Why isn’t there much evidence for free people being enslaved in Latin America, The Caribbean, & Colonial America?

Oct 2017
382
America ??
I’m wondering why there is very few evidence of free people being enslaved by means like kidnapping & legal punishment outside of 19th century United States if it was so common there. From what I understand Latin America long had much more free people of colour than North America in numbers as well as population percentage.
For Latin America as well as the colonial U.S I’m wondering in what ways could free people of colour have found themselves enslaved, how possible & common it would have been, & what remedies could have been done about it by the the victims as well as their families & friends.
In contrast to the 19th century U.S, Latin & colonial America doesn’t appear to have had major abolitionism movements, plantation expansions, & abolished their slave trades much later & even when they were they weren’t as regulated by the authorities as they were by the Americans & British.
Also, slave narratives are most common in 19th century U.S, but much less in Latin & Colonial America. 19th century U.S abolitionism must have been a big if not even main reason for this, but could there have been other reasons as well?
 
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Sep 2012
1,182
Tarkington, Texas
Most Latin American countries freed their slaves after they won independence. Cuba and Brazil did not free their Slaves until later around (1850?). The Slave Trade was stopped from bringing in more Slaves from Africa by the Royal Navy and the US Navy. I believe Indian Slavery lasted in South America as long as Black Slavery. I remember a good movie from a while back with Robert de Niro called the Mission, situated in Brazil and further inland.

Pruitt
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,219
Kansas
Also, slave narratives are most common in 19th century U.S, but much less in Latin & Colonial America. 19th century U.S abolitionism must have been a big if not even main reason for this, but could there have been other reasons as well?
It would be hard to tell unless you were fluent in Spanish and Portuguese
 

Tairusiano

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,978
Brazil
Most Latin American countries freed their slaves after they won independence. Cuba and Brazil did not free their Slaves until later around (1850?). The Slave Trade was stopped from bringing in more Slaves from Africa by the Royal Navy and the US Navy. I believe Indian Slavery lasted in South America as long as Black Slavery. I remember a good movie from a while back with Robert de Niro called the Mission, situated in Brazil and further inland.

Pruitt
Indian slavery in Brasil end in 1757, still under a colony of Portugal, African slavery only in 1888, although, there are a lot of reasons for indian slavery it ending so early, resistance, catolic church pressure, and even politics, Portugal found allies in native americans wars against Spain or other colonial powers, in the amazon or west of Brasil, so they had a reason to have them free, they had a better use than, dying in a sugar plant, and later african slaves were cheap, so all of this helped to get indian slavery abolition early.
Now on the movie the Mission, it merges two historical periods, the background is the Guarani War, a conflict that Portugal and Spain, made against the Jesuits reductions in brazilian south 1755-56 border of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, but they made it like the Portuguese raids against the Reductions in the border of Brazil and Paraguay in the Guayra region more to the north and west, that happened in 1602 to 1630.
 
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Oct 2017
382
America ??
Is anyone aware of whether free people of color could have been sold as slaves as punishment in Latin America & the Caribbean like those in the antebellum U.S could?

In the antebellum U.S, any free black, once jailed, was liable to enslavement to pay jail fees. Unclaimed suspected fugitives, sailors, and even debtors, therefore, could be legally enslaved because of lack of money.
 
Oct 2017
382
America ??
Was there proportionately higher demand for slaves in the Antebellum U.S than there was for Colonial & Latin America & the Caribbean?
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,536
Was there proportionately higher demand for slaves in the Antebellum U.S than there was for Colonial & Latin America & the Caribbean?
Slaves were very expensive right before the Civil War. This was mainly due to the big demand from cotton plantations. The percent slaves in MD, DE, and MO went way down, as most were "sold down the river". Northern states such as NY and NJ once had a significant slave percentage.

This is one of the causes of the Civil War. The country became polarized partly because slave ownership became concentrated in the deep south.

The price also went up because importation from Africa was illegal after 1808. However, there was a huge illegal trade mainly to LA and TX.
 
Jul 2019
180
Ghana
"Slave narrative" in the narrow sense refers to an anglophone literary tradition, while actual slave narratives, as in, the narration of slave stories, has an extremely rich tradition in the Caribbean and Latin America. Bahia is a sort of ground zero for this kind of stuff... In part because de-facto slavery there continued well into the 20th century. It's just not necessarily in the form of literature, but often oral histories, folklore, traditional festivals, visual arts, music etc... White Brazilians in general wouldn't have been as interested in writing down these narratives as much as the abolitionists from the USA (Brazil never fought a civil war over slavery).

In fact, slavery never really ended in places like Brazil, and the means by which people find themselves enslaved today are somewhat comparable to the ways people continued being enslaved in Brazil post "abolition". Some estimates are as high as 50.000 people in forced labor today, and conditions are sometimes even worse than before. Most of these people aren't born into slavery but, with promises of payed jobs, are lured into some remote areas of the country without rule of law, and forced to work by threat of violence and murder, for no pay. There's overlap with debt slavery (deducting "cost" of food, sleeping place, tools to point of no pay, but rather debt). Escaping means running through the jungle for days, and being recaptured means death or severe beating. They're often used for land clearing (mainly for soy cultivation and cattle rearing), on sugar cane plantations, and charcoal making for the production of pig iron, a major export of Brazil. It's a major, known problem, but there is near impunity for the land owners engaged in these practices.

For example, in 2008 alone, Brazilian authorities freed 4634 slaves... Brazilian taskforce frees 4,634 slaves after raids on remote farms
The government said its anti-slavery taskforce, a roaming unit designed to crack down on modern-day slavery, had freed 4,634 workers from slave-like conditions in 2008. The taskforce, which often works with armed members of the federal police, said it had undertaken 133 missions and visited 255 different farms in 2008. The ministry said former slaves had been paid £2.4m in compensation.
In 2007, 1100 slaves were freed from a single plantation... And, "the Mobile Verification Task Force, which conducted the raid on the plantation, was founded in 1995 by the Labour Ministry and claims to have freed more than 21,000 workers from debt slave conditions at more than 1,600 farms across Brazil." That's 21.000 freed slaves from a 12 year period, from 1995 to 2007! BBC NEWS | Americas | 'Slave' labourers freed in Brazil

Some more on the subject of modern day slavery in Brazil: Modern Day Slavery in Brazil

These kind of numbers make me think that the total number for people in slavery or "slave like conditions" as some call it, in Brazil are significantly higher than what's reported or estimated...

I don't want to sound like I'm singling out Brazil though. Modern day slavery is a global phenomenon, and in many places of the world these practices are rooted in the older pre abolition traditions of slavery.

Even the United States of America practiced old school plantation slavery on a grand scale up until WWII! This probably involved hundred of thousands of Afro Americans who were re-enslaved in the aftermath of the civil war, and the means by which they were enslaved is important to understand. It's probably very similar to the way free men were captured as slaves pre-abolition. It's a truly shocking chapter in US history that most people are painfully unaware about. I've seen an actual video-interview of a lady who was still enslaved in the American South as late as the 60's.

As dumbfounding as the story told by the Carrie Kinsey letter is, far more remarkable is what surrounds that letter at the National Archives. In the same box that holds her grief-stricken missive are at least half a dozen other pieces of correspondence recounting other stories of kidnapping, perversion of the courts, or human trafficking—as horrifying as, or worse than, Carrie Kinsey’s tale. It is the same in the next box on the shelf. And the one before. And the ones on either side of those. And the next and the next. And on and on. Thousands and thousands of plaintive letters and grimly bureaucratic responses—altogether at least 30,000 pages of original material—chronicle cases of forced labor and involuntary servitude in the South decades after the end of the Civil War.


 
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