How does our understanding of globalization and colonial identity formation in the early modern Atlantic world change when we focus on the networks of sailors and merchants who conducted maritime trade, rather than on the larger imperial structures in which they operated? What types of ties did these groups form across assumed class, ethnic, racial, and language barriers? My dissertation will address these questions using the Caribbean island of Curacao as a case study. I will map the interconnected lives and trade patterns of the island's eighteenth-century Sephardic merchants and black seafarers, and trace their interactions in port and along commercial routes throughout the region. My research will build on extensive Dutch scholarship that has documented commodity and capital flows and human migrations to and from Curacao under the Dutch West India Company. I will shift the emphasis from the imperial structure of the Company to the networks of independent merchants and seafarers who conducted trade in its shadow.