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William David Robinson: Trader, Agent, and Defender of Spanish American Independence, 1799 -1819.

Johanna Von Grafenstein
Published: 15 March 2022

Abstract: The paper proposes a re-reading of the actions and writings of the US merchant William Davis Robinson in the context of the 18th and 19th Centuries ́ travel literature examined in recent decades by certain authors. It is based on the concept “travelers of revolutions” by which we understand individuals who are in a country, region or city temporarily, who see themselves as visitors or external observers, and describe and analyze a given political or social process of transformation with an external glance and write for an external audience. The paper analyzes two texts: A Cursory View of Spanish America published by the author in 1815 and Memoirs of the Mexican Revolution published in 1820, and argues that Robinson’s Memoirs can indeed be understood as travel writing sympathe-tic to the “Mexican revolution”; while the other one is an informed description of the available resources and commercial possibilities with Mexico and the countries of South America, once they had gained their independence, as well as a manifesto proclaiming the United States as leader and guardian of free-dom in this hemisphere, in opposition to European powers, such as Spain and Great Britain.
Keywords: Robinson / writings / external / Memoirs / published / William / Mexican / travel / revolutions / Spanish

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