Links across the Gulfstream: The Florida /Bahamas zone, 1780–1900

Astrid Melzner Whidden, Florida International University


The links created between Florida and the Bahamas from 1780 to 1900 constituted a major influence in the evolution of a unique society. This dissertation adds to the understanding of this topic by using primary sources and architecture to follow the odyssey of the people who shaped this region. Building on the historiography which examined each area separately, this work focused on the ties forged in the interactions between Florida and the Bahamas. Following the immigrants who shaped Florida and the Bahamas, this work examines cultural holdovers which influenced this region during times of demographic flux. Aesthetic preferences stood out as one way that people maintained connections to their past. The use of architecture as a lens to view this process provides a concrete example of this phenomenon. The societies of Florida and the Bahamas remained intertwined during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Forced migrations shaped the trajectory of the evolution of a distinctive culture in these areas bordered by the Gulfstream. This dissertation proves that the links forged between these societies reinforced the patterns which endured throughout the maturation of this area.

Subject Area

Latin American history|American history|Architecture

Recommended Citation

Whidden, Astrid Melzner, "Links across the Gulfstream: The Florida /Bahamas zone, 1780–1900" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3268668.