Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, University of South Carolina

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of Texas / Austin
The Aponte Conspiracy in Cuba, 1812

In 1812 a series of slave revolts known collectively as the Aponte Conspiracy swept across the island of Cuba that sought to destroy slavery and end Spanish rule. The revolts exhibited a striking series of alliances among free people of color and slaves, blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles, and the rural and urban populations that I plan to investigate in detail. Two organizations, the free people of color militia and the African cultural and mutual-aid societies known as cabildos de nacion, provided the framework and nodal points for the formation of collective unity among the population of color. My study of the Aponte Conspiracy of 1812 seeks to understand how the social structure of the slaveholding regime, and specifically the free people of color militia and the cabildos, facilitated collective forms of organization. How the intersection of the militia and cabildos provided a nexus around which the conspirators could develop their operations, orchestrate their plans, build racial alliances, develop and articulate a collective consciousness, and transform ideas into militant acts of resistance forms the central part of my research on the Aponte Conspiracy. I will spend nine months doing research in Cuba where I will scrutinize the essential sources on the revolts and the role of the militia and cabildos located in the Archivo Nacional de Cuba, Biblioteca Nacional Jose Marti, and in regional archives throughout the country.