The novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson sparked an interest in California’s Mission Era that attracted visitors from all over the country. But Jackson’s novel was much more than nostalgia for a bygone era — it was a cry for human rights. The story of the author, her work and how Cuba’s most famous exile caused it to echo all over the Americas.
Dr. Jonathan Alcántar is Assistant Professor of Mexican-American Studies at Northern Colorado University. He is an expert on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson, and its impact throughout the Americas, especially through poet José Martí’s Spanish translation.
- Jonathan’s story: from the border to academia.
- Who was Helen Hunt Jackson?
- A Century of Dishonor: Jackson’s critique of US government injustices toward Native Americans.
- Ramona: The Uncle Tom’s Cabin of Native Americans in the U.S.
- How Ramona generated an economic boom in Southern California.
- The connection between Helen Hunt Jackson and the Cuban writer José Martí.
- Why Martí chose to translate Ramona into Spanish.
- Helen Hunt Jackson and José Martí as voices for human rights in the 19th century.
- How Martí’s translation of Ramona highlights the connection between the U.S. and Mexico.
- Film and television versions of Ramona.
To Learn More
- Book: Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson.
- Book: José Martí’s Spanish translation of Ramona (edited by Jonathan).
- Book: The Indian Reform Letters of Helen Hunt Jackson, 1879–1885
- Book: A Century of Dishonor: The Classic Exposé of the Plight of the Native Americans by Helen Hunt Jackson
- Book: Selected Writings by José Martí
- Book: Versos Sencillos: A Dual-Language Edition by José Martí
- How Did the California Missions End?
- Articles about California history