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16TH CENTURY PERUVIAN TRIAL (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) The Murder case of Domingo, Mulatto, Peru, 1569. Two manuscript documents; small folio, 2 pages and small folio 4 pages; paper toned with one large stain, text quite legible; small closed tear to the second document; signed by the justice, witnesses and the scribe. Arequipa, Peru, June-July, 1569
Juan Ramirez Zegarra, justice of the court in Arequipa, Peru, requests a pardon in the case of Domingo, a mulatto who was accused of the stabbing murder of a black named Geronimo. Eyewitness evidence brought forth during the trial showed that Domingo had been provoked by Geronimo and was simply defending himself. Geronimo was "owned" by Hernando de Almonte, an accountant, who was compensated by the sum of 206 pesos, and was given ownership of Domingo for a period of 12 years, to work in the vineyards of Vitor. The second document (four pages) outlines the terms of Domingo''s new 12 year "contract" with Almonte, guaranteeing food, shelter, medical care, etc. What is interesting here is the concept of a "trato," or contract, indicating that both of these black men were indentured servants. The position of Africans in Peru was unusual, to say the least. Many slaves were able to work their way out of bondage, while others having done so became farmers and owners of slaves themselves. See Bowser, The African Slave in Peru, (Stanford, 1974).
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