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Miranda in the Balkans: decadent despotism, consulship, and the making of a south-eastern revolutionary in the Age of Revolution

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2020

Simeon Simeonov*
Department of History, Brown University, Box N, 79 Brown Street, Providence, RI 02912, USA


In 1786 Francisco de Miranda, the revolutionary ‘Precursor’ of Latin American independence, toured the Ottoman empire. Focused on the Atlantic dimensions of Miranda’s activism, historians have marginalized his experiences in the Balkans. This article argues that Miranda’s Balkan explorations represented a major inflection point in his revolutionary career. By expanding his experience with consular networks, the Balkans allowed him to develop new revolutionary strategies for channelling his discontent with imperial rule. Rather than resorting to print, consulates enabled Miranda to build secret coalitions in his increasingly public confrontation with what he called imperial ‘despotism’, a type of imperial rule featuring burdensome impositions, limitations on freedom of movement, and ethnic or religious discrimination. By excavating the first Latin American revolutionary encounter with the Balkans and stressing the common forms of anti-imperial mobilization, the article charts a more expansive and inclusive ‘south-eastern’ framework for rethinking the global Age of Revolution.

© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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I would like to thank co-editor Heidi Tworek and the three anonymous peer reviewers of the Journal of Global History, Professors Seth Rockman and Holly Case, and Peter Jakob Olsen-Harbich for providing generous and constructive feedback on this article.


1 Francisco de Miranda, Archivo del general Miranda, vol. 2: Viajes. Diarios, 1785–1787 (Caracas: Editorial Suramérica, 1929), 108–9.

2 For authoritative biographies of Miranda that deploy an Atlantic focus, see William Spence Robertson, The Life of Miranda, 2 vols. (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1969); Karen Racine, Francisco de Miranda: A Transatlantic Life in the Age of Revolution (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 2003). See also Jeremy Adelman, ‘An Age of Imperial Revolutions’, American Historical Review 113, no. 2 (2008): 319–40.

3 On Creole revolutionaries, see Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, rev. edn (London: Verso, 1983); Joshua Simon, The Ideology of Creole Revolution: Imperialism and Independence in American and Latin American Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

4 Examples include Robert Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760–1800, vol. 1 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959); Peter Onuf and Eliga Gould, eds., Empire and Nation: The American Revolution in the Atlantic World (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005); Wim Klooster, Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History, 2nd edn (New York: New York University Press, 2018); Jonathan Israel, The Expanding Blaze: How the American Revolution Ignited the World, 1775–1848 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017), esp. 495–511; Janet Polasky, Revolutions without Borders: The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015); David Armitage and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, eds., The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760–1840 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010); Jorge Luengo and Pol Dalmau, ‘Writing Spanish History in the Global Age: Connections and Entanglements in the Nineteenth Century’, Journal of Global History 13, no. 3 (2018): 425–45.

5 On despotism in Western constructions of ‘the Orient’, see Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994); Božidar Jezernik, Wild Europe: The Balkans in the Gaze of Western Travelers (London: Saqi, 2004).

6 See Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 143–50.

7 On Creole revolutionaries, see Anderson, Imagined Communities, 49–68; Simon, Ideology of Creole Revolution; Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 217–365; Jane G. Landers, Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).

8 See Jürgen Habermas, Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit (Darmstadt: Luchterhand, 1962). For an integrated discussion of print alongside other modes of communication in the Age of Revolution see Robert Darnton, ‘An Early Information Society: News and the Media in Eighteenth-Century Paris’, American Historical Review 105, no. 1 (2000): 1–35.

9 On consuls’ political prominence in the Ottoman empire, see Holly Case, ‘The Quiet Revolution’, in The Balkans as Europe, ed. Timothy Snyder and Katherine Younger (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2018), 110–38; Ulrike Freitag, ‘Helpless Representatives of the Great Powers? Western Consuls in Jeddah, 1830s to 1914’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40, no. 3 (2012): 357–81.

10 On consulship and empire, see Case, ‘Quiet Revolution’; Nancy Shoemaker, ‘The Extraterritorial United States to 1860’, Diplomatic History 42, no. 1 (2018): 36–54; Jörg Ulbert and Gérard Le Bouëdec, eds., La fonction consulaire à l’époque modern. L’affirmation d’une institution économique et politique (1500–1800) (Rennes: Presses universitaires, 2006); Dzavid Dzanic, ‘The Civilizing Sea: The Ideological Origins of the French Mediterranean Empire, 1789–1870’ (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 2016); Ronald Angelo Johnson, Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint Louverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2014).

11 My critical conceptualization of trans-Atlantic history is in conversation with David Armitage, ‘Three Concepts of Atlantic History’, in The British Atlantic World, 1500–1800, ed. David Armitage and Michael J. Braddick (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 11–27; Peter A. Coclanis, ‘Atlantic World or Atlantic/World?’, William and Mary Quarterly 63, no. 4 (2006): 725–42; Michael Werner and Bénédicte Zimmermann ‘Beyond Comparison: Histoire Croisée and the Challenge of Reflexivity’, History and Theory 45, no. 1 (2006): 30–50; Eliga H. Gould, ‘Entangled Histories, Entangled Worlds: The English-Speaking Atlantic as a Spanish Periphery’, American Historical Review 112, no. 3 (2007): 764–86. On consuls and revolutions in south-eastern Europe, see Lucien Frary, Russia and the Making of Modern Greek Identity, 1821–1844 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); Lucien Frary, ‘Russian Consuls and the Greek War of Independence’, Mediterranean Historical Review 28, no. 1 (2013): 46–65; Case, ‘Quiet Revolution’. On consuls and Latin American revolutions, see Ferry de Goey, Consuls and the Institutions of Global Capitalism, 1783–1914 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014), 85–91; Simeon Andonov Simeonov, ‘The Consular Caribbean: Consuls as Agents of Colonialism and Decolonisation in the Revolutionary Caribbean (1795–1848)’, in Memory, Migration and (De)Colonisation in the Caribbean and Beyond, ed. Jack Webb, Roderick Westmaas, Maria del Pilar Kaladeen, and William Tantam (London: University of London Press, 2020), 117–32. For a comparison of the geopolitics of decadent empires, east and west, see Rafe Blaufarb, ‘The Western Question: The Geopolitics of Latin American Independence’, American Historical Review 112, no. 3 (2007): 742–63.

12 On the Age of Revolution as a global phenomenon, see Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution, 1789–1848 (New York: Vintage Books, 1962); Armitage and Subramanyam, eds., Age of Revolutions. My south-eastern perspective is indebted to Maria Todorova, Imagining the Balkans (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), and Snyder and Younger, eds., Balkans as Europe. For a similar emphasis on rethinking global history from the Euro/Atlantic ‘periphery’, see Torsten dos Santos Arnold, ‘Central Europe and the Portuguese, Spanish and French Atlantic, Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries’, European Review 26, no. 3 (2018): 421–9. On revolution ‘from the periphery to the centre’, see Franco Venturi, The End of the Old Regime in Europe, 1776–1789, vol. 1, trans. R. Burr Litchfield (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).

13 See Jeremy D. Popkin, You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 9, 309–26; Frary, Russia and the Making of Modern Greek Identity.

14 See Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 58–64.

15 Francisco de Miranda, Archivo del general Miranda, vol. 1: Viajes. Diarios, 1750–1785 (Caracas: Editorial Suramérica, 1929), 223.

16 After the French Bourbons ascended to the Spanish throne in the early eighteenth century, the two monarchies and their diplomatic and consular services cooperated closely. The Franco-Spanish Treaty of Aranjuez (1779) and these countries’ joint participation in the US Revolutionary War marked a high point in their close relationship. For more on these states’ diplomatic relations with the early American republic, see Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Diplomacy of the American Revolution (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1957), 215–56.

17 Miranda, Archivo, 1:226. On Barbé-Marbois’s poor reputation, see G. S. Rowe and Alexander W. Knott, ‘The Longchamps Affair (1784–86), the Law of Nations, and the Shaping of Early American Foreign Policy’, Diplomatic History 10, no. 3 (1986): 199–220; Bemis, Diplomacy of the American Revolution, 220.

18 François de Barbé-Marbois, History of Louisiana (Philadelphia: Carey and Lea, 1830), 149–50.

19 Ibid.

20 Miranda, Archivo, 1:226, 238–9. See also William S. Robertson, ‘Francisco de Miranda and the Revolutionizing of Spanish America’, Annual Report of the American Historical Association 1 (1907): 189–539, esp. 248–52.

21 See Peter P. Hill, ‘An Expedition to Liberate Venezuela Sails from New York, 1806’, Historian 78, no. 4 (2016): 671–89; Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 72–7; Miranda, Archivo, 1:353.

22 According to Guía de forasteros (Madrid: Imprenta Nacional, 1792), Spain had close to seventy consulates and vice-consulates across the Apennine peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica.

23 Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 79–80. See Humberto R. Núñez Faraco, ‘Between Political Emancipation and Creole Hegemony: Viscardo’s Letter to the Spanish Americans (c. 1791)’, History of European Ideas 44, no. 1 (2018): 49–59.

24 Miranda, Archivo, 2:12, 107, mentions reading Pierre-Augustin Guys, Voyage littéraire de la Grèce, ou Lettres sur les grecs, anciens et modernes, avec un parallèle de leurs mœurs (Paris: Veuve Duchesne, 1783), and François de Tott, Mémoires du Baron de Tott sur les Turcs et les Tartares, 2 vols. (Amsterdam, 1784). The town of Trani, several miles to the north of Barletta, was the birthplace of ‘Western’ maritime law. See Paul Oldfield, City and Community in Norman Italy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 247; Jean-Marie Pardessus, Collection de lois maritimes, vol. 5 (Paris: Treuttel et Würtz, 1839), 215–53.

25 Miranda, Archivo, 2:107.

26 Ibid., 1:223.

27 Ibid., 2:113.

28 On the history of Ragusan consulship, see Harriet Bjelovučić, The Ragusan Republic: Victim of Napoleon and Its Own Conservatism (Leiden: Brill, 1970), 67, 70; Ilija Mitić, Konzulati i konzularna sluzba starog Dubrovnika (Consulates and Consular Service of Old Dubrovnik) (Dubrovnik: Historijski institut Jugoslavenske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti, 1973); Gordana Venier, ‘Konzuli i konzularna služba Dubronika (komune) i Dubrovačke Republike u balkanskom zaleđu (XII.–XV. st.)’ (‘Consuls and Consular Service of Dubrovnik (Commune) and the Republic of Dubrovnik in the Balkan Hinterland (12th–15th Centuries)’), Zagrebačka Pravna Revija (Zagreb Legal Review) 4, no. 3 (2015): 275–306.

29 See Case, ‘Quiet Revolution’; Thomas W. Gallant, Modern Greece: From the War of Independence to the Present (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), 19.

30 On Russian consuls in Ragusa, see Bjelovučić, Ragusan Republic, 78–84. On the role of Russian consuls in the Greek War of Independence, see Frary, Russia and the Making of Modern Greek Identity.

31 Frary, Russia and the Making of Modern Greek Identity, 93–166.

32 On the Romanian principalities, see William Wilkinson, An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (London: Longman, 1820), 180–4; on Bulgaria, see Dimitǎr Dišev, ‘Bi͡ala kost, cherna kost: bŭlgarinŭt Naĭden Gerov – ruskii͡at konsul’ (‘White Bone, Black Bone: Bulgarian Naiden Gerov – the Russian Consul’), Plamŭk (Flame) 59, no. 1 (2016): 163–78; on Greece, see Gallant, Modern Greece, 21–3; on Serbia, see Case, ‘Quiet Revolution’, 110–13.

33 On the long legacy of these encounters, see Benjamin Arbel, ‘The Ionian Islands and Venice’s Trading System during the Sixteenth Century’, Proceedings of the Sixth Pan-Ionian Conference, vol. 1 (Athens: Kentro Meleton Ioniou, 2001), 147–60.

34 Miranda, Archivo, 2:112. On Spanish American anti-Semitism, see Mordechai Arbell, The Jewish Nation of the Caribbean: The Spanish–Portuguese Jewish Settlements in the Caribbean and the Guianas (Jerusalem: Gefen, 2002), 159. In early modern Ragusa, Jews had come to enjoy a privilege of bearing titles, such as that of consul, previously exclusively held by Christians. See Daniel Jütte, ‘The Jewish Consuls in the Mediterranean and the Holy Roman Empire during the Early Modern Period: A Study in Economic and Diplomatic Networks (1500–1800)’, in Cosmopolitan Networks in Commerce and Society 1660–1914, ed. Andreas Gestrich and Margrit Schulte Beerbühl (London: German Historical Institute, 2011), 154.

35 Barbé-Marbois’s reference (History of Louisiana, 149–50) to Miranda’s advocacy of immigration to Spanish America suggests the latter’s initially xenophilic attitudes. Contrast this remark with Miranda’s language throughout his Balkan trips or with the tone of Juan Pablo Viscardo y Guzmán’s Letter to the Spanish Americans, which Miranda translated, published, and disseminated during his 1806 expedition to Venezuela (published in English as Letter to the Spanish Americans, 2nd edn (London: Longman et al., 1810)). Viscardo y Guzmán’s letter castigated the despotism of Spanish restrictions on travel and commerce, as well as the tendency of Spanish policies to privilege foreigners at the expense of local populations.

36 Perhaps one of the best indicators of this was his use of the services of a Spanish vice-consul in London in 1785. See Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 69–73.

37 Miranda, Archivo, 2:110.

38 Ibid., 2:113–14.

39 On Miranda’s enduring secularism, see Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 9, 113, 232.

40 Miranda, Archivo, 2:121–2.

41 See Miranda’s diary entries for 16 and 17 May 1786 in Miranda, Archivo, vol. 2.

42 See also Christian Windler, ‘Pluralité des rôles des consuls et production de l’information’, in Les consuls en Méditerranée. Agents d’information, ed. Silvia Marzagalli (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2015), 345–52.

43 On the role of religion in this inter-imperial rivalry, see Frary, Russia and the Making of Modern Greek Identity.

44 See Miranda’s diary entry for 17 June 1786 in Miranda, Archivo, vol. 2. Case, ‘Quiet Revolution’, 114, observes that ‘much of the history of the young nation-states in southeastern Europe for the nineteenth century was either written by consuls or based on consular reports’.

45 Traian Stoianovich, ‘The Conquering Balkan Orthodox Merchant’, Journal of Economic History 20, no. 2 (1960): 234–313, esp. 296.

46 See Robertson, ‘Francisco de Miranda and the Revolutionizing of Spanish America’, 272–4.

47 For more on the subject see Todorova, Imagining the Balkans, esp. 76–85.

48 Miranda, Archivo, 2:138.

49 Ibid., 2:186.

50 This distancing, as suggested by the examples cited in notes 36 and 42, was multifaceted.

51 Miranda, Archivo, 2:186. On consuls and dragomans in the Ottoman empire, see Case, ‘Quiet Revolution’, 116.

52 Case, ‘Quiet Revolution’, 116–18.

53 See Miranda, Archivo, 2:v, 186, 195, 199, 200–5.

54 Examples include ibid., 2:210 (forced relocation of more than 330,000 Crimean Tatars), 216 (forced relocation of 65,000 Greek and Armenian families), 323 (prohibition on using imperial roads), 359 (conversation with an Orthodox bishop about ‘the Despotism of the Country’). Overall, Miranda’s experiences in Novorossiya mirrored his impression of the Balkans as a peripheral region subjected to the worst excesses of imperial despotism. It is important to note that he derived much of his political information about this region from the Austrian and Polish consuls in Kherson.

55 Ibid., 2:200, 202, 203, 206, 211. See also Miguel Castillo Didier, ‘Eugenio Vúlgaris y la ilustración griega’ (Ph.D. diss., Universidad de Chile, 2019), 186–7, 207, 210.

56 Miranda, Archivo, 2:200, 206.

57 Joseph O. Baylen and Dorothy Woodward, ‘Francisco de Miranda in Russia’, Americas 6, no. 4 (1950): 431–49; Russell H. Bartley, Imperial Russia and the Struggle for Latin American Independence, 1808–1828 (Austin: Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas, 1978), 21–3.

58 Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 97–104.

59 Miranda, Archivo, 2:162.

60 Ibid.; Hill, ‘Expedition to Liberate Venezuela’; Robertson, ‘Francisco de Miranda and the Revolutionizing of Spanish America’, 366. For a similar reading of revolutionary naming practices, see Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (New York: Beacon Press, 1995). As an avid reader of the classics, Miranda was familiar with the story of Leander of Abydos, who managed to persuade Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite living on the opposite (European) side of the Hellespont, to have a love affair with him. To guide Leander’s nocturnal crossings of the strait, Hero lit a lamp on top of a tower. One fateful night, the winds blew out Hero’s light and tossed Leander in the sea until he drowned. Upon seeing his body, Hero threw herself over the edge of the tower to her death. Miranda was so taken by this myth that he later named his first-born son after the male protagonist.

61 On the importance of political mobilization in Patras and Corinth to the Greek war of independence, see David Brewer, The Greek War of Independence: The Struggle for Freedom from Ottoman Oppression and the Birth of the Modern Greek Nation (New York: Overlook Press, 2001), 1–7, 70–8.

62 See Habermas, Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit. A particularly good example of this Habermasian approach is found in Adelman, ‘Age of Imperial Revolutions’, 319–20, who introduces Miranda’s 1806 Venezuelan expedition with the Creole’s use of Viscardo y Guzmán’s Letter to the Spanish Americans, failing to discuss the pamphlet’s diplomatic and consular provenance.

63 More recently, Dišev, ‘Bi͡ala kost, cherna kost’, has used the history of Naiden Gerov, a mid-nineteenth-century Bulgarian revolutionary, to illustrate the intricate power play involved in being a native consul in the Ottoman Balkans and deploying imperial rivalries for the purpose of national liberation. In the wake of the Crimean War (1853–56), Gerov, a Bulgarian native who completed his education in the Russian empire, received the appointment of Russian vice-consul in Plovdiv. Dišev writes: ‘Gerov’s mother, upon his assumption of the office exuded maternal pride, telling him that “he is now the most notable Bulgarian”, but his heart would not let him tell her that “I am going to be the most ordinary clerk at the Russian ministry of foreign affairs”.’ Contrasting Gerov’s consular work with that of other prominent revolutionaries, Dišev reconstructs Gerov’s awareness of the international stakes of anti-imperial struggle: ‘What nation in Europe has liberated itself without foreign aid? Italians used French help in driving out Austria.’ Serbians, Greeks, and Romanians likewise became independent during the Russo-Turkish wars. ‘Contemplating the situation from this perspective’, Dišev continues, ‘Gerov had reached the conclusion that Bulgarian freedom could only come from abroad.’ Gerov’s correspondence is indicative of his careful use of secrets and his continuous efforts to mediate between Balkan Christians and Ottoman authorities. See Naiden Gerov to Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saint Petersburg, March 1856, F/22/1/528, and Gerov to E. P. Kovalevski, Plovdiv, 16 January 1857, F/22/5/132–5, Bulgarian National Library Archives, Sofia.

64 See Miranda to Viscount Castlereagh, London, 10 January 1808, in Francisco de Miranda, Archivo del general Miranda, vol. 21: Negociaciones (Caracas: Editorial Suramérica, 1950), 18–27. Miranda wrote: ‘The Emancipation of South America has been a subject first proposed by me, and received by the English Ministers, as far back as the year 1790, under the Promise of granting them Independence, on the same conditions that France and Spain stipulated with the English Colonies in North America.’ In the same letter, he also denounced ‘the exaggerated doctrines propagated at that Period by the anarchical party in France’. He was referring to a 1792 overture by the French Girondins, who had asked Miranda to replace his arch-enemy Barbé-Marbois as governor of Saint-Domingue in the hope of ‘mak[ing] a revolution in Spain itself and in Spanish America’. Influenced by rumours of Miranda’s alleged conspiracy to overthrow Spanish American rule, a leading French official attached high aspirations to his revolutionary activism, writing: ‘The success of that last revolution, depends on one man; you know him, you esteem him, you love him – it is Miranda’ (Jean-Pierre Brissot to Dumouriez, Paris, 28 November 1792, in Francisco de Miranda, Archivo del general Miranda, vol. 13: Revolución francesa (Caracas: Editorial Suramérica, 1932), 25). The fact that Miranda deliberately distanced himself from both revolutionary projects at a particularly auspicious time, when he stood to gain from renewed British support of his plans, indicates that his negotiation of revolution was much more intricate and elusive than current historiography suggests.

65 On consulates as surveillance agencies, see Windler, ‘Pluralité des rôles’, 345–52.

66 Consuls offer a particularly interesting example of what Joshua Simon has aptly called ‘anti-imperial imperialism’, a concept that emphasizes the profound imperial legacies of emancipatory struggles in the Americas (Simon, Ideology of Creole Revolution, 14–15, 30–47; see also Simeonov, ‘Consular Caribbean’). These legacies were even more palpable in south-eastern Europe, where a Roman imperial past manifested itself in monumental ruins, ideological claims to imperial heritage, and political mobilizations of shared memories of empire.

67 Blaufarb, ‘Western Question’.

68 Baylen and Woodward, ‘Miranda in Russia’; Robertson, Life of Miranda, 90–4.

69 Tatiana Zonova, ‘The Consular Service in Russia: Past Problems, New Challenges’, in Consular Affairs and Diplomacy, ed. Jan Melissen and Ana Mar Fernández (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 173–98.

70 Miranda took an active part in the French revolutionary campaign in Valmy in 1792. His proclamations openly cast his participation as a contribution to the fight against despotism, recalling his earlier observations from the United States and the Balkans. See Francisco de Miranda, ‘Order of the 29th to the 30th’, Antwerp, 3 December 1792, in Francisco de Miranda, Archivo del general Miranda, vol. 8: Revolución francesa (Caracas: Editorial Suramérica, 1930), 226–7; Francisco de Miranda, ‘Proclamation to the Magistrates of the People’, Maastricht, 22 February 1793, in ibid., 226–7. Miranda’s unsuccessful attempt to capture Maastricht precipitated a contentious relationship with French revolutionary officials.

71 An influential Morning Chronicle article (26 December 1792), edited by Miranda himself, referred to his explorations of ‘all the countries of Europe, Russia, and Turkey not excepted’, to cast the international traveller as ‘too fond of liberty to trust himself in the power of despots and tyrants’. Born ‘in a country of slaves’, as the article reminded readers, Miranda faced the prospect of apprehension by Spanish officials, a policy that the Morning Chronicle claimed to be ‘almost as effectual as that in Turkey, of decapitation’. For more on the article, see Francisco de Miranda, Archivo del general Miranda, vol. 6: Viajes. Cartas a Miranda: 1789 a 1808 (Caracas: Editorial Suramérica, 1930), 235–8.

72 For more on this subject, see Lindsay Schakenbach, ‘Schemers, Dreamers, and a Revolutionary Foreign Policy: New York City in the Era of Second Independence, 1805–1815’, New York History 94, no. 3–4 (2013), 267–82.

73 See Thomas Stoughton to Marquis de Casa Irujo, New York, 30 and 31 January, and 2, 12, and 24 February 1806, (10)026.001/54/7725, Archivo General de la Administración, Alcalá de Henares, Spain.

74 On at least one occasion prior to Miranda’s return, the United States became the site of a consul thwarting a revolutionary insurgency. In 1793–94, the Spanish consul in Charleston provided crucial information on a planned revolution in east Florida, enabling colonial authorities to act accordingly. See Landers, Atlantic Creoles, 51. On the Spanish consuls’ later counter-revolutionary activities, see Simeon Andonov Simeonov, ‘“Insurgentes, Self-Styled Patriots”: Consuls, Privateers, Slavers, and Mariners in the Making of the Privateering Archipelago’, Journal of Global Slavery 5, no. 3 (2020, forthcoming).

75 See Racine, Francisco de Miranda, 157–9.

76 Simeon Andonov Simeonov, ‘“With what right are they sending a consul”: Unauthorized Consulship, U.S. Expansion, and the Transformation of the Spanish American Empire, 1795–1808’, Journal of the Early Republic 40, no. 1 (2020): 19–44.

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