Friday, August 22, 2008

Dealing with slavery

In Antonio Nieves Mendez's Historia socio-economical y cultural de Moca: 1772-1900 (Editorial Aymaco, 2004) p.85, he outlines the involvement of local parish priest Jose Balbino David, who was involved in selling and buying enslaved people between 1848 to 1852. In 1849, he sold Manuel Babilonia two slaves, Alejandro, 28 yrs old, native of Africa and Francisco, 25 years old, born in Puerto Rico for the sum of 750 pesos. [Fuente: Protocolos Notariales de Moca. Ano 1848, Caja 1444, f.22] This was after the Relacion de esclavos taken in 1846, and Manuel does not show up on there.

Manuel Babilonia is probably Manuel Miguel Narciso Astolfo Babilonia Acevedo, born about 1804. What happened to Francisco and Alejandro? Where did they go after abolition in 1873? Did they take the Babilonia surname?

One of his sons, Astolfo (from his second marriage ) moved to Quebradillas and was involved in buying slaves to free them. Slavery was apparently a bone of contention in the family at the time, and may be part of his motivation to move away from Moca.

This is all part of the other family history that's less well known.

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