Circulation: “An Account of a Remarkable Conspiracy”

This map shows the circulation of “Account of a Remarkable Conspiracy in Saint Domingo" in transatlantic periodicals during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. All of the information for this map was created using "Account of a remarkable Conspiracy formed by a Negro in the Island of St. Domingo" (2016) by Duncan Faherty, Ed White, and Toni Wall Jaudon (Just Teach One).


Circulation and Translation

One of the most notable and important facets of the Makandal text network is the circulation and commodification of Makandal’s narrative. While the first map demonstrates the differences of genre in the uptake of his story, this map represents the important role of circulation and translation in this process. Just Teach One, a project created by Duncan Faherty and Ed White in Common-Place journal facilitating the recovery of forgotten texts in American literature and history, traces the circulation and translation of a narrative about Makandal in transatlantic periodicals. Documenting this history of and annotating the 1789 printing of “Account of a Remarkable Conspiracy in Saint Domingo” in the Literary Magazine & British Review, Faherty, White, and Jaudon highlight the role of spectatorship and mythification (2); the more the text was translated and reprinted, the more changes were made. 

This interactive digital map represents the sixteen translations and reprintings of this story from its first appearance in the Mercure de France in September 1787 to the New York Illustrated Magazine of Literature & Art in 1846. Spanning almost sixty years and three languages, this map demonstrates just how far this text traveled, being picked up and circulated in London, Berlin, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia amongst others. Two iterations of this story are included in the Makandal Text network archive including the original printing and the 1796 iteration in the New York Magazine; or Literary Repository. As we trace the distribution of this one story, this map displays a colonial roadmap of fascination, commodication, and spectatorship. As you explore the map, trace the geographical and chronological circulation, exploring the role of translation, time, and space.