This project involves travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to study the nineteenth-century book, newspaper, and · manuscript collections of several libraries and archives. Research will be centered on a group of Haitian writers that emerged in 1836 and was heavily influenced by the aesthetic and political theories of French Romanticism. The poems, essays, and histories written by this group of intellectuals will be compared to similar literary and historical texts written by French-speaking Louisianans. This project will examine the way that these new-world writers, using borrowed ideas and imitated styles, wrote their own unique history and literature and constructed their own Creole identity. It will also explore how the rituals of French esoteric thought and institutions--such as mesmerism, spiritualism, and Freemasonry--might have influenced these writers and poets as they created a Creole history and literature.