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Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

Abstract

This thesis examines the story of Philadelphia’s elite French West Indian catering families. It takes into consideration multiple perspectives to supplement scholarship that focuses on the families solely as West Indian refugees, Creole elites, or exceptional caterers. The history of the Augustin, Baptiste, and Dutrieuille families nuances previous works on West Indian immigrants, racial hierarchies, and foodways in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Philadelphia and builds on scholarship about people of mixed racial origins in the Atlantic world. I contend that these families carefully navigated their liminal position in segregated Philadelphia as mixed-race French Creoles to the effect that they were able to transcend social divisions and eclipse racial biases while preserving a multi-racial, transnational identity predicated on their trade.

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