Swept Away: One Man’s Atlantic Revolution

Sunday, January 5, 2014: 11:40 AM
Congressional Room A (Omni Shoreham)
Lyman L. Johnson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
This paper examines the large dramas that together frame the era of Atlantic Revolution through the experiences of a remarkable "everyman", Santiago Antonini. Born in Italy, he arrived in Buenos Aires as an illegal immigrant in 1791. This impoverished artisan was arrested and tortured by local authorities as a suspected revolutionary in 1795. Following his release, his life follows an extraordinary arc that includes a diplomatic appointment by the Spanish viceroy in Buenos Aires, confinement in England as a prisoner of war, arrest by the French after the capture of Madrid, and recruitment as an French agent by Joseph Bonaparte. In 1810 the Spanish ambassador to the United States called Antonini "the most dangerous man in America."