Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: September 2020

13 - María Hipólita Lozano, Eighteenth-Century Lima (Peru)

from Part II - Experiencing Freedom during Slavery’s Expansion


In 1781 Lima, a mulato libre named Pedro Nolasco Boller filed a civil suit on behalf of his enslaved daughter María Hipólita Lozano. In their statements, both father and daughter described Lozano’s life in the Salvatierra home as exceedingly brutal. She was exposed to regular physical and sexual abuse at the hands of both husband and wife, and it was this accretion of assaults that forced her to run away. When that attempt at freedom was foiled, Lozano moved quickly to find other ways out: with the help of her extended network (which included her parents, her husband, as well as her godfather) she secured a new owner, who seemed to offer at least a modicum of refuge and a safer place to have her child; and she later turned to the courts to facilitate this transition when Fernando José Salvatierra tried to stymie it. In analyzing this case, my chapter highlights how, even when juridical freedom lay out of their reach, enslaved women nonetheless deployed myriad and evolving strategies to remake their lives.