August 6, 2016

1872 Slave Schedule in Puerto Rico

While the US Civil War led to the freedom of many enslaved people, the same cannot be said for other regions of the Americas.  Slavery was completely abolished in Haiti in 1803 and finally in 1822 in current day Dominican Republic thanks to the then Haitian President.  However, Puerto Rico was still enslaving many.  Many people do not realize that the islands are just like the United States, a melting pot with people from all over the world and a history of slavery.

Slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico on March 22, 1873, however enslaved people were expected to work for another 3 years and many were kept enslaved beyond that period of time.  The Spanish government had a census taken of all the enslaved people on the island in 1872.  Owners were paid 35 million pesetas by the Spanish government for each enslave person to be freed. While the 1910 US Federal Census is the first Census that can be found for Puerto Rico, there are many Census for the island from the 1800's and this one is crucial to many of us searching our ancestors.

The US National Archives and Records Administration had microfilmed the 1872 Slave schedule and is available through them, however Ancestry digitized and index the records and have made available to paying subscribers.  

The good news is that has also has made them available online but for free.  You'll have to view the images manually.

Below is an image of the enslaved people on the island of Puerto Rico. 

 Former enslaved people in Puerto Rico
  Davis, George W., Brig. Gen., U.S.A. Military Government of Porto Rico from October 18, 1898, to April 30, 1900. Washington, 1902.

Many of us who descend from ancestors from Puerto Rico have the ability to trace our lines back to Africa due to the church records documenting where many of the slaves came from. Spain also has plenty of documentation along with the archives on the island.  It requires work but the possibilities are endless.

Below are the links to the digitized images.

District 1. Dorado, Naranjito, Trujillo Alto, Trujillo Bajo, San Juan

District 2. Arecibo, Camuy, Ciales, Hatillo, Manatí, Morovas, Quebradilla, Utuado

District 4. Añasco, Cabo Rojo, Mayagüez

District 4. Mayagüez, Sabana Grande, San Germán

District 5. Ajuntas, Barroa, Coamo, Guayanilla, Juana Díaz, Peñuelas, Yauco

District 5. Barranquitas, Ponce

District 6. Arroyo, Cidra, Guayama

District 6. Aguas Buenas, Caguas, Cayey, Cidra, Gurabo, Hato Grande (San Lorenzo), Sabana del Palmar (Comerío), Salinas

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