Atlantic Biographies

Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World


This volume uses a biography-as-history approach to illuminate the interconnectedness of the peoples of the Americas, West Africa, and Europe. Contributors highlight individuals' and people's experiences made possible by their participation in the creation of an Atlantic world, where conflict, cooperation, neccessity and invention led to new societies and cultures.

Composed of chapters that span a broad chronological, topical and thematic range, Atlantic Biographies highlights the uniqueness of the Atlantic as a social, political, economic, and cultural theater bound together to illustrate what the Atlantic meant to those subjects of each chapter. This is a book about people, their resilience, and their resolve to carve a niche or have a broader impact in the ever-changing world around them.

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Jeffrey A. Fortin Ph.D. (2006) is Assistant Professor of History at Emmanuel College, Boston. He has published several articles and book chapters on forced migration, race and identity in the Atlantic world, and in journals such as Atlantic Studies.

Mark Meuwese Ph.D. (2004) is Associate Professor of History at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Canada. In 2012 he published his first book, also with Brill, entitled Brothers in Arms, Partners in Trade: Dutch-Indigenous Alliances in the Atlantic World, 1621-1674.

List of contributors

Christopher Albi, SUNY- New Paltz
Omar H. Ali, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Edward E. Andrews, Providence College
Mariana P. Candido, University of Kansas
Charlotte Carrington, Roger Williams University
Laura Chiemlewski, SUNY - Purchase
Emma Christopher, The University of Sydney
Christian Crouch, Bard College
Kevin Dawson, University of California, Merced
Jeffrey A. Fortin, Emmanuel College, Boston
Mark Meuwese, University of Winnipeg
Sandra Rebok, Spanish National Research Council
Bryan Sinche, University of Hartford
"Fortin and Meuwese employ biography as a means of providing unique insights into Atlantic societies. The edited collection highlights the tensions and contradictions within the Atlantic world to demonstrate how individuals navigated, confronted, and shaped this world. The 13 essays are organized into three overarching categories: Atlantic Sojourners, Slavery and Freedom on the Edges of the Atlantic World, and Forging Atlantic Identities. The subject matter is diverse, and readers are presented with a wide range of interesting stories, including Alexander von Humboldt and his scientific investigations in the Americas; an Irishman sent to Africa as punishment for his crimes; indigenous and Maroon leaders in the Atlantic world; the story of Pierre Biard, a priest accused of piracy. By including such a wide array of topics, the book is certain to be of value to a broad range of scholars. Taken as a whole, this thought-provoking work demonstrates the value of biography as a tool for understanding Atlantic history. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." - J. Rankin, East Tennessee State [This review appeared in Vol. 51 No. 08 (April 2014) issue of Choice. Copyright 2014 American Library Association]
Jeffrey A. Fortin
1 Pierre Biard: Priest and Pirate of Mount Desert Island
Laura M. Chmielewsk
2 Thomas Morton
Charlotte Carrington
3 Alexander von Humboldt, His Scientific Expedition through the Americas and the Impact of His Atlantic Experiences
Sandra Rebok
4 The Crossings of Occramar Marycoo, or Newport Gardner
Edward E. Andrews
5 Constituting Value in A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa
Bryan Sinche
6 Enslaved Ship Pilots: Challenging Notions of Race and Slavery along the Peripheries of the Revolutionary Atlantic World
Kevin Dawson
7 From Ireland to Africa: the Criminal Career and Punishment of Patrick Madan
Emma Christopher
8 The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Vulnerability of Free Blacks in Benguela, Angola, 1780–1830
Mariana P. Candido
9 Indigenous Leaders and the Atlantic World: The Parallel Lives of Dom Antônio Filipe Camarão and Pieter Poty, 1600–1650
Mark Meuwese
10 Law and Colonial Reform in the 18th Century Spanish World: The Life of Francisco Xavier Gamboa, Mexican Lawyer
Christopher Albi
11 Benkos Biohó: African Maroon Leadership in New Grenada
Omar H. Ali
12 ‘Je me vois réduit…à la mendicité:’ Marine Veterans of New France and their New Atlantic World
Christian Ayne Crouch
13 Paul Cuffe’s Journey from ‘Musta’ to Atlantic-African, 1778–1811
Jeffrey A. Fortin
Conclusion: Atlantic Lives and Atlantic History
Mark Meuwese

All interested in the history of the Atlantic World from 1600-1850, European expansion and global interaction, andyone interested in the impact of individuals on society