Jaime O’Daly y
An enlightened Hispanicised Irish
planter-administrator in late Bourbon Puerto Rico, 1776-1829
Jorge L. Chinea (Wayne State
in the latter part of the 1730’s, James (Jaime) O’Daly
belonged to an ancient Catholic gentry lineage.
Undoubtedly linked to the "Wild
or the legions of high-ranking military officers who fled
for Catholic Europe following the land-grabbing Cromwellian
in the late 1690’s, he immigrated
in the early 1760's, and subsequently to the Dutch
1772, he helped refit a Spanish flota
(galleon fleet) that had capsized near the
British-controlled island colony of
. To compensate
O’Daly, the Spanish Crown authorized him to export a fixed
quantity of agricultural products from
. Once on the island, O’Daly applied for a permit to stay
permanently citing, among other reasons, his eagerness to
promote commercial agriculture on his own or by lending a
hand at his brother, Tomás (Thomas) O’Daly’s
recently-established sugar plantation.
Although the Crown granted Jaime a two-year temporary
residential permit in 1775, he
until his death sometime in the mid 1820’s.
one of the island’s leading entrepreneurs in both tobacco
and sugar production, Jaime O’Daly y Blake came to embody
the commercial-agrarian revitalization of the Hispanic
Caribbean during the late Bourbon reforms.
By 1784, he was in possession of a flourishing sugar
plantation (known as Hacienda San Patricio), a large hato
(cattle ranch) comprised of 10 caballerías (over
2,000 acres) in the town of
, and a spacious house in
valued at 11,000 pesos. This paper
discusses the activities and influence of this son of
who chose to start life anew in
, in the latter of which he played a leading role as
planter, merchant, and royal administrator during the last
third of the eighteenth century.