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Grant number like: FA-51977-05

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Jane Gilmer Landers
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37240-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2005 – 12/31/2005

A Biography of Juan Bautista Witten, African Leader in Spanish Florida and Cuba in the Revolutionary Period

This biography explores how Africans in the Americas experienced and interpreted the Atlantic revolutions and their failed promises. Seized by Loyalist troops in South Carolina, Witten and his family eventually escaped to Spanish Florida where they joined forces with former slave rebels from Saint Domingue. Their combined militias and extended families participated in major geopolitical struggles of the era until the United States acquired Florida in 1821 and they left for Cuba. Race relations on that island were worsening, but Witten and others resisted efforts to restrict their rights as Spanish subjects until the brutal repression following the La Escalera slave revolt finally ruined them.