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Caribbean Borderland: Empire, Ethnicity, and the Exotic on the Mosquito Coast

Caribbean Borderland: Empire, Ethnicity, and the Exotic on the Mosquito Coast Page 117 Nicholas Rogers York University, Toronto The Mosquito Coast belongs to what is now Atlantic Nicaragua, a jagged coastline of four hundred miles stretching from Cape Gracias a Dios in the north to the San Juan River in Costa Rica. In the eighteenth century it was under the jurisdiction of imperial Spain, although in practice the Spanish exercised a fragile sovereignty over the region, barely extending their control beyond Omoa and Trujillo. In the sixteenth century a few conquistadors ventured into the area. Diego de Nicuessa went there around 1512, but his expedition was wrecked at the mouth of the river Wanks (Rio Coco), near Cape Gracias a Dios.1 Others confronted the resistance of the various indigenous people and the inhospitable terrain of mangrove swamps and sandbars along the coast. They also had to contend with torrential rains, and with mosquitoes and sand flies that so abounded, Nathaniel Uring later remarked, “that neither Mouth, Nose, Eyes or any part of us was free of them; and whenever they could come at our Skin, they bit and stung us most intolerably.”2 Consequently the Mosquito Coast or “Shore,” as it was sometimes called, was only nominally part of Spain’s http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Eighteenth-Century Life Duke University Press

Caribbean Borderland: Empire, Ethnicity, and the Exotic on the Mosquito Coast

Eighteenth-Century Life , Volume 26 (3) – Oct 1, 2002

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0098-2601
eISSN
1086-3192
DOI
10.1215/00982601-26-3-117
Publisher site
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Abstract

Page 117 Nicholas Rogers York University, Toronto The Mosquito Coast belongs to what is now Atlantic Nicaragua, a jagged coastline of four hundred miles stretching from Cape Gracias a Dios in the north to the San Juan River in Costa Rica. In the eighteenth century it was under the jurisdiction of imperial Spain, although in practice the Spanish exercised a fragile sovereignty over the region, barely extending their control beyond Omoa and Trujillo. In the sixteenth century a few conquistadors ventured into the area. Diego de Nicuessa went there around 1512, but his expedition was wrecked at the mouth of the river Wanks (Rio Coco), near Cape Gracias a Dios.1 Others confronted the resistance of the various indigenous people and the inhospitable terrain of mangrove swamps and sandbars along the coast. They also had to contend with torrential rains, and with mosquitoes and sand flies that so abounded, Nathaniel Uring later remarked, “that neither Mouth, Nose, Eyes or any part of us was free of them; and whenever they could come at our Skin, they bit and stung us most intolerably.”2 Consequently the Mosquito Coast or “Shore,” as it was sometimes called, was only nominally part of Spain’s

Journal

Eighteenth-Century LifeDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2002

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