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5 - After the Slave Trade: Nation, Ethnicity, and Mobility After 1640

from Part II - The Caribbean in Veracruz

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 January 2023

Joseph M. H. Clark
Affiliation:
University of Kentucky
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Summary

Chapter 5 draws on notarial records and census reports (padrones) to track the ethnic language used to describe Afro-descended residents of Veracruz and other Gulf Coast cities and towns. Comparing this data to published studies of other Mexican and Caribbean areas, I argue distinctive African ethnic labels retained meaning in coastal communities longer than they did in the Mexican interior, reflecting patterns of usage in the Caribbean. This was true not only among individuals, but collectively in the form of confraternities. As late as 1667, at least five confraternities in Veracruz continued to use language of African ethnicity, while confraternities elsewhere in Mexico had long since abandoned ethnic language. The final section of the chapter uses the admissions records of the Hospital Nuestra Señora de Loreto to examine the size and shape of Veracruz’s Caribbean-born population. Because the records include birthplace information for the hospital’s predominantly free-black women who were its patients between 1684 and 1695, they allow us to understand more tangibly the intersections of Mexican-Caribbean networks and ethnic labeling.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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