This article examines the recruitment of slaves for the patriot forces during the Brazilian Independence War in Bahia (1822 - 1823), distinguishing between the frequently conflated enlistment of slaves and that of free or freed people of color. The slave recruitment that took place during this conflict was an ad hoc expedient by the Brazilian commander, and no formal promises of liberty were tendered to the slaves. After the conflict, the Brazilian government arranged to free those slaves who had served, granting compensation to their owners. At the same time, authorities had to deal with the large number of men of color enlisted during the war, a sharp contrast to the mostly white late-colonial regulars. The participation of former slave soldiers in the Periquitos Rebellion of 1824 provided the occasion for the deportation of freed and non-white soldiers from the Bahian garrison. In this way, authorities restored the demarcation between slave and soldier, unacceptably blurred during the conflict.
independence; slavery; military recruitment