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Historical Slavery Document (1832)

Historical Slavery Document (1832)

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Five black Africans, slaves, arrive on the shores of South America but two escape

Author unknown handwritten note to the captain of Pluto. One page. 21.7 cm x 16.4 cm. In Spanish. Montevideo, Uruguay, October 31, 1832. Good condition. Single piece.

original transcript

The Brazilian Cap del Berg-goleta, Pluton, can continue traveling with the five blacks from the list of other ships, and aunque I introduce seven, it appears in this department that han escaped from.

Montevideo Oct 31 of 1832

Portuguese translation

The captain of the Brazilian Barquentine, Pluto, was able to continue his journey with the five blacks from the other boat, and although he introduced seven, it is reported in this department that two escaped.

Montevideo, October 31, 1832

Few know that Brazil shares with Uruguay, its neighbor to the south, a hard mark in its history that goes beyond the Cisplatine War or the famous Paraguayan War. Brazil, a country with an agricultural and colonial past, exploited African slave labor in its plantations, however, it was not the only one on the continent to do so, another great example is Uruguay, land of barbecue and the gauchos. , the nation also made use of African forced labor, and, through the slave trade, established commercial relations with Brazil.

Brazil lived a long period of slavery, in Tupiniquim lands, the use of slave labor was extinguished only in 1888, and almost 5 million Africans were brought to the country, with Uruguay being the route of slave trade ships whose final destination were the Brazilian plantations. In addition, the Portuguese living in Brazil were responsible for taking the first slaves to Uruguay.

Another peculiarity is the fact that slavery in Uruguay was abolished much earlier than in Brazil, still in 1825, when Uruguay freed itself from Spanish rule, which caused many Brazilian slaves to flee to the neighboring nation, since, in Brazil , the abolition would only take place 63 years later.

This historical scar has left strong cultural influences that bring the two countries closer together. In Uruguay today, 8% of the population consider themselves black, and African roots are strongly noted in the local culture, especially in some regions of the capital. Candombe, for example, a traditional Afro-Uruguayan rhythm that would sound familiar to the ears of any Brazilian, was declared intangible heritage by Unesco in 2009 and echoes through the traditional African neighborhoods “Barrio Sur” and “Palermo” in Montevideo, where Carnival takes place. it is also celebrated annually with parades similar to those in northeastern Brazil.

The African heritage is not exclusive to Brazil or Uruguay, the marks of the slave trade over the centuries can be seen in Latin American societies, although their forms are different in each country. African work was the basis for building and organizing the entire region and it is essential to tell this story to rescue the importance of the African people in our society, because only with the recognition of our past will we be able to understand how our origins and, finally, rebuild our relationships more equitably. This document is a rare testament to slavery and human trafficking at the time, with one happy "detail": two of these men escaped.

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