Province of Interiors

The language the Spanish used to describe their North American frontier in the 18th century simultaneously evoked the condition of edge and interior. The Provincias Internas were both at the edge of Spanish civilization and deep within the unknown heart of the continent. Focusing on the colonies bordering the Rio Grande in South Texas and Northeastern Mexico, the essay proposes that the “interiority of the frontier” is useful for understanding the specific tactics that constructed the notion of a borderland. These “private frontiers” - the social and political lives of the individuals who made their homes in a region contested by rival European, American, and Native powers - were intensely personal, rooted in place, and yet also managed to exist within, and sometimes against, broader structures of power.

Book Chapters
“Province of Interiors: Strategies and Tactics on the Frontier of Northern New Spain,” Interior Provocations 23: On Edge (forthcoming)

Conference Presentations
"Province of Interiors: The Colonial Home in Northern New Spain as Private Frontier, 1700 – 1821." Interior Provocations Symposium, Pratt Institute, April 9, 2022.

©Marie Saldaña 2023