Gene Allen Smith and Sylvia L. Hilton, eds., Nexus of Empire: Negotiating Loyalty and Identity in the Revolutionary Borderlands, 1760s–1820s. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Tallahassee, etc., 2010. ISBN 978-0-8130-3399-0 --

Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations, Maps, and Tables. ............vii

Part I. Changing Flags and Political Uncertainty.
Gene Allen Smith and Sylvia L. Hilton, Introduction. ......... 3
1. Sylvia L. Hilton, Loyalty and Patriotism on North American Frontiers: Being and Becoming Spanish in the Mississippi Valley, 1776-1803. ......... 8

Part II. Dilemmas Among Native Americans and Free Blacks.
2. Kathryn E. Holland Braund, "Like to have Made a War among Ourselves": The Creek Indians and the Coming of the War of the Revolution". ......... 39
3. Gilbert C. Din, Louis LeClerc De Milford, a.k.a., General François Tastanegy: An Eighteenth-Century French Adventurer Among the Creeks. ........... 63
4. H. Sophie Burton, Marie Thérèze dit Coincoin: A Free Black Woman on the Louisiana-Texas Frontier. ........... 89
5. Erin M. Greenwald, To Strike a Balance: New Orleans’ Free Colored Community and the Diplomacy of William Charles Cole Claiborne. ........... 113
6. F. Todd Smith, Dehahuit: An Indian Diplomat on the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1804-1815. .......... 140
Part III. Building Fortunes through Family Connections and Local Community.
7. Ed Townes, The Nature of Loyalty: Antonio Gil Ibarvo and the East Texas Frontier. .........163
8. Robin F.A. Fabel, Philip Livingston, Chameleon ‘Premier’ of West Florida. .......... 183
9. Light Townsend Cummins, Oliver Pollock and the Creation of an American Identity in Spanish Colonial Louisiana. .......... 198
10. Betje Black Klier and Diane M.T. North, Bordermakers and Landed Women: The Rouquier Sisters of Colonial Natchitoches. ............ 219
11. Elizabeth Urban Alexander, Daniel Clark: Merchant Prince of New Orleans. .......... 241
Part IV: Personal Ambition in Government and Military Service.
12. Andrew McMichael, William Dunbar, William Claiborne, and Daniel Clark: Intersections of Loyalty and National Identity on the Florida Frontier. ........... 271
13. Gene Allen Smith, “Motivated Only by the Love of Humanity”: Arsène Lacarrière Latour and the Struggle for the Southwest. .......... 298
14. Samuel Watson, Soldier, Expansionist, Politician: Eleazer Wheelock Ripley and the Dance of Ambition in the Early Republic. ............. 321
Gene Allen Smith and Sylvia L. Hilton, Conclusion. .......... 347
Contributors. ............. 355
Index. ............ 395

Back cover.
“A most welcome addition to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century frontier history. This expert handling of a crucial period that saw the emergence of the modern nation-states promises to become indispensable reading for specialists and students alike.”—Serge Ricard, Emeritus, Sorbonne Nouvelle
“From a myriad of different perspectives this volume clearly shows how the contest for empire across the Gulf Borderlands between 1763 and 1821 not only shifted international boundaries but challenged the political loyalties and personal identities of this region’s multi-ethnic and multi-cultural inhabitants.”—Steve Hackel, University of California, Riverside

“Featuring compelling biographical essays on individuals from the key groups who experienced the rapid shifts in national boundaries in the Gulf region, this work opens an exciting new perspective on the problems of identity and loyalty in a transnational world.”—Rafe Blaufarb, author of Bonapartists in the Borderlands: French Exiles and Refugees on the Gulf Coast, 1815–1835

“A sparkling set of insightful essays that illuminates the interplay of natives, settlers, maroons, and slaves in a pivotal borderland contested by rival empires. Local, imperial, and racial identities overlapped in a shifting kaleidoscope of power, resistance, and adaptation.”—Alan Taylor, author of The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution

From the 1760s until the 1820s the Gulf of Mexico region played a key role in the turbulent redefinition of the political boundaries of North America. From the Atlantic coast of Florida across to Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and even the Pacific coast of California, multiple challenges and opportunities created a shifting nexus of interests, identities and loyalties,
Within this broad band of territory, Native American nations, Spain, France, England, and ultimately the United States competed for increasingly important strategic and commercial advantages. Nexus of Empire focuses on the people who inhabited this region, one of the continent’s most dynamic borderlands. These individuals—some famous, some unknown—were presented with unusual opportunities to pursue their own interests as nations and empires attempted to defend or extend their own spheres of political, social, and economic control.
The essays in this collection examine the personal experiences of men and women, Native Americans, European colonists, Americans of the newly independent United States, free people of color, and slaves, analyzing the ways in which these individuals defined and redefined themselves amid a turbulent world of competing loyalties.
This volume humanizes the promise and perils of living, working, and fighting in a region troubled/afflicted by constant political upheaval and economic uncertainties. It offers intriguing glimpses into a fast-changing world in which individuals’ attitudes and actions reveal the convoluted balancing acts of identities that characterized this population and this era.

Gene Allen Smith is professor of history at Texas Christian University and coauthor of Filibusters and Expansionists: Jeffersonian Manifest Destiny, 1800–1821. Sylvia L. Hilton is professor of history at the Complutense University of Madrid and coeditor of Frontiers and Boundaries in United States History.


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