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Abstract

When examining “The Revolt of La Ascensión, 1892” past historiographical interpretations serve as examples of the theoretical traps that are succumbed to when employing modes of analysis that are inappropriate for studying this particular repatriate colony. The trope that is read throughout these historiographical examples is evident because they share the notion that this event can be termed pre-political and primitive. It will become patently clear that terms such as “pre-political,” “primitive,” and “unorganized” are outdated and require alternative methods of postcolonial analysis. As way to contradict and compliment this scant literature, the following examines the revolt of La Ascensión in 1892 by analyzing heretofore unexamined regional and federal archives that discuss this event in some detail. After glossing over the details of this event and the brutal killing of three government officials in this repatriate colony, I proceed to examine the state’s efforts at quelling this rebellion and their attempt to capture and extradite those rebels that migrated back to the US with the argument that they were not Mexican citizens, but American citizens that earlier migrated to the colony after an election riot twenty years earlier. Research in regional archives, more importantly, provide for a closer reading of the material, particularly coroner’s reports that detail the various ways in which the victims were tortured and executed. Given the historical background that led to these events, I suggest that the violent events of this particular revolt can be read as expressions of frustration, anger, and therefore constitute a form of communication.

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