(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION--PUERTO RICO.) GIBBON, CHARLES C. VICE CONSUL. Paper Respecting the Abolition of Slavery and the Condition of the Libertos in Puerto Rico. 4 pages, folio. Original printed self-wrappers, sewn; old library stamp and some light foxing. London: Harrison and Sons, 1875
Gibbon in general gives favorable marks to the Spanish overseers of the Libertos, the slaves who had worked through the patronato system to emancipation in 1873. But of course, everything is relative. He states that the average laborer was receiving from 50 to 62 cents a day for his work, from sun-up to sundown. For his labor he received one meal a day, and his housing was free. No flogging was allowed, that is of course if anyone was watching, but over all very little physical abuse was reported. This system was rather strange, involving contracts with their old owners which could easily be broken and often were. This report does provide an unbiased view of conditions among the "Libertos."
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