Moldy Church Records in Latin America Document the Lives of Millions of Slaves

Now, intrepid scholars are saving those parish baptismal records from war, neglect, and rot. By Paula Wasley On Sunday, March 2, 1721, in the San Carlos Cathedral of the Cuban city of Matanzas, Father Francisco Gonsales del Alamo laid hands on a black slave named Francisco, to mark his entry into the Catholic Church. Though[…]

74-Year Cycles of American History

America has had four major crisis turning points, each 74 years apart, from the time of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to today. A century ago, historian Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. argued that history occurs in cycles. His son, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., furthered this theory in his own scholarship. As I reflect on Schlesinger’s work and the history of the[…]

Traveling Artists in 19th-Century Latin America: Visions and Views

Visual registers of Latin America acquired new characteristics at the dawning of the 19th century. Introduction Alongside the pointedly secular practice of the scientific Enlightenment, naturalistic in character, there emerged an artistic current that produced images with a strong subjective quality. This American iconography of the 19th century was the work of traveling artists. In[…]

Mestre Valentim and the Passeio Publico Architecture in Rio de Janeiro

The Passeio Publico represented several groundbreaking achievements. Introduction In the middle of the eighteenth century a series of epidemics ravaged the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The illness was attributed to the unsanitary air caused by human and animal waste in Lake Boqueirão. The viceroy Luis de Vasconcelos e Sousa ordered the lake to be filled[…]