ANTICIPATING 1898: WRITINGS OF U.S. EMPIRE ON PUERTO RICO, CUBA, THE PHILIPPINES, AND HAWAI I DISSERTATION by Ivonne Marie García, Ed.M, M.A. Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the

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ANTICIPATING 1898: WRITINGS OF U.S. EMPIRE ON PUERTO RICO, CUBA, THE PHILIPPINES, AND HAWAI I DISSERTATION by Ivonne Marie García, Ed.M, M.A. Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of The Ohio State University 2008 Dissertation Committee: Prof. Chadwick Allen, Advisor Prof. Susan Williams, Co-Director Prof. Frederick Aldama Approved by: Advisor English Graduate Program Copyright by Ivonne Marie García 2008 ABSTRACT This dissertation argues for a re-periodization of 1898 as the moment of U.S. empire by utilizing a transhemispheric methodology that discursively connects the Pacific and the Americas. Arguing that the federal campaign of Indian Removal that federalized the dispossession of American Indian nations should be considered as the actual marker of intra-continental U.S. imperialism, this dissertation takes 1830 as its starting point. Within that historical context, the study examines literary texts by U.S. writers who in the 1830s anticipated the extra-continental colonial visions that would become cultural commonplaces after 1898, when the United States became an imperial nation through its acquisition of colonial possessions in the Pacific and the Spanish Caribbean. The dissertation also examines writers from those regions who proposed their own transcolonial revisions to dominant colonial discourses in the late nineteenth century. Specifically, this dissertation examines the colonial visions articulated by two sets of New England writers who traveled to Puerto Rico and Cuba, respectively. Edward Bliss Emerson and Charles Chauncy Emerson (brothers of Ralph Waldo Emerson) visited Puerto Rico between 1831 and Almost during the same time period, Sophia Amelia Peabody (who would later become Nathaniel Hawthorne s wife), and her sister Mary Tyler Peabody, traveled to and lived in Cuba from 1833 to The colonial ii visions articulated by the Emersons and Peabodys reveal that a decade before Manifest Destiny was articulated publicly as a political ideal, the notion that the United States was fated to expand into an extra-continental empire was expressed more privately in literary and cultural terms. Within the context of the competing imperialisms of the late nineteenth century, including a nascent U.S. empire, this dissertation further shows how writers in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines and Hawai i deployed transcolonial strategies to challenge colonialism in their regions. This study examines texts by the Puerto Rican Ramón Emeterio Betances, the Cuban José Martí, and the Filipino José Rizal to argue that these writers were transcolonial anti-colonialists. This dissertation also juxtaposes the colonial translations of Hawai i, written and disseminated by Mark Twain, with the anti-colonial, or indigenized translations, deployed by deposed Hawaiian Queen Lili uokalani in her autobiography. By deploying distinct transcolonial revisions of dominant representations of their islands and their people, and by representing the United States in their own terms, these writers anticipated later anti-imperialist discourses aimed at U.S. imperialism. Following post-national and postcolonial approaches, but also moving beyond such methods of analysis, my dissertation advocates for a broadening of our critical lens to include texts from different hemispheres, cultures, languages, and nations. This study thus expands and enriches our ability to interpret not only what John Carlos Rowe has described as the genealogies of U.S. empire, but also the interconnected, and simultaneous, genealogies of the national and regional revisions that transcolonially countered empire across the globe. iii A LKO, por todo. A mis padres, por su amor. A Chad y Susan, por creer en mi. To LKO, for all. To my parents, for their love. To Chad and Susan, for believing in me. iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I tell my students that writing is a communal effort, and this dissertation is proof of that fact. The manuscript, which I have affectionately called my Monster, would never have seen the light of day without the advice and support of my husband, family, friends, professors, students, librarians, and nameless others who directly and indirectly helped in the long process of putting my Monster in a Frankenstein sense together. My husband, Lance Oliver, was an unflagging copyeditor, sounding board, cheer leader, task master, and a good shoulder to cry on, or a strong hand to pick me up when I felt too tired or discouraged to continue. He made sure I never lost sight of the prize. My parents, Juan Manuel García-Passalacqua and Ivonne Acosta Lespier, instilled in me a passion for history and literature, an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and a perfectionist streak in my personality. My mother, a historian, pointed me to the Emerson brothers, and was invaluable in locating some of the Betances texts, while my father, a cultural studies professor, recommended that I include José Rizal in my study. My mother also translated into Spanish some of Betances works written originally in French. Both of my parents were invaluable research assistants, and my dad not only constantly flagged important books, but he also was a willing, and enthusiastic reader. My mother also helped copy edit the final version of the dissertation. v I have an eternal debt of gratitude to my dissertation co-directors, Professors Chadwick Allen and Susan Williams, who were careful and demanding readers, and who never ceased to challenge me to produce the very best work. Early on, when I was uncertain as to what my project should be, Professor Allen provided much-needed focus and guidance. His insights were always invaluable, and he recommended important sources, such as Queen Lili uokalani and Mark Twain. As an advisor, Professor Allen was the best, not only because his own scholarship represents the type of groundbreaking work I hope to produce, but also because he always inspired me to strive for excellence, and was unfailingly generous with his time and his advise. I owe my passion for the nineteenth century to Professor Williams, who first introduced me to the texts by the Peabody sisters, and to the intersections of postcolonial and nineteenth-century U.S. literary studies. Professor Williams also represents for me the highest scholarly and collegial standards in our field. She always kept her eyes on the forest when I was lost among the trees, she pointed me to crucial sources, and she modeled for me what it means to be a successful woman professor in our discipline. Professor Williams taught a dissertation seminar at Ohio State that was also instrumental in getting me started and on the right track toward timely completion. Together, this amazing pair made up a veritable Dream Team, being the most committed, hardworking and encouraging codirectors that any dissertating graduate student could wish for. They are both my mentors and embody the type of teacher, scholar and colleague that I strive to be. My good friend and fellow graduate student at Ohio State, Marisa Cull, was a careful reader, who provided insightful comments and asked important questions as we vi continued to work together after Professor Williams seminar in a two-person dissertation workshop. Marisa read and commented on most of this dissertation, and her encouragement and excitement for my project was greatly appreciated. Likewise, my friend and colleague at Kenyon College, Professor Sarah Heidt, read parts of early versions of Chapters 1 and 2, and her on-point critiques helped me hone many of my arguments. My close friends, Kathleen Griffin and Theresa Kulbaga, encouraged me throughout the entire process of bringing my Monster to life. Their friendship, their unwavering support and their belief in me is a gift. I want to thank Professor Frederick Aldama for agreeing to be part of my dissertation committee upon joining the faculty in the Department of English at Ohio State. Professor Debra Moddelmog provided encouragement throughout the process, and Professor Clare Simmons Writing for Publication Seminar helped me improve the Hawai i chapter at its early stages. Professor John Carlos Rowe, whom I met at an American Studies Association Breakfast of Champions in 2006, kindly wrote me a letter of recommendation based on my dissertation prospectus. Accessible and generous, Rowe gave me early and welcome encouragement to believe that my project was both worthwhile and significant. Professor Félix Ojeda Reyes, the expert on Betances in Puerto Rico, helped me locate (through my mother) a series of important documents and texts. Ojeda Reyes will publish a three-part collection of all of Betances works, which I hope contributes to recover the least known of Betances works from near critical oblivion. vii At Kenyon College, Marilyn Yarbrough Search Committee Co-Chairs, Professor Ted Mason and Associate Provost Ric Sheffield, were excellent guardians of my sanity, and instrumental in helping me to keep on track for timely completion. Professor Mason, the chair of the Department of English, suggested important sources, as did my eighteenth-century friends and colleagues, Professors Jim Carson and Deborah Laycock, who also shared their expertise on the gothic. Professor Janet McAdams read Chapter 4, and was unfailingly encouraging of my work. Kenyon Faculty Seminar members provided excellent comments on an article-length version of parts of Chapter 2. Audiences at Kenyon College and at the Modern Language Association, to whom I presented sections of Chapters 4, and 1 and 2, respectively, provided helpful and stimulating comments in 2006 that contributed to how I framed later research and writing. The librarians at Harvard University s Houghton Library, the New York Public Library s Berg Collection, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Concord Public Library provided invaluable help and guidance in the archival work that helped make this dissertation possible. The libraries at Ohio State and at Kenyon College were key resources in my obtaining any and all the resources I needed to assemble my Monster. The Ohio State Department of English s Corbett Dissertation Research Award, the Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship, and the Kenyon College Faculty Development Grant funded travel for archival research. Last but never least, the viii Kenyon College Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation Teaching Fellowship made possible both the completion of my doctoral degree. Also at Kenyon, incoming first-year student Marenka Thompson-Odlum was a great informal research assistant during summer She helped me with the analysis of the visual rhetoric in several cartoons and portraits of Queen Lili uokalani and King Kalākaua. A number of my students, including Janae Peters, Prabhat Gautam, Ryan Bash, and Mark Luskus, were continually supportive and encouraging. Justin Pepperney, a fellow Ph.D. student working at the Ohio State Writing Center, helped me hone the writing and the close reading of early versions of the Hawai i chapter. When I started the program at Ohio State in 2002, I had to take the required and dreaded English 700: Introduction to Graduate Study, which for me (as for most of my class mates) was an intimidating survey introduction to literary theory. To my great relief, I finished the class successfully, and in a self-reflective essay I told Professor Marlene Longenecker that I hoped someday I would think great thoughts. I cannot claim that this dissertation achieves that goal, but my work here certainly reflects that ambition and effort. The theoretical and writing work herein is the product of this great community that has supported and encouraged me as I pursued this seemingly never-ending Ph.D. for the past five years. While all errors and shortcomings of the work are solely my own, any and all successes in the work are theirs, too. Mil gracias! ix VITA A.B., History and Literature of Latin America, magna cum laude, Harvard University Ed.M., Administration, Planning and Social Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education M.A., English, Ohio State University Graduate Teaching and Administrative Associate, Ohio State University Visiting Instructor of English, Kenyon College Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation Teaching Fellow, Kenyon College PUBLICATIONS Review of Ambassadors of Culture: The Transamerican Origins of Latino Writing by Kirsten Silva Gruesz. American Periodicals 15.1 (2005): FIELDS OF STUDY Major Field: English Area of Emphasis: Nineteenth-century U.S. Literature Other fields: Postcolonial Literature, Transhemispheric Literature, Multi-Ethnic U.S. Literature x TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abstract...ii Dedication...iv Acknowledgments...v Vita...x List of Figures...xii Introduction: Revising Part 1: Colonial Visions...23 Chapter 1: Colonial Letters from Puerto Rico...37 Chapter 2: Colonial Poetics and the Colonial Gothic in Cuba...84 Part 2: Transcolonial Revisions Chapter 3: Transcolonial Calibans: Betances, Martí and Rizal Chapter 4: Translating Hawai i: Queen Lili uokalani s Counterpoint to Mark Twain Conclusion: Beyond Appendix A: Portrait of Queen Victoria, Bibliography xi LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 4.1 Which will Win?, Portrait of King Kalākaua We Draw the Line at This, Portrait of Queen Lili uokalani A.1 Portrait of Queen Victoria, xii INTRODUCTION REVISING 1898 In December 1983, a young Puerto Rican writer, Luis López Nieves, published a short story, Seva: Historia de la primera invasión norteamericana de la isla de Puerto Rico ocurrida en mayo 1898 ( Seva: History of the First U.S. Invasion of the Island of Puerto Rico in May 1898 ). 1 The short story, which first appeared in a weekly proindependence newspaper, rewrites and re-imagines the 1898 U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico, recasting it in anti-colonial terms. Unlike typical historical and literary accounts, which describe how Puerto Ricans welcomed and aided their U.S. invaders, López Nieves crafts an epic narrative of resistance. He does this formally by structuring the short story as a pastiche of different extra-literary genres letters, newspaper reports, diaries, historical documents and photographs. The story unveils as if it were the result of an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a Puerto Rican history professor, Víctor Cabañas. His research has revealed that the first town the U.S. invaded was not Guánica in the southwest of the island on July 25, 1898, as historical records show. Instead, Cabañas has found that the United States invaded first in May through a 1 Luis López Nieves, Seva: Historia de la primera invasión norteamericana de la isla de Puerto Rico ocurrida en mayo (San Juan: Editorial Cordillera, 1995). 1 northeastern town known as Seva, which challenged the U.S. invasion through armed resistance. The Seva inhabitants were therefore massacred, the town destroyed, literally wiped off the map, and eventually buried under a U.S. Navy base. A new town, under the similar-sounding name of Ceiba, was established near the site where Seva used to exist, so that the U.S. government could claim that anyone who remembered Seva was mistaken. At its author s request, Seva was first published without being labeled as fictional, and it caused such an uproar among Puerto Rico intellectuals, politicians, historians and analysts that the events surrounding its publication have been labeled the Seva incident. 2 Initially, the story was received as factual until the newspaper printed a clarification a week later that Seva was wholly fictional. During the week when it was widely believed to represent an instance of recovered history, Seva became a rallying cry for pro-independence supporters, and the slogan Seva Lives! began to appear as graffiti all over Puerto Rico. 3 The governor was notified and reportedly mulled over what to do about the story s revelations, TV and radio reporters were assigned to travel to Washington, D.C., to find the documents referred to by the disappeared professor, and there was a general outcry demanding a thorough investigation into the disappearance of Cabañas. All this must have interested López Nieves to a great degree, especially since legend has it that one politician, who demanded that the Puerto Rican government request an immediate investigation into the events at Seva, assaulted the author after he admitted 2 Josean Ramos, Crónica: Seva, Un sueño que hizo historia, in Seva: Historia de la primera invasión norteamericana de la isla de Puerto Rico ocurrida en mayo, by Luis López Nieves (San Juan: Editorial Cordillera, 1995), Ibid, 67. 2 that the story was fictional. In 1995, when Seva was reprinted, the new edition included not only the short story, but also the reports and analysis of the lore surrounding the story s publication. When I read Seva, I had just graduated from Harvard with an interdisciplinary degree in history and literature, and had begun my graduate studies there in education. I was struck by and interested in the intensity of the reactions that the story elicited, which invested it with its now-legendary status. What, I wondered, led so many people to so readily want to believe López Nieves rewriting of the history-making events of 1898? What was there in the power of literature, from a then-rather obscure writer, that shook the depths of the national unconscious in Puerto Rico? 4 Why was there such seeming avidity for a counter-history that contradicted the official story about the 1898 invasion? In explaining his motivations, López Nieves said that Seva, described by critics as a pseudo-literary lie, was the result of a profound dissatisfaction with the history of Puerto Rico. 5 He said the short story first occurred to him during his doctoral studies in New York in the late 1970s when he decided that because there was no anti-colonial epic known in Puerto Rico, he only had one thing left to do: invent it. 6 López Nieves determined that he would rewrite the history of Puerto Rico as it should have been, as it could have been, or as [he] would like it to be. Because he felt that Seva was an apotheosis of a Puerto Rican-ness that is alive and indocile, López Nieves asked that the 4 See Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 2000). 5 Ramos, Crónica, 61, 71 6 Ibid, 84 3 story be published without the label of fiction, and the newspaper granted his request. That is how Seva, the short story, became history. While back in the 1980s I lacked the theoretical grounding to articulate the significance of Seva, or of the relationship between literature and history, the events surrounding the short story s publication awoke a life-long interest in me. I sought to understand how narratives, both historical and literary, create, challenge and promote the range of subjectivities found in colonial contexts. I also became fascinated with the year 1898 as a temporal and ideological marker for both imperial and colonial identities in national and individual terms. More than a decade after leaving Harvard, during the academic year, I taught Puerto Rican history to seniors at an English-speaking high school in Puerto Rico. What would happen, I asked myself, if instead of teaching the history of Puerto Rico from the traditional point of view, I highlighted the events of anti-colonial resistance in the island s long history? Would the Puerto Rican students in the class get a different sense of their identity as Puerto Ricans, and of where they came from as a nation? With the help of my historian mother, Ivonne Acosta, and of my father, Juan M. García- Passalacqua, who is a cultural studies professor, I designed a syllabus that had no textbook but used primary sources and literature (including Seva ) to guide discussion. The students and I focused our study on how the indigenous Taínos led a war to the death
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