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Fatal RevolutionsNatural History, West Indian Slavery, and the Routes of American Literature$
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Christopher P. Iannini

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835562

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838181_iannini

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“The Itinerant Man”

“The Itinerant Man”

Rèvecoeur's Caribbean, Raynal's Revolution, and the Fate of Atlantic Cosmopolitanism

(p.131) 3“The Itinerant Man”
Fatal Revolutions

Christopher P. Iannini

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter reinterprets the original published version of J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur's Letters (1782) in light of his relatively obscure essay “Sketches of Jamaica and Bermudas and Other Subjects” (1773). This essay marks Crèvecoeur's earliest and most intense effort to come to terms with the theories of Abbé Raynal—the man to whom Letters was dedicated. It contains his earliest and most insightful meditation on Raynal's History, the book that, as described in the dedication of Letters, first awakened Crèvecoeur to the extended ramifications of West Indian slavery and trade. In his Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies, Raynal propounded a theory of imperial corruption and decline centered on the Caribbean sugar revolution and the Atlantic slave trade.

Keywords:   J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters, Sketches of Jamaica and Bermudas and Other Subjects, Abbé Raynal, West Indian, slavery, imperial corruption, sugar revolution, slave trade

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