Slave Resistances In Latin America



There are a number of challenges facing historians and scholars who are interested in understanding slave resistances in Latin America.[1] Scholars have generally not given a great deal of inquiry into the various forms of resistance against slavery in the Western Hemisphere, except for a few prominent scholars[2] who acknowledge that incidents of slave revolts, rebellions, resistances and plots, were more numerous in Latin and Central American countries than in the U.S.[3] It has almost become commonplace for scholars to use the large number of slave revolts in the Americas as a yardstick for assessing slave’s personality, as a factor in their ability to response to their enslavement.

For years scholars have debated over the number of slave revolts in the Americas, and used that number to measure the relationship between slave docility, passivity, or masculinity and the rebelliousness of enslaved Africans in North and South America. In part, the question is a function of nomenclature –that is, what scholars decide to call slave actions a revolt, a rebellion, or an insurrection,[4] and how to include these actions in the historical record. The very definition of the events themselves has long been in question. Scholars have pursued a number of typologies and taxonomies, trying to classify revolts, insurrections, rebellions, and conspiracies based on these outdated and racist notions.[5]

The “Sambo” thesis has been used to explain the high number of slave revolts in Latin America as compared to the low number in North America. Sambo did exist in Latin America, but appears not to have influenced his ability to rebel.  Bates writes: “the Negroes were possessed of something like a biologic and psychic predisposition to life in the tropics.  There was their greater fertility in hot regions.  Their taste for the sun.  Their energy, always fresh and new when it contact with  the tropical jungle.”[6] Sambo was an imaginary character, and a prototype of the average slave that existed in the mind of planters. Slave masters and overseers described “Sambo” as slow, lazy, and trifling.[7] The origin of this “Sambo” thesis begins with U.B. Phillips. Phillips, in American Negro Slave (1918), believed that slave revolts were rare in the United States for two reasons: 1) enslaved Africans failed to response to their oppression because of the benevolent nature of slavery in North America, 2) enslaved Africans were born submissive. The logic was that benevolence produced submissive docile slaves that accepted the conditions of slavery without protest. According to Phillips: “The slaves were Negroes, who for the most part were by racial quality submissive rather than defiant, lighthearted instead of gloomy, amiable and ingratiating instead of sullen, and whose very defects invited paternalism rather than repression.”[8]

The conclusion drawn from the Sambo thesis was that Latin Americans manumitted more enslaved Africans than their North American counterpart, and that as a result the slave system was “open” in “that emancipation was within the grasp of the majority of bondsmen.”[9] Whereas, the system in the United States was “close” and there were few opportunities for freedom. Sir Harry Johnston in 1910 originated this notion in The Negro in the New World where he  concluded  that the slave system of servitude in Spanish America was milder and more benign than the slave system in the United States.[10] Sir Harry Johnston’s  thesis was further developed by Frank Tannenbaum, U. B. Phillips, and more recently Stanley Elkins.

Frank Tannenbaum in Slave and Citizen (1935) takes a slightly different position, but arrived at the same conclusion of fewer slave revolts because enslaved Africans in Latin American countries enjoyed a milder form of slavery and had more opportunity to revolt for two reasons: first because of the liberal tradition of Catholic humanitarianism, and secondly, because of the legal restriction which stemmed from that tradition. On this point, Tannenbaum writes: "what the law and tradition did was to make the social mobility easy and natural in one place, difficult and slow and painful in another."[11] When Tannenbaum argued that the legal tradition in Latin America allowed the slave more rights and opportunity than they had in the United States, this is misleading because he only focused on the theory of slave laws as opposed to the reality underlying the laws in terms of the actual practice of slavery in Latin America. For instance, while the laws in Latin America were more liberal in theory, in practice slavery in Latin American countries were just as brutal and inhuman as in North America if not more so. Tannenbaum's major short-coming was the primary focus on the difference in legal tradition, suggesting that there is a relationship between liberal legal code and slave insurrection in Latin America, claiming that slavery was more humane because of slaves' protection under the law. He concludes that there were more slave revolts in Latin America because enslaved Africans were not docile, submissive and dehumanized to the point where they failed to rebel against their oppression. He believes that as a result abolition of slavery in Latin America did not require a Civil War as it did in the U.S. But, the fact remains that slavery ended in the US in 1865, and did not end in Cuba until 1886 and in Brazil until 1888 which counters this argument.

Some current works on resistances in Latin America include the following: Guillermo A. Baralt, Slave Revolts in Puerto Rico: Conspiracies and Uprisings 1795-1873, Matt D. Childs, The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle Against African Slavery, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006; David P. Geggus, ed., The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001; Joao Jose Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia (Johns Hopkins Studies in Atlantic History and Culture), Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 1993; Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2007; Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2007.

There are a number of studies which are useful.  Colin A. Palmer, Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico, 1570-1650.  Harvard University Press, 1976; Gilberto Freyre, The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization. University of California Press, 1986.  One of the best studies of slave resistance in Latin America is Leslie B. Rout Jr. The African Experience in Spanish America (1972; 2003).  However, he seems to be had been heavily influenced by Tannenbaum, when he writes that: “In the United States, the conspiracies of Nat Turner [he must have meant revolt and not conspiracy] and Gabriel Prosser have been analyzed and even romanticized, probably because of the relative scarcity of examples of large-scale revolt in that country.  The situation was different in Spanish America[12], where the Spanish were forced because of the “danger of mass slave insurrection” to suspend legal regulations, saying that, in the case of “general rebellion, sedition, or plunder,” one need not to follow the law.  “Ring leaders and their cohorts, of whatever race or color, were to be summarily dealt with by royal officials.”[13]

Thus, Tannenbaum concluded that Latin America and North America colonies developed distinctly different slave cultures‘ developing dissimilar behavior pattern among enslaved Africans in each culture.  In Elkins’ adoption of Tannenbaum's thesis, he took the debate on step further by arguing that the reason why the slaves reacted so differently in Latin America in comparison with slaves in the United States was rooted in the liberal legal tradition, which produced no Sambos—thus more revolts against enslavement. The result was a less oppressive slave society as evidenced by incidents of rebellion. Whereas, in the United States because of the legal tradition restricting slaves' rights, slavery in North America was more repressive and dehumanizing, producing a Sambo-like slave, leading to fewer revolts.

Elkins' Slavery (1968) has been one of the most controversial books on slavery of this decade. His probing analysis of the slave personality is important to understanding the slave rebellion controversy. His book has forced the discussion of slavery in America to be examined in its total hemispheric context. The focus on slave personality brought a new approach to slave historiography. Nevertheless, the book aroused considerable controversy among historians and other scholars.

Elkins' thesis follows a similar racist argument to Phillips, though with a certain degree of refinement. Like Phillips, he argues that slave revolts in North America were few, but because of different slave systems and conditions of slavery, he believed it produced docile Sambos. According to Elkin's, "the slave (in Latin America) could actually--to an extent quite unthinkable in the United States--conceive of himself as a rebel. Bloody slave revolts, actual wars, took place in Latin America; nothing on this order occurred in the United States."[14] Thus, because of the repressive nature of slavery in America, he concludes that its effects on the slave personality were dehumanizing and destructive, creating a slave with the psychological dependence of a child--a stereotype, Sambo-like docile creature.

Elkins' argument differs from Phillips' mainly in the interpretation he gives to the quality of American slavery. For Elkins, the cause was the pleasantness of the system. Phillips believed Blacks were inherently docile. Stanley Elkins continued the Phillips tradition by projecting a Sambo as the dominant plantation type. In brief, both Phillips and Elkins agree on Black docility but for different reasons. Whatever the reason of this docility, both authors believed that the results were fewer successful slave revolts. These two views have been accepted as the baseline when examining the subject of slave revolts in the Americas. One must admit that while it is true there were fewer slave revolts in America, the cause and reason lie not in the notion of inherent docility, but rather in the historical development cultures of slavery in North and South America.

While we are mainly concerned with Elkins' views in relationship to the slave rebellion controversy, some of his other hypotheses have a direct relationship to the debate, particularly his psychological reason for the creation of Sambo. However, more important than this, are his approach to comparative slave historiography and the use of his concentration camp analogy. In this analogy, he attempts to show a parallel relation between the experience of concentration camp inmates and experience of enslaved Africans on the plantations in order to demonstrate his theories of slave personality as a factor in fewer slave revolts.

In this analogy, he compares the effects of the Nazi concentration camps on the personality of its victims with the effects of the southern plantation on the personality of the slaves. In such an analogy, the cultures must be studied in relationship to cultural differences and the corresponding times of historical development. Elkins does neither well.

According to Eugene Genovese, Elkin's analogy is faulty for many reasons: for one, the fundamental difference between the concentration camps and plantation experience was that slaves received clothing and food designed to provide minimum comfort; for another, slaves rarely suffered from outright malnutrition. On the other hand, concentration camp prisoners received inadequate clothing and food purposely to test their reactions to extreme cold weather and the ability to work while in a state of acute hunger. According to Genovese, here lay the crucial differences; "prisoners might be kept alive for experimental purposes, but slaves received treatment designed to grant them long life."[15]

In addition, concentration camp inmates were given meaningless tasks designed to break down and destroy personalities; whereas, slaves performed work that was productive and necessary for the survival of all. Since the plantation owners wanted the slaves to identify with their interests, slaves were allowed to develop individual personalities as long as they occasionally played Sambo. The Gestapo was not concerned with the loyalty of inmates. They deliberately denied the individuality of prisoners as a policy to break down their will to resist.[16]

Furthermore, the effects of the Nazi concentration camps on the Jewish people produced zombie like people, who can further be described as the "walking dead." As a response to their condition, few if any, revolts occurred in the concentration camps. There are unbelievable stories of the Jews digging their own graves--total and complete submission to their oppressors. Though slaves might be seen, according to this analogy, as an earlier version of the "walking dead," this behavior for many slaves was only a cover-up to insure their survival.

Though he rightly associates docility with the passivity of concentration camp prisoners, he is wrong to apply this to American slavery. He fails to distinguish between the master's interpretation of the "Sambo" behavior and the slave’s knowledge of what its true nature was, a façade covering rage, despair, and hatred quite the opposite of inherent docility. It has become increasingly clear to historians that enslaved Africans played the role of Sambo simply to stay alive.

According to Tannenbaum’s hypothesis, still generally held as the norm, the Latin American colonies enjoyed a milder form of slavery than the Dutch and English colonies.  If this is true then it poses another question.  Why did Latin American and West Indian colonies decrease in population, whereas the English colonies such as the United States actually increase in population?  For example, Cuba had about 7 per cent of the whole slave trade in the Americas, yet the Black and Mulatto population of the island in 1953 was only about 1.5 million, or 3 percent of the African-American population of the Americas.[17]

These figures suggest that the endurance and expansion of slavery in America was sustained primarily by natural reproduction.  This phenomenon is unique in the history of slavery.  In no place where slavery existed did the slave population increase by natural means as it did in the United States.  For example, in the United States the slave population increased from 400,000  in 1807 to 4.5 million in 1865.[18] This figure is remarkable because the slave importation was ended for all practical purpose by 1808.  Counter to Tannenbaum hypothesis other societies with a Catholic tradition such as Saint Dominique in 1791 imported twice the number of slaves as the United States, and "yet the surviving slave population in 1865 was only 480,000.”[19]

These figures show that slave rearing was dominant in the United States, and that the slave population in the United States during the nineteenth century was being generated through natural conception which suggests the existence of a strong family unit despite the condition of slavery.

Slave breeding was not as important in Brazilian society as it was in America.  The master-class apparently felt that is was not worth the trouble to raise children when they could instead import an adult who could immediately provide maximum labor output.  As a result, Brazil and the rest of Latin America imported mostly male slaves, which created a natural biological imbalance in the ratio of women to men.  This clearly showed that Brazilians were primarily interested in labor, and not families.  In other words, the steady flow of enslaved Africans from Africa to replace the sick and dying made it impossible for a African culture to maintain itself from generation-to-generation and for the African family concept to survive.  This was not possible in the North America.

Thus given the Elkins repressive hypothesis, one could ask why the life expectancy of a slave in Latin America and the West Indies averaged only seven years.[20] As soon as a slave died from overwork another would be imported from Africa to replace him.  This is one of the major reasons why Africans were constantly being imported to Brazil until 1888.  If American slaves had a higher life expectancy of 35 years as compared to their Latin American counter-parts, it stands to reason that slavery in America was not as bad as we have been led to believe.  The fact that slaves did survive, and increase in population suggests that the Elkins' hypothesis is incorrect and needs re-evaluation.  These facts clearly demonstrate that Latin American slavery was not milder than in America.  Elkins is walking on shaky moral ground when he argues that one form of slavery was more dehumanizing than another.  Thus it appears that this idea of a repressive slavery does not answer the question of why there were fewer slave revolts in North America in comparison to Latin America.  By exploring pertinent evidence the question can adequately be answered.

The reason for more slave revolts in Latin America had to do with the superior numbers; moreover, the process of ethnic separation played an important role in determining which countries were more susceptible to slave revolts.  Upon arrival in Brazil the various "tribal" groups were not separated as they were in America.  More than any single explanation the American policy of selective separation was one of the key reasons why there were fewer slave revolts in the United States.

In other words, the masters in the United States were consciously known to purchase slaves of different nations to forestall rebellion.  According to Carl Degler "much more significant in accounting for the difference in rebelliousness was the fact that in Brazil the continuance of the slave trade kept alive the sense of [African] identity that was the tinder from which revolts could be ignited and the fact with which they could be sustained."[21] On the other hand in the United States the majority of slaves were born in this country and the memories of Africa were so dim as to provide little basis for the kind of migration and connection of ideas to hold a culture intact.[22] Eugene Genovese also points out that "everywhere in the Americas a correlation existed between concentration of African-born slaves and the outbreak of revolts.  Creole slaves were generally more adjusted to their enslavement than those who had undergone the shock and detachment process from Africa to America."[23]

Thus because of the large presence of African-born slaves in Latin America, they were able to re-create much of their own culture in a new land.  Since most of the slaves in Brazil were African-born and from the same "tribal" (ethnic) group, they were able to organize into large Para-military units such as the quilombo of Palmares.  In other words, they were able to make a historical connection with other Africans of the same nations who had a similar cultural view based on a familiar world outlook.  Because they shared the same ethnic background, they were able to communicate and discuss plans for affirmative action against the slave regime in Brazil.  As mentioned earlier, because of the large Creole population in the United States, this type of historical connection was almost impossible.

Again, great pains were taken by the slave owners in the United States to separate slaves of the same ethnic origin.  Slave groups with a known revolutionary tradition such as the Igbos, Hausas, and Yorubas were generally excluded from the American market.  This process effectively eliminated any real threat of "tribal" unity, which could result in possible attempts to over-throw the slave system.

A general consensus of contemporary sources shows that slave owners in America had specific preference from where they wanted slaves to be purchased.  For instance, the Africans who were considered most suitable for the American market were the Senegalese who "had a strong Arabic strain in their ancestry, and because they were believed to be of mixed heritage were considered the most intelligent of and were especially to be trained and used in domestic service and as handicrafts worker."  Phillips continued "they are good commanders over other Negroes, having a high spirit and tolerable share of fidelity: but they are unfit for hard work, their bodies are not robust nor their constitution vigorous."  Mandingoes, on the other hand, were considered gentle in demeanor but prone to theft.  Since they were believed to fatigue easily, they were to be employed in the distilleries, boiling houses and to have served as watchmen against fire.[24] In Latin America the Mandingoes held a similar position.

The "Whydahs," "Pawpaws" (Popo) from Dahomey, and "Nagoes" Yorubas of the Slave Coast were considered less rebellious than the "Coromantess" (Asanti-Fanti) of the then Gold Coast.  According to Phillips, the "Whydahs," "Pawpaws," and "Nagoes" were generally considered "the most highly esteemed of all,"[25] because they were "lusty and industrious, cheerful and submissive."  While the Asanti-Fanti were prone to rebel, the Igbo were known to commit suicide and believed to have been at the bottom of most of the major revolts in Latin America.  For instance, in Haiti they say "Ibos pend cor, a yo”--The Ibo hang themselves.  Dr. J. S. Harris has noticed this same tendency among the "Calabar" or Igbo of Africa.  Calabar is another generic name for Igbos.[26] In the United States the biographer of Henry Laurens remarked that in South Carolina "the frequent suicides among Calabar slaves indicate the different degrees of sensitive and independent spirit among the various Negro tribes."[27]

According to Phillips description of the Igbo he writes:  As to the Eboes or Mocoes, described as having a sickly yellow tinge in their complexion, jaundiced eyes, and prognathous faces like baboons, the women were said to be diligent but the men lazy, despondent and prone to suicide.[28] According to Phillips the place where slave traders were instructed to avoid was the kingdom of Gabon.  He writes: “From thence a good Negro was scarcely ever brought.  They are purchased so cheaply on the coast as to tempt many captains to freight with them: but they generally die either on the passage or soon after their arrival in the islands.[29]”

The Igbo, Yorubas, Fon, Ijaws, and Asanti-Fanti all found their way to North America.  However, in comparison to the rest of the ethnic groups the Igbos and Gaboneans were almost completely excluded from the North American slave markets.  These factor more than Elkins Sambo theory or any other explanation accounts for the differences in social tradition.  These cultural factors clearly demonstrate that the frequency of revolts had little to do with the repressiveness of the system, but rather the condition of slavery, the preferences of slavers, and how each enslaved African community adapted to changing realities on the ground.


The African presence in the New World soon after Columbus, particularly in Mexico, is  not generally taught in schools and the universities, yet Mexico was a key port of entry for slave ships and housed the largest African population at one time in the New World. In Mexico, many of the Africans that entered came to what are now the states of Mexico— Yucatan, Michoacán, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Veracruz, Guerrero and Oaxaca. The first African slave brought to Mexico is said to be Juan Cortés, a slave who accompanied Hernán Cortés in 1519. Another conquistador, Pánfilo de Narváez, brought an African slave who has been blamed for the smallpox epidemic of 1520.[30] Early Africans were likely Moors, who came as explorers, adventurers, and associates of conquistadors.[31]

Contrary to popular belief, Africans did not remain in the south, but migrated throughout the whole of Mexico, where they were employed in occupations such as mining, the textile industry, ranching, fishing and agriculture. Enslaved Africans in Mexico were not simply employed as slaves, but were also explorers and cofounders of settlements as far north as Los Angeles, and other parts of what is today the Southwest United States.[32] Mexican anthropologist Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán estimated that six blacks took part in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521.

The Spanish were the first Europeans to introduce African slavery into the New World. From the early sixteenth century on the island of Hispaniola, slavery spread to all of the Spanish colonies in the New World—Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Chile. During the 16th and 17th centuries Mexico and Peru became the largest importers of enslaved Africans.  According to Colin A. Palmer, Mexico received the largest number of enslaved Africans via the Spanish slave trade up to 1640.[33] During the Colonial era, there were more Africans than Europeans in Mexico.  According to Aguirre Beltrán it was because Mexico imported mainly male Africans and very few women.  As a result, the African population blended in with the Spanish, Mestizo, and Indian peoples to produce the modern Mexican population, and because of this racial mixture, much of the African presence is no longer discernible, except in a few places such as Veracruz and the Costa Chica in Guerrero and Oaxaca.[34]

Large numbers of Africans were introduced into Mexico in response to a shortage of labor as a result of the decline of indigenous populations from European diseases.  The Indians did not have natural immunities to European diseases such as smallpox, measles, typhus, influenza.  As a consequence of epidemics in 1520, 1548, 1576-1579, and 1595-96 wiping out a significant number of the indigenous population, Friar Bartholomew de las Casas suggested that enslaved Africans be used exclusively to work the mines and to replace indigenous American workers.

The Africans who were transported from Africa came primarily from West and Central Africa. Early in the slave trade to Mexico between 1545 and 1556, 80 percent of the Africans imported into Mexico came from Senegambia and Guinea-Bissau. The ethnic groups included Tukulor, Wolof, Malinke, and Kassanga. As the English, French, Dutch and other joined the slave trade the enhanced competition on the Western Coast of Africa forced the Spanish in the 17th century to shift to Central Africa for Africans to enslave. Between 1615 and 1640 an average of three out of every four enslaved Africans destined for Mexico were listed as from Angola.[35] According to Mexican historian Aguirre Beltran about 20.9 percent of Africans came from West Africa including mostly Wolof, Bram [Guinea-Bissau] and Biafada, while the majority of Africans in Mexico were represented by the Bantu 75.4 percent of whom originated from Angola and the Kongo.[36]

Wherever slavery existed, Africans rebelled against their oppression and enslavement from first boarding slave ships to New World plantations.  The first slave rebellion occurred in Mexico as early as 1537.  The history of slave revolts in Mexico is tied directly to the rise of silver mines and the cultivation of sugar, which is labor intensive and increased the demand for enslaved African labor.  Mexico City was the focus of numerous slave revolts, which had the largest concentration of enslaved Africans.

In the first slave revolt in Mexico the Africans faced serious organizational problem in electing a leader.  The enslaved Africans acting in conjunction with the Indians of Mexico City and Tlaltelolco, decided to murder all the Spaniards.  The rebellion was to begin at midnight on September 24, 1537. However, just before the slave revolt was to take place, one of the Africans revealed the plan to the viceroy. Viceroy Mendoza acted swiftly and ordered the arrest of the king as well as the ringleaders.  As a result, the expected revolt never materialized.  The Viceroy then enlisted the Indians to track down the other conspirators.  Five Africans were captured including one woman, they were executed and their bodies salted to preserve them for presentation to the viceroy.

Enslaved Africans were imported into El Salvador around the 1540s. Most slaves brought to El Salvador were used in local mining operations. Many died living no descendants. Slaves were also used in the haciendas, growing indigo. Regions such as San Salvador, San Vicente, Zacatecoluca, Chinameca, and Ahuachapan had significant population of Afro-descendants. In 1625, there was an attempted slave rebellion which was aborted. This discouraged the importation of African slaves. The Afro-descendants eventually began to mix with the general population producing the mulatto and zambo[37] population of El Salvador. African men readily chose Amerindian women, so their children would be free. Laws were passed banning the miscegenation of the African and Amerindian population for this reason. Slavery was abolished in 1825, making El Salvador the second country to ban slavery in the Americas, outside Haiti. Numerous enslaved Africans from Belize fled to El Salvador, eventually mixing with the native population.


Puerto Rico, the island known as “Borinken” by the indigenous Taíno Indians, was first visited by the Spanish Conquistadors in 1508. Juan Ponce de Leon arrived on the island and was greeted by Cacique Agueybana the Taíno supreme leader. Agueybana helped in preserving the peace between the Conquistadors and the Taíno population. The Spaniards came in search of gold and other riches. The peace kept between the Spaniards and the indigenous did not hold for very long. Ponce de Leon was appointed to colonize Puerto Rico by Governor Nicholas de Orvando. Later the Taínos would be forced to work in the gold mine and in building of forts for the Spaniards. As a result many died due to the rigorous forced labor and European diseases. Another complication for the Taínos was the introduction of smallpox which plagued the island as a result of European contact with the indigenous peoples.

After their enslavement the Taínos and Caribs revolted against the Spaniards in 1511. Caribs are another indigenous group, who lived on the southern portion of the island. It is from them that we get the name of the Caribbean. The revolt started from Agueybana II tricking a Spaniard named Diego Salcedo to go down to the river. It was there he was drowned by the Indians, to prove that the Conquistadors were not gods, but men. As a result of the revolt Ponce de Leon ordered six thousand of the Taínos and Caribs to be shot. Many of the Indians fled the island, while others committed suicide. This was a response to their treatment and the execution order of Ponce de Leon.

In 1512 another revolt involved slaves owned by Christopher Columbus’s son, Diego Colon, lasting a few months until the leaders of the revolt were captured and executed. Outraged by the inhumane treatment of the newly enslaved indigenous peoples, Friar Bartolomé de las Casas, another member of Ponce de León’s entourage, protested in front of the council of Burgos at the Spanish Courts on behalf of the Tainos. From Bartolommeo de las Casas’ advocacy for the Taínos, in 1517 the Spanish Crown granted the importing of twelve Africans to make up for the loss of Taíno labor and deaths. From there, the transatlantic slave trade began to supply  the Spanish colonies. The Africans sent to Puerto Rico were to work in the gold mines, sugar cane fields, ginger fields, and other crops such as maize. potato, peanut, pineapple and chocolate grown and produced on the island. From the growing demand for exports, an increase of enslaved Africans would follow. Numerous Africans were exported from the West coast of Africa. These areas included Dahomey, Gold Coast, Guinea, and Nigeria. The increase in African population grew substantially from approximately 1,500 in 1530, to 15,000 in 1555. Slaves would be branded as a form of legal property. The branding would come from a hot iron on the forehead. This also would assist to prevent slave abductions.

Slaves were permitted to have a family and were given an area of land to maintain for their own personal crops. Education was provided by the slave master. The slaves would in turn educate their own offspring and teach the master’s language to them as well. This led to the formation of a hierarchy within the society. Slaves were seen as superior to the Taínos, for the reason that the Africans could more easily assimilate.  Christianity was forced upon the slaves to make them Catholics. The Spanish settled without women accompanying them. This would later compel the Spaniards to maintain sexual relations with both enslaved Africans and Taíno women. Such treatment of enslaved persons by the Spaniards was due to the fact that Spain was occupied by the Moors. The Moors reigned in Spain from 711 to 1492. Having previous contact with those other than of European origin is believed to be why the Spaniards were not reluctant to engage with African and native West Indies women. The raping of enslaved women was a wide spread practice which involved many nations and many slave-holders.

“In 1527, the first major slave rebellion occurred in Puerto Rico as dozens of slaves fought against the colonist in a brief revolt. The few slaves who escaped retreated to the mountains where they resided as maroons with surviving Tainos.”[38] Later in 1789 the Spanish Decree was implemented. The decree allowed Africans who emigrated to Puerto Rico to either earn or purchase their freedom. Word got out about this decree, causing many Africans to seek their freedom.

Other slave revolts occurred. Slaves alternated between revolting or escaping to the countryside where slaves and natives would live as Maroons. On October 15, 1795, slaves in Partido de Aguadilla attempted to revolt; it was followed by strict measures of the Puerto Rican authorities. In fear of what had happened in Haiti with Toussaint L’Ouverture, the Governor Ramon de Castro took preventative measures. Documents held by the Puerto Rican government indicate a Haitian agent arrived in Puerto Rico in 1805 by the name of Chaulette. After this news spread around the island, his arrest was ordered. It was later found that Chaulette was part of a slave conspiracy of all the Caribbean lands. This information led to strict security measures being implemented against the free people of color as well as slaves throughout the island. Foreigners and the number of weapons began to be tallied on the island. Other people of color were prohibited from the island and arrested.

A slave revolt took place in the district of Humacao in the town of Casa del Rey when slaves attempted to take over the “Kings House.” Little is known about this rebellion; however, it is known that the Haitian Revolution served as the model  and inspiration for the Haitian agent Chaulette to spread revolution throughout the region.

In 1812, in the Puerto Rican capital San Juan Bautista, a conspiracy spread during the Christmas festivities. The rumor was that the Spanish Cortes Extraordinarias declared that slaves should be freed. Surrounding areas also heard the same rumor in their town. It turned out to be a bill proposed by a Mexican member of the Cortes, which would have abolished the slave trade. This was one of the reasons the unrest began to show itself throughout the capital and surrounding areas. The previous year in 1811, slavery was abolished in Spain. Although slavery was abolished in their motherland of Spain, it did not apply to the colonies: Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. Cuban slaves began to revolt causing unrest in the region. However, in 1812, adding fuel to the fire, the rumor flared up again of slavery being abolished. Many slaves interpreted the news in their favor, and more unrest would follow. Slaves began to demand their freedom and stand up to the authorities. A series of clashes and arrests were made until the situation was confined. History has shown this event started when free Blacks announced to some of the enslaved population that freedom had been granted in the neighboring town of Bayamon.

By 1821, Bayamon became a leading sugar producer for Puerto Rico. The sugar cane fields would play a major part of a conspiracy planned by the bozal (African born slave and laborer) slave Marcos Xiorro. His plan was to take place at midnight. Several different groups of slaves from neighboring haciendas in the town of Bayamon, were to join forces to carry out Xiorro’s plot to control the town. The conspiracy was for the slaves to escape and arrive at the slave owner Miguel Figueres’ cane fields. There they would find cutlasses and swords hidden in a bundle of already cut cane laid out across a path in the field. Another slave by the name of Mario would leave Bayamon to meet other slaves in the town of Toa Baja. From there they would try to take over the town as well. Mario would send Juan Agustin to inform the other conspirators in Toa Baja to follow the additional plans. Pedro, another slave would inform another group of slaves to also carry out the plot. The groups were to divide into four groups and cover four corners of Bayamon’s entrances. Their attack would start at the mayor’s home. The conspirators were to gather as many weapons possible for the attack at all the locations where the slaves gathered. Following the first attack, the plan called for all the participants to set fire to the town and cut the throats of all the whites. After the plans were carried out in Bayamon, they would march for the capital. On their way they would then divide into two groups. They stationed at the Martin Pena bridge. At the bridge they would be awaited by fellow slaves from the towns of Rio Piedras, Palo Seco, and Guaynbo. While waiting they were to prevent any whites from leaving the city. They would then head for the Mira Flores hill district were Mario would be declared King. Xiorro was absent from the plan and there were many speculations on why he was gone. The most likely story is that he had left to collaborate with the Haitian government. Later it was known that the Haitian government was aware of the plot. Haiti was also a top concern of Puerto Rico’s way of life. Although the plan was very thorough, the Puerto Rican authorities’ plans were better. Prior to the conspiracy taking place, an overseer by the name of Luis informed the authorities of the plot.

Although the plot planned by Marcus Xiorro was a failed attempt to take over the island, Xiorro is still celebrated to this day in Puerto Rico. In 1843, some twenty years later a conspiracy was held in Longoba. Slaves residing in an absentee landowner’s property that was situated elsewhere in Toa Baja  came up with a plot to leave and they did. Their destination was about a mile and a half away from their residence in a neighboring town. Upon their arrival the small group of six entered the Casa del Toa with hardly any resistance. This building held arms for the Toa Baja Militia. After seizing the weapons they occupied a church where there was a bell tower. The word got out about their seizing Casa del Toa which led to some of the militia arriving to the church soon afterwards. There was a battle for the church which lasted for a few hours. It is believed the plan was to ring the bell to alarm the other slaves that the revolution had come. However, the battle left the ringleader dead Bembe, nor was the bell ever rung. The other participants were able to flee and hid in a local sugar cane field. The military persisted in following the escaped slaves. They ordered the slaves to surrender themselves, but the rebels did not. The military then set a fire to cause them to run out; however, it started to rain and that stopped the fire. After these few attempts to capture the rebel they let loose their bulldogs to track them down. The rebels were able to escape from the dogs and ran to the highest point of the sugar cane field where they could see the soldiers. The soldiers began to cut down the sugar cane with machetes and captured the rebels from that sugar cane field along with those in another. After their capture the rebels were executed.

Slavery in Puerto Rico was definitely different from that of other regions. While the slaves of Puerto Rico had certain civil liberties they still were to follow the orders of their slave masters. Their treatment varied from slave owner to slave owner; however, the Black African slaves were aware that slavery was unjust. The decree allowing for Africans to work or purchase their freedom allowed many on the island to become aware of events happening outside the island. All of these events would later catch up to the islands even though the island had enforced their slave practices for a very long period. Puerto Rico had more runaways, small rebel groups and conspiracies than it had actual revolts.

Puerto Rico never really abolished slavery. The enslaved Africans were made to purchase their freedom. This is what the abolition of slavery looked like in Puerto Rico on March 22, 1873. Having to commit to a three year contract the slave would work for their former slave master, for other people, or in services for the state. Already occupying the jobs of servitude, this would help in granting their freedom. Even after the slaves were considered free many of them continued working for their former slave masters. However, they would be working for a salary instead of free labor. If the slaves did not want to work for their former master, the owners were given a 23 percent former slave value from the Protectors Office.

Enslaved Africans resisted throughout the transatlantic slave trade; they resisted slavery from its inception in the Americas, particularly the New World in the early 1600s to the late 1800s. Enslaved Africans resisted capture and enslavement in Africa, and later on slave ships coming to the New World; they resisted in the plantation fields and in the Big House and they organized slave actions against their oppressors. They fought for their freedom and liberation and were killed and died in the cause of freedom. Sometimes they even committed infanticide and suicide as forms of resistance. They fought and lost against insurmountable odds, but in the end they won because their struggle and resistance transformed the minds of Latin Americans and brought on the abolition of the institution of slavery. One single revolt did not lead to liberation and freedom, but collectively the many revolts contributed to events that would eventually lead to their liberation and freedom from bondage.  The following chronology is a selected list of African slave actions in the Americas.


The important of the Yòrúbà  Empire reached beyond its size and prominence in West Africa through many aspects of Yòrúbà culture, particularly in the arts and through its religion as it is the largest African religious system that survives in the New World today in Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and New Orleans.  One of the major reasons you had more of a tradition of slave resistance in those countries was because of the role of African religion as a unifying force for enslaved Africans.

Although Africans were uprooted from all parts of West and Central Africa and brought to the New World, the Yòrúbà people of Southwest Nigeria made up the bulk of enslaved people transported to Brazil, Haiti, Cuba and the American South. The transatlantic slave trade established an irreversible link between Africa and the Americas as Africans sold into slavery brought major elements of their culture to the New World. As the largest forced migration in history, the slave trade brought an estimated 20 million Africans to the New World.  Those millions of Africans were scattered throughout the New World, the Diaspora mixing and integrating precious traditions among the diverse African groups.

Brazil was impacted by about 50 percent of the entire slave trade. Forty percent went to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, and about seven percent to North America. From the Yoruba nation, many millions were bound to the Americas. The Yòrúbàs comprised about 40% of all Africans arriving in the New World, and about 13 percent of all Africans arriving in North World from Yoruba land, Benin and Dahomey.  In the United States one out of every six Africans was of Yòrúbà ancestry, and in Cuba, Yòrúbà and related groups made up 40 percent of the enslaved population.

The Yòrúbà in their entirety are important because they formed the largest ethnic group in West Africa numbering 20 million, and with a growing Diaspora were scattered throughout the Western Hemisphere.  The United States, the Caribbean and Central and South America all received Yorubas through the slave trade, but it was in the Caribbean and northeastern Brazil that Yòrúbà culture remained most distinct and identifiable.  This is especially true of the Yòrúbà’s traditional religion, and African-Cuban Santeria. Their influences are seen in African rituals surviving in Brazil, Cuba, Louisiana and South Carolina.

African cultural influences also heavily influenced slave insurrections. Throughout the hemisphere newly arrived Africans mounted the most dramatic insurrectionary activities. The great revolution in Saint-Domingue was carried out by a  largely Yòrúbà slave population. Bahia risings of 1807-1835 had an unmistakable Yòrúbà ethnic African base, and the overwhelming  African majority of the revolts in the Caribbean before 1800--perhaps all the important ones--were carried out by Africans who were, or claimed to be, Yòrúbà or Akan.

Religion provided  the spiritual leadership for revolts in Brazil, Caribbean, Cuba and throughout Latin and South America—the leaders—Obeah men, Myalmen, Vodûn priests, Ñáñigos, Muslim teachers--led, inspired, or provided vital sanction for one revolt after another. In addition to the Bahian revolts, Muslims led at least two revolts--in Saint-Domingue and in Surinam--despite the numerical insignificance of Muslims in those countries.

The influence of Islam in the wave of risings in Bahia may serve as an example. Throughout the Americas, enslaved Muslims from Yòrúbà land  earned a reputation for being especially rebellious. The political-religious ideology they brought from West Africa ill-prepared them for enslavement by the infidels, whose power they were expected to resist. West Africans could have absorbed Islamic doctrines only indirectly, for the masses continued to adhere to the older religions until well into the nineteenth century. The ruling strata, however, had both religious tradition and some knowledge of the specific teachings. In the New World they had the incitement and opportunity to forge an ideology of resistance. To do so effectively, however, they had to eschew Muslim purity and assimilate much of the religious thought and practice of the traditional African and emerging African-American religion. Thus, the literate Muslim leaders in Bahia accepted many practices considered fetishistic and pagan by strict Muslim teaching and doctrine.

The Hausa emerged as the decisive leaders of the early Bahia revolts in Brazil. Muslim penetration of Hausa territory in Africa dated from the fourteenth century. Some towns embraced Islam during the fifteenth and by the seventeenth had established centers of Muslim learning. The great majority of the people, especially the rural cultivators, nevertheless, continued to adhere to their traditional religions until the Fulani conquest of the nineteenth century under the leadership of Usman dan Folio. The Hausa masses may not have been converted to Islam in Africa by 1807, when Zaria fell to the Fulani and the blacks rose in Bahia; but they had already been disciplined to follow a firm Muslim leadership, which in the New World successfully advanced Islam as a religion of resistance.

In Bahia an Afro-Brazilian Islam brought together African peoples. The Yoruba, who had resisted Hausa and Fulani encroachments in their motherland, turned up as Muslims in Brazil. Islam in Africa as in the Middle Ease arose fundamentally as an urban religion, and the Yoruba (Nagôs, as they were called in Brazil), preeminently an urban people in Africa, were concentrated in the city of Bahia (Salvador) in large numbers. Despite their rivalry with the Hausa in Africa, in the New World they cooperated with all Yorubas related peoples, and they used Islam as an organizing force to unite peoples of different cultures. Afro-Brazilian Muslims played a prominent part in the revolts that shook Bahia during the early nineteenth century: in 1807, 1809, 1813, and with special force in 1816, 1826, 1827, 1830, and most dangerously in 1835. Ewe (Gêges), Nupe (Tapes), and other slaves and free Negroes participated.

The Bahia revolt 1835 brought several hundred of Yorubas and Hausas  and the revolt was almost successful in creating another Haiti.  The number of Yorubas steadily increased as the Oyo civil wars produced a continue supply of war captives from Yoruba land.  Large numbers of Hausa and Yoruba, clung together in large numbers. Many went to the city as skilled workers 'end craftsmen and established ties with free Blacks of similar background and together formed a coherent community with literate and sophisticated Muslim religious leaders almost creating the second successful slave revolution in history.


African heritage survives strongly in Brazil.  Brazilians have incorporated Yòrúbà  belief and culture. Enslaved Africans from Yòrúbà, Fon, Ewe and other African groups brought their religion from Africa to the New World. Yòrúbà religion predates Christianity, Islam and Buddhism by thousands of years.  The Yòrúbà had the greatest impact on Brazilian religion, music and dance, all are heavily rooted in Africa.

Millions of Brazilians publicly practice Catholicism, but over half of the Brazilian population worships the Oxisás.  One of the most important ritual and ceremony takes place in Brazil every year on the first day of January, a celebration for the Oxisa Yemanji, the water goddess. More than one million devotees and celebrants dress in white and wade into the ocean at dusk.  High priestesses initiate new members into the priesthood and thousands go into trance as they are visited by the spirit of Yemanji who is identified with the Virgin Mary. Religion and reinterpretation, adapting and integrating Yoruba and Christian theology into a resistance theory provided the organization glue for many revolts.

Brazil capture the essence of the synchronization of the Orisas (Yòrúbà gods) with Catholic Saints, altars and blood sacrifices to the Orisas, a female devotee in trance, an Ifa priest performing an act of divination, Babalawos (priests), Eleggua/Esu standing in the doorway dressed in the god’s colors, and the crowned priest of Shango in his distinguished red robe walking through the streets with his Thunder Axe.  The god Shango is probably the most popular Yòrúbà god in the New World. The vivid pictures demonstrate that after years of slavery the African gods live and have a profound impact on the history, culture and heritage of Brazilians as well as modern life.


The Spanish slave trade brought in excess of one million Africans to the New World as slaves.  Yòrúbà land   was on the trade route leading to the Port of Ajase, which was a prime location for capturing the vulnerable Africans because of its ideal open harbor, today called Porto Novo.  The primary ethnic group coming from this area was the Egbado. During the liveliest period of slavery vulnerable Africans were spirited from their homeland and taken to Cuba to toil on the sprawling sugar plantations.

The heaviest Spanish slave traffic bound to Cuba gained impetus in the aftermath of the Haitian revolution in 1802, which destroyed that tiny country’s ability to maintain itself as a major exporter of sugar. Subsequently, sugar production in Cuba skyrocketed and from the late 1790s to 1861 the island’s enslaved African population expanded from 171,620 to 1,396,530.[39]


Vodou history belongs to millions of peoples, whose ancestors were brought from what is today the Yorubas of the Republic of Benin and Nigeria.  Dahomean Vodu predates Christianity by 5,000 years.  Enslaved Africans were brought to the Island of Hispaniola (Little Spain) to replace the Arawak, who were first to be enslaved only to be eradicated by European diseases. European indentured servitude proved uneconomical, and hence slave trade with Western
and Central Africa began in 1517.[40]

In 1697 the French acquired the western third of the island of Hispaniola, and over the next century a plantation economy developed and enslaved African labor exploitation made Saint-Dominguez (Haiti) the wealthiest colony in the world.  The major source of Haiti wealth was sugar, but coffee, cotton and indigo were also important to the economy.  In the course of a century, the enslaved population grew from a few thousand to half a million.  This growing diverse African population included a majority of Yorubas and Fon from Benin, who also brought their religious tradition of Vodou to Haiti. These Africans included the Fon from the kingdom of Dahomey, now Benin and Togo, the Yòrúbà of
what are now Nigeria and parts of Benin[41], and the Bakongo and Ovimbundu from the Central African nations of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Kongo.[42]

During the period of French colonization Vodu emerged on the plantation as the dominant religion of enslaved persons.  In an attempt to maintain and keep alive their religion, the Africans began to invoke their spirits and gods through maintaining their sacred ceremonies and rituals.  The Africans of other nations found a common thread in Vodu and mixed and intermingled their religious beliefs, which helped lay the foundation and basis for survival in the New World. Africans began using Catholicism as a means to mask their Vodu religious ceremonies by synthesizing and assimilating African deities with
Catholic Saints as representations of their own African gods.[43]

The colonial period in Saint-Domingue came to an end in 1791. The French Revolution in 1789 weakened France and her New World holdings. The Haitian Revolution began with a Vodou ceremony held by runaway enslaved Africans[44] at Bois Cayman in August of 1789, led by a slave named Boukman. This event was the beginning of a series of rebellions that lasted 13 years.  The religion of Vodou played a crucial part in providing a spiritual movement for the enslaved population, contributing to their freedom and liberation from slavery.  Over the next 13 years, under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the French were defeated.  Saint-Domingue remained Haiti in honor of the Taino Indians, the original inhabitants, who called their homeland Ayiti meaning Land of the Mountains. Many white planters escaped with their enslaved Africans and relocated in French New Orleans, and Charleston, South Carolina.


1512- In 1512, forty enslaved Africans owned by Christopher Columbus’s son Diego Colon, mounted a rebellion which lasted a few months until the Africans were captured and executed.

1522- One of the most serious slave revolts in Spanish America broke out on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola on December 28, 1522, which is today the Dominican Republic, and led by the Wolof enslaved Africans from Senegal in West Africa.  Some forty enslaved Africans, working at the sugar mill on the   plantation of the Governor, Admiral Diego Colon (Columbus) Christobal Colon, conspired with other Africans working on nearby plantations.  On Christmas night the enslaved Africans attacked, killing at least nine of the whites on nearby plantations.[45]

1525- Santa Marta was the first Colombian town  founded by the Spanish.  Five years later it was the first town completely destroyed as a result of a slave rebellion.  It was rebuilt in 1531, and another slave uprising took place there in 1550.[46]

1527- African and Indian slaves revolted against the Spanish authorities in Puerto Rico, and fought the Spanish authorities.  Some Africans escaped and retreated to the mountains, where they resided as maroons with the Taino Indians.[47]

1532- In 1532 the first slave revolt took place in the first slave revolt in Venezuela in the town of Coro.[48] In the town 55 percent of the Coro district were African in origin.

1533- The first recorded slave revolt in Cuba took place at the Jobabo mines.  Four enslaved Africans battled a large military force until their death.  Four of the of leaders of the rebellion were hung, drawn, and quartered, and their heads were put on stakes. [49]

1537- The first slave rebellion occurred in Mexico in 1537.  The history of slave revolts in Mexico is tied directly to the rise of silver mines and the cultivation of sugar, which is labor intensive, and increased the demand for enslaved African labor.  Mexico City was the focus of the slave revolt, which had the largest concentration of enslaved Africans.  In the first slave revolt in Mexico the Africans faced some serious organizational problem in electing a king. The enslaved Africans, acting in conjunction with the Indians of Mexico City and Tlaltelolco, decided to murder all the Spaniards.  The rebellion was to begin at midnight on September 24, 1537. However, right before the slave revolt was to take place, one of the Africans revealed the plan to the viceroy. Viceroy Mendoza acted swiftly and ordered the arrest of the king as well as the ringleaders.  As a result, the expected revolt never materialized.  The Viceroy then enlisted the Indians to track down the other conspirators.  Five Africans were captured including one women; they were killed and salted to preserve their bodies, which they prevented to the viceroy.[50]

1540- On September 1, 1540 Pedro Gilafo was apprehended near the town of Orisco in Coast Rica. He had fled his master and was thought to have been in the company of “war-like Indians” for the previous twenty days.  Local officials had him boiled alive.[51]

1545- This period from 1545-48 in Hispaniola (Santo Domingo)  is known as the “War of the Negroes.”  Bloody battles were fought between Spanish-led forces and cimarones.  The most important fugitive, Diego de Campo, had been at large since 1536 and was feared throughout the land.  Captured in 1546, he joined the Spaniards and subsequently made short work of the other cimarrones. In Columbia in 1545 a group of enslaved Africans escaped from a mine in the present-day department of Popayan.  They seized the town of Tofeme, killed twenty whites, and carried off 250 Indian hostages to the mountains.[52]

1548- Slaves rebelled in the gold mines of Colombia.[53]

1551- In 1551, Viceroy Luis de Velasco had to call out the military to deal with disturbances caused by enslaved Africans.  While their masters were at Mass or attending to their business the Negroes went through the pueblos and with their arms killed some Spaniards and wounded some Indians.[54]

1552- Operating from the San Blas Mountains in the isthmus of Panama enslaved Africans attacked Spanish mule trains carrying silver and other goods eastward to Porto Bello. King Bayano, a Muslim Mandinka, who was captured and enslaved in West Africa, led the largest sixteenth-century revolt against the Spanish colonial rule in Panama. He caused problems until he was captured, castrated, and released in 1553.  King Bayano was then pardoned, but later continued his rebellious activities. Another group led by Luis de Mozambique and Anton Mandinga, continued to rebel against Spanish authority until Madrid issued a general pardon for Panamanian cimarrones.  These rebels and their supporters were settled in two towns, Santiago del Principle (1579) and Santa Cruz de la Real (1582).[55]

1553- In 1553, the first recorded revolt by Africans enslaved by the Spanish colonial authority disrupted a gold rush in Venezuela's Burla mining region. The uprising was led by Negro Miguel, an African slave who established a maroon colony and who is now recognized as a leader in the historical struggle for racial justice in Venezuela. Following the discovery of gold reserves by Spanish explorer Damián del Barrio on the edges of the Buría River, now in Venezuela's Yaracuy State, near the city of Nirgua, a gold rush ensued, leading to the founding in 1551 of Real de Minas de San Felipe de Buría, the first miners' settlement in Venezuela. In its wake, gold miners established the town of El Tocuyo in 1545 as a prospecting center. In 1550, the Spanish crown decided to permit the involuntary transport of the first African slaves to the region to work the mines. By 1552, 80 Africans, including Miguel, his wife, and his children, were forced into slavery in the Real de Minas region. In 1553, Miguel fled the mining operation with his family and other enslaved Africans to the surrounding mountains, from where they planned a nocturnal ambush of colonial guards and miners in Real de Minas.

1582- Cimarrones operating from the San Blas Mountains in the isthmus attacked Spanish mule trains carrying either silver and other goods eastward to Porto Bello, or enslaved Africans and imported wares westward tp Panama City.  One group, led by King Ballano, caused serious difficulties until the leader was captured, castrated, and release in 1553.  King Ballano then was pardoned, but he later formed another group of raiders that operated successfully until he was recaptured in 1558.  Another group was led by Luis de Mozambique and Anton Mandinga, continued to disrupt isthmus traffic until Madrid issued a general pardon for Panamanian cimarrones.  These reformed  rebels and their supporters were then settled in two towns, Santiago del Principe in 1579 and Santa Cruz de la Real in 1582.[56]

1570- Gaspar Yanga—often simply Yanga or Nyanga [meaning doctor or traditional healer in Bantu languages]—was a leader of a slave rebellion in Mexico during the early period of Spanish colonial rule. Said to be of the Bran people and member of the royal family of Angola or Gabon, Yanga came to be the head of a band of revolting slaves near Veracruz around 1570. Escaping to the difficult terrain of the highlands, he and his people built a small maroon colony, or Palenque. For more than 30 years it grew, partially surviving by capturing caravans bringing goods to Veracruz. However, in 1609 the Spanish colonial government decided to undertake a campaign to regain control of the territory.

Led by the soldier Pedro González de Herrera, the Spanish troops which set out from Puebla in January 1609 numbered around 550, of which perhaps 100 were Spanish regulars and the rest conscripts and adventurers. The maroons facing them were an irregular force of 100 fighters with some type of firearm, and four hundred more with primitive weapons such as stones, machetes, bows and arrows. These maroon troops were led by Francisco de la Matosa, an Angolan. Yanga—who was quite old by this time—decided to employ his troops' superior knowledge of the terrain to resist the Spaniards, with the goal of causing them enough pain to draw them to the negotiating table.

Upon the approach of the Spanish troops, Yanga sent terms of peace via a captured Spaniard. Essentially, Yanga asked for a treaty akin to those that had settled hostilities between Indians and Spaniards: an area of self-rule, in return for tribute and promises to support the Spanish if they were attacked. In addition, he suggested that this proposed district would return any slaves which might flee to it. This last concession was necessary to soothe the worries of the many slave owners in the region.

The Spaniards refused the terms, and a battle was fought, yielding heavy losses for both sides. The Spaniards advanced into the settlement and burned it. However, the people fled into the surrounding terrain, and the Spaniards could not achieve a conclusive victory. The resulting stalemate lasted years; finally, unable to win definitively, the Spanish agreed to parley. Yanga's terms were agreed to, with the additional provisos that only Franciscan priests would tend to the people, and that Yanga's family would be granted the right of rule. In 1618 the treaty was signed and by 1630 the town of San Lorenzo de los Negros de Cerralvo was established. This town, in today's Veracruz province, remains to this day under the name of Yanga.[57]

1578- In Peru when Francis Drake attacked the city of Lima, the slaves revolted.[58]

1600- Palmares, which eventually became the largest quilombi i.e., community of escaped enslaved Africans founded in Brazil and lasted until 1694.

1612- Thirty-six Africans, including seven women, were publicly hanged in the main plaza of Mexico City for plotting an uprising of enslaved Africans to overthrow Spanish rule in Mexico.[59]

1608- In 1608, there was an abortive rebellion and military confrontation between the Spaniards and enslaved Africans which occurred in such places as Huascaltepec, Rio Blanco, Alvarado, Zongolica and Cuernavaca.  Another revolt in 1608 in Mexico City had been abortive.  Some Afro-Mexicans, both free and enslaved, met clandestinely on Christmas Eve in the home of a free mulatto who organized an uprising.  About 31 conspirators, 24 males and 7 females, were present.  The election of a king and a queen was the first procedural business for the gathering.  Martin was crowned king, a slave born in Africa, who belonged to Baltasar Reyes, who just happened to be the wealthiest man in Mexico City.  The queen was Melchora, a free black woman.  The freedmen involved were shoemakers, servants, butlers, and textile workers.  Most of the individuals involved in the plot worked for the viceroy, the archbishop, and the alguacil mayor.

1625- In El Salvador in 1625, there was an attempted slave rebellion which was aborted.[60]

1611- In 1611, a major plan for revolt was caused by the death of a female slave belonging to Luis Moreno de Monroy, of Mexico City.  The enslaved Africans in the city charged that her maltreatment caused her death.  On the day of her burial, 1500 Afro-Mexicans belonging to the Cofradia de Nuestra Senora took the corpse and marched defiantly through the streets. The crowd carried the body past the royal palace, the Holy Office of the Inquisition, and other public places.  Finally, returning the body to the home of Luis Moreno de Monroy, they then issued threats and hurled stones at the building.  The leader of the Afro-Mexicans was identified as a ladino slave named Diego, an officer in the aforementioned cofradia. This arrest excited the crowd, who decided to kill the Spaniards and loot their houses.  They elected two Angolan slaves, Pablo and his wife Maria, as their king and queen.  The rebellion was set for Christmas day, 1611.  At that time, four companies of infantry bound for the Philippines arrived in Mexico City, and the conspirators decided to postpone the rebellion, but before the revolt could begin the African elected king (leader) died.

1647- Following an earthquake in Chile, an Afro-Indian rebellion was feared in Santiago, as about 400 Africans united behind one of their number, who claimed to be of African royalty.  The Spanish dispersed the Africans and hung their leader.[61]

1649- The slave revolt in Barbados of 1649 was an amateur attempt at freedom. This included two plantations, and the trigger was insufficient food. It was quickly subdued with not much damage.

1673- The Tacky revolt in Jamaica was led by people from the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana) – Akan, Ashanti and Coromanti – who were often at the forefront of slave revolts in Jamaica during the 17th and 18th centuries. About 300 of them revolted in the parish of St Ann in 1673. In the parish of Clarendon 17 years later, 400 Coromanti burned down Sutton's estate and fled to the hills. In 1745, Akan-born slaves revolted in the south-eastern parish of St Thomas.

1675- On November 24, 1675, the House of Assembly (Barb. Ass. 1675) decided to consider the manumission of Fortuna as a reward for "her eminent service to the good of this country in discovering the intended plotted rebellion of the Negroes." The "plotted rebellion" that she had brought to the attention of her master involved only African-born male plantation slaves and not Creoles (Atkins 1675; Gr. Newes 1676: 9-11; Cont. of State 1676: 19; Godwyn 1680: 130-131). It apparently had been "hatched by the Cormantee or Gold-Coast Negro's" who, as Governor Atkins (1675) reported, "are much the greater number [in Barbados] from any one country, and are a warlike and robust people." Although "Cormantee" Africans were a majority of those implicated and most, if not all, of them were probably Akan speakers — a prominent group in Caribbean slave rebellions from the 17th through the 19th  centuries (Schuler 1970a) — while other African-born slaves appear to have been involved as well.

The revolt had been planned for "about three years" and was "cunningly and clandestinely carried, and kept secret, even from the knowledge of their own wife" (Gr. Newes 1676: 9). Slaves from several plantations were involved, although Governor Atkin’s (1675) report that the plot "had spread over most of the plantations" may have been exaggerated to impress the English government with the potential danger of what was felt to be the weakened state of the island's militia (cf. Gr. Newes 1676: 10—11; Cont. of State 1676: 19). "In the dead time of the night," the plan called for trumpets...of elephants teeth and gourdes to be sounded on several hills, to give notice of their general rising." With this signal, which was to be given simultaneously in different locales, the cane fields were to be burned, and the insurrectionists on each plantation were to attack their masters, "cut their throats," and ultimately kill all of the island's whites "within a fortnight"             (Gr.News 1676: 9-11; Cont. of State 1676: 19).

1678- Opposition faction rejects treaty signed by Brazilian maroon king Ganga Zumba.

1690- There are several rebellions in the 1700s attributed to Coromantees. According to Edward Long, the first rebellion occurred in 1690 when three or four hundred slaves in Clarendon Parish who, after killing a white owner, seized firearms and provisions and killed an overseer at the neighboring plantation.  A militia was formed which eventually suppressed the rebellion, hanging the leader.  Several of the rebels fled and joined the Maroons. Long also describes the incident where a slave-owner was overpowered by a group of Coromantees who after killing him, cut off his head, and turned his skull into a drinking bowl.[62] In 1739, the leader of Coromantee Maroons named, Cudjoe (Kojo) signed a treaty with the British ensuring the Maroons would be left alone provided they did not help other slave rebellions.

1692- The insurrectionists in Barbados aimed not only "to kill the governor and all the planters," but also "to destroy the government . . . and to set up a new governor and government of their own" (Brief Rel. 1693). More specifically, “they design'd to have taken up the surnames and offices of the principal planters and men in the island, to have enslaved all the black men and women to them, and to have taken the white women for their wives . . . no imported Negro was to have been admitted to   partake of the freedom they intended to gain, till he had been made free by them, who should have been their masters. The old women (both black and white) were to have been their cooks, and servants in other capacities. And they had chosen a governor among themselves.”

1695- Slave rebellion and conspiracies in Bahia, Brazil.

1702- Enslaved Africans rebelled against new slave codes in Barbados.

1716- First slave rebellion at Dutch Caribbean colony of Curacao.

1713- In Cuba, enslaved Africans in the copper mines at Jobabo rose up in 1713 and continued to do so sporadically until they were ordered freed in 1798.[63]

1719- Slave conspiracy in Mina Gerais, Brazil.

1726- In Cuba, as an English fleet maneuvered near Havana, enslaved Africans southwest of the city revolted and burned the sugar mills and other buildings owned by the Conde de Casa Bayona.  Two companies of mounted militia plus other troops were necessary to subdue the rebels.[64]

1727- A slave revolt took place at the sugar mill Quiebra-Hacha in the West of Havana. Cuba.  The uprising took place on the Quiebra-Hacha plantation that was owned by the first Court of Casa Bayona.  The Spanish military had to intervene to stop the revolt.

1730- Juan Andresote, a man of mixed African and Indian ancestry, led a revolt against the commercial policies of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Granada (modern-day Venezuela).  He led a rebel coalition consisting of fugitive slaves, free blacks and Indians.

1731- Enslaved Afro-Cubans forced Spanish administrators to work the copper mines of Santiago del Prado, also known as El Cobre on the Island of Cuba before they escaped into the mountains.

1733- The 1733 slave insurrection on St. John in the Danish West Indies, (now St. John, United States Virgin Islands) started on November 23, 1733 when African slaves from Akwamu revolted against the owners and managers of the island's plantations. The slave rebellion was one of the earliest and longest slave revolts in the Americas. The Akwamu slaves captured the fort in Coral Bay and took control of most of the island, intending to resume crop production under their own control using other ethnic Africans as slave labor. The revolt ended in mid-1734 when several hundred French and Swiss troops sent from Martinique defeated the Akwamu.[65] In Venezuela in July, a full-scale extermination campaign was executed along the Yaracuy River.  Jose Francisco, brother of Andresote, was captured and imprisoned, and Jose Cordero was imprisoned for life.  Eight ring leaders (five blacks, one mulatto, and two Indians) were hanged.  An unknown number of the fugitive slaves, cimarrones, and free blacks were seized under suspicion and “were killed under the ley de fuga hung or executed by the sword.[66]

1735- In Orizaba and Cordoba, which also lie in the Veracruz region of Mexico, at least five major insurrections were planned and executed among the remaining slave in the eighteenth century.[67]

1736- Antigua, 30 December 1736. Report to Governor Mathew of an enquiry into the Negro conspiracy. The slaves chiefly concerned were those born on the Gold Coast whom we style coromantees, led by Court a slave of Thomas Kerby; and those born in the colonies who we call creoles, led by Tomboy a master carpenter belonging to Thomas Hanson. Court, we are told, was of a considerable family in his own country, brought here at ten years of age, and covertly assumed among his countrymen here the title of king. Both men were well–treated by their masters, Tomboy being allowed to take negro apprentices and make all the profits he could. The other principals were Hercules, Jack, Scipio, Ned, Fortune and Toney, all creoles except Fortune who was either a Creole or brought here as an infant. The most active incendiaries under Court and Tomboy were Secundi and Jacko, both creoles of French parentage and both initiated into the Roman Catholic religion. Their employments were crafts, overseeing and house–service. When and by whom the design was first begun cannot be certainly fixed; probably it was by Court, and we know that it was in agitation about November 1735. The chief measures taken to corrupt our slaves were entertainments of dancing and feasting under color of innocent pretences; those corrupted were bound by oaths. A new government was to be established when the whites were extirpated: Court was flattered by all with being king, but the creoles had privately resolved to settle a commonwealth and make slaves of the coromantees. . . .

The method first proposed for executing the plot was that Tomboy should procure the making of the seats for a great ball to be held on 11 October last, at which all the people of note in the island would be present. He was to contrive laying gunpowder   in the house to be fired when the dancing was in progress. Three or four parties of 300–400 slaves were to enter the town and put the whites  to the sword; the forts and shipping in the harbor were to be seized. The ball, however, was put off to 30 October, whereupon some conspirators wished to act immediately; but Court persuaded them to defer the action till then. Signs were not wanting of the impending danger, and these led the governor to order an enquiry which led to the discovery of the plot, much owing to the confessions of the various slaves. On the evidence of the facts discovered, the first twelve of the conspirators in the annexed list were executed. Further examination, however, caused us to see that much remained to be done; by various evidences, 35 more enslaved Africans were executed and 42 more, the evidence against them being less full, are recommended for banishment. All those executed or recommended for banishment are known to have taken the oath; this was by drinking a health in liquor with grave dirt and sometimes cock’s blood infused, and sometimes the person swearing laid his hand on a live cock. The general tenor of the oath was to kill the whites. The execution of the first twelve did not break the conspiracy, for at least 50 took the oath on 26 October last after the executions.

1749- In Venezuela Spanish officials discovered a plot involving enslaved Africans in Caracas, other plots on ranches near the city, and fugitive slaves and cimarones living in independent settlements in the mountains.  On the feast of St John the Baptist (June 2), the slaves were to rise, murder all the whites, and take over control of the town.  Under torture, a slave confessed that another bondman, Manuel Espinoss, was the mastermind behind the rebellion.  Several rebels were executed in June 1750, and ten other leaders received heavy lashings, physical mutilations and jail sentences.[68]

1755- In Panama a slave conspiracy was reported by alcalde (chief magistrate) of Porto Bello.  Four of the ringleaders were hung, drawn, and quartered.[69]

1756-  Slave conspiracy at Minas Gerais, Brazil.

1763- The Berbice Slave Uprising was a slave revolt in Guyana. It began in February 1763 and lasted into 1764. The uprising began on Plantation Magdalene berg on the Canje River in Berbice. The slaves rebelled, protesting harsh and inhumane treatment, and took control of the region. As plantation after plantation fell to the slaves, the European population fled. Eventually only about half of the whites who had lived in the colony remained. Led by Cuffy (known as the national hero of Guyana), the rebels came to number about 3,000 and threatened European control over the Guyanas. The insurgents were defeated with the assistance of troops from neighboring French and British colonies and from Europe.[70]

In 1763-54 in Peru Cimarrones operating in the Carabayllo Valley near Lima made some roads unsafe for public traffic.  A large military force lead by Pablo Saenz de Bustamonte, including sixty men from the viceroy’s personal guard, finally crushed the fugitive blacks, executing those considered the most culpable.

1774- Slave rebellion at French Caribbean colony of Tobago.

1780- Túpac Amaru II was born José Gabriel Condorcanqui in Surimana, Tungasuca, in the province of Cuzco in Peru, and received a Jesuit education at the San Francisco de Borja School, although he maintained a strong identification with the indigenous population. He was a mestizo who claimed to be a direct descendant of the last Inca ruler Túpac Amaru. He had been honored by the Spanish authorities of Peru with the title of Marquis of Oropesa, a position that allowed him some voice and political leverage during Spanish rule. Between 1741 and 1780 Amaru II went into litigation with the Betancur family over the right of succession of the Marquisate of Oropesa and lost the case. In 1760, he married Micaela Bastidas Puyucahua of Afro-Peruvian and indigenous descent. Condorcanqui inherited the caciqueship, or hereditary chiefdom of Tungasuca and Pampamarca from his older brother, governing on behalf of the Spanish governor.  Túpac Amaru was executed in Cuzco May 18, 1781 for leading an indigenous uprising in 1780 against the Spanish in Peru. Although unsuccessful, he later became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for independence and indigenous rights movement and an inspiration to a myriad of causes in Peru.[71]

1788- This conspiracy, known in Brazilian history as the Inconfidencia Mineira, took place in Minas Gerais in 1788 to 1789, and involved members of the region’s wealthy and cultured elites, most of them Brazilian-born. It occurred at a time of difficulties in the region’s economy, connected to the decline of its previously opulent gold mining industry, and of resentment toward the Portuguese government for its oppressive system of taxation, especially the onerous tax on gold. However, while the conspiracy began as a protest against the policies of the metropolitan government, it became an anti-colonial movement. Its intellectual authors, many of whom had studied at the Portuguese university of Coimbra or in France, were inspired by the American Revolution and dreamed of following its example by eliminating Portuguese rule, making Minas Gerais independent, and installing therein a republican form of government. Although it was thwarted before being put into operation, the conspiracy is generally considered the first attempt to overthrow the colonial order in Brazil.

1790- Uprisings in the Territory were common, as they were elsewhere in the Caribbean. The first notable uprising in the British Virgin Islands occurred in 1790, and centered on the estates of Isaac Pickering. It was quickly put down, and the ring leaders were executed. The revolt was sparked by the rumor that freedom had been granted to slaves in England, but that the planters were withholding knowledge of it. The same rumor would also later spark subsequent revolts in 1823, 1827 and 1830.

1791- The first and only successful slave revolution in history was led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, a self-educated former domestic slave. Like Jean François and Biassou, he initially fought for the Spanish crown in this period. After the British had invaded Saint-Domingue, L'Ouverture decided to fight for the French if they would agree to free all the slaves. Sonthonax had proclaimed an end to slavery on 29 August 1793. L'Ouverture worked with a French general, Étienne Laveaux, to ensure that all slaves would be freed. He brought his forces over to the French side in May 1794 and began to fight for the French Republic. Many enslaved Africans were attracted to Toussaint's forces. He insisted on discipline and forbade wholesale slaughter.

Under the military leadership of Toussaint, the forces made up mostly of former slaves succeeded in winning concessions from the British and expelling the Spanish forces. In the end, Toussaint essentially restored control of Saint-Dominguez to France. L'Ouverture was very intelligent, organized and well-spoken. Having made himself master of the island, however, Toussaint did not wish to surrender too much power to France. He began to rule the country as an effectively autonomous entity. L'Ouverture overcame a succession of local rivals (including the Commissioner Sonthonax, a French white man who gained support from many Haitians, angering Toussaint; André Rigaud, a free man of color who fought to keep control of the South; and Comte d'Hédouville. Hédouville forced a fatal wedge between Rigaud and Toussaint before he escaped to France.

Toussaint defeated a British expeditionary force in 1798. In addition, he led an invasion of neighboring Santo Domingo (December 1800), and freed the slaves there on January 3, 1801. In 1801, L'Ouverture issued a constitution for Saint-Dominguez which provided for autonomy and decreed that he would be governor-for-life, calling for black autonomy and a sovereign black state. In response, Napoleon Bonaparte dispatched a large expeditionary force of French soldiers and warships to the island, led by Bonaparte's brother-in-law Charles Le Clerc, to restore French rule. They were under secret instructions to restore slavery, at least in the formerly Spanish-held part of the island. The numerous French soldiers were accompanied by mulatto troops led by Alexandre Pétion and André Rigaud, mulatto leaders who had been defeated by Toussaint three years earlier. During the struggles, some of Toussaint's closest allies, including Jean-Jacques Dessalines, defected to Le Clerc.  L'Ouverture was promised his freedom if he agreed to integrate his remaining troops into the French army. L'Ouverture agreed to this in May 1802. He was later deceived, seized by the French and shipped to France. He died months later in prison at Fort-de-Joux in the Jura region.

Farcel leads slave rebellion in British Dominica.

1793- Slave rebellion in French Caribbean colony of Guadeloupe.

1795- Tula leads slave rebellion in Dutch Caribbean colony of Curacao. Bandabou had between 4,000 and 5,000 inhabitants in 1795, mostly enslaved Africans. Tula had been preparing the insurrection for some weeks. On the morning of August 17, 1795, at the Knip plantation of Caspar Lodewijk van Utrecht at Bandabou, Curaçao, Tula led an uprising of 40 to 50 slaves. The slaves met on the square of the plantation and informed van Utrecht they would no longer work for him. He told them to present their complaints to the lieutenant governor at Fort Amsterdam. They left and went from Knip to Lagun, where they freed 22 enslaved Africans from jail. From Lagun, the rebels went to the sugar plantation of Saint Kruis, where they were joined by more rebels under Bastian Karpata. Tula then led the escaped slaves from farm to farm, freeing more slaves.

The slave owners had now retreated to the city, leaving their plantations unprotected. At the same time, a confederate French slave, Louis Mercier, led another group of freed slaves to Saint Kruis, where he took the commandant, van der Grijp, and ten of his mulattos prisoner. Mercier also attacked Knip, where he freed more slaves and took some weapons. He then rejoined Tula, locating him by following the trail of destruction Tula had left behind. The rebels began a guerrilla campaign, poisoning wells and stealing food. On September 19, Tula and Karpata were betrayed by a slave. They were taken prisoner, and the war was effectively over. (Louis Mercier had already been caught at Knip.) After Tula was captured, he was publicly tortured to death on October 3, 1795, almost seven weeks after the revolt began. Karpata, Louis Mercier and Pedro Wakao were also executed. In addition, many slaves had been massacred in the earlier repression. After the revolt had been crushed the Curaçao government formulated rules that defined the rights of slaves on the island.[72]

At the height of the insurrection, there were probably 1,000 rebels. August 17 is still celebrated in Curaçao to commemorate the beginning of a long fight for freedom. When slavery was finally abolished on the island in 1863, there were fewer than 7,000 slaves. There is a monument to Tula and the rebel slaves on the south coast of Curaçao, near the Holiday Beach Hotel. This is the site where Tula was executed.

1795- On October 15, enslaved Africans in Partido de Aguadilla attempted a revolt. The event was followed by strict measures by the Puerto Rican authorities.  In fear of what had happened in Haiti with Toussaint L’Ouverture, Governor Ramon de Castro took preventive measures.  Documents held by the Puerto Rican Government indicate that a Haitian agent arrived in Puerto Rico by the name of Chaulette.  It was later discovered that Chaulette was part of a widespread slave conspiracy for all the Caribbean where slavery existed.

On May 10, 12 whites were killed and several haciendas burned to the ground.  This caused a large numbers of free blacks, mulattoes, zambos and Indians to join the movement.  The surviving whites barricaded themselves in a church, and the zambo forces attacked for two days, failing to capture the city. The militia arrived and put a end to the insurrection.  By June 171 persons had been executed, and 20 other blacks and mulattoes, and Indians were also executed.

1795- During Jamaica’s Second Maroon War, Trelawney Maroons were deported to Nova Scotia.

1795- In Argentina enslaved Africans believed that the 1789 Codigo negro had freed them.  When in reality it did not reflect the terms of the codigo bondmen in Buenos Aires went on a general strike that was broken up after three days.

1796- In this year, Venezuelan insurrectionary Jose Leonardo Chirino was hanged in Caracas for leading a slave revolt in Spain’s oppressive New World sugar plantations.  On May 10, 1795, Chirino - a Zambo of mixed African and Amerindian blood who was himself a free farmer - led an uprising of the Congolese slaves who worked the sugarcane and declared a Republic under the “Law of the French,” with slavery and white privilege abolished. The rebellion’s attempt on Coro itself failed, and it was swiftly put down by the colonial authorities. Though many involved were killed summarily, the Spanish took their time after capturing Chirino in August 1795: only the following year was he transferred to Caracas for execution, after which his body was dismembered and his head set in an iron cage displayed on the road to Coro.  For good measure, his family was sold into slavery.

1803- In Uruguay twenty black males, all but a few of them slaves, met secretly and agreed to flee Montevideo.  Taking their women children, and possessions, they established an independent settlement on a small island in the River Yi.  Attacked by militia forces near the town of Villa de la Concepcion de Minas, the Africans resisted but were all captured and reenslaved.[73]

1804- In Chile enslaved Africans seized a ship (La Prueba) going from Valparaiso to Callao (Peru).  They killed 24 of the 36 white passengers and attempted to sail for Africa.  On the way they encountered the Perseverance, commanded by a Captain Delano of the United States, who recaptured their vessel.  Nine blacks were condemned to death, their heads later being placed on stakes.[74]

1807- Enslaved Africans were planning a revolt that would take place on May 28, during Corpus Christi celebrations. Six days before the revolt would take place they were betrayed by a slave loyal to his master. The master went to the governor who was skeptical about the situation. However, he sent his spies out into the community and he learned that a subversive plan was real and growing stronger as the 28th approached. A day before the rebellion was to take place the governor mounted specific patrols in the city. With its exits and entrances under surveillance, and rural officers on the roads, the house that was the center of the planning was surrounded and searched.  After being searched the alleged leaders and captains were taken prisoner. Many weapons were confiscated from the house, such as: four hundred arrows, a bundle of rods to be used as bows, piles of rope, knives, and one shotgun. Rural officers caught three of the ringleaders who had fled earlier that afternoon, and military patrols on rounds caught a few more identified as agents or enticers. The goal of the uprising is believed to have been to capture ships in the harbor and make a massive flight back to Africa.

1812- Jose Antonio was a free Black commander who organized a slave rebellion to overturn slavery in Spanish rule.  The 1812 Rebellion was actually a series of rebellions collectively called the Aponte Rebellion.  The revolt was one of the largest and important revolts in Cuban history.  The revolt erupted at the Penas-Atlas plantation outside of Havana, Cuba.  A free black man named Juan Barbier also accompanied Antonio Aponte with the revolts.  Juan Barbier was later captured and hung.

In 1812 a conspiracy was discovered in the Puerto Rico capital San Juan Bautista during the Christmas festivities.  The rumor was that the Spanish Cortes Extraordinaire slaves to be free.  Surrounding areas also heard the same rumor.  In Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo enslaved African began to revolt and demanded their freedom until the authorities brought the situations under control.

1814- The rebellion in Brazil overshadowed the previous ones in numbers of participants and violence.  Starting on February 28, slave fishermen began to burn down part of the harbor, killing the foreman and most of his family. The rebels proceeded to head to the village of Itapúa. Resistance was met when they were trying to leave to go the next village. Troops from Salvador then encountered a bloody battle with the rebels, which left the rebels with fifty less men.  Four of the captured slaves were hanged in public and twelve were deported to Portuguese colonies in Africa.

1816- An African-born enslaved man called Bussa [Akan] led the rebellion on Barbados. Very little is known about him, except that he was a ranger at the Bayley plantation in St. Philip. A ranger was the head officer among the enslaved workers on an estate. He would have to look after boundaries and fences and deal with the day-to-day business arising between the estates. This meant that rangers travelled throughout the area. It is likely that Bussa enjoyed the confidence and respect of both the black community and plantation owners.  Bussa planned the uprising with people from the different estates. This included Jackey, the driver at the Simmons estate, King Wiltshire, a carpenter at Bayley's and Nanny Grigg, a literate domestic at Simmons.  The uprising started at Bayley's estate. It was an attempt by the enslaved people to change the society on Barbados. They believed that Barbados belonged to them and wanted their Freedom from the plantation owners. Bussa commanded about 400 men and women against the troops. These included the West India Regiment, an all-black branch of the British Army. He was killed in battle and his troops continued to fight until they were defeated by superior firepower. One white civilian and one black soldier were killed during the fighting. Compared to this, 50 enslaved people died in battle and 70 were executed in the field. Another 300 were taken to Bridgetown for trial, of which 144 were executed and 132 sent away.  In Barbados on the night of Easter Sunday April 14, 1816, a slave revolt erupted that lasted for two days. Prior to the 1816 uprising, the last recorded serious alarm of Barbados's whites concerning the possibility of an insurrection occurred in late 1701. During the latter half of the 17th century, however, white fears of possible rebellion were common, several serious alarms occurred, and in 1675 and 1692 major insurrectionary plots were discovered before the plans could be realized.

1823- The Demerara rebellion of 1823 was an uprising involving more than 10,000 slaves that took place in the former Crown colony of Demerara-Essequibo (now part of Guyana).  The rebellion resulted in the deaths of many slaves; estimates of the toll range from 100 to 250. The rebellion, and especially the death, on death row, of a British parson, had a strong impact on Britain, and on the abolitionists’ movement to emancipate slaves after the slave trade was banned in 1807. After his deportation, Jack Gladstone, leader of one of the slave revolts, helped bring attention to the plight of sugar plantation slaves, accelerating the abolition of slavery. Quamina was declared a national hero, and there are streets and monuments in Guyana dedicated to him in its capital, Georgetown.

1825- In June 1825 the Cuban countryside witnessed a large African-led slave rebellion-a revolt that began a cycle of slave uprisings lasting until the mid-1840s. Unlike previous slave revolts---led by alliances between free people of color and slaves, blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles, and rural and urban populations---only African-born men organized the uprising of 1825. Rebels planned the revolt by using their African languages as a base for organizing Africans on the plantations. The rebels used spears, machetes, and clubs to fight against their enemies.  They used tactics familiar in African warfare.  The June 1825 revolt was the first African-led rebellion that involved hundred of rebels that came from mixed African ethnic backgrounds.  Once the revolt was on the way, some of the leaders dressed themselves in bright and colorful clothing taken from the Whites.  The rebels moved from plantation-to-plantation, torching, killing, and beating their drums. From this year onwards, slave uprisings in Cuba underwent a phase of Africanization that concluded only in the mid-1840s with the conspiracy of La Escalera, a large movement organized by free colored men with ample participation of the slave population.

1827- In September of 1827 a slave named Rafael Ganga fought his master with five other slaves.  This rebellion became a full blown revolt.

1831- Probably the most significant slave insurrection in the British Virgin Islands occurred in 1831 when a plot was uncovered to kill all of the white males in the Territory and to escape to Haiti (which was at the time the only free black republic in the world) by boat with all of the white females. Although the plot does not appear to have been especially well formulated, it caused widespread panic, and military assistance was drafted in from St. Thomas. A number of the plotters (or accused plotters) were executed.

1832- In Jamaica Samuel Sharpe, an educated slave who was also a Baptist deacon, was the moving spirit behind the attempted general strike that became the Christmas Rebellion.  That time of year was less than festive for Jamaica’s enormous slave population, for Saint Nick opened the short window for harvesting the island’s sugar cane.  Samuel Sharpe and collaborators had the wit to realize that being depended upon to bring in the cash crop that made life comfortable for their owners put the slaves’ hands upon a potent economic lever. In the last few days of 1831, they pressed it. The “passive resistance” didn’t last long, however and the “strike” transmuted into a rebellion — the cause swiftly taken up by thousands of enslaved Africans around the island who torched crops. Given the small (less than 20) white body count, the “violence” appears to have been directed against the instruments, rather than the perpetrators, of their enslavement. The rebellion was suppressed within days, and over 300 put to death for it (in addition to 200 slave casualties during the pacification itself). Sharpe was the last of those executed.  But his revolt is widely thought to have given impetus to the British parliament’s deliberations over the ensuing months that ultimately led to the Slavery Abolition Act (1833). Sharpe, today, is an official national hero of Jamaica. The place in Montego Bay that he hanged is known as Sam Sharpe Square, and his face adorns the currency.

In September of 1832, a group of Lucumis[75] slaves revolted near Havana, Cuba.

1835- The Muslim Slave revolt in 1835 began January 24, 1835 by rebellion organizers, Malês, or Muslim Africans. The revolt took place in the streets of Salvador and lasted for three hours. During that time seventy people were killed and more than five hundred were sentenced to death, imprisoned, whipped or deported. Reis argues that if you bring these numbers into today’s times, with Salvador being 1.5 million, over twelve thousand people would be sentenced to some form of punishment. Within these hearings, Africans spoke out about their rebellion as well as about their cultural, social, religious and domestic lives. The testimonies from court and the oppressors’ descriptions of these Africans that were enslaved brought out “priceless testimonies” of African culture in the Americas.

1843-  Slave rebellions in Venezuela and Colombia.

1848-  In the British Virgin Islands a major disturbance occurred in the Territory. The causes of the disturbance were several. A revolt of slaves was occurring in St. Croix, which increased the general fervour in the islands, but the free people of Tortola were much more concerned with two other grievances: the appointment of public officials, and the crackdown on smuggling. Although Tortola had sixteen colored public officials, all except one were "foreigners" from outside the Territory. During the period of economic decline, smuggling had been one of the few lucrative sources of employment, and recent laws which imposed stringent financial penalties (with hard labor for non-payment) were unpopular. The anger was directed against the magistrates by the small shop keepers, and they concentrated their attack on the stipendiary magistrate, Isidore Dyett. However, Dyett was popular with the rural population, who respected him for protecting them from unscrupulous planters. The ringleaders of the insurrection had supposed that their attack would lead to a general revolt, but their choice of Dyett as a target robbed them of popular support, and the disturbance eventually fizzled.

St. Croix - Thousands of slaves put their lives on the line 157 years earlier to fight for freedom in a well-planned rebellion that would change the course of history for the Virgin Islands, then known as the Danish West Indies. On July 3, 1848, slaves carefully executed a yearlong plan to demand their freedom on the streets of Frederiksted town - and won. Much of what has been written about Moses "Buddhoe" Gottlieb, the free black who led the 1848 slave rebellion on St. Croix, is shrouded in controversy, but historians agree the Emancipation Proclamation that followed stands as a seminal point in Virgin Islands history. According to historical accounts, the uprising by St. Croix slaves, particularly on the western end of the island, began on the evening of July 2, 1848, with hundreds of slaves assembling outside Fort Frederik, Frederiksted. The slaves declared they would not be working the next day and shouted for their freedom. By the next morning thousands of slaves had gathered. Some 2,000 of them marched into Frederiksted from the northwest and north coast estates, joining others from Ham's Bluff and other estates along Centerline Road.

According to historical accounts, by 10 a.m. about 8,000 slaves had gathered in front of the fort demanding their freedom. Shortly after 1 p.m. on July 3, a message from the fort commander in Frederiksted reached Gov. Gen. Peter von Scholten. It read: "All the Negroes in this part of the country are in revolt; all over, bells are ringing." It is not known if the bells and blowing of conch shells signaled for more slaves to gather or if planters were warning others of the uprising. Many West End plantation owners fled their estates for the security of the fort.

During the uprising, there were few reports of violence, thanks to Buddhoe, who stopped the slaves from rioting and kept them focused on obtaining their freedom. Messages were sent from Danish authorities to von Scholten, begging him to come to Frederiksted since it was clear that if the enslaved Africans became hostile, they would burn the town and kill every white person within reach. The enslaved African gave von Scholten a 4 p.m. deadline to liberate them. Realizing that the enslaved Africans were serious and not just venting frustration, he ordered that his horse-driven carriage be made ready and he set sail for Frederiksted. One historical account states that once von Schoolmen arrived in Frederiksted, he immediately went into the fort to be briefed on the events. He looked outside the fort and saw more than 8,000 slaves silently awaiting his decision. Von Schoolmen walked to a commanding post, which is now the clock area, and announced: "Alle unfrie paa de Danske Vestindiske oer ere fra dags dato frigivne" emancipating the slaves.

1853- However, the insurrection of 1853 was a far more serious affair, and would have much graver and more lasting consequences in the Virgin Islands. Arguably it was the single most defining event in the islands' history. Taxation and economics was also at the root of that disturbance. In March 1853, Robert Hawkins and Joshua Jordan, both Methodist missionaries, petitioned the Assembly to be relieved on taxes. The Assembly rejected the request, and Jordan is said to have replied "we will raise the people against you." Subsequent meetings fostered the general discontent. Then in June 1853 the legislature enacted a head tax on cattle in the Territory. Injudiciously, the tax was to come into effect on 1 August, the anniversary of emancipation. The burden of the tax would fall most heavily on the rural colored community. There was no violent protest when the Act was passed, and it has been suggested that rioting could have been avoided if the legislature had been more circumspect in enforcing it, although the   historical background suggests that insurrection was never far away, and only needed a reason to spark into life.

1879- Afro-Peruvian Slave Revolt on the Hacienda San José, a sugar plantation, which  was built in 1868 in El Carmen, Perú, lasted until a rebellion of more than 300 enslaved Afro-Peruvian in 1879. The slave owner was hacked to death by machete-wielding slaves on the principal stair entrance. Descendants of these enslaved Africans slaves still populate the area.

1886- This year marked the end of slavery in Cuba.  Under the terms of the Pact of Zanjón, which ended the “The Ten Year War” in 1878, slaves who fought on either side of the war were set free, but those who did not fight had to endure almost  another decade of slavery.  Two years later the Spanish Cortes approved an abolition law (1880)  that provided for an eight-year period of patron to (tutelage) for all slaves liberated according to the law. This only amounted to indentured servitude, as slaves were required to spend those 8 years working for their masters at no charge. On October 7 1886, slavery was finally abolished in Cuba by a royal decree that also made the patron to illegal. At the time of emancipation, most enslaved were employed on plantations, and most free black Cubans were women who lived in the cities.

1888- Brazil abolishes slavery. Brazil had the largest slave population in the world, substantially larger than the United States. Pedro II was a ruler of Portugal. He came to see slavery, despite its economic importance to Brazil as inherently evil.  Pedro began a series of measures liberating Brazilian slaves. He was poised to entirely abolish slavery. His measures against slavery met opposition from major landowners and the military, the leadership of which was drawn from the landed elite. The Emperor was on a trip to Europe when his daughter, Princess Isabel serving as regent, issued a decree abolishing slavery (May 13, 1888). A great deal of pressure came from England and recent immigrants to Brazil, who could not compete with slave labor. Princess Isabella's decree is known as the Golden Law. It was widely praised in Europe. Abolishing slavery was the last major action taken by the Brazilian royal family. Brazil proved to be the last Western Hemisphere country to abolish slavery.  Also, important to the abolition of slavery in Brazil was that enslaved Africans simply walked off the plantation in mass actions of self-emancipation.


The overall conclusion that emerges from the slave docility thesis was that slave revolts were larger and more numerous in Latin America than in the United States.  However, the cause for this has little to do with the difference in the laws or in the practice of the church as Frank Tannenbaum claimed.  Rather, the fundamental reason why there were more slave revolts in Latin America, particularly Brazil as opposed to North  America, can be explained by the different historical circumstances in the Americas such as demography, geography, economy, and social attitudes toward enslaved Africans.

The reason for fewer revolts in the United States lies neither in the “repressiveness” nor the "pleasantness" of slavery, as put forth by Elkins and Phillips, but rather in the selective policies in each region.  For instance, as a policy the American slave owners separated enslaved Africans of the same ethnic group, and refused to import Africans that were believed to be unsuited for slavery, such as Africans from the "kingdom of Gabon," or the Igbos who were considered too rebellious in nature, and particularly prone to suicide in the Americas.  In Brazil and most of Latin America no such policy existed; slaves were imported regardless of ethnic background.  Another reason is found in the number of Creoles [enslaved Africans born in the New World].  Latin American masters were not concerned with raising families because they primarily imported adult male slaves and were interested in a quick profit.  By thus creating reproduction problems, they had to import slaves as late as the 1880s in order to maintain a slave population.

Newly imported Africans also seemed to have played a significant role in causing a greater number of rebellions.  For instance, in Brazil thousands of newly arrived Africans were generally resentful and hostile to their new environment.  Since there were virtually thousands of slaves from the same ethnic grouping, organizing and planning was much easier.  For example, the revolts of 1813, 1830, and 1835 in Brazil are unparalleled in size and intensity compared to the United States.  Some six hundred slaves were involved in the revolt of 1813; 281 slaves were involved in the revolt of 1835.

In the revolt of 1809 in Bahia, Yorubas and Hauses cooperated in planning and organizing the revolt.  Documents captured from rebels in the revolt of 1835 were written in Arabic script.  Many of the rebels were Muslims and used Islam to provide the indispensable element of organization.  In the United States the only revolt close to this was the revolt organized by Charles Deslondes in 1811 in Louisiana, where 300-500 slaves marched on the city of New Orleans.  In the Nat Turner revolt only about 70 slaves took part.  However, more slaves are believed to have been involved in the planned revolts of Denmark Vesey of 1822 and Gabriel Prosser of 1800.  However, the more people that were involved, the less the possibility was for the revolt becoming successful.

Revolts in the United States were hard to organize and even more difficult to execute, because in the United States, slaves were principally native-born Creoles, and for the most part they had no memory of their African past.  They were virtually without a culture, raised from birth to be a (slave) part of the system.  There was no strong tradition of resistance like that found in Brazil.  Besides, the presence of large numbers of free-born Africans seemed to have been essential for mounting a successful revolt.  This was completely lacking in the United States.

A more humanistic explanation why numerous revolts did not take place in North America would be because enslaved Africans were not suicidal, and generally revolted only when the conditions were favorable.  However, since favorable conditions were almost non-existent, few revolts took place.  Those that did occur came during certain periods when the slave regime momentary loosened its deadly grip.

In an essay such as this, one has to be honest and admit that the South succeeded in part in creating an effective repressive society that was perpetuated and maintained by the masses of whites.  In other words, with a hostile North and racist South, insurrectionary movements were doomed from the start.  What is significant here, is not that rebellions were doomed, but the fact that any revolts did occur as a response to the most inhumane treatment is descriptive proof against the prevalent Sambo hypothesis put forth by Elkins and others. Finally, the story can be told.  African in the Americas fought and died for their freedom and liberty and in the process humanized the Americas because their struggle for freedom led to the abolishing of slavery and civil rights for all.

[1] My use of the term Latin America is inclusive of countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Guyana, Peru, Puerto Rico, Santiago, Uruguay, and Venezuela,  as well as the Central America countries Columbia, Ecuador,

[2] Herbert Aptheker, American Negro Slave Revolts. Boston, 1941; Melville J. Herskovits, The Myth of the Negro Past. Boston, 1943; Carl N. Degler, Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations Brazil and the United States. (New York, 1971)

[3] Leslie B. Rout Jr., The African Experience in Spanish America. University of Press, 1976 reprinted 200; Aguirre Beltran, Gonzalo. Poblacion negra de Mexico, 1519-1810: Estudio etnohistorico, Mexico, D.F.: Ediciones Fuente Cultural, 1946; Giillot, Carlos Federico.

[4] Herbert Aptheker in American Negro Slave Revolts (1943) chronicles 250 slave actions between 1526 and 1860. Aptheker, for his part, rejects the term "insurrection." According to him, "The aim of an insurrection is not revolutionary; the aim of a rebellion is." A revolt is of less size than a rebellion and magnitude of action is the difference between a rebellion and a revolt. Aptheker further defines a slave revolt as "a minimum of ten slaves involved; freedom is the apparent aim of the disaffected slaves; contemporary references labeling the event as an uprising plot insurrection, or the equivalent of these terms." In contrast, James G. Randall writes: "An insurrection is an organized armed uprising which seriously threatens the stability of government and endangers social order. Insurrection is distinguished from rebellion in that it is less extensive and its political and military organization is less highly developed. The term insurrection would be appropriate for a movement directed against the enforcement of particular laws while the word rebellion denotes an attempt to overthrow the government itself."

[5] The term “slave action,” which alternates with “incident” and “event” refers to insurrectionary activities in a neutral and unbiased way which will permit re-evaluating previous typologies and taxonomies of the early scholars on the topic.

[6] H. W., Bates, The Naturalist on the River Amazon. London, 1864.

[7] Donald Boggle, Tom, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Filims.  New York: Continuum, 1973/1994

[8] Phillips, op.cit. pp. 341-342

[9][9] Herbert Klein, “Anglicanism, and the Negro Slave,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 8, no. 3 (1966): 306-27.

[10] Sir Harry Johnston, The Negro in the New World. London, 1910,pp. iii-I,  89-99.

[11] Frank Tannenbaum. Slave and Citizen: the Negro in the Americas. New York, 1946, p. 127

[12] Leslie B. Rout Jr., op cit. p. 104.

[13] Jaime Jaramillo Uribe, “Esclavos y senores en la sociedad colombiano del siglo XVIII,” Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de Cultura 1: no. 1 (1963), p. 22.

[14] Elkins, op cit., p. 136

[15] Ann J. Lane, (ed.), The Debate Over Slavery: Stanley Elkins and His Critics. University of Illinois Press, 1971 p.65

[16] Bruno Bethlehem, "Individual and Mass Behavior in Extreme Situations," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, XXXVIII (1943), pp.417-529

[17] Ibid. p.92

[18] Ibid.p.92

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Carl N. Degler, Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations Brazil and the United States. New York, 1971, p.60

[22] Ibid. p.60

[23] Ibid. p.60

[24] Phillips, op.cit. p.42

[25] Ibid

[26] Ibid

[27] David D. Wallace, The Life of Henry Laurens (New York, 1915) p.76

[28] Phillips, op.cit. p.43

[29] Ibid.

[30] Lovell Banks, “Taunya.  Mestizaje and the Mexican Mestizo Self: No hay sangre negra, so there is no blackness,”Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 15, 199 (2005).

[31] After seven centuries of a continuous African presence in Spain, the Moors began to lose their foothold because of the activities of the Christian Crusades.  By 1250, Moorish rule had ended in Portugal and the Moors had retreated to their last stronghold at Granada on the southern edge of the peninsula.  The power the Moors held over Spain was finally broken in 1492.  After the Spaniards defeated them, both Moors and Jews were expelled from Spain and those who stayed behind were forced to convert to Catholicism.  Those who converted were known as Moriscos, and those who neither left nor converted were enslaved.

When the Spanish began their expeditions to the New World, they sent Moriscos along, so that the Africans known as Moriscos, were among the first discoverers of the Americas.  They went as explorers, navigators, soldiers, servants and, later, as slaves, making their own impact on the history and culture of the Americas.  An example of this was the strong Moorish presence Columbus had on his first transatlantic voyage, including a pilot named Alonzo Pedro Niño the Morisco (Moor).

In 1501, Spain lifted an earlier ban and permitted Africans to go to the new Spanish-controlled lands.  Thirty Moriscos, including Nuflo de Olano, were with Balboa when he discovered the Pacific Ocean.  Herman Cortes carried Moriscos with him to New Spain (Mexico), and one of them planted and harvested the first wheat crop in the New World.  In 1520, two Africans accompanied the explorer, Velas, and on another expedition, Alvarado took 200 blacks with him to Quito.  Moriscos were also with Pizzaro on his Peruvian expedition, and it was the Moriscos who carried his body back to the Cathedral after he was murdered by Indians.  The Moriscos in the expeditions of Amagro and Valdivia in 1525 saved the people of those expeditions from being murdered by the Indians.

Moors also assisted in the discovery of new lands from the interior of North America to the southwestern part of the United States.  Moors came with Alarcon and Coronado in the conquest on New Mexico, accompanied Panfilo de Narvaez on his expedition of 1527 to 1530 and were with Cabeza de Vaca (Cow’s Head) while exploring portions of the U.S. southwest.

The best known of these African explorers was the Moroccan, Estevanico, who opened up New Mexico and Arizona for the Spaniards.  Also known as “Little Stephen,” Estevanico, who was well above seven feet tall, was a guide and interpreter.  He first came to Florida from Spain in 1527 with the Narvaez expedition.  He then accompanied de Vaca during his six-year-long exploration of North America.  In 1539, as a guide on the Friar Marcos expedition, Estevanico set out from Mexico City in search of the fabled “Seven Cities of Cibola.”  He sent back wooden crosses to indicate his progress, and as the size of the crosses increased¾until they were finally as tall as a man¾the Spaniards realized that Estevanico’s mission had been successful.  They believed he had found the seven cities.  However, after entering a city, he was murdered by the Indians there, who believed he was an imposter when he said that he was the emissary of two white men.

[32] On September 4, 1781, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles was founded by 44 pobladores from New Spain, now called Mexico. The heads of the eleven founding families were Antonio Clemente Villavicencio, a Spaniard, Antonio Mesa, a Negro; Jose Fernando Lara, a Spaniard; Jose Vanegas, an Indian; Pablo Rodriquez, an Indian; Manuel Camero, a Mulatto; Jose Antonio Navarro, a Mestizo; Jose Moreno, a Mulatto; Basillio Rosas, an Indian; Alejandro Rosas, an Indian; and Luis Quintero, a Negro. The two Spaniards and three Indians had Indian wives; the remaining six had Mulatto wives. Despite their varied racial background, they shared a common language, culture, and religion since all were Spanish subjects and Catholics.

The first Spanish civilian settlement in Southern California, the pueblo helped provide food for the soldiers in the presidios and secure Spain's hold on California. When an election was held in Los Angeles in 1788, Jose Vanegas, an Indian, became its first mayor. Manuel Camero, a Mulatto, and Felipe Garcia were elected to the first city council a year later.

An early Mulatto settler, Juan Francisco Reyes, served as mayor from 1793-1795. Original owner of the San Fernando Valley Rancho, he traded it to the Franciscans in 1797 so they could establish a mission there. Tiburcio Tapla, the grandson of a Negro, Felipe Tapia, became a powerful figure in Los Angeles after 1833 serving three times as mayor and later as a judge.

Catarina Moreno, granddaughter of the Mulatto founder Jose Moreno, married General Andres Pico (Afro Spanish ) of the famous Pico family. Her brother-in-law, Pio Pico was the last Governor of California under the Mexican rule. The Pico brothers had some Indian and African ancestors. Several descendants of the Black founder Luis Quintero are living in Los Angeles today. A grandson served as Major of Santa Barbara; Eugene Biscailuz, a great grandson, as sheriff of Los Angeles. Maria Valdez, a granddaughter, once owned the Rancho which is now known as Beverly Hills. These are only a few of the many contributions Africans contributed to the development of Los Angeles.

[33] Palmer, Colin A.  Slaves of the White God: 1570:1650. Harvard University Press. 1976.

[34] Beltran, Gonzalo Aguirre.  “The Slave Trade in Mexico,” Hispanic American Review 24 (1944): 412-431.

[35] Huguette and Pierre Chaunu, Seville et l’Atlantique (1504-1650), 8 vols. (Paris, 1955-1960), VI, 398-403.

[36] Aguirre Beltran, La poblacion negra, p. 241.  Also, see Philip Curtin’s Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census, pp. 112-113.

[37] Zambo: (Sambo) in Spain, a knock-kneed or cross-eyed person.  In Spanish America, a person of Afro-Indian origin.

[38] Rodriguez, Junius (2007). Encyclopedia of slave resistance and rebellion. Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 398.

[39] Philip Curtin, The Transatlantic slave trade: A Census (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968).

[40] Carolyn Morrow Long, Spiritual Merchants: Religion, Magic and Commerce (The University of Tennessee Press, 2000), 3-4.

[41] The Yoruba kingdom ruled Benin and Togo, which was part of Yoruba land in the eighteen hundred until the break-up of the kingdom doing the Oyo wars of the 1820s.

[42] Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1992), 268-88.

[43] Albert Roboteau, Slave Religion: The “Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978), 8-16.

[44] Alfred Metraux, Voodoo in Haiti (New York: Schoken Books, 1972), 15-23.

[45] Guillot, Negro rebeldes, p.81; Blanco, Larrazabal, Los negros y la esclavitud en Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo, 1967, pp. 143-45.

[46] Op. cit., Leslie Rout Jr., p. 109.

[47] Rodriguez, Junius.  Encyclopedia of slave resistance and rebellion. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007.

[48] Federico Brito Figueroa, Las insurrecciones de los esclavos negros en la sociedad colonial venezolana.  Caracas, 1961. Pp. 46-49.

[49] Op. Cit., Leslie B. Rout Jr., p.118.

[50] Ibid., p. 123

[51] Quince Duncan and Carlos Melendez,  El negeo en Costa Rica.San Jose, 1972, p.18.

[52] T. Lynn smith, “the Racial Composition of the Population of Colombia,” Journal of Inter-American Studies 8 (April 1966): 229.

[53] Op. Cit., Rout Jr., p.109.

[54] Op. Cit., Uribe, Jaime Jaramillo.

[55] Op. Cit., Leslie B. Rout Jr., p. 118

[56] Ibid.

[57] Curto, José C. and Renée Soulodre-LaFrance. Africa and the Americas. Africa World Press: Trenton, New Jersey. 2005. pp174-177;  Rodriguez, Junius P. ed. Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion. Greenwood Press: Westport, Connecticut. 2007; El Primer Libertador de las Americas/The First Liberator of the Americas", Editor's Notes. Callaloo 31.1 (2008). pp1-11.

[58] Op Cit., Rout, p. 119.

[59] Githioca, Chege. Afro-Mexicans: Discourse of Race  and Identity in the African Diaspora African World Press:Trenton, NJ, 2008, 25.

[60] William, Kent C. Afromestizo: The African Heritage of Central Mexico (2001).

[61] Op. Cit., Rout, p. 119.

[62] Long, Edward (1774). The History of Jamaica or, a general survey of the ancient and modern state of that island: with Reflections on its Situation, Settlement, Inhabitants, Climate, Products, Commerce, laws and Commerce, Laws and Government pp. 445-475.

[63] Op. Cit., Leslie B. Rout, Jr.,  p. 119.

[64] Ibid., p. 120

[65] St. John off the Beaten Track Sombrero Publishing Co. 2000.

[66] Federico Brito Figueroa, Las insurrecciones de los esclavos negros en la sociedad colonial venezolana (Caracas, 1961), 46-49.

[67] Richmond, Douglass. “The Legacy of African Slavery in Colonial Mexico, 1519-1810,” Journal of Popular Culture 35.2 (2001): 1-16.

[68] Op. Cit., Leslie B. Rout, Jr., p. 119

[69] Ibid.

[70]Thompson, Alvin O. “The Berbice Revolt 1763-64 in Winston F. McGowan, James G. Rose and David A. Granger (ed).  Themes in African Guyanese History.  London Hansib, 2009. P.80; William Brackette (1990) “Dutchman Ghost and the History Mystery:  Ritual, Colonizer, and Colonized Interpretation of the 1763 Berbice Slave Rebellion,” Journal of Historical Sociology 3 (2):

[71] Cahill, David.  First Among Incas:  The Marquesado de Oropesa Litigation (1741-1780) en route to Great Rebellion.

[72] Paula, A.F. (ed.), Zeventien vijf en negentig. De slavenopstand op Curaçao. Een ronnenuitgave van de originele overheidsdocumenten, 1974; Encyclopedie van de Nederlandse Antillen, Walburg Pers, 1985.

[73] Op. Cit., Leslie B. Rout, Jr., p. 120.

[74] Ibid.

[75] The name for enslaved Africans who originated from Yorubuland in Nigeria.