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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Merchants and the business of the slave trade at Benguela, 1750-1850
Author:Cāndido, Mariana P.ISNI
Periodical:African Economic History
Geographic term:Angola
Subjects:slave trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/25427032
Abstract:From its foundation in 1617, Benguela (Angola) developed into a significant coastal town in West Central Africa because of its valuable resources, including copper, ivory, and, most importantly, slaves. This article examines the process by which Benguela emerged as an important port of slave embarcation. It explores how the trade functioned in a region that was characterized by insecurity, stressing the role of traders and their links to other Atlantic ports. Besides 'negociantes' and 'comerciantes' (coastal merchants), 'pombeiros' and 'sertanejos' (itinerant merchants), terms used exclusively for male (Luso-African) traders, women were also part of the merchant community of Benguela. In Portuguese documents they are identified as 'donas'. The essay also highlights the involvement of the government, Portuguese authorities, and church officials in the slave trade. It outlines the negotiation of credit arrangements between the categories of traders and discusses the organization of caravans from the interior to the coast. The study covers the period from the 1750s, when reforms in trade regulations enacted in Portugal led to a significant increase in the volume of slaves exported from Benguela, to 1850, when the Brazilian government abolished the importation of slaves, thereby forcing merchants to end their slave trade from Benguela. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]