Essays in Amazonian History

A Rich Ream of Nature Made Poor: Transfrontier Colonialism in Amazonia, 1640-1760 (book in progress)

Chap. 1: A Rich Realm of Nature Disturbed (pdf 221 KB)

Chap 2: The State of Maranhao and Grao Para (pdf 262 KB)

Chap. 3: First Bouts, and a Glimmer of Hope (pdf 162 KB)

Chap. 4: Rich Realm Reconnoitered (pdf 310 KB)

Chap. 5: Patterns of Penetration: Slavers and Missionarieson lake Sarace and the Lower Rio Negro (pdf 228 KB)

Chap 6: Samuel Fritz, S.J. and the founding of the Portuguese Carmelite Mission to the Solimo Es (pdf 287 KB)

Chap 7: Conquest of the Solimoes (pdf 162 KB)

Chap 8: Destruction of the Manaos (pdf 247 KB)

Chap 9: The Indian Slave Trade of Para in Central Amazonia (pdf 332 KB)


“Domestic” Indian Society in Pará, 1650-1750: A Prospectus

Outlines an approach to early colonial history of “slave” & “free” Indian populations of Portuguese Pará, at mouth of Amazon, ancestors to caboclo peasantry of 19th c. Paper to annual meeting, American Historical Association in 1987.

Epidemic Disease and the Poverty of Colonial America: Three Essays in the Infrahistory of the American Tropics(Book in Progress)

Francisca: Indian Slave

Manao woman sold into domestic slavery in Pará, who sought freedom through the courts there in 1720s. Pub. in David G. Sweet & Gary B. Nash (eds.) Struggle & Survival in Colonial America (Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1981), pp. 274-291, & its expanded Spanish-language version: Lucha por la supervivencia en la América Colonial (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1987), pp. 316-28.

Indian Slavery in the Americas

Lecture to Columbus Quincentennial gathering at Sonoma State University, 1992.

Jesuit Missionary Writers & the Recalcitrant “Other”

Critical examination of Spanish & Portuguese missionary discourse on Amazonian Indians in 17th & early 18th c. Pub. in Spanish as “Misioneros jesuitas e indios ‘recalcitrantes’ en la Amazonia colonial,” in Miguel León-Portilla, Manuel Gutérrez Estévez, Gary H. Gossen y J. Jorge Klor de Alva (eds.) De palabra y obra en el Nuevo Mundo, vol. 1: Imágenes interétnicas (Madrid, Siglo XXI, 1992), pp. 265-92.

Juan de Silva y Fernando Rojas: Baqueanos Africanos de la Selva Americana

Escaped African slaves from Grão Pará who made their way up the Amazon and obtained freedom by entering into Spanish service in the 1780s. Pub. in David G. Sweet & Gary B. Nash (eds.) Lucha por la supervivencia en la América colonial (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1987), pp. 234-46.

Native Resistance in 18th-Century Amazonia The “Abominable Muras” in War and Peace

Explores resistance offered by Mura people of lower Madeira valley (southeast of modern Manaus) to Portugese colonial rule beginning in 1750s, & its continuance by different means during & after their “pacification” in 1780s. Pub. in Radical History Review 53 (spr 1992):49-80.

The Amazon Valley & Human Kind: A Meditation on Rapacity

Lecture given at San Jose State University, 19??

Transfrontier Colonialism

“Inaugural Lecture” given on the occassion of the author’s promotion to full professor in the University of California, Santa Cruz (1994). Develops a conceptual framework for thinking about early colonialism in territories beyond the limits of direct colonial rule by examining the individual life stories of three individuals caught up in the holocaust wrought by colonialism in late 17th-century Amazonia.