In the Confines of the Empire: Trajectories of Liberated Africans in Nineteenth-Century Amazonia

Saturday, January 9, 2010: 3:10 PM
Manchester Ballroom F (Hyatt)
Patricia Sampaio , Universidade Federal do Amazonas
“Liberated Africans” constitute a particular category of slaves liberated in the first decades of the nineteenth century following the British actions against the illegal slave trade. Because of their different destinies, their experiences (at the limit between slavery and freedom) marked the societies where they lived. By using inedited documentation from the archives of Para and Amazonas, this paper aims at recuperating the presence of Liberated Africans in Amazonia, between 1854 and 1866. It seeks to identify the different modalities through which these men and women integrated the region labor system. The paper follows the local strategies related to the compulsory work of indigenous populations in order to understand the common experiences connecting native populations and Africans. The paper is inscribed in a historiographical effort to shed light on these and other experiences of slavery and freedom in the Brazilian Empire. At the same time it seeks to highlight the trajectories of these individuals, a perspective that still remains unexplored.
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