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Cuban Slavery Documents collection

Scope & content

Series 1: Cedulas and Certificates contains Cedulas (indentification papers) for freed slaves and for Chinese colonos (documents related to a free person). The cedulas include printed rules and regulations regarding the use of the certificates. This series also contains letters pertaining to the preparation and receipt of certificates of various types for slaves.

Series 2: Children contains letters and document pertaining to children. There are baptism certificates, requests for baptisms and birth certificates. Two documents relating to the tutelage rights of sponsors for slave children. Also, a document discussing the rules for the payment of interest for sponsors of slave chilren and a set of documents regarding a case against a black slave accused of raping a 3-year old white girl.

Series 3: Escapes contains documents describing slaves who have escaped or relating to the prevention of escapes.

Series 4: International Trade contains documents relating to the trade in enslaved and indentured peoples. It includes a letter citing the number of Chinese colonos brought to Cuba at 42,501 up to 1859. There is also a letter regarding an American boat transporting Chinese colonos from Macau to Cuba.

Series 5: Lists contains 2 lists. The first describes the slaves being held at the Deposito Municipal in Matanzas in 1882. The other is a register of slaves in the Junta Local de Patronato de Santa Ana in 1884.

Series 6: Military Service has just one document which is a request by a widow of a soldier in the Parda regiment for the pension owed to her.

Series 7: Mortality and Illness contains death certificates and an autopsy report. A letter describes the dismissal of a doctor who refused to provide medical treatment to a Chinese colono. Two documents discuss an outbreak of cholera among Chinese colonos. And a set of 5 documents discusses the case of a Chinese colono who may have been murdered but whose death is ruled a suicide and includes a debate about prosecuting the dead man for committing suicide.

Series 8: Ownership contains bills of sale for slaves and 1 document regarding the transfer of ownership of a creole slave. A set of three documents details an attempt by a black slave to purchase his freedom. Another document relates to a mulatto slave who is searching for the free black woman who agreed to marry him and work for his owner. And several documents that relate to the ownership of slaves by particular people.

Series 9: Provincial Board of Sponsored People contains just one document concerning the delay in payment of salary to officials employed by the Provincial Board of Sponsored People.

Series 10: Residency Permission has 4 documents relating to requests for residency permission for free morena slaves.

Series 11: Work Contracts and Licenses contains work contracts for Chinese colonos, 1 work contract for a colono from the Canary Islands, and 2 requests by free morenos slaves to open tobacco shops.

Series 12: Transfers contains documents relating to the authorization of slaves to transfer to a new jurisdiction (relates to geographical location, not ownership).