Historical Note: The Samaná Americans are descendants of freed African American people who, beginning in 1824, immigrated to the Samaná Peninsula in Hispaniola—then under Haitian administration-benefiting from the favorable pro-African immigration policy of President Jean Pierre Boyer. They constitute the most sizable group of native English speakers in the Dominican Republic. Aware of its distinctive heritage, the community, whose singular culture distinguishes them from the rest of Dominicans, refers to itself as Samaná Americans, and is referred to by fellow Dominicans as "Los americanos de Samaná." Over 80 percent of Samaná's population is of African American descent. It is estimated that there are over one-half million Dominicans who are descendants of the African American settlers, with eight thousand speaking their ancestor’s English. These African American immigrants to Samaná included shipbuilders, traders and educators.
Scope and Content Note: The Ryan-Mann Hamilton Collection consists of a selected bibliography on the Willmire’s and other North American Emigrants to Samaná, Dominican Republic in 1824. It also includes correspondence, photographs, and manuscripts from 1824 to 2009.