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Às vésperas da abolição um estudo sobre a estrutura da posse de escravos em São Cristóvão (RJ), 1870

The first part of this paper shows the slaveholding structure in São Cristóvão in 1870, when that parish already belonged to the urban perimeter of the capital city of Rio de Janeiro. Thus that structure can be seen on the eve of Abolition in one of the most dynamic urban centers of the Empire. The results validate the pattern of Brazilian slavery determined by historiography: a great weight of the small slaveholders, the institution of slavery was relatively widespread and slaveholding was not strongly concentrated. The case in focus shows the same basic characteristics of slavery seen since the early 1700s in different parts of Brazil. In the second part, our results are compared to those of several other studies of various localities examined in different moments, showing the similarities and differences observed. On the one hand, São Cristóvão is situated in the universe of Brazilian slavery; on the other, we seek a more wide and profound knowledge of the demo-economic structures of our slave society.

slaveholding structure; Brazilian history; economy of slavery; slavery; historical demography

Departamento de Economia; Faculdade de Economia, Administração, Contabilidade e Atuária da Universidade de São Paulo (FEA-USP) Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 908 - FEA 01 - Cid. Universitária, CEP: 05508-010 - São Paulo/SP - Brasil, Tel.: (55 11) 3091-5803/5947 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil