Paying the Price of Freedom: Family and Labor among Lima’s Slaves, 1800-1854

TitlePaying the Price of Freedom: Family and Labor among Lima’s Slaves, 1800-1854
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsHünefeldt, Christine
Number of Pages280
PublisherUniversity of California Press

Christine Hünefeldt documents in impressive, moving detail the striving and ingenuity, the hard-won triumphs and bitter defeats of slaves who sought liberation in nineteenth-century urban Peru. Drawing on judicial, ecclesiastical, and notarial records--including the testimony of the slaves themselves--she uncovers the various strategies slaves invented to gain their freedom.

Hünefeldt pays particular attention to marriage relations and family life. Slaves used their family solidarity as a strategy, while slaveowners used the conflicts within families to prevent manumission. The author's focus on gender relations between slaveowners and slaves, as well as between slaves, is particularly original. Her eye for ethnographic detail and her perceptive reading of the documentary evidence make this book a rich and important contribution to the study of slavery in Latin America. [UNC Libraries]

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