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Portuguese Encomenderos de Negros and the Slave Trade within Mexico, 1600–1675

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This article focuses on local slaving agents, encomenderos de negros, during the first half of the seventeenth century. Drawing on notarial documents, Inquisition cases and investigations on contraband and tax evasion, the study explains how Portuguese intermediaries sold and distributed African captives in colonial Mexico between 1616 and 1639. The ability to extend credit was key to the success of these agents-on-commission. The article also explains why agents of the Grillo and Lomelín slaving monopoly (asiento) failed to replicate the success of their Lusophone predecessors in Nueva Veracruz, Mexico City and Puebla de los Ángeles in the 1660s and 1670s.

Affiliations: 1: University of Rochester


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