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Alvará com força de Ley . . prohibir, que se possam carregar, nem transportar escravos Pretos de hum, e outro sexo dos pórtos da America, Africa, e Asia, para os destes Reinos de Portugal, e dos Algarves; applicando as penas nelle declaradas a todos os que contravierem a dita Ley, passado o termo de seis mezes, a respeito dos primeiros, e segundos dos referidos pórtos, e hum anno a respeito dos terceiros . . .   (Dated 19 September 1761.)


(Lisbon, n.pr., 1761).


Folio.  4 pp.  Wrappers.  

The law abolishing slavery in Portugal.   “An alvará of 19 September 1761 declared that all Negro slaves landed in Portuguese ports after the space of six months from the date of publication in Brazil and Africa (after a year in Asia) would automatically become free persons.   The wording of the decree makes it clear that this decision was taken for utilitarian and economic reasons and not on humanitarian grounds.   The main object was to prevent slaves being taken from the gold-mines and sugar plantations of Brazil to serve as superfluous lackeys and footmen in Portugal . . .   Neither Pombal nor his successors had an intention of abolishing slavery in the overseas possessions, where the laws and social custom continued to discriminate against Negro blood, whether bond or free” (C.R. Boxer, The Portuguese seaborne empire 1415-1825, pp. 265-6).

Marquês de Pombal, Cat. bibliográfico, p. 371 (346).   (Cf. Gauz, Portuguese and Brazilian Books in the John Carter Brown Library 1537 to 1839, 761/3 to 761/5.)  



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