Slave Families and the Hato Economy in Puerto Rico (Hardback)
  • Slave Families and the Hato Economy in Puerto Rico (Hardback)
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Slave Families and the Hato Economy in Puerto Rico (Hardback)

(author)
£80.95
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 28/02/2015
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Scholarship on slavery in the Caribbean frequently emphasizes sugar and tobacco production, but this unique work illustrates the importance of the hato economy-a combination of livestock ranching, foodstuff cultivation, and timber harvesting-to the region.

David Stark makes use of extensive Catholic parish records to provide a comprehensive examination of slavery in Puerto Rico and across the Spanish Caribbean. He reconstructs slave families to examine incidences of marriage, as well as birth and death rates. These records provide never-before-analyzed details about how many enslaved Africans came to Puerto Rico, where they came from, and how their populations grew through natural increase.

Stark convincingly argues that when animal husbandry drove much of the island's economy, slavery was less harsh than in better-known plantation regimes geared toward crop cultivation. Slaves in the hato economy experienced more favorable conditions for family formation, relatively relaxed work regimes, higher fertility rates, and lower mortality rates.

Slave Families and the Hato Economy in Puerto Rico offers a fresh counterpoint to the focus on sugar and tobacco cultivation that has dominated the historiography of the Spanish Caribbean.

Publisher: University Press of Florida
ISBN: 9780813060439
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 494 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"A welcome addition to the scholarship on slavery in the Americas, deepening our knowledge of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Puerto Rico and the Western Caribbean."--American Historical Review

"Stark use[s] new archival sources to enlarge understanding of the range of labor, family, and production systems in the colonial Caribbean."--Choice

"Breaks new ground. . . . Compel[s] a revision of prevailing wisdom about slavery in the Caribbean. . . . A major contribution to the study of slave demography, slave families, and comparative slavery generally."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Focuses on the extent to which enslaved men and women married and established families in accordance with the Catholic Church prior to the reemergence of labor-intensive, commercial agriculture."--The Americas

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