Nineteenth-century Brazil exhibited a wide variety of forms and degrees of freedom in a slave society. By 1872, three quarters of the population of African descent were free, but slavery was intensifying in some regions, and Brazil would only abolish slavery in 1888, the last nation in the Western Hemisphere to do so. One historian has argued that, decades before abolition, Brazil was “simultaneously a slave society and a post-emancipation society.” This seminar will explore some recent research and some of the eclectic variety of primary sources on freedom and slavery, such as accounts by foreign travelers, translated diaries, wills and testaments, deeds of manumission, the 1872 national census, records of the Atlantic slave trade, writings by abolitionists, drawings and photographs. Seminar co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago.
Seminar led by Dain Borges, University of Chicago