The Interprovincial Slave Trade from Rio De Janeiro, 1809–33: An Analysis of the IPEA Database

Thursday, January 4, 2018: 3:30 PM
Roosevelt Room 2 (Marriott Wardman Park)
Daniel B. Domingues da Silva, Rice University
In the nineteenth century, Rio de Janeiro emerged as the largest slaving port in the Americas. Every year, ships mainly from Brazil and Portugal poured thousands of enslaved Africans in that port. But what happened to them after they disembarked? This paper examines a database of passports and other sources compiled by the Brazilian Institute for Research in Applied Economics (IPEA, in the Portuguese acronym) to address that question. It also discuss the challenges and methods of adjusting the database to an ongoing project focused on the transcontinental slave trade in the Americas from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The paper shows that, although Rio de Janeiro was the final destination for many slaves disembarked there, a significant proportion of them was re-exported into the interprovincial traffic, to regions as distant as Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and Rio Grande do Sul.
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