The Year of the Lash: Free People of Color in Cuba and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World

By Michele Reid-Vazquez | Go to book overview

NOTES

Introduction

1. Aurora, 29 June 1844, Archivo Nacional de Cuba, Havana, Asuntos Políticos (hereafter ANC-AP), Leg. 42, Exp. 5, p. 5.

2. I use the following terms to refer to the greater free African-descended population in nineteenth-century Cuba: “of color,” “of African descent,” and libres de color. The terms “free” and libres are used interchangeably to indicate individuals or groups who are not legally slaves. During the nineteenth century, individuals were denoted in the records I examined for this study as pardo, parda, mulata, and mulato, referring to persons who physically appeared to have partial African ancestry, typically a mixture of African and European heritage. Similarly, the terms moreno, morena, and “black” refer to persons recorded as appearing to be of full African ancestry or dark in complexion. I also use the term “free blacks” to reference the broader population of African descent, on the island or in the diaspora, or to reference issues involving colonial race relations. I use the terms “white,” “Spanish,” and “creole” (or criollo) when referring to individuals and groups recorded or recognized as European or having European parentage in Cuba.

3. Leopoldo O’Donnell to Secretario de Estado y del Despacho de la Gobernación de Ultramar, Havana, 30 March 1844, Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid, Ultramar, Gobierno, Cuba (hereafter AHN-UGC), Leg. 4620, Exp. 33, folio 1.

4. José Moreno to Ministro de Gracia y Justicia, Campeche, Mexico, 26 June 1846, Archivo Nacional de Cuba, Havana, Cuba, Real Órdenes y Cédulas (hereafter ANCROC), Leg. 159, Exp. 106.

5. Cuba, Colección de los fallos pronunciados por una sección de la Comisión militar establecida en la ciudad de Matanzas para conocer de la causa de conspiración de la gente de color (Comisión Militar Ejecutiva y Permanente, 1844). The Military Commission in Matanzas listed sentences for 1,836 individuals (67% libres de color) as following: 78 executed (48.7% libres de color), 1,165 imprisoned (52.9% libres de color), 435 banished (99.5% libres de color), 31 sentenced to workhouses and lighter

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