This wide-ranging comparative study argues for a fundamental reassessment of the literary history of the nineteenth-century United States within the transamerican and multilingual contexts that shaped it. Drawing on an array of texts in English, French and Spanish by both canonical and neglected writers and activists, Anna Brickhouse investigates interactions between US, Latin American and Caribbean literatures. Her many examples and case studies include the Mexican genealogies of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the rewriting of Uncle Tom's Cabin by a Haitian dramatist, and a French Caribbean translation of the poetry of Phillis Wheatley. Brickhouse uncovers lines of literary influence and descent linking Philadelphia and Havana, Port-au-Prince and Boston, Paris and New Orleans. She argues for a new understanding of this most formative period of literary production in the United States as a 'transamerican renaissance', a rich era of literary border-crossing and transcontinental cultural exchange.