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  • No Limits to Their Sway

  • Cartagena's Privateers and the Masterless Caribbean in the Age of Revolutions
  • By: Edgardo Perez Morales
  • Narrated by: Matt Albers
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins

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No Limits to Their Sway

By: Edgardo Perez Morales
Narrated by: Matt Albers
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Publisher's Summary

Following the 1808 French invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, an unprecedented political crisis threw the Spanish Monarchy into turmoil. On the Caribbean coast of modern-day Colombia, the important port town of Cartagena rejected Spanish authority, finally declaring independence in 1811. With new leadership that included free people of color, Cartagena welcomed merchants, revolutionaries, and adventurers from Venezuela, the Antilles, the United States, and Europe. Most importantly, independent Cartagena opened its doors to privateers of color from the French Caribbean. Hired mercenaries of the sea, privateers defended Cartagena's claim to sovereignty, attacking Spanish ships and seizing Spanish property, especially near Cuba, and establishing vibrant maritime connections with Haiti.

Most of Cartagena's privateers were people of color and descendants of slaves. They benefited from the relative freedom and flexibility of life at sea, but also faced kidnapping, enslavement, and brutality. While their manpower proved crucial in the early Anti-Spanish struggles, Afro-Caribbean privateers were also perceived as a threat, suspected of holding questionable loyalties, disorderly tendencies, and too strong a commitment to political and social privileges for people of color. Based on handwritten and printed sources in Spanish, English, and French, this book tells the story of Cartagena's multinational and multicultural seafarers, revealing the Trans-Atlantic and maritime dimensions of South American independence.

The book is published by Vanderbilt University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2018 Vanderbilt University Press (P)2021 Redwood Audiobooks
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"This exciting work adds an important new dimension to the Atlantic 'Age of Revolution.'" (Marcus Rediker)

"A graceful account of the 'masterless' privateers during the Age of Revolutions." (Jane Landers)   

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