November 2, 2012

My family and the African slaves in Cuba

I have been researching the history of my ancestors, and I just learned that my 6th grandfather –as well as the son he had with a woman who is not my 6th grandmother– was responsible for establishing the most important trade of black slaves between Cuba and Africa at the time (in the 1770s).

Their names, José María Enrile and Jerónimo Enrile, have been linked by historians to a terrible business, which even gained for the younger the noble title of Marquis of Casa Enrile.

According to David R. Murray, my 6th grandfather and my 5th step-uncle were responsible for trading 14,132 slaves just between 1773 and 1779.

According to a census, as of 1774 Cuba had a total population of 172,620 inhabitants:
    – 96,440 whites
    – 31,847 free blacks
    – 44,333 black slaves.

In the XVIII century, Cádiz became the most important port for the slavery market, and a big company was founded: the Compañía Gaditana de Negros.

Before 1865, the Spaniards managed to import half a million African slaves to Cuba through the efforts of well known traders such as my ancestors, summarizes Saul S. Friedman.

The abolition didn't come before 1886. 

I am shocked!

Spaniards buying slaves in Havanna (1837)

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