INTRODUCTION
Uncovering Other Pos si ble Worlds
Geography’s discursive attachment to stasis and physicality, the idea that space “just
is,” and that space and place are merely containers for human complexities and social
relations, is terribly seductive. . . . If space and place appear to be safely secure and
unwavering, then what space and place make pos si ble, outside and beyond tangible
stabilities . . . can potentially fade away. Geography is not, however, secure and un-
wavering; we produce space, we produce its meanings, and we work very hard to make
geography what it is.
—katherine mckittrick, Demonic Grounds
On October 13, 1815, the legislature of the young republic of Cartagena ap-
proved a proposal to put the city under the protection of the British Crown.
Swearing allegiance to His Britannic Majesty, Cartagena’s governor Juan de
Dios Amador believed, constituted “the only mea sure capable of saving this
city.” Besieged since mid- August by a strong Spanish contingent under field
marshal Pablo Morillo, Cartagena, in de pen dent since November 1811, was tar-
geted for favoring po litical autonomy over allegiance to King Ferdinand VII
after the French invaded the Spanish Peninsula in 1808. “Let us,” Governor
Amador said, “offer the province [of Cartagena] to a wise and power ful Na-
tion, capable of saving . . . and governing us. Let us put [the province] under
the shelter and direction of the Monarch of Great Britain.” Cartagena’s legis-
lature did not need much time to reach a decision. Persuaded that under the
circumstances manifested” the governor’s proposal was “the only one capable of
saving the State,” the legislature unanimously approved Amador’s mea sure and
granted him power to contact the British authorities of Jamaica.1 On the next
day, Amador dispatched a commission to inform the authorities of Jamaica
of the decision. That same day (October 14, 1815), Gustavo Bell Lemus tells us,
“the British flag was raised in the city [of
Cartagena].”2
In Jamaica, reasserting
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