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The research for this book was generously supported by Princeton University, the Princeton University Department of History, the Program in Latin American Studies, the Council on Regional Studies, the Center for International Studies, and the Association of Graduate Princeton Alumnae. The librarians, archivists, and staffs at the Firestone Library at Princeton University, the National Library of Scotland at Edinburgh, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Public Record Office, England, the Goldsmiths' Library at the University of London, the Archivo Histórico Nacional at Madrid, and the Archivo de Indias at Seville all provided me with invaluable assistance and guidance. The efficient and resourceful staff at the Office of Interlibrary Loans at the Firestone Library deserves special thanks, as does Magdalena Canellas Anos, Directora de Reprografía at the Archivo de Indias.


Princeton University's Department of History provided me with a supportive and stimulating intellectual environment, and my doctoral advisor, John M. Murrin exercised a balance of freedom and direction that allowed me to make this project my own and to find my way with it. John's breadth of knowledge and intellectual generosity are prodigious, and I have been fortunate to have benefited from both. Kenneth Mills' contribution to this project has been a great one, and several of his seminars, in addition to more than a few long conversations, allowed me to recognize that the Darién could indeed form the basis for a research project. Peter Lake highlighted for me the connections between Europe and the Americas, and the manner in which politics, culture, and religion could intertwine. David Armitage has on many occasions contributed his suggestions, enthusiasm and encouragement to the project.


Colleagues and staff at Princeton provided assistance and support; I'd like to thank the following: Kathy Baima, Pat Byrne, Leah Kopcsandy and Melanie Bremer; Jessica Meyerson, Jennifer Delton, Sarah Igo, Amanda Wunder, Elizabeth Pardoe-Lewis, David Silverman, Scott Bruce, Kevin Uhalde, Brian Cowan, Ethan Shagan, Margaret Sena, Greg Lyon, David Gordon, Kristin Rothey, Gen Liang, Bob Crews, and David Como; the participants in Princeton University's Graduate History Association Colloquium and Dissertation Writers' Group; Evan Haefeli, Nat Sheidley, Jeremy Stern, Anore Horton, Sandra Bronfman, Jennifer Baszile, and Marc Abramson. Elspeth Carruthers, Cliff Doerksen and Andrew Shankman have been great sources of encouragement, empathy, commiseration, and good times, and I hope to enjoy their comradeship for years to come. Cerisa Mitchell, Luis Gilbert, and Margaret Seeley made 635 a welcome and interesting place, and my old comrade Edgar Rivera-Colón was an unshakeable fixed point in the midst of the chaos. I have also appreciated Kristin Warbasse's long-standing friendship.


The team at Columbia University Press and Columbia University's Electronic Publishing Initiative were uniformly supportive, ready to provide guidance and advice, and fully committed to the project. My personal thanks to Kate Wittenberg, Project Director; Gordon Dahlquist, Associate Editor, AcIS; Sean Costigan, Senior Editor; and the other technical creators. Greg MacNamee proved to be an inspired editor, sharpening prose and displaying his genuine interest and enthusiasm for the text.


As President of the American Historical Association Robert Darnton ushered into existence the group's growing and strong electronic publication project. In addition, he personally took part, as a commentor and advisor, in the process of transforming the print text of my dissertation into an electronic monograph, and I owe him thanks for that.


David, Padma, Rachael, Nathan, and Joy Gallup have been a source of incalculable fellowship, friendship, solace and support, as have my sister, Clara Díaz Gajdisz, brother-in-law, Mike Gajdisz, and my nieces Victoria and Elizabeth. My mother, Celerina Victória Díaz, instilled in me the ability to face the world as its equal, and I will always admire her boundless courage and endurance. My father, Ignacio Díaz Gonzales, Sr., made innumerable sacrifices in providing me the opportunities that enabled me to become the person that I am; it is my great regret that he did not live to see this project through to its completion.


Finally, my deepest debts are to my wife Anjali, who has been adamantine in her love, enthusiasm, patience, and good-natured support. The book is as much hers as it is mine; without her, such a sustained intellectual production would never have been possible. Though I harbored early, irrational reservations about this project, and even questioned my ability to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion, Anjali never showed a moment of doubt. The labors that I have exerted to complete it have always been performed in dedication to her.



The Door of the Seas and Key to the Universe