Sunday, October 8, 2017

To the Vast and Beautiful Land

The blog has been on vacation while I conducted research on a new historical topic. It is now being reactivated. I have this month finished a manuscript that is being submitted for publication. The tentative title of the volume is To the Vast and Beautiful Land: Anglo-American Migration into Spanish Louisiana and Texas, 1760s -1820s. This book contains eleven essays I wrote between 1988 and 2015. They appeared over those years in various academic journals. All of them deal in one way or another with the migration of English-speakers into Spanish Louisiana and Texas from the 1760s until the 1820s. The articles in this volume are arranged in an order designed to present a general examination of the topic, with each serving as a case study. They reflect the basic fact trade and commerce tied the lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast to the English-speaking ports of the Atlantic coast during these decades. And, as these mercantile development took place and often because of it, Anglo-Americans moved to the region as residents and secured land from Spanish authorities. Commerce and land acquisition went hand-in-hand as dual motivations which caused the migration of many of these individuals to Spanish Louisiana and Texas. These settlers came first to the lower Mississippi Valley from the English-speaking parts of the Atlantic seaboard as early as the 1760s, with the last stages of this demographic movement arriving in Texas during the 1820s. The migration represents historically a continuum across two generations of Anglo-Americans settlers. Cities such as New Orleans evolved into important entrepot whose commerce fueled this migration. These essays represent my long-standing interest in the economic development of these areas during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries which occurred because of Anglo-American migration.