By Natalie Baur and Ana D. Rodríguez
Creator: Matanzas (Cuba : Province). Junta Provincial de Patronato
Extent: 3.0 Boxes
Arrangement: This collection maintains the original order of case folios.
The Junta Provincial de Patronato de Matanzas Records comprise official documents, correspondence between local juntas and the Junta Provincial, and tables reporting the numbers and names of patrocinados. Many of the records detail the cases of individual patrocinados.
The abolition of slavery in Cuba took place gradually over the course of several years. In 1880, the Spanish colonial government instituted a system called patronato, loosely translated as "apprenticeship." Most of the workings of the slave system were preserved, but patrocinados, as former slaves came to be known, received a minimal set of legal rights and were to be paid a token wage. The transition to the patronato system was overseen by a provincial network of government agencies called Juntas de Patronato. The Junta Provincial de Patronato de Matanzas was created in 1880 when the Law of Patronato was passed. As a central body, it processed claims and cases from a series of local juntas throughout the province of Matanzas. The records in this collection contain official documents, correspondence between local juntas and the main junta, and tables reporting names or numbers of patrocinados. The collection also documents the cases of individual patrocinados who were trying to obtain their freedom through the provisions of the new law.
All of the materials in this collection have been digitized and are available through the University of Miami Digital Collections.
The Junta Provincial de Patronato de Matanzas was created in 1880 when the law of patronato was passed in Spain. The patronato system represented a legal strategy to gradually abolish slavery in Cuba through an "apprenticeship" process. The patronato was the mechanism established to oversee the transformation of slave owners (masters) into patronos and of slaves into patrocinados. "It represented an intermediate stage between slavery and freedom during which former slaves would owe labor to their former masters, but would receive a token wage in return" ("Gradual Abolition and the Dynamics of Slave Emancipation in Cuba, 1868-86," by Rebecca J. Scott. Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 63, No. 3 [Aug. 1983], p. 457). The Junta functioned as a provincial entity and, with the civil governor, oversaw the local juntas in municipalities and cities.
Accruals: All of the materials in Box 1 and folders 1-66 of Box 2 and folders 1-17 of Box 3 are part of a large purchase of a group of materials whose original order was maintained. Subsequent folders added to this collection are from various purchases and gifts and are kept together by accession as they are received.
Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Use Restrictions: Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Acquisition Method: Purchase, 2012.
Preferred Citation: Junta Provincial de Patronato de Matanzas Records, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida
Processing Information: Processed by Natalie Baur and described by Ana D. Rodríguez, 2013.
Finding Aid Revision History: Revised by Natalie Baur, July 2013.