Imágenes de páginas

27° Quando llegue â ser abundante la cosecha de los azucares de Trinidad, concederé a sus Colonos que puedan paner refinerias en Espana, cou todos los privilegios y libertad de derechos î|ue Yo haya acordado à qualesquiera Naturalcs 6 Extrangeros. Y tambien permetire à su tiempo la ereccion en la expresada Ysla de un Tribunal Consular para el fomento y proteccion de su Agriculture, Navegacion y Comercio, encargando desde luego al Gobernador en su particular instruccion y a los denias Jueces do ella la humanidad, buen trato y recta administration de justicia, con prontitud y equidad à todos sus habitantes Españoles y Extrangeros, sin causarles vexaciones, ni perjuicios algunos, que serian muy de mi Real desagrado.

28° Ultimamente, concedo à los antiguos y nuevos habitantes de la Ysla que, quando tengan motivos dignos de ini Real eonsideracion, puedan dirijirme sus representaciones por medio del Gobernador y del Ministrode miDespacho universal de las Indias; y en el caso de que los asunlos seau de tal ealidad que necesiten enviai' personas que los soliciter!, me pediran el pormiso para ello, y se lo concederé, si fuese justo.

Y para que tengan el débido cumplimiento los Articulos contenidos eu este Reglamento, dispenso todas las Leves y disposiciones que seau contrarias îi ellos; y mando à mi Consejo de las Ymlias, à las Chancillerias y Audiencias de ellas, Yirreyes, Presidentes, Capitanes y Comandantes Generales, Gobernadores e Iutendentes, Justicias Ordinarias, Ministros de mi Real Hacienda, y à-mis Consulcs en los Puertos de Francia que guarden, cumplan y executen, .hagan guardar, cumplir y executar el Reglamento inserto en esta mi Cédula. Dada en San Lorenzo el Real ii veinte y quatro de Noviembre de mil setecientos ochenta y tres, sellada cou mi sello secreto, y refrendada de mi infrascripto Secretario de Estado y del Despacho universal de las Yndias.

Yo El Rey.
Joseph De Galvez.

English translation of the Cédula for the protection
of Slaves.



In the Code and other Collection of Laws published iji this Kingdom; in the abridgment of the Statutes concerning the Indies; in the general and particular orders communicated to my Dominions in America since the discovery of it; and in the Ordinances which, being examined by my Council of the Indies, have merited my Royal approbation, the system of making slaves useful has been established, observed and constantly followed, and every thing necessary decreed with respect to the education, treatment and occupation which their masters are obliged to give them agreeable to the principles and rules that Religion, humanity and the good of the State dictate, consistent with slavery and the public tranquillity; nevertheless, as it is not an easy matter for all my subjects in America who keep slaves, to be sufficiently instructed in all the Laws of the said Collection, and much less in the general and particular Orders and Ordinances approved of for different Provinces, and considering that on this account, notwithstanding what has been done by my august Predecessors with respect to the education, treatment and occupation of slaves, some abuses have been introduced by their Masters and the Stewards, which are not at all conformable, but on the contrary opposed to the system of the Legislation and to the general and particular Orders decreed upon the subject;

Therefore, in order to remedy such abusefc and having in consideration that, in consequence of the liberty granted to my subjects by_my Royal Order of the 28lh of last February for carrying on the Slave Trade, the number of slaves will be considerably augmented in America; and having a due attention to this class oFindividuals, in the mean time that the general Code ©f Laws, which is forming for the Dominions, of- America, is established, and that they are published; I have resolved, that for the present the following Instruction shall be punctually observed by all the Masters and Possessors of slaves in my said Dominions.

Chapter I. — Education.

Every one who has slaves, of whatever class and condition he may be, is obliged to instruct them in the principles of the Roman Catholic Religion and in the necessary truths in order that they may be baptized within the year of their residence in my Dominions, taking care to explain to them the Christian Doctrine every Holiday on which they shall not be obliged nor permitted to work, excepting at the time of the crop, when it is customary to grant them liberty to work on holidays. On those and other days when they are obliged to hear Mass, the Owners of the Estate shall be at the expense ol maintaining a priest to say mass for them and to explain to them the Christian doctrine as likew ise to administer the Holy Sacraments, not only on such days when he is obliged to do it, but likewise whenever he is wanted; taking care that every day as soon as their work is finished they say the rosary in the presence of the Master and the Steward, with the greatest composure and devotion.

Chapter II. — Food and Clothes.

It being manifest that the Masters of slaves are under the obligation of feeding and clothing them as likewise jhgr yyjvys anil children, whether these be of the same conditionjy': free^ until they can earn their own bread, which it is presumed they are able to do when the females arrive at the age, of twelve and the males at that of fourteen; and not being able to give any fixed rule with respect to the quantity and quality of the food and clo'thes which are to be given them on account of the difference of climate, constitution and other particular causes, it is ordered that with respect to those matters, the justices of the districts in which the Estates are situated, with the approbation of the Magistrates, and syndic or Recorder as Protector of Slaves, shall fix upon and determine the quantity and quality of the food and clothes which are daily to be given them, according to their ages and sexes and conformable to the custom of the country, and like those which are commonly given to day labourers, and linen the same as the work people who are free have; which determination, after having been approved of by the Audience of the District, shall be fixed upon the door of the Town House and of the Churches of every place, and of the oratories or hermitages of Estates, that every one may know it, and that no one may plead ignorance.

Ciiaptek III. — Occupation of Slaves.

The first and principal occujpat^MyjksJasfiS^agriculture and not those labours that require a sedentaryJife; and thus in order that their Masters and the State may be benefitted by their work and that they may perform it as they ought to do, the justices of the Towns and Villages, in the same form as has been mentioned in the beforegoing Chapter, shall regulate the work to be done in the course of the day, and they shall have two hours to themselves to be employed in manufactures or other occupations for their own advantage; neither the Masters nor their stewards can oblige those slaves to work who are sixty years old, or younger than seventeen; nor employ the women slaves in any work which is not conformable to their sex, or in which they must be with the males; and the. said masters shall contribute two dollars every year for their domestic service, as is ordered in the 8ih~Cuapter of the Royal Order published on the 28th of last February.

Chapter IV. — Diversions.

On holidays, when Masters c^nnot_oblige nor permit.their_ala-._ ves to work, after they have heard mass and the Christian doctrine explained to them, the said Masters or their Stewards shall allow the slaves to divert themselves innocently in their presence, but they shall not allow them to be amongst those of the other

Estates, nor even with the females, hindering them from excess in drinking and taking care that their diversions are ended before prayer time.

Chapter V. — Habitations and Infirmary.

All Masters of slaves must give them habitations distantthose. of the men from those.ot the women if they—are not married; and they must be eommodioujjjinii sufficient to defend them from the inclemencies of the weather, with beds, blankets and every thing necessary. Each man shall have hisTown bed and there shall be no more than two in a room: another habitation separated from the rest, which must be warm and commodious shall be destined for the sick, who must be assisted with every thing "necessary by their Masters; and in case that the latter on account of not having room enough or being near some town, do wish to send them to the hospital, they shall contribute a daily sum which shall be determined by the justices for their assistance, in the manner and form mentioned in the 2nd Chapter; and if any of them should die it is the Master's obligation to pay the charges of the funeral.

Chapter VI. — Old men and those who are constantly ill.

Slaves who on account of old age or jllness are not able to work, as likewise children of either of the two sexes, must be maintained by their Masters; and these latter cannot give them their liberty in order to get rid of them, except by giving them a sufficient stock which must be approved of by the justices and syndic, to maintain them without any other assistance.

Chapter VII. — Marriages of Slaves.

The masters of slaves must not allow the unlawful intercourse of the two sexes but must encourage matrimony. Neither must he hinder them from marrying with (he slaves of other masters; in which case if the estates were distant from one another so that the

« AnteriorContinuar »