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4. Crimes, Punishments, Ages, and Origins of Convicts

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Chapter Summary

Convicts were a diverse lot, the men more so than the women. Men vastly outnumbered women; for every 100 convicts ninety-five were male. Men typically were single, guilty of murder or theft, and under thirty. Women were frequently guilty of either murder or infanticide, not married, and under forty. Convicts in Luanda came from all regions of Portugal, the Atlantic Colonies of Cape Verde, São Tomé, and Mozambique. Those in prison in Mozambique were even a more diverse lot, coming from Angola and all across the Indian Ocean littoral. Occasional foreigners appear from Oman, Zanzibar, and parts of British Africa. Political prisoners were not blended with ordinary criminals and were not under the authority of the Depósito. They were also labeled differently as deportados to further distinguish them from common criminals. Vagrants were unique that they were not guilty of a crime per se; their crime was refusal to work.

Keywords: convicts; Depósito; political prisoners; vagrants



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