Bassi, Ernesto : Seed Grant, 2014-2015


Ernesto Bassi (History)

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of History
Project Title: 
Life Abroad: Spanish-Speaking Communities in non-Spanish-Speaking Cities in the Americas, 1750-1850
Project Abstract: 
The aim of this project is to trace the process of configuration and evolution of communities of Spanish speakers in non-Spanish-speaking cities in the Americas during the Age of Revolutions. The project can be described as a close-to-the-ground history of the Spanish-speaking communities that, between c.1750 and c.1850, emerged, grew, and faded in cities in the United States and the Caribbean, including Kingston, Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Boston, New Orleans, and Charleston. Using a prosopographical method, the project will reconstruct public and private aspects of the everyday lives of the members of these Spanish-speaking communities who, largely due to the disruption and destruction brought about by the Age of Revolutions in the Americas, were forced to temporarily or permanently abandon their Spanish-speaking patrias to seek refuge in English- and French-speaking cities in the United States and the Caribbean. The Einaudi Center seed grant will support the necessary travels. Key to this initial stage will be to establish the cities where significant numbers of Spanish-speakers settled and the extent to which the available documentation allows for a reconstruction of the emergence and evolution of these urban communities of Spanish-speaking foreigners.