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Slavery in Cuba. Legal appeal for the supression of clauses from the 1854 law imposing a 'cédula de registro' (registration card) for slaves in Cuba.

Rafael de Quesada, conde de Rully (?)

Ref: 23.928
Editorial:
Ciudad:
Año: June 1854.
Edición:

Petition addressed to 'V.E.' (Vuestra Excelencia - probably Juan de la Pezuela y Cevallos, colonial governor of Cuba) for the suppression of two articles in the law imposing the registration of all Cuban slaves. In the main text, Quesada argues against article 52 of the law, under which any slave who failed to be registered due to an oversight of the registrar should be considered free, and the registrar liable to compensate the owner with his full value; in an addition to the main text, Quesada argues against a clause which obliges owners to register the nationality of their slaves, claiming that "Los amos tienen que pasar por lo que los esclavos aseguran sobre el particular, y el que maliciosamente quisiera suponerse de una nación, siendo de otra, no pudiera ser desmentido, y después el amo se hallará con dificultades para acreditar la identidad del esclavo." This interesting document reflects the attitudes of Cuban criollo slave owners towards any restrictions on their activities "Laudable es hasta cierto punto la tendencia que en casi todos los artículos del reglamento se advierte en favor de los esclavos; pero también los amos son dignos del favor y protección del Gobierno. Por más que la institución de la esclavitud repugne a hombres no acostumbrados a ella, es menester conciliar los grandes intereses creados, y que ya median con los sentimientos filantrópicos de los que quisieran que desapareciera aquella institución." These ambiguous (and hypocritical) expressions and attitudes contibuted to the long delay before slavery was to be abolished in Cuba (1880). The author of this appeal appears to be Rafael de Quesada y Loynaz, brother in law of Manuel de Céspedes, who was to lead Cuba's first insurrection against Spanish rule in 1868, and one of whose first acts was to declare the abolition of slavery (conditioned on the agreement of the owners of the slaves, and their incorporation in the ranks of the patriotic liberation army.) On official stamped paper with the dry stamp of the Spanish queen Isable II, and a 2 Real stamp for 1854 and 1855.

135.00€
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