By Louis A. Perez Jr.
This paintings brings jointly the most perceptive observations of Cuba through 19th-century guests from the US and Europe. This century observed Cuba suffering to turn out to be a contemporary kingdom; as a result, those commute money owed provide us a first-hand view of ways modernisation at once affected these dwelling in Cuba. A vast spectrum of subject matters are addressed - the sugar plantations, Cuban rural and concrete society, slavery, hospitals, social lifestyles and Havana.
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Additional info for Slaves, Sugar, & Colonial Society: Travel Accounts of Cuba, 1801-1899
They were shrewd observers and faithful chroniclers of the time and the place. Many understood the significance, if perhaps not always the implications, of what they observed. They moved freely among Cuban residents and Spanish officials, visited homes and workplaces, walked the city streets and traveled over country roads, observed the local mood and noted national developments, recorded conversations Page xxvi and collected statistics. Anecdotes abound that are rich with implication, and valuable data that might otherwise have been lost have been preserved.
Census data for 1792 indicate the presence of an estimated 85,000 African slaves and 54,000 free people of color. This more than doubled to 217,000 slaves and 109,000 free people of color in 1810, and doubled again to 437,000 slaves and 153,000 free people of color in 1847. The number of whites increased, too, but not in proportion to the population of people of color. By 1841 the white population (418,000) was a minority. Not until 1861 did whites recover a majority status. During these years, Havana was transformed from a backwater port town into a flourishing mercantile entrepôt.
Cuban production increased steadily from 19,000 tons in 1792 to 73,000 tons in 1829; to 144,000 tons in 1846; and to 446,000 tons in 1861. These developments themselves caused other changes no less far-reaching in their consequences and permanent in their effects. The expansion of sugar production required a vast increase in the number of African slaves, who were not an unfamiliar presence in Cuba, of course. African slavery had been introduced on the island as early as the sixteenth century and had continued to expand thereafter.
Slaves, Sugar, & Colonial Society: Travel Accounts of Cuba, 1801-1899 by Louis A. Perez Jr.