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Chloe Ireton is a historian of the Spanish empire with a focus on early Mexico, Colombia, the Caribbean, and Spain. She is currently a University Continuing Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is also a PhD candidate. Her current project explores circulations of ideas about African Christianity and the meanings of blackness in the early Hispanic Atlantic. Her research has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Social Science Research Council, the Huntington Library, the John Carter Brown Library, the American Historical Association, the Renaissance Society of America, the Conference on Latin American History, and the University of Texas at Austin.
Chloe Ireton; “They Are Blacks of the Caste of Black Christians”: Old Christian Black Blood in the Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century Iberian Atlantic. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 November 2017; 97 (4): 579–612. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-4214303
Hundreds of Castilian free black men and women obtained royal travel licenses to cross the Atlantic in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries as black Old Christians. They settled across the Spanish Indies and developed trades as artisans, traders, sailors, healers, and small business owners, often becoming prominent and wealthy vecinos (residents). Exploring these often obscure and long-invisible biographies of individuals, the article revisits key historiographical debates about race, purity of blood, and vassalage in the early Spanish empire.