Santa Barbara of Samaná, 1869: the imperial gaze.

Most of the images we have of the Dominican Republic and of Haiti in the 19th century come to us through imperial eyes.

Dennis R. Hidalgo

I am also finding my hard-drive swelling with illustrations which I cannot yet use in publications.  Hopefully, by sharing them here, these historical documents find themselves useful to others.  The picture below, which appeared in the Harper’s Weekly (1869), in the eve of the 1870-71 Annexation Treaty with the U.S., illustrates a couple of lines I wrote in my book’s epilogue:

During the second half of the nineteenth century, Samaná shifted in the world’s imagination from a presqu’île with a useful gulf to a bay with a funky peninsula attached to it. This conceptual turn was the work of the Atlantic print culture (blogosphere) becoming progressively fascinated with the Samaná harbor. Foreigners invoked the term “Samaná Bay” even when they had the peninsula in mind, referring to it as an exceptional harbor that shortsighted Dominicans were ready to trade for temporary debt-relief.

Santa Barbara of Samaná, 1869. Santa Barbara of Samaná, 1869.

The main purpose…

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