Fractional Freedoms - pr_32895

Fractional Freedoms

Slavery, Intimacy, and Legal Mobilization in Colonial Lima, 1600-1700

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Fractional Freedoms explores how thousands of slaves in colonial Peru were able to secure their freedom, keep their families intact, negotiate lower self-purchase prices, and arrange transfers of ownership by filing legal claims. Through extensive archival research, Michelle A. McKinley excavates the experiences of enslaved women whose historical footprint is barely visible in the official record. She complicates the way we think about life under slavery and demonstrates the degree to which slaves were able to exercise their own agency, despite being ensnared by the Atlantic slave trade. Enslaved women are situated as legal actors who had overlapping identities as wives, mothers, mistresses, wet-nurses and day-wage domestics, and these experiences within the urban working environment are shown to condition their identities as slaves. Although the outcomes of their lawsuits varied, Fractional Freedoms demonstrates how enslaved women used channels of affection and intimacy to press for liberty and prevent the generational transmission of enslavement to their children.

Product code: 9781316620106

ISBN 9781316620106
Publisher Cambridge University Press
No. of pages 294
Dimensions H230xW153xS20
Series Studies in Legal History
How could enslaved women assert legal claims to personhood, wages, and virtue when the law regarded them as mere property? Fractional Freedoms tells the story of enslaved legal actors within the landscape of Hispanic urban slavery, focussing on women who were socially disadvantaged, economically active and extremely litigious.