsula in mind, referring to it as an exceptional harbor that shortsighted Dominicans were ready to trade for temporary debt-relief.

Santa Barbara of Samaná, 1869.

Santa Barbara of Samaná, 1869.

The main purpose of this picture was to sell a particular image of Samaná to the public in the United States.

Notice that the view comes from the hill behind to the little town of Santa Barara of Samaná, and that the little cozy harbor lacks the walking bridge that today connects the islets. Like with any conqueror’s depiction, the purpose is not to highlight the human element, but to bring attention to natural resources. The obvious fertility is to show potential U.S. investors and speculators that their crops would yield good returns.  The little harbor here appears larger than what it really was (since then, it has been prepared for larger ships).  The message was that it would welcome all types of ships.  The people’s houses (or huts) are almost invisible because the fewer the better: more space for new buildings and northern settlers wanting to exploit the region’s natural resources.

Buccaneers

Buccaneers of America by  Exquemelin, A. O. (Alexandre Olivier); Ringrose, Basil, d. 1686; Raveneau de Lussan; Mountauban, de, 1650?-1700; Perkins, Oliver L

Buccaneers of America by
Exquemelin, A. O. (Alexandre Olivier); Ringrose, Basil, d. 1686; Raveneau de Lussan; Mountauban, de, 1650?-1700; Perkins, Oliver L

By Thomas Benjamin and Dennis R. Hidalgo

Commerce raiders called privateers, pirates, buccaneers, and other such names roamed the Caribbean Sea, as well as the Atlantic and Indian oceans, in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries as the detritus of the first Western colonies. During the sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth centuries, French, English, and Dutch raiders of Spanish and Portuguese shipping and ports generally acted under the authorization of their governments. The English Crown, for example, granted merchants and captains “letters of marque and reprisal,” which authorized attacks on Spanish shipping and ports. This legal document required that the privateer captains deliver to an admiralty court their captured ships, whereupon everyone would legally carve up a share of the spoils.

These privateers became invaluable military forces in times of war in an age when permanent navies did not exist. Until the late seventeenth century, the powers of Europe generally did not recognize truces and peace agreements outside of Europe. Privateers, therefore, were tolerated and often encouraged, even in peacetime. In the second half of the seventeenth century, there was often little meaningful difference between a privateer and an independent sea raider, that is, a pirate. Letters of marque and reprisal were widely granted.

When the French, English, and Dutch were becoming established in the Caribbean in the early to mid-seventeenth century, privateers were important naval forces in their own right. Perhaps the first commerce-raiding outpost to appear in the Caribbean arose around French Tortuga, lying just northwest of Hispaniola. These raiders

Buccan

Buccan

became widely known as boucaniers or buccaneers, after a Tupi Indian word for a smoking frame (boucan) used to roast wild cattle. These raiders were also called freebooters in the sense they that soldiered without pay for booty. To the Dutch, a commerce raider was a vrijbuiter, which the French translated to flibustier. The English and French word pirate derived from centuries-old Latin and Greek words.

In 1630, the same year the Puritan colony of Massachusetts Bay was founded, a second Puritan colony was founded on Providence Island off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. The colony had little success as an agricultural settlement, but a change in foreign policy and the issuance of letters of marque and reprisal to the Providence Island Company in 1626 turned the island into a privateering base and a new source of profit. In 1641 the Spanish retook the island. Thereafter, however, the Spanish and the buccaneers fought over the island and its harbors and inlets for decades.

Walter Raleigh sacking a Spanish city walter-raleigh-sacking

Walter Raleigh sacking a Spanish city walter-raleigh-sacking

After the English seized Jamaica in 1655, that island, in the center of the Spanish Caribbean, became the center of privateering and privacy. To maintain possession of the island, England issued letters of marque to French, Dutch, Danish, Italian, Swedish, Portuguese, and English captains. One of Jamaica’s first historians, Bryan Edwards (1743–1800), noted that “nothing contributed so much to the settlement and opulence of this island in early times, as the resort to it of those men called Bucaniers; the wealth which they acquired having been speedily transferred to people whose industry was employed in cultivation or commerce.” But, he continued, these men were not “piratical plunderers and public robbers which they are commonly represented.” Because of the Spanish War, he noted, these buccaneers “were furnished with regular letters of marque and reprisal” (Edwards 1793, vol. 1, p. 160).

The first royal governors of Jamaica established the seaport of Port Royal, which attracted privateers and pirates, as well as merchants, tavern-keepers, runaway servants, prostitutes, and others. This town, encouraged by the governor, sent fleets of privateers under Henry Morgan (1635–1688) between 1665 and 1671 to plunder Spanish seaports on the coasts of Cuba, Panama, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. Despite England’s promise to Spain to end privateering and suppress piracy in the Treaty of Madrid in 1670 and the Jamaica Act of 1683, buccaneers continued to freely operate from Port Royal until the end of the century. Over time, however, the “scum of the Indies drifted away from

Four Pirates Buccaneers

Four Pirates Buccaneers

Jamaica,” writes Violet Barbour, “to Hispaniola and Tortuga where aliens of any nation or reputation were received with obliging catholicity” (1911, p. 567). Port Royal was hit by a great earthquake in 1692 that utterly destroyed the port. The government of Jamaica rebuilt a new port, Kingston, on firmer ground across the harbor, and the buccaneers moved to new haunts in the Bahamas, North America, and West Africa.

During the second half of the seventeenth century, buccaneers not only attacked Spanish and Portuguese shipping and ports but also English, French, and Dutch shipping and American and African ports and posts. When wars erupted between the northern European powers, governments and their colonial authorities began issuing letters of marque to captains of just about any nationality, so long as the holder was clear who the “enemy” was.

A Buccaneer.

Buccaneers, also known as privateers and pirates, roamed the Caribbean Sea, as well as the Atlantic and Indian oceans, in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries as the detritus of the first Western colonies. This buccaneer guards his booty with a flintlock rifle and a pistol. © Bettmann/Corbis. Reproduced by Permission.

During the Anglo-Dutch Wars and the Franco-Dutch Wars of the second half of the seventeenth century, the English in Jamaica and the French in Tortuga enlisted buccaneers to cruise against the Dutch. In 1666 when France entered the war on the side of the Netherlands, the Dutch in Curacçao and the French in Tortuga directed buccaneers against English islands and trade. In 1673 the Dutch launched a serious effort to seize the French West Indies, and Dutch privateers, assisting the effort, brought more than twenty-five French prizes into Curaçao that year.

During the next several years of the war, aggressive Dutch privateers eliminated a few hundred French buccaneers and brought about the decline of commercial traffic from France. The buccaneers themselves, while no friend of any government, generally preferred in the seventeenth century to enrich themselves from the Spanish and stay away from English, French, and Dutch prizes. The Spanish had more hard money, and the buccaneers had more reasons to take vengeance on them. The French buccaneer Sieur de Grammont in 1683 mounted a raid on Vera Cruz, the principal port of New Spain, which yielded four days of uninterrupted looting. The Dutch buccaneers Nicholas van Hoorn and Laurens de Graaf two years later attacked the city of Campeche on the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, and left the city in ashes after looting the government treasury, churches, and private houses.

A Dutch buccaneer known as Roche Brasiliano provides an example of the buccaneer’s basic animosity to the Spanish. A fellow buccaneer described Brasiliano’s particularly infamous modus operandi: “Unto the Spaniards he always showed himself very barbarous and cruel, only out of an inveterate hatred he had against that nation. Of these he commanded several to be roasted alive upon wooden spits, for no other crime than that they would not show him the places, or hog-yards, where he might steal swine” (Exquemelin 1678/2000, p. 73).

French buccaneers in Tortuga were also active during the last three decades of the seventeenth century. One buccaneer captain was so successful in his looting as to invest his wealth in Martinique and become the owner of the largest sugar plantation in the French West Indies. Buccaneers who found a hostile reception in their nation’s different entrepôts in the Caribbean, or were welcome nowhere else, eventually made their way to Tortuga.

CIA Map of Central America and the Caribbean

CIA Map of Central America and the Caribbean

It was from Tortuga in the seventeenth century that the French and other buccaneers began to colonize the western end of Hispaniola. In 1669 the governor of French Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) claimed there were 1,600 freebooters, hunters, settlers, and indentured servants on Tortuga and the coast of Saint-Domingue. Two years later, a navy captain estimated that about 500 or 600 freebooters and about 100 boucaniers lived in the Cul-de-Sac or western district of Saint-Domingue alone. The successful privateers and petty noblemen established tobacco and later sugar plantations. The Spanish officially recognized French possession of its new colony in the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697. During the next fifty years, Saint-Domingue would become the most valuable European colony in the Atlantic.

By the late seventeenth century, the English, French, and Dutch had achieved the recognition they had long sought from the Spanish of their New World colonies. The buccaneers that they themselves had commissioned were increasingly not only interfering with but also seriously ravaging Atlantic commerce. The early eighteenth century would see the golden age of piracy and its brutal suppression.

Library of Congress: Buccaneers of the Americas

Library of Congress: Buccaneers of the Americas

The most famous buccaneers of the period were Anglo-Americans based largely in New Providence in the Bahamas. Men like Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Bartolomew “Black Bart” Roberts, William Kidd, and John “Calico Jack” Rackman operated on a much smaller scale than Henry Morgan. They led only one or two heavily-armed ships and sought prizes isolated from convoys. The governor of Bermuda in 1718 reported the deeds of “Tatch [Blackbeard] with whom is Major Bonnett of Barbados in a ship of 36 guns and 300 men, also in company with them a sloop of 12 guns and 115 men and two other ships” (Cordingly 1996, p. 111). Some, like Black Bart, were extraordinarily successful. In the 1710s and 1720s he captured some four hundred ships of all nationalities. Some buccaneers, such as William Kidd, found the Caribbean too confining when the English and French navies were fighting piracy, and employed their skills in the Indian Ocean.Blackbeard

Some buccaneers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw themselves as social bandits, agents of the poor and oppressed against rich and powerful merchants and tyrannical captains. One pirate captain named Bellamy described the enemies of piracy among the ruling class thus: “They vilify us, the Scoundrels do, when there is only this Difference, they rob the Poor under the Cover of Law, forsooth, and we plunder the Rich under the protection of our own Courage” (Bolster 1997, p. 14). Captain Thomas Checkley in 1718 told of the capture of his ship by pirates who “pretended to be Robbin Hoods Men” (Rediker 1993, pp. 267-269).

Morgan in Panama City

Morgan in Panama City

English suppression of piracy became serious at the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century. The British Parliament’s 1699 Act of Piracy established vice-admiralty courts in the American colonies that permitted local authorities to hang pirates. From 1716 to 1726, some four hundred to five hundred pirates were executed in Anglo-American ports. The British Crown also began to replace governors and other officials who were accomplices of buccaneers. The new governors seized buccaneer ships docked in their ports, as well as their cargos.

The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) brought many pirates into official service and their decommission led to a last flurry of piracy in the Atlantic. After the war the British and French governments deployed more and more naval power in the Caribbean to protect their own commerce from each other and from the buccaneers. Authorities and colonial governors offered bounties for captured pirates, and in 1717 and 1718 King George I (1660–1727) granted general pardons for piracy—about 450 pirates turned themselves in. Any and all contact with pirates thereafter was criminalized.

Anne Bonny (1697-1720). Engraving from Captain Charles Johnson's General History of the Pyrates (1st Dutch Edition 1725)

Anne Bonny (1697-1720). Engraving from Captain Charles Johnson’s General History of the Pyrates (1st Dutch Edition 1725)

The Bahamas was brought under control by a special expedition led by Woodes Rogers (ca. 1679–1732) with four Royal Navy men-of-war. Examples were made of pirates who fell into the hands of authorities: corpses were hung in British ports all around the Atlantic. By 1730 pirate attacks were becoming isolated and rare events and only a handful of buccaneers remained in business. Many of these pirates, still free and unreformed, moved on to Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Andrews, Kenneth R. English Privateering Voyages to the West Indies, 1588–1595: Documents Relating to English Voyages to the West Indies from the Defeat of the Armada to the Last Voyage of Sir Francis Drake. Cambridge, U.K.: Hakluyt Society, 1959.

Barbour, Violet. “Privateers and Pirates of the West Indies.” The American Historical Review 16 (3) (1911).

Bolster, W. Jeffrey. Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Burney, James. History of the Buccaneers of America (1816). New York: Norton, 1950.

Cordingly, David. Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates. New York: Random House, 1996.

Defoe, Daniel. A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates(1724). New York: Carroll & Graf, 1999.

Edwards, Bryan. The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies. Dublin: Luke White, 1793. Reprint, New York: Arno, 1978.

Exquemelin, Alexander O. The Buccaneers of America (1678). Translated by Alexis Brown. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2000.

Gage, Thomas. The English-American, His Travail by Sea and Land, or, A New Survey of the West-Indies. London: Cates, 1648.

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. Providence Island, 1630–1641: The Other Puritan ColonyCambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Lane, Kris E. Pillaging the Empire: Piracy in the Americas, 1500–1750. Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 1998.

Rediker, Marcus. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates, and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700–1750. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Swanson, Carl E. Predators and Prizes: American Privateering and Imperial Warfare, 1739–1748. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1991.

Williams, Eric. From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean, 1492–1969. London: Deutsch, 1970.

Williams, Neville. The Sea Dogs: Privateers, Plunder, and Piracy in the Elizabethan Age. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1975.

Source Citation   (MLA 7th Edition) 

Benjamin, Thomas, and Dennis Hidalgo. “Buccaneers.” Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450. Ed. Thomas Benjamin. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 165-168.Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Theses and Dissertations– Bibliography of the 1824 migration to Haiti

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I thought about putting a list of theses and dissertations related to my book, In Search of an American Dream. Corrections and additions are more than welcome. I will come back to it and perhaps add a few links, etc.

phd052107s

 

 

 

Theses and Dissertations

 

Allen, William Ezra. “Sugar and Coffee: A History of Settler Agriculture in Nineteenth-Century Liberia.” Ph.D., Florida International University, 2002.

 

Ball, Erica Louise. “From Elevation to Uplift: Gender, Citizenship and Northern Black Political Culture on the Eve of the Civil War.” Ph.D., City University of New York, 2002.

 

Bonner, Donna Maria. “Garifuna Town/Caribbean Nation/Latin American State: Identity and Prejudice in Belize.” Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1999.

 

Brown, Jarrett Hugh. “Black Masculinities as Marronage: Claude Mckay’s Representation of Black Male Subjectivities in Metropolitan Spaces.” Ph.D., The College of William and Mary, 2011.

 

Bulthuis, Kyle Timothy. “Four Steeples over the City Streets: Trinity Episcopal, St. Philip’s Episcopal, John Street Methodist, and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Churches in New York City, 1760–1840.” Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2007.

 

Burnham, Thorald M. “Immigration and Marriage in the Making of Post-Independence Haiti.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2006.

 

Cameron, Christopher Alain. “To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement, 1630–1835.” Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010.

 

Carter, Ralph Donald. “Black American or African: The Response of New York City Blacks to African Colonization, 1817-1841.”  Dissertation, 1974.

 

Crozier, Karen Denise. “Pedagogies of Empowerment: Towards Institutional Change in a Local Black Church.” Ph.D., Claremont School of Theology, 2006.

 

Cryderman, Kevin. “Ghostly Spectators of History: Collective Identity, Regulative Frameworks and the Idiosyncratic Subject.” Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2009.

 

Curtis, Lesley Shannon. “Utopian (Post)Colonies: Rewriting Race and Gender after the Haitian Revolution.” Ph.D., Duke University, 2011.

 

Dain, Bruce Russell. “A Hideous Monster of the Mind: American Race Theory, 1787-1859.” Ph.D., Princeton University, 1996.

 

Daut, Marlene Leydy. “Science of Desire: Race and Representations of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1790-1865.” Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2009.

 

Davies, John. “Class, Culture, and Color: Black Saint-Dominguan Refugees and African-American Communities in the Early Republic.” Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2008.

 

de Briffault, E. Christian. “The Haitian Revolution, 1791–1803. Race, Slavery, and the Balance of Power: A Comparative Analysis.” D.A., St. John’s University (New York), 2004.

 

De Vidas, Albert. “The Foreign Relations of Haiti in Hemispheric Affairs from Independence to Occupation, 1804-1915.” Book; Archival Material, NYU, 1971.

 

DeFay, Jason Bradley. “Identity Matters: Immigration and the Social Construction of Identity in Garifuna Los Angeles.” Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2004.

 

Den Hartog, Jonathan J. “”Patriotism and Piety”: Orthodox Religion and Federalist Political Culture.” Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2006.

 

Diemer, Andrew Keith. “Black Nativism: African American Politics, Nationalism and Citizenship in Baltimore and Philadelphia, 1817 to 1863.” Ph.D., Temple University, 2011.

 

Dowdy, Calenthia S. “Youth, Music, and Agency: Undoing Race, Poverty and Violence in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.” 3498194, American University, 2012.

 

Dyck, David Wayne. “The Missionary Church in the Dominican Republic.” Dissertation, 1975.

 

Edmondson, Philip N. “The St. Domingue Legacy in Black Activist and Antislavery Writings in the United States, 1791–1862.” Dissertation, 2004.

 

Egea Fernandez-Montesinos, Alberto. “La Construccion Del Imaginario Literario Andaluz: Entre La Imagi-Nacion Folclorica Y Las Margi-Naciones Del Sur.” Ph.D., Emory University, 2000.

 

Fanning, Sara Connors. “Haiti and the U.S.: African American Emigration and the Recognition Debate.” Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, 2008.

 

Fellows, Kristen R. “African Americans from “Back Yonder”: The Historical Archaeology of the Formation, Maintenance, and Dissolution of the American Enclave in Samana, Dominican Republic.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2013.

 

Flemming, Tracy K. “Negro: Travel and the Pan-African Imagination During the Nineteenth Century.” Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2010.

 

Fleszar, Mark J. “The Atlantic Legacies of Zephaniah Kingsley: Benevolence, Bondage, and Proslavery Fictions in the Age of Emancipation.” Ph.D., Georgia State University, 2013.

 

Franks, Julie Cheryl. “Transforming Property: Landholding and Political Rights in the Dominican Sugar Region, 1880-1930.” Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1997.

 

Fuste, Jose I. “Possible Republics: Tracing the ‘Entanglements’ of Race and Nation in Afro-Latina/O Caribbean Thought and Activism, 1870–1930.” Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2012.

 

Gaffield, Julia. “”So Many Schemes in Agitation”: The Haitian State and the Atlantic World.” Ph.D., Duke University, 2012.

 

Garcia, Armand. “Jose Marti and the Global Dimensions of Late Nineteenth-Century Cuban Nation Building.” Ph.D., Washington State University, 2006.

 

Glenn, James Hogan. “Andrew Johnson and the Dominican Republic.” Creighton University, 1967.

 

Gonzalez, Johnhenry. “The War on Sugar: Forced Labor, Commodity Production and the Origins of the Haitian Peasantry, 1791–1843.” Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2012.

 

Greene, Ousmane Kirumu. “Against Wind and Tide: African Americans’ Response to the Colonization Movement and Emigration, 1770–1865.” Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007.

 

Grivno, Max L. “”There Slavery Cannot Dwell”: Agriculture and Labor in Northern Maryland, 1790–1860.” Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2007.

 

Hanks, Iyelli Ichile. “Black Magic Woman: Towards a Theory of Africana Women’s Resistance.” Ph.D., Howard University, 2011.

 

Head, David. “Sailing for Spanish America: The Atlantic Geopolitics of Foreign Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic.” Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2010.

 

Hetrick, Matthew J. “African American Colonization and Identity, 1780-1925.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2013.

 

Hidalgo, Dennis Ricardo. “From North America to Hispaniola: First Free Black Emigration and Settlements in Hispaniola.” Ph.D., Central Michigan University, 2003.

 

Hudson, Linda Sybert. “Jane Mcmanus Storm Cazneau (1807-1878): A Biography.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 1999.

 

Jackson, James O’Dell, III. “The Origins of Pan-African Nationalism: Afro-American and Haytian Relations.” Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1976.

 

Jones, Christina Violeta. “Revolution and Reaction: Santo Domingo During the Haitian Revolution and Beyond, 1791–1844.” Ph.D., Howard University, 2008.

 

Kaisary, Philip James. “The Literary Impact of the Haitian Revolution.” University of Warwick, 2008.

 

Kaussen, Valerie Mae. “Romancing the Peasant: History and Revolution in the Modern Haitian Novel.” Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2000.

 

Kwon, Yun Kyoung. “Ending Slavery, Narrating Emancipation: Revolutionary Legacies in the French Antislavery Debate and “Silencing the Haitian Revolution,” 1814–48.” Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2012.

 

Leung, Ka Yee. “Embodied Cultural Cognition: How Culture Is Carried by Our Bodily Experiences?” Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.

 

Lovit, Alex. ““The Bounds of Habitation”: The Geography of the American Colonization Society.” University of Michigan, 2011.

 

Malka, Adam C. “The Haitian Evolution: Emigration and Diasporan Consciousness in Nineteenth Century America.” University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2005.

 

Márquez Macías, Rosario. “La Emigración Española a América, 1765-1824.” Universidad de Oviedo, Servicio de Publicaciones, 1995.

 

Matijasic, Thomas David. “Conservative Reform in the West: The African Colonization Movement in Ohio 1826-1839 ” Dissertation, 1982.

 

Matthews, Gelien. “Slave Rebellions in the Discourse of British Anti-Slavery.” University of Hull, 2002.

 

McCarthy, Timothy Patrick. “A Culture of Dissent: American Abolitionism and the Ordeal of Equality.” Ph.D., Columbia University, 2006.

 

McDaniel, William Caleb. “Our Country Is the World: Radical American Abolitionists Abroad.” Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 2006.

 

Menely, Tobias. “Cultivated Sympathies: Human Sentiments and Animal Subjects in the Long Eighteenth Century.” Ph.D., Indiana University, 2006.

 

Mills, Brandon. “Exporting the Racial Republic: African Colonization, National Citizenship, and the Transformation of U.S. Expansion, 1776–1864.” Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011.

 

Mongey, Vanessa. “Cosmopolitan Republics and Itinerant Patriots: The Gulf of Mexico in the Age of Revolutions (1780s–1830s).” Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2010.

 

Morales, Edgardo A Pérez. “Itineraries of Freedom Revolutionary Travels and Slave Emancipation in Colombia and the Greater Caribbean. 1789-‐1830.” University of Michigan, 2013.

 

Morales, JosÈ. “The Hispaniola Diaspora, 1791-1850 Puerto Rico, Cuba, Louisiana, and Other Host Societies.” 1987.

 

Moulton, Amber D. “Marriage Extraordinary: Interracial Marriage and the Politics of Family in Antebellum Massachusetts.” Ph.D., Harvard University, 2011.

 

Myers, Amrita Chakrabarti. “Negotiating Women: Black Women and the Politics of Freedom in Charleston, South Carolina, 1790-1860.” Rutgers University, 2005.

 

Nessler, Graham Townsend. “A Failed Emancipation? The Struggle for Freedom in Hispaniola During the Haitian Revolution, 1789–1809.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2011.

 

Nwankwo, Ifeoma Chinwe Kiddoe. “Cosmopolitan Consciousness: Inter-American Engagements in the Scripting of African-American and Caribbean Identities.” Duke University, 1999.

 

Oliver, Albert G. “The Protest and Attitudes of Blacks Towards the American Colonization Society and the Concepts of Emigration and Colonization in Africa 1817 – 1865.” Dissertation, 1978.

 

Ozuna, Ana. “Reclaiming Blackness through the Literary Figure of the Maroon in Dominican Literature.” Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2009.

 

Page, Sebastian Nicholas. “The American Civil War and Black Colonization.” D.Phil., University of Oxford (United Kingdom), 2012.

 

Pamphile Miller, Chrislaine. “”‘Blessed Are the Peacemakers”: African American Emigration to Haiti, 1816-1826.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2013.

 

Peña, Julissa. ““Yo Soy Negro, Pero Negro Blanco:” Hispanicity, Antihaitianismo and Genocide in the Dominican Republic.” Wesleyan University, 2012.

 

Phillips, William M. “Nightmares of Anarchy and Dreams of Revolution in English and American Literature, 1870-1910.” Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996.

 

Pierce, Jennifer J. “Discourses of the Dispossessed : Saint-Domingue Colonists on Race, Revolution and Empire, 1789-1825.” 2005.

 

Piggush, Yvette Renee. “Governing Imagination: American Social Romanticism, 1790–1840.” Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2007.

 

Polgar, Paul J. “Standard Bearers of Liberty and Equality: Reinterpreting the Origins of American Abolitionism.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2013.

 

Ramlagan, Michelle N. “(Re)Placing Nation: Postcolonial Women’s Contestations of Spatial Discourse.” Ph.D., University of Miami, 2011.

 

Riley, Padraig Griffin. “Northern Republicans and Southern Slavery: Democracy in the Age of Jefferson, 1800–1819.” Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2007.

 

Rivas, Christine D. “Power, Race, Class and Gender in Colonial Santo Domingo: An Analysis of Spanish Dominican Marital Patterns in the Archbishopric of Santo Domingo, 1701–1801.” Ph.D., Carleton University (Canada), 2008.

 

Roberts, Neil Douglas. “Freedom as Marronage: The Dialectic of Slavery and Freedom in Arendt, Pettit, Rousseau, Douglass, and the Haitian Revolution.” University of Chicago, Department of Political Science, 2007.

 

Rodriguez, Nestor E. “Configuraciones Y Desfiguraciones De Lo Nacional En La Literatura Dominicana Contemporanea.” Ph.D., Emory University, 2003.

 

Sacks, Dan. “The Historical Traditions of Nat Turner.” 2008.

 

Sagas, Ernesto. “Antihaitianismo in the Dominican Republic.” 1993.

 

Salt, Karen N. “The Haitian Question.” Purdue University, 2011.

 

Scallet, Daniel. “”This Inglorious War”: The Second Seminole War, the Ad Hoc Origins of American Imperialism, and the Silence of Slavery.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2011.

 

Schoeppner, Michael Alan. “Navigating the Dangerous Atlantic: Racial Quarantines, Black Sailors and United States Constitutionalism.” UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, 2010.

 

Scruggs, Dalila. “”The Love of Liberty Has Brought Us Here”: The American Colonization Society and the Imaging of African-American Settlers in Liberia.” ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2010.

 

Sesay, Chernoh Momodu, Jr. “Freemasons of Color: Prince Hall, Revolutionary Black Boston, and the Origins of Black Freemasonry, 1770–1807.” Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2006.

 

Shabaka, Segun. “An Afrocentric Analysis of the 19th Century African-American Migration to Haiti: A Quest for the Self-Determining Community.” Ph.D., Temple University, 2001.

 

Smith, Eleanor Valerie. “Mate Selection as an Indicator of Ethnic Identity and Maintenance: A Case Analysis of the “Immigrants” in Samana, Dominican Republic (Blacks, Afro-American).” Ph.D., University of Florida, 1986.

 

Smith, Reiland Rabaka. “Africana Critical Theory: From W. E. B. Du Bois and C. L. R. James’s Discourse on Domination and Liberation to Frantz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral’s Dialectics of Decolonization.” Ph.D., Temple University, 2001.

 

Stringer, Rozanne McGrew. “Hybrid Zones: Representations of Race in Late Nineteenth-Century French Visual Culture.” Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2011.

 

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Tillman, Ellen D. “Imperialism Revised: Military, Society, and Us Occupation in the Dominican Republic, 1880-1924.” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011.

 

Torbett, David James. “Theology and Slavery: Charles Hodge and Horace Bushnell on the Slavery Question.” Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education, 2002.

 

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Re-Watching “Invictus”

invictus_stills_10-929139325

After Mandela’s death I rewatched the film “Invictus,” but this time I also read two film reviews: Bugliani and Baum’s. The three years since its release gave me enough distance to bypass the anticipated jovial triumph of reconciliation. Who would not like to see hundred of years of bitter clashes, cultivated racism, and the establishment of the highest form of White supremacy shattered into pieces simply after a rugby victory–even if it is against the most diverse and integrated rugby team in the world (who had even adopted the dances and moves of the once conquered people: the Maoris)? I remember how I felt the first time I saw it, and how I continued feeling for a long while. We could do this. We can forgive and forget. You cannot blame me for that. Who would not want to feel that way?

But we have been reading Evan Carton’s John Brown’s biography in class, and I have grown much since. In rewatching Invictus’ I knew that Hollywood’s goal, of a fleeting sense of victory, should be seen from a different angle.  To analyze the film anew, I needed to find a way to sail against the film’s ideological current, similarly as Atlantic sailors have played with the lateen and square rigs to forestall and even sail against oceanic wind currents.

The simple truth is that despite its good intentions and historical research, this film has serious problems— as you could see in Baum’s analysis. Yet like sailors sailing against strong ideological currents combining the use of lateen and square rigs, it is our task to propose an alternative view of the past that could do more justice to the subject of racial oppression and reconciliation.

Bugliani focuses more on the art and film’s narrative, while Baum places the film in the context of other two recent movies and within the broader historical context of slavery, race and imperialism. For Bugliani what matters is the wordless pull of the nation; the sport is only a symbol, a vehicle. And though he can seem simplistic, his piece underscores the gravity and unpredictability of the outcome. Moreover, he subtly hits on the problem of Whites’ needs supplied as opposed to that of Blacks. Baum’s more historically informed assessment lays bare the weaknesses of a film that focuses on an ephemeral and superficial reconciliation.

Yes, they all play together and even dance together, laughing and sharing the same seats. But what would happen after that moment is gone, when the differences in wealth, access to power and status continue? What will happen to the habits and prejudices cultivated for centuries in the ethos of these nations? In a way, this film seems to be asking Blacks to once more bend to the faults of the Whites. It is true that he proposed and worked hard for forgiveness, but Mandela went beyond what this film shows. Forgiveness is nothing without redress. John Brown’s approach to reconciliation seems to have contrasted with the one presented in this film. His focused on bringing equality after the law and in power too.

When the rugby team travelled to the poor Black neighborhoods to offer free rugby clinics to poor kids we all got a first look at the poverty that have stricken their lives. That view was not shown much again in the film. Poverty kills, but it is worse when it does not kill and lingers as Povertenza crippling the lives of millions of people who live in societies gushing in Affluenza.  Reconciliation means to bring people out of poverty so we can then really be at the same level. Reading this film in reverse can be an enlightening experience.

 

Junot Díaz representing the Diaspora vs. Dominican government and intellectual nationals

 

Junot Diaz Speaks Out After Insults To His Dominican-ness

 

From the outsider’s perspective, those who are not Dominican or Dominican diasporans, this news may look as a scandal, a circus show of high-profile figures throwing rotten tomatoes at each other. But from the intellectually curious’ view, the one familiar with the history of nations and imperialism, this news is much more than what it looks to either the insider or the outsider. Indeed, this news is worth noting beyond the obvious issue of the Dominican judicial racist ruling because it shows us a significant trend in world identities.

 

Beneath the journalist view, this news is a furious clash between the diaspora (Dominicans actually living outside of the DR) and national locals (Dominicans living on the east side of the island and with deep roots in Dominican soil). Those interested in studying current nationalisms, particularly the expressions of patriotism emanating from small and poorer countries struggling to maintain dignity and sovereignty, may want to pay attention to how national locals (Dominicans in the DR) are now perceiving their own diasporas: they are half-breeds, tools of foreign intervention and imperialism. In this case, viewed from the local nationals’ perspective with a long history of struggle against US imperialism, the US does not have to intervene directly on Dominican politics anymore (the Marines can stay calmly home in their military bases, and the likes of cultural diplomats like Sumner Welles can stay in their DC offices observing the drama developed, but from the outside). The Dominican diaspora in the US, already assimilated into (even when partially) modern paradigms of liberalism, can do the work of chastising the recalcitrant and outdated Dominican national visions of race and retrograding nationalisms that keep both nation-states on Hispaniola (Haiti and the DR) in constant disharmony and international source of shame.

 

The Diaspora, then, people like Junot, is not always welcome back home, neither it belongs legitimately at the center of the empire (look here for an example, to what happened recently to Marc Anthony when he tried asserting his US credentials by signing a historically US song publicly and was then openly treated as a foreign “Mexican” and not as a legitimate US citizen, nor even a Puertorrican. This is also similar (look here) to what Joe Feliciano went through in the fateful year of 1968). The diasporan can’t speak English, the imperial language, well enough to be seen a bona fide US individual (she/he does not have the looks anyways), nor can she/he articulate thoughts well in Spanish to be embraced by Dominican locals as a genuine Dominican. Without a legitimate home, the Diaspora floats around as if hanging over in space without a hard surface to land on or call home (Diasporans are the anti-nationals). The airports are its bungalows, the airlines its agents and the impersonal internet its only real network.

 

Yet, as indicated in this story, the Diaspora is ever more powerful, and despite local-national accusations of imperial complicity, the Diaspora is its own emancipated self. Perhaps it is because I am also a diasporan, have always been, I say, “Go Junot, dale pa’ lante, show them lo ignorante y atrasados que se ven.”

 

A pic with Junot Díaz after a reading in 2010.

A pic with Junot Díaz after a reading in 2010.

 

 

Junot Diaz Speaks Out After Insults To His Dominican-ness

Junot Diaz Speaks Out After Insults To His Dominican-ness

From the outsider’s perspective, those who are not Dominican or Dominican diasporans, this news may look as a scandal, a circus show of high-profile figures throwing sticky balls of mud to each other. But from the intellectually curious’ view, the one familiar with the history of nations and imperialism, this news is much more than what it looks to either the insider or the outsider alike.

Indeed, this news is worth noting even beyond the obvious issue of the Dominican judicial racist ruling. Beneath the journalist view, this is a furious clash between the diaspora (Dominicans actually living outside of the DR) and national locals (Dominicans living on the east side of the island and with deep roots in Dominican soil). Those interested in studying current nationalisms, particularly expressions of patriotism emanating from small and poorer countries struggling to maintain dignity and sovereignty, may want to pay attention to how national locals (Dominicans in the DR) are now perceiving their own diasporas: they are half-breeds, tools of foreign intervention and imperialism. In this case, viewed from the local nationals’ perspective with a long history of struggle against US imperialism, the US does not have to intervene directly on Dominican politics anymore (the Marines can stay calmly home in their military bases, and the likes of cultural diplomats like Sumner Welles can stay in their DC offices observing the drama developed, but from the outside). The Dominican diaspora in the US, already assimilated into (even when partially) modern paradigms of liberalism, can do the work of chastising the recalcitrant and outdated Dominican national visions of race and retrograding nationalisms that keep both nation-states on Hispaniola (Haiti and the DR) in constant disharmony and international source of shame.

The Diaspora, then, people like Junot, is not always welcome back home, neither belongs legitimately at the center of the empire (look here for an example, to what happened recently to Marc Anthony when he tried asserting his US credentials by signing a historically US song publicly and was then openly treated as a foreign “Mexican” and not as a legitimate US citizen, nor even a Puertorrican. This is also similar (look here) to what Joe Feliciano went through in the fateful year of 1968). The diasporan can’t speak English, the imperial language, well enough to be seen a bona fide US individual (she/he does not have the looks anyways), nor can she/he articulate thoughts well in Spanish to be embraced by Dominican locals as genuinely one of them. Without a legitimate home, the Diaspora floats around as if hanging over in space without a hard surface to land on or call home (we are the anti-nationals). The airports are its bungalows, the airlines its agents and the impersonal internet its only real networks. Yet, as indicated in this story, the Diaspora is ever more powerful, and despite local-national accusations of imperial complicity, the Diaspora is its own emancipated self. Perhaps it is because I am also a diasporan, have always been, I say, “Go Junot, dale pa’ lante, show them lo ignorante y atrasados que se ven.”

Using tragedy to promote dependency

I wrote the post below in response to an attempt to use Camacho’s death for partisan purposes. The original post I read appeared in the otherwise admirable blog “Repeating Islands.” But it had first come from Time.com, written by Tim Padgett

“I am surprised to see such a partisan and pro-colonial (and ahistorical) post in this blog. The pro-statehood movement on the island has been on an evangelical-like impetus that ignores the facts for the “positive” vision.

The main reason Puerto Rico, as well as much of Latin America, has sunk into what it seems as social disarray (as seen in the surge of violence) is in fact because of its colonial status and the neo-liberal policies affecting the entire region. Adding Puerto Rico to the integral political structure of the colonial master (statehood) would not only miss the goal of producing a solution to the problems affecting the region, but it would simply be impossible.

Understanding the nature of nation-building and nationalism would help explain why the U.S. would find it impossible to assimilate the island as an equal. There are plenty of historical examples that would also highlight the foolishness of this idea. France in the Caribbean is perhaps the most salient one, where the colonial territories have been integral and full members of the French political apparatus (unlike Puerto Rico’s “commonwealth” status, which by the way, it reads radically different in the Spanish version).

And yet, the French “Overseas Departments” have not been nor will be in the same social or political level as the rest of France. They are rather dependencies “well treated,” or better yet, “people hanging from the borders of the more progressive nation that is France” (which happens to thrive at the historical expenses of their colonial possessions). No wonder the French have not accepted them as real social equals.

The U.S. seems farther behind the French in admitting this possibility with Puerto Rico–even less of accepting Puerto Ricans as full members of their society (in the continental U.S., they are considered “immigrants” in the process of becoming “Whites” as the Irish and Italians once were, if they are willing to shed away most of their cultural traits and join the “melting-pot”). So, there are enough evidences showing the final destination of the “statehood” pipe-dream.

Puerto Rico has a long history of reactionary and pro-colonial support, and this post seems to follow in such a tradition (this thought also relates to plantation owners in Cuba who sought union with the U.S., and discredited Dominican caudillos who wanted the U.S. to re-colonize their country in the 19th Century).

Yet, there are also traditions of more genuinely native and more creative lines of thinking that put a premium on emancipation, collaboration and fair equality rather than on pernicious social hierarchies. I suggest that we tap on these latter traditions, improve on them and rethink our future more brightly than joining a cause of futile begging for acceptance.”

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