Licentious Liberty in a Brazilian Gold-Mining Region: Slavery, Gender, and Social Control in Eighteenth-Century Sabará, Minas Gerais / Edition 1

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Overview

To studies of Brazilian slavery, this book adds a new dimension by showing how it developed in a region where mining was the chief commercial activity and how important a role gender played in this frontier setting in creating opportunities for slaves to achieve some measure of autonomy, compared with slaves who worked in sugar-cane and coffee-growing areas.

The interactions among masters, slaves, and royal officials were profoundly shaped by the accessibility and widespread dispersal of gold deposits, the emergence of small urban centers in which commercial activities thrived, the sexual division of labor among slaves working in mining and commerce, and the changing sex ratio within the population of free white colonists settling in the region.

Focusing attention on the changing status, autonomy, and influence of non-White women, the author argues, is one of the most effective ways of understanding the economic, demographic, and cultural evolution of the slave society as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] ‘must-read’ for all those interested in the African Diaspora and Brazilian slavery.”

—Mary Karasch, Oakland University

Booknews
Looks at conditions of slaves, freed slaves, and free colonists who lived and worked in the town of Nossa Senhora de Conceicao de Sabar<'a> and the surrounding region during the 18th century. Examines the origins of the gold economy and settlements, patterns of slaveholding and working conditions for slaves, and patterns of manumission decisions and crown colonist interactions. Explores slave autonomy as a gender-related phenomenon, and explains how the changing experiences of non-White women reflected the economic, demographic, and cultural evolution of slave society as a whole. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271019116
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen J. Higgins is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Iowa.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures, Tables, Illustrations, and Maps
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Rushing for Gold in Minas Gerais 17
2 Patterns of Living and Working Among Slaves, Ex-Slaves, and Free Persons in Colonial Sabara 43
3 Man, Woman, and Church in Colonial Sabara 89
4 Slave Baptisms and Godparentage in Colonial Sabara 121
5 Manumissions in Sabara 145
6 Slave Resistance and Autonomy in Sabara and Minas Gerais 175
Conclusion 209
App Origin/Race, Sex, and Age of the Manumitted, 1710-1809 219
Sources 223
Index 233
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