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Grant number like: FEL-256787-18

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Pablo M. Sierra Silva
University of Rochester (Rochester, NY 14627-0001)

Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

Contraband, Captivity, and the 1683 Raid on Veracruz: A History of Colonial Mexico's Transatlantic Connections

A book-length study of the 1683 pirate raid of Veracruz, Mexico, and the illicit slave trade that linked the Spanish, French, Dutch, and British American colonies.

This book-length project proposes a new understanding of colonial Mexico’s fraught relationship with Dutch, French, and English actors through a moment of systemic collapse: the abduction and dispersal of Veracruz’s population of African descent in May of 1683. Hundreds of French, English, and Dutch buccaneers captured and sold 1000 Afro-Veracruzanos – free and enslaved – throughout the non-Spanish Atlantic as human chattel. The labor-starved colonists of Charleston (South Carolina) and Petit Goave (St. Domingue/Haiti) purchased hundreds of these captives, yet the fates of most remain untold. Thus, this is a multilingual, transimperial project, one that can only be understood by acknowledging Veracruz’s historic dependence on contraband and slaving networks from 1640 to 1700. Drawing on an African diaspora framework, Mexican Atlantic sheds new light on an “entangled” Atlantic built on illicit trades and captivities from the perspective of Veracruz and its deracinated families.