In 1854, the Portuguese government ordered the registration of slaves in all of its territories within a thirty day period. This came following the change in regime in Lisbon to a liberal government, facing international pressures regarding their major role in continued slave trade. Those not registered would be considered libertos or freedmen, with all slave imported into Portuguese territories following the decree being considered libertos as well, though required to serve their masters for 10 years.
The Between Oceans and Continents project began in 2018 when Daniel Domingues da Silva travelled to Maputo and visited the Historical Archives of Mozambique and procured copies of the slave registrars. While some of the registrars have no doubt been lost to time and some have yet to be catalogued, many of the registrars remain perfectly intact. The registrars list many details about the individual slaves, including their master, their name, their age, their place of origin within Mozambique, their sex, their occupation, and notes about their appearance and scars each slave or liberto. The information help document the history of the slave trade in Portuguese Africa by providing useful demographic for all of the documented slaves.
The Resilient Digital Humanities Jump-Start Grant is helping provide the opportunity for Daniel Domingues da Silva and several other people to locate the remaining registrars, create digital copies of the registrars to preserve them for the future, and create a database to document the information, so that the public may benefit from the registrars as well.
Citations vary according to the style users adopt (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.). To cite the website according to the Chicago Manual of Style, for example, we recommend the following:
“Between Oceans and Continents: The Registers of Slave and Liberated Africans from Mozambique,” 2019. africanregisters.org. Accessed January 15, 2019.
To cite a specific essay within the website using the same citation style, users may do so in the following manner:
Domingues da Silva, Daniel B. and Abigail Fields, “The 1854 Royal Decree.” Between Oceans and Continents: The Registers of Slave and Freed Africans from Portuguese Mozambique, 2019, africanregisters.org. Accessed January 15, 2019.
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