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Fugitives, Smugglers, and ThievesPiracy and Personhood in American Literature$
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Sharada Balachandran Orihuela

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469640921

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640921.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2019

America’s Blackbeard

America’s Blackbeard

Piracy and Colonial Life

Chapter:
(p.25) Chapter One America’s Blackbeard
Source:
Fugitives, Smugglers, and Thieves
Author(s):

Sharada Balachandran Orihuela

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640921.003.0002

This chapter examines the ways early nineteenth century authors framed piracy as an instrument of state growth, anti-colonial resistance, as well as a rationale for imperial expansion and intervention in the Americas in William Gilmore Simms’s The Yemassee (1835), John Brougham’s 1857 play Columbus, El Filibustero!, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Red Rover: A Tale (1829) and The Water Witch; or, The Skimmer of the Seas (1830), as well as El Filibustero: Novela Historica (1864), written by Yucatec author Eligio Ancona. In a climate of rapid national expansion, nineteenth century authors used the pirate as a central character to plot national(ist) narratives. Given piracy’s relationship to both state-building and anti-colonial enterprises, as well as piracy’s capacity to both facilitate and threaten property ownership, piracy helps us understand the radical and repressive regimes of American power. The historical novels examined in this chapter are interested in the shadowy origins of the American nation-state, as much as they are with the potentially conflicted present and future of these nation-states.

Keywords:   William Gilmore Simms, James Fenimore Cooper, Eligio Ancona, The Yemassee, The Red Rover: A Tale, The Water Witch; or, The Skimmer of the Seas, Columbus, El Filibustero!, Pirate, Piracy, Hemispheric literature, Historical romance

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