- Hardcover: 328 pages
- Publisher: University Alabama Press; 1 edition (February 5, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0817314873
- ISBN-13: 978-0817314873
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,172,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bonapartists in the Borderlands: French Exiles and Refugees on the Gulf Coast, 1815-1835 1st Edition
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“This meticulously researched and well-written volume gives additional dimension and historical understanding to the complexities of the antebellum South.”
—The Journal of Southern History
[. . .} Blaufarb’s book skillfully distinguishes groups of French migrants made visi ble by conventions post-Reconstructino mythmaking from other, more invisible groups of francophone immigrants who resided in the United States during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The range of interpretive horizons opened by this ambitiously conceived monograph is stunning.”
—American Historical Review
“A well researched and intriguing book. . . . Professor Blaufarb focuses the reader’s attention to the flight of Bonapartists from France and combines the development of the Vine and Olive Colony with the struggle between Spain and the United States for control of the borderlands of the Southeast and the revolt of Spain’s colonies in Latin and South America.”-- Joe B. Wilkins, University of West Alabama
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After a brief historiography of his subject, Blaufarb presents a series of biographical sketches that treat important French exiles in America. Many of these are fascinating, although, because of their numbers, the individuals are virtually impossible to sort out. The title "Bonapartists in the Borderlands" here proves ironic because Blaufarb correctly argues that the Vine and Olive colony, a short-lived French settlement in western Alabama, was predominately composed of refugees from Saint-Domingue (Haiti) rather than from political opponents of the Bourbon regime in Paris.
The second chapter treats the attempt to gain congressional approval for the unorthodox land grant to the Society for the Cultivation of the Vine and Olive and the strategic reasons why Congress approved the venture. Next follows an overview of adventurism and madcap plotting by former Napoleonic soldiers in the New World, leading to a detailed description of the Champ d'Asile ("Field of Asylum"), one of the era's notable filibustering fiascos. The final two chapters return to the Vine and Olive colony and conclude with the disparate ends that befell the grantees after its collapse.
The stories told here were unfamiliar to me, and I found this book well worth perusing. Blaufarb has done an excellent job with his complex research, carried on in twenty repositories in five countries, and he also writes better than most academics. Nevertheless, it is doubtful that many readers will take this book whole. Especially in the prosopography sections, I often wished that less could have been more.