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date: 01 October 2022

Luanda: An Atlantic Port Cityfree

Luanda: An Atlantic Port Cityfree

  • Vanessa OliveiraVanessa OliveiraRoyal Military College of Canada


The connections of west-central Africa with the Atlantic world were first established in the 15th century, when a Portuguese expedition arrived in the kingdom of Kongo. By 1520, Portuguese traders reached the Mbundu state of Ndongo to the south, and in 1575 Paulo Dias de Novais established the coastal settlement of Luanda, marking the beginning of a lucrative trade in enslaved Africans that connected Luanda to the wider Atlantic world. The trade in captives became the main economic activity of the Portuguese based in Angola, and Luanda became the single most important Atlantic slaving port. In Luanda and its hinterland, interactions between foreign and local peoples gave origin to a Luso-African society, which adopted elements of European and Mbundu cultures. Previous exposure to this Atlantic creole culture was crucial for the integration of enslaved Africans to societies in Latin America. Besides supplying captives to the transatlantic slave trade, Luanda was also a slave society. Elite men and women had numerous captives in their households and in agricultural properties located in rural suburbs and in the interior. With the abolition of the slave trade in the Portuguese territories in Africa in 1836, Luanda experienced the development of the so called legitimate commerce in tropical commodities, shifting its Atlantic connections from Brazil to Europe and the United States. Meanwhile, the city was reconnected to São Tomé through a traffic of forced laborers to work on cocoa and coffee plantations.


  • West Africa

Luanda and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The first contact between Europeans and west-central Africans occurred in 1483 with the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão in the Sonyo province of the kingdom of Kongo. This contact marked the beginning of west-central Africa’s commercial and cultural interactions with the Atlantic world.1 The expedition’s purpose was to explore the African coast and its trade potential on behalf of the Portuguese king, João II.2 Finding no gold or spices in Kongo, the Portuguese recognized that the greatest profit to be gained there was from captives to supply labor in the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe and, to a lesser extent, in Lisbon.

The port of Mpinda, near the mouth of the Congo River, became the center of the slave trade. The Manikongo (king of Kongo) exercised a monopoly over the trade, organizing expeditions to capture people to supply the Portuguese, in exchange for cloth and metal ware.3 By the 1530s, the Portuguese were exporting about five thousand captives annually, most originating in areas to the south inhabited by Mbundu peoples.4

The growth of the slave trade as well as the export taxes imposed by the Portuguese king shifted the attention of traders to the source of captives to the south. Soon the Portuguese were trading in captives directly with the Mbundu state of Ndongo, bypassing the Manikongo’s monopoly of the trade. Ndongo was a tributary of the kingdom of Kongo, located between the Dande and Kwanza Rivers. Attracted by reports of the existence of silver and gold mines in the interior and the potential for the development of the slave trade, the Portuguese crown sent an official mission to Ndongo in 1560, led by Paulo Dias de Novais.5

In 1571, the Portuguese king granted Dias a charter appointing him governor and hereditary overlord of a royal colony between the Dande and Kwanza Rivers and as far inland as he could possess. In return, he was to develop a European settlement and establish agriculture in the territory. In 1575, Dias founded the city of São Paulo da Assunção de Luanda, which was to become the administrative and military center of the Portuguese conquista in west-central Africa.6 However, Dias died in 1589, not having yet conquered the kingdom of Ndongo and fulfilled his duties. After Dias’s death, the crown took over the rights and responsibilities in Angola. Although unable to find any sources of metals in Ndongo, the Portuguese established a lucrative trade in slaves to supply São Tomé and the Spanish and Portuguese territories in the Americas, turning Luanda into the single most important slaving port during the era of the transatlantic slave trade.7 Luanda’s links with the Atlantic world transformed its economy, society, and culture.

Between 1514 and 1867, an estimated 12.5 million Africans forcibly left the African continent to meet the demand for labor in Europe and in the Americas. During the era of the transatlantic slave trade, captives departed from six major coastal regions: upper Guinea, the Gold Coast, the bight of Benin, the bight of Biafra, west-central Africa, and southeast Africa. The Portuguese were responsible for shipping about 5.8 million captives, nearly half of the total traffic out of Africa. The trade was conducted mainly from the Brazilian ports of Recife, Salvador, and Rio de Janeiro rather than from the metropole. West-central Africa alone exported about 5.6 million enslaved Africans, 45 percent of the total, becoming the largest supplier of captives during most of the slave-trade era. Most captives leaving west-central Africa were shipped in the Portuguese ports of Luanda and Benguela and the African-controlled ports of Ambriz, Cabinda, Molembo, and Loango.8 Between the mid-1500s and 1867, 2.9 million captives departed from the port of Luanda alone.9

In 1695, the discovery of gold and diamonds in Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, increased the demand for labor in this region, and Angola became the main supplier of captives for the newly established mining districts.10 According to the Slave Voyages database, throughout the 18th century the port of Luanda shipped a median of about 7,900 captives annually, a pattern maintained up to 1830.11 Competition over the slave trade also increased in west-central Africa throughout the 18th century, forcing the Portuguese to shift their attention away from interior expansion to the coast. Dutch, French, and British traders threatened Portuguese control over the trade on the northern coast, offering goods of superior quality and at lower prices in exchange for captives in the African-controlled ports of Cabinda, Molembo, Loango, and Ambriz.12

In the early 18th century, Luanda merchants also faced internal competition from the port of Benguela, dominated by Brazilian-born merchants operating in a context of bilateral trade.13 Previously, captives acquired in Benguela were shipped through the port of Luanda, where export taxes were collected. By 1770, Brazilians held a dominant position at Benguela and a share of the trade at Luanda. Their dominance in the trade was determined in part by the lower cost of the Brazilian alcoholic drink known in Angola as geribita, one of the main items exchanged for captives, and by their role as transporters of most of the enslaved Africans exported to the Americas.14 One-quarter of the captives exported from Luanda, between 1710 to the end of the legal slave trade in 1830, were purchased with geribita, which demonstrates the significance of this commodity in the slave trade in west-central Africa.15 Luanda’s connections with Brazil were not limited to the traffic in human beings; ideas, people, and commodities traveled between the two shores of the Atlantic Ocean. From Brazil came crops, technology for agriculture, luxury goods, exiled criminals, and military and administrative personnel.16 Free Africans traveled to Brazil on business and purchased properties on the other shore of the Atlantic. As well, enslaved Africans introduced new devotions and knowledge to societies in Latin America.17

A Luso-African Society

From its foundation in 1575, Luanda attracted a large contingent of merchants seeking quick enrichment through participation in the slave trade. Foreign traders and adventurers relied on intermediaries with knowledge of local cultures and commercial networks. These cultural brokers acted as translators and commercial intermediaries, connecting African suppliers inland with coastal merchants, many of whom were agents of firms based in Brazil and Portugal.18 In this process, immigrant men entered customary and Catholic marriages with African and Luso-African women, who acted as wives and commercial partners, as did the nharas, signares, and senhoras in Senegambia, the Gold Coast, and the Guinea region.19 In Luanda, women merchants and cultural brokers became known as donas, a term originating in the title granted to noble and royal women in the Iberian peninsula and subsequently adopted in the overseas territories.20

These interracial unions gave rise to a population of mixed-origin known as Luso-Africans who adopted Portuguese names, fashion, architecture, and language and professed Christianity.21 Luso-Africans were commonly identified as whites and as Portuguese subjects, and their ability to navigate between both worlds allowed them to become intermediaries in the slave trade and agents of colonialism. Their male offspring occupied positions in the colonial administration and in local militias.22 Some attended schools in Brazil and universities in Portugal, as was the case of Eduardo Matozo Gago da Câmara, the son of the slave trader Inocêncio Matozo Câmara. Eduardo Matozo studied law at the University of Coimbra and after graduation established a law office in Lisbon.23 The daughters of Luso-African families married traders and colonial officials of Portuguese origin, whether born in the metropole, Brazil, or on the Atlantic islands. Although some women became notable slave traders through their connections with immigrant men, others were already successful merchants before marriage, supplying foodstuffs and imported goods to local markets.24 Dona Maria Joaquina do Amaral, for example, was a well-established merchant supplying foodstuffs to urban markets when she married the Portuguese António Balbino Rosa in 1844. Her assets included land, captives, and capital, which she loaned to small-scale entrepreneurs.25

Black Africans, free and enslaved, composed the majority of the city population. Although they were mostly of Mbundu origin, the captives who arrived in the city came from a multitude of locations. A great number of the captives awaited embarkation in barracoons (quintais) while others remained in town.26 The urban population depended heavily on slave labor to carry out artisan crafts, transportation, and domestic work. In 1855, José Miguel Rufino registered two enslaved women who lived in his household: Joana Rita was a seamstress and cook, and Vitória Maria was a washer and cook.27 Free Africans also migrated to Luanda, seeking better opportunities in the administrative and military center of the colony.28 For instance, free seamen from the African-controlled port of Cabinda, north of the Congo River, periodically arrived to Luanda to find employment in the ships anchored in the extensive bay.29 Black Africans who lived in the Portuguese enclaves, spoke Portuguese, and professed Christianity could be perceived as whites or of mixed origin and were, theoretically, protected against enslavement.30

The interactions between indigenous populations and foreigners living in Luanda gave rise to a Luso-African society characterized by the mixing of Mbundu and European cultural elements.31 Newcomers learned Kimbundu, married local women, took part in African rituals, and engaged in local trade. Indigenous peoples adopted Christianity and Portuguese naming practices, civil law, clothes, architecture, and language.32 Because of the demographic weight of the Mbundu population, African components were more dominant than European.33 For instance, Africans who had converted to Christianity continued to practice indigenous religious rituals and adore their idols at home.34 According to the Brazilian-born military officer Elias Alexandre Silva Corrêa, who served in Angola in the late-18th century, even whites participated in “heathen” religious rituals led by Africans.35

Enslaved Africans shipped to Europe and the Americas also brought with them a distinctive Atlantic creole culture with mixed African and European elements.36 Luso-African culture was particularly noticeable in the Portuguese settlements in Luanda and its hinterland, as well as Massangano and Ambaca. People living in these areas were apprehended in raids and military operations and sold to transatlantic slavers. Their familiarity with Luso-African culture was crucial for their integration into Latin American societies. In Brazil, west-central Africans founded lay brotherhoods dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary and preached the Christian faith to captives of west African origin, identified with the term “Mina.”37

Luanda as a Slave Society

Slavery existed in west-central Africa prior to contact with Europeans. In the kingdom of Kongo, for example, captives were obtained through wars and were mainly foreign-born. Free-born Kongos were generally protected from enslavement, although some crimes could be punished with slavery.38 Women were particularly sought in the African domestic market for their productive and reproductive capacities. They tended to the land, did household chores, and contributed to expand kinship groups.39

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, most Luanda residents were directly or indirectly attached to the slave trade, whether as dealers, intermediaries, or suppliers of the foodstuffs necessary to feed captives in the barracoons and during the middle passage.40 Nevertheless, not all captives were exported across the Atlantic Ocean, as the population of Luanda also used slave labor locally. The enslaved performed domestic tasks in the Portuguese-style houses (sobrados) of the elite; they were artisans in the many workshops throughout the city; they peddled food and imported items on the streets and markets; and they tended to the agricultural properties (arimos) and gardens located in rural suburbs and in the riverbanks in the interior of Luanda.41

Through the 18th and 19th centuries, some masters enrolled their male captives in craft workshops (oficinas), where they received training to become carpenters, coopers, masons, tailors, and so forth. Skilled captives enjoyed more mobility and were more likely to find employment in one of the many workshops or in public works undertaken by the Portuguese administration.42 Women were excluded from workshops, which limited their opportunities to domestic tasks and retail sales.43 Although most enslaved women worked in their masters’ households, some also offered their services as washers, seamstresses, wet nurses, and water carriers to the population, which allowed them to earn some income. Enslaved women were also street vendors (quitandeiras). They sold fresh and cooked food, as well as imported items in the streets and in the outdoor markets.44 Slaveholders commonly advertised the services of captives in the local gazette, the Boletim Oficial de Angola. On September 11, 1852, Bento Bernardo de Faria announced that he had a “good wet nurse” for rent.45 Skilled captives worked on their own accounts, paying a fee to masters while keeping the remainder, and some among them lived independently in the many straw-roofed round houses (cubatas) throughout the city.46 They were more likely to be able to save cash and purchase their own manumission and those of their children.

The ownership of enslaved individuals enhanced the prestige of male and female slaveholders. Elite families lived in sobrados with numerous captives and dependents and sometimes close relatives.47 Commonly, enslaved men known as maxilas carried their masters in hammocks during their outings, followed by a retinue of other captives. In the 1830s, the Frenchman Jean Baptiste Douville noted, “When the wealthiest ladies show themselves outside of their households . . . they are then followed by a multitude of slaves.”48 Slaveholders used public appearances as opportunities to reinforce social standing and display wealth.

Some enslaved women bore children from their masters, and sometimes fathers freed their offspring in the baptismal font.49 Whether the children born from enslaved women and free men resulted from rape or consensual sex is difficult to ascertain. In Luanda, as was the case in other slave societies in Africa and in the Americas, the sexuality of enslaved women was considered an extension of the services they were to provide to their masters.50 Furthermore, the imbalance of power that marked the slave-master relationship left enslaved women with no choice than to obey their superiors. Although some women were able to achieve benefits by becoming sexual partners of free men, including manumission for themselves and their children and access to material goods, this was clearly not the norm.51 The infant Domingas, for example, was baptized in the Church of Our Lady of the Remédios on September 9, 1815, as the daughter of Joaquim de Santa Ana e Faria and his captive Joana Vitoriana. Faria freed neither his daughter nor her mother.52

Enslaved men and women escaped their masters and absconded in the communities of runaways known as mutolos that proliferated in interior areas. The mutolos established in Calumbo and Icolo, in the immediate hinterland of Luanda, were particularly well-known and feared by authorities and residents. Throughout the 19th century, colonial authorities and slaveholders organized expeditions to destroy mutolos and capture runaways.53 Even skilled captives who enjoyed relative mobility and the possibility of acquiring an income did not hesitate to escape whenever they had an opportunity. The police were sometimes able to recapture fugitives based on physical descriptions provided by their masters. On December 20, 1851, the police captured an enslaved woman on the run in Cabo Longo. The enslaved revealed that her name was NGila but did not disclose the name of her owner -likely a strategy to avoid being returned to her former master.54

Abolition and Illegal Slave Trade

In 1815, a treaty between Portugal and Britain limited the export of captives by Portuguese vessels to south of the equator. As a result, the number of enslaved Africans exported from Angolan ports increased, creating new opportunities for slavers based in Luanda. Between 1816 and 1835, about 645,760 captives were shipped from west-central African ports. The majority of them, approximately 241,880, left from the port of Luanda.55 In response to the increasing demand, established slave traders and new investors purchased ships to intensify their participation in the slave trade. Among these was Dona Ana Joaquina dos Santos Silva, a leading Luanda merchant, who purchased four vessels between 1824 and 1832.56 In 1827, her ship Boa União crossed the Atlantic with 449 captives who were disembarked in Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil.57 Some slavers resorted to establishing partnerships as a strategy to reduce the risks involved in the slave trade. In 1825, the couple Félix José dos Santos and Dona Ana Ifigênia Nogueira da Rocha shipped 340 captives on the Lucrécia to Rio de Janeiro, in partnership with Francisco Borges Barbosa.58 Many of these captives disembarked in Rio de Janeiro, which had become the capital of the Portuguese empire in 1808, when the Portuguese royal family moved to Brazil to escape the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian peninsula. Slave laborers were needed to attend the newly established merchants and administrative personnel who had arrived along with the royal family.59 A significant number of captives also tended the coffee plantations of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as well as sugarcane, rice, and cotton plantations in the northern captaincies of Pernambuco, Bahia, Maranhão, and Pará.60

In 1820, a liberal revolution broke out in Portugal, and the country was given a constitution. King João VI left Rio de Janeiro and returned to Lisbon to take his place in the new government and swear to uphold the new constitution.61 In 1822, Brazil gained its independence, and the following year a group in Benguela organized a rebellion known as Confederação Brasílica, attempting to join the newly independent country. The Luanda government sent reinforcements to the southern port, crushing the dissidents.62 After independence, Brazilian merchants continued to maintain an important position in Luanda in spite of Portugal forbidding foreign nations from trading in its African territories.63

Although Portugal refused to recognize Brazilian independence, the British negotiated a treaty, signed in 1826, with the new nation. According to this treaty, in exchange for Britain’s recognition of its independence, Brazil was to gradually reduce slave imports and outlaw the slave trade from Africa as of March 1830. As a result, some Brazilian merchants began leaving Luanda.64 Meanwhile, those who maintained their activities avoided Portuguese customs in the capital by trading in the northern ports.65

In 1836, suppression of the transatlantic slave trade reached into the southern hemisphere when Portugal banned slave exports from all their territories in Africa.66 Luanda slave traders protested the decision, continuing to ship captives illegally until the late 1860s. Between 1836 and 1867, about 372,300 Africans were shipped illegally from west-central Africa; about 106,000 departed from Luanda, disembarking in Caribbean and Brazilian ports.67

After the passing of the ban, Portuguese authorities sent warships to patrol the coast of west-central Africa and created the Tribunal das Presas (“court of prizes”) to prosecute smugglers.68 Great Britain passed the Palmerston Act in 1939, unilaterally establishing that any ship sailing under a Portuguese flag and suspected of transporting captives was subject to seizure and judgment by the Court of the British Admiralty.69 Shortly after, Portuguese and Royal Navy cruisers began patrolling the coast of central Africa in search of illegal slave cargoes. Vessels from France, the United States, and Brazil joined the British and Portuguese efforts in combating the illegal trade.70 Slavers, however, resorted to the use of alternative flags from countries not bound by treaties, such as Brazil and the United States, to escape the Palmerston Act.71

An Anglo-Portuguese treaty of July 1842 declared that henceforth slave trading using Portuguese vessels would be considered piracy. The treaty also established an office of the Anglo-Portuguese Mixed Commission and Court of Arbitration at Luanda.72 Between 1844 and 1870, this institution proceeded against 33 ships suspected of slave trading yet rescued a mere 137 Africans illegally enslaved. The Portuguese Court of Prizes emancipated another two to three thousand Africans.73 Captives rescued from slave ships were placed under the category of liberated Africans (libertos) and were required to serve an apprenticeship of seven years in the charge of the Junta de Superintêndencia dos Negros Libertos, created in Luanda in late 1845.74 Luanda became the center of suppression efforts at the same time that slave traders continued to enjoy prestige and influence. In 1845, Francisco José de Sousa Lopes and Francisco Barboza Rodrigues, both slave traders, occupied positions in the Municipal Council of Luanda.75

With warships invigilating official ports, slave shipments virtually disappeared from Luanda by the late 1840s. Slavers left Luanda and established warehouses (feitorias) in the northern ports of Ambriz and Cabinda and near the mouth of the Congo River, as well as in southern areas, including Novo Redondo, Moçâmedes, Baia Farta, Baia dos Tigres, and Quicombo. Dona Ana Joaquina dos Santos Silva owned feitorias in Ambriz, Benguela, and Moçâmedes; José Maria Matoso de Andrade Câmara and Augusto Guedes Coutinho Garrido owned feitorias in Moçâmedes and Cabo Lombo.76 From these remote locations, they were able to ship captives illegally without attracting the attention of warships. For instance, in July 1846, the ship Maria Segunda, owned by Dona Ana Joaquina, left Angola with 490 captives aboard, headed for Bahia in northeastern Brazil, and in August 1849, Câmara and Garrido successfully shipped 415 captives to southeastern Brazil.77 To circumvent the risks involved in these illegal operations, traders loaded captives at night from secluded shores onto small launches that supplied slave ships anchored at sea.78 The dispersal of so many places of embarkation made it difficult for the naval patrols to combat the illegal trade. The final blow to the Luanda slave trade came in 1850, when a new law passed in Brazil that made the importation of captives illegal. Several slave traders left Luanda, relocating in Portugal, Brazil, and New York.79 Only a few traders remained engaged in slaving, supplying captives to Cuban markets.

Luanda in the Era of Legitimate Commerce

With the abolition of the slave traffic, Luanda’s Atlantic orientation slowly shifted from Brazil to Portugal. After 1836, an alternative trade developed in west-central Africa in tropical commodities—such as ivory, beeswax, gum copal, orchil lichen, palm and peanut oils, coffee, cotton, and, to a lesser extent, sugar—to supply Europe and the United States. Colonial authorities believed that the new trade had the potential to replace slave exports.80 Nevertheless, Luanda slave traders invested in legitimate commerce while they continued to export captives to Brazil and Cuba. The capital they had amassed through slave trading was central to the new developments.81

After 1836, the colonial administration took measures to expand legitimate commerce. Among these was the opening of Angolan ports to trade with other nations in 1837 and the occupation of land classified as uncultivated land (terras baldias) by merchants and immigrants willing to develop commercial agriculture.82 In the late 1840s, the Angolan government established an agricultural colony in Moçâmedes, in the southern extremity of Angola, with settlers from Brazil and the island of Madeira. The government provided the new immigrants with land, seeds, and equipment, as well as labor.83 Several Luanda merchants, including the slave traders Dona Ana Joaquina, Arsénio Pompílio Pompeu do Carpo, António Félix Machado, and Candido José dos Santos Guerra, donated capital to finance the new settlers, who soon started producing foodstuffs, sugarcane, and cotton.84

In the era of legitimate commerce, Luanda merchants continued to control the advancement of credit to small-scale traders in the colony.85 Slave traders like Dona Ana Joaquina dos Santos Silva, Dona Ana Francisca Ubertali de Miranda, Augusto Garrido, Francisco António Flores, and Francisco Barboza Rodrigues were among those individuals authorized by the Royal Treasury to issue credit bills (letras de crédito) in the city.86 Most private initiatives during the transition were led by merchants who had accumulated capital through the slave trade. Dona Ana Joaquina, for example, invested in commercial agriculture, establishing sugar-cane plantations in the interior of Luanda.87 Luso-African women invested in the cultivation of cotton, coffee, and sugarcane and benefited from the growing need for foodstuffs in the urban market.88

Luanda merchants also created partnerships and companies with government support to promote economic development in the colony. In 1835, a group of investors established the Companhia de Agricultura e Indústria de Angola e Benguela to develop commercial agriculture in sugar, cotton, and other crops. Several of the investors were slave dealers who soon after abandoned the company to focus on the illegal slave trade.89 In 1839, a group of twenty-seven merchants and the governor António Manoel de Noronha created the Companhia Mineralógica de Angola e Benguela, but the company failed due to a lack of skilled personnel to operate mining machinery purchased from Lisbon.90

Another sector of the economy boosted by the end of the slave trade was the production of food to supply local populations. By 1850, the Luanda population had reached 12,565 inhabitants—7,000 more than the 5,605 people who lived in the city in 1844.91 This sudden jump reflected the captives retained in Luanda after the abolition of the slave trade; the growing population increased the need for housing, food, and services. Those who owned land and labor benefited by producing staples to supply urban markets.92

All of these new enterprises were developed and operated with the expertise and labor of enslaved Africans. Some of the commercial items had been traded by indigenous communities long before they were transformed into commodities to supply European and North American markets. For centuries, local populations had extracted, consumed, and maintained a small trade in cotton, wax, and peanut and palm oils.93 Legitimate commerce relied on indigenous labor and expertise, since Africans knew the sources of ivory and wax as well as how to produce peanut and palm oils. Europeans also depended on Africans to move imported goods (fazendas) and tropical commodities from Luanda to the interior and vice versa. Merchants counted on the assistance of commanders of the presídios and districts to recruit porters (carregadores) in exchange for tributes and bribes.94

As in other ports in Atlantic Africa, the end of the slave trade saw the expansion of domestic slavery in Luanda.95 Enslaved Africans performed domestic tasks in the houses of the elite, transported people through the streets in hammocks, carried water, peddled fresh and prepared food, and worked in craft workshops.96 They also tended to the land in the arimos and plantations, producing food for the local population and crops like coffee and cotton for the external market.97

By the 1850s, Luanda reconnected its Atlantic ties with the island of São Tomé e Príncipe through a new surge in slave exports. Some Luanda-based merchants began shipping servants (serviçais) to the islands of São Tomé e Príncipe to meet the demand for labor on cocoa and coffee plantations. In spite of the designation, their status was not different from that of captives. The traffic of serviçais was active until the early 20th century, victimizing about 2,500 people yearly.98 Slavery persisted as an important element of societies in Luanda and its hinterland until 1875, when the Portuguese colonial state abolished the practice in Angola. However, freed men and women remained under the tutelage of the colonial state for another three years. After 1878, slavery was replaced by other forms of forced labor, which persisted in the colony until the early 1960s under the guise of contratados.99

Discussion of the Literature

The scholarship on Luanda as an Atlantic port city tends to focus on the era of the slave trade. Since the pioneering work of Philip Curtin in 1969, scholars have recognized the importance of west-central Africa, and particularly Angola, in the transatlantic slave trade.100 Most studies have focused on the Portuguese ports of Luanda and Benguela, with few analyses of other ports outside Portuguese control.101 Beatrix Heintze, David Birmingham, and Linda M. Heywood have explored the initial interactions between the Portuguese and west-central Africans, as well as the rise of the slave trade in Luanda.102 Joseph C. Miller, Douglas Wheeler, José C. Curto, Roquinaldo A. Ferreira, and Daniel B. Domingues da Silva have further contributed to this scholarship by analyzing the volume and the impact of the slave trade centered in Luanda, with special attention to the 18th and 19th centuries.103 As well, Arlindo Caldeira, Miller, Ferreira, and Silva have traced the trajectories of Portuguese and Brazilian slavers based in Luanda.104 The works of Selma Pantoja, José C. Curto, and Vanessa S. Oliveira have highlighted the importance of African and Luso-African women in acting as cultural brokers, connecting African suppliers inland and foreign merchants established in the city.105

Since the mid-1980s, the historiography on Luanda has experienced a move from demographic studies of the transatlantic slave trade to social history, with a focus on the city’s sociocultural aspects and subaltern groups, including women and the enslaved. Jan Vansina, John K. Thornton and Linda M. Heywood, Roquinaldo A. Ferreira, and Kalle Kananoja have studied the mixing of Portuguese and African elements that gave rise to a Luso-African society in Luanda.106 Slavery was an important aspect in Angola’s Portuguese enclaves and inland African communities. Ferreira, Oliveira, Curto, Pantoja and Tracy Lopes have shed light on the experiences of enslaved men and women living in Luanda during the era of the slave trade and beyond.107 Curto has also examined the struggles of men and women to escape their unlawful enslavement.108

Mary Karasch, Ferreira and Oliveira have examined the impact of abolition and the illegal slave trade on Luanda, detailing the dispersal of operations after the 1836 ban on slave exports.109 Scholars such as Isabel Castro Henriques, Aida Freudenthal, Jill Dias, Valentim Alexandre, William Gervase Clarence-Smith, and Oliveira have analyzed the economic transition to legitimate commerce, evidencing the continuity of economic structures and capital that originated in the slave trade.110. Mário António Fernandes de Oliveira, Curto, Ferreira, and Oliveira have analyzed the expansion of slavery in the city after the end of the slave trade to meet the rising demand for labor in legitimate commerce, as well as in urban occupations and agriculture.111 Their work shows that the use of slave labor expanded in Angola during the era of legitimate commerce to meet the demand for natural resources in Europe and North America and the need for housing, urban services, and food for the colonial capital’s growing population.

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    • Tams, Gustav. Visit to the Portuguese Possessions in South-Western Africa. 2 vols. London: T. C. Newby, 1845.
    • Torres, João Carlos Feo Cardoso de Castello Branco e. Memórias contendo a biographia do vice almirante Luiz da Motta Feo e Torres: a história dos governadores e capitaens generaes de Angola, desde 1575 até 1825, e a descripção geographica e política dos reinos de Angola e de Benguella. Paris: Fantin, 1825.
    • Valdez, Francisco Travassos. Six Years of a Traveller’s Life in Western Africa. 2 vols. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1861.
    Angolan Archives

    Arquivo Nacional de Angola (Angola National Archive): This institution holds official documents produced by the colonial administration in Angola.

    Biblioteca Municipal de Luanda (Luanda Municipal Library): The library holds books as well as the documentation produced by the Municipal Council of Luanda from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

    Bispado de Luanda: The bishopric of Luanda is the central place for documentation produced by the Catholic Church in Angola, including registers of baptism and marriage as well as burial records.

    Portuguese Archives

    Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino: The Overseas Archives in Lisbon holds official documents produced by the colonial bureaucracy in Angola and other Portuguese colonies as well as newspapers, images, and maps.

    Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo: The Feitos Findos manuscript collection contains documentation such as habilitações de herdeiros (acknowledgment of heirs) and wills of Portuguese merchants who died in Luanda.

    Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa: This institution also holds official documentation regarding the Portuguese overseas territories as well as a collection of images, maps, and newspapers.

    Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa: This institution houses primary sources as well as maps and travelers’ accounts.

    Other Archives

    Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro: Established in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this archive holds documentation regarding the Portuguese empire after 1808, when the royal family moved to the city. A rich collection of digitized manuscripts (codex) from the Angolan National Archive is also available in this institution for consultation.

Links to Digital Materials

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, created in 1999, has contributed greatly to our knowledge of the slave trade to the Americas. Using its data, scholars have been able to determine the volume of the slave trade from specific ports in Africa, main destinations in the Americas, mortality ratios, and age and gender patterns of the enslaved population.

Further Reading

  • Alexandre, Valentim, and Jill Dias, eds. O Império Africano 1825–1890. Lisbon: Estampa, 1998.
  • Birmingham, David. Trade and Conflict in Angola: The Mbundu and Their Neighbours under the Influence of the Portuguese, 1483–1790. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966.
  • Caldeira, Arlindo Manuel. Escravos e traficantes no Império português: O comércio negreiro português no Atlântico durante os séculos XV a XIX. Lisbon: Esfera do Livro, 2013.
  • Clarence-Smith, W. Gervase. The Third Portuguese Empire, 1825–1975: A Study in Economic Imperialism. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1985.
  • Curto, José C. Enslaving Spirits: The Portuguese-Brazilian Alcohol Trade at Luanda and Its Hinterland, c. 1550–1830. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2004.
  • Ferreira, Roquinaldo A. Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Freudenthal, Aida. Arimos e Fazendas: A Transição Agrária Em Angola, 1850–1880. Luanda: Chá de Caxinde, 2005.
  • Heintze, Beatrix. Angola nos séculos XVI e XVII: Estudo sobre fontes, métodos e história. Luanda: Kilombelombe, 2007.
  • Miller, Joseph C. Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730–1830. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988.
  • Oliveira, Vanessa S. “The Gendered Dimension of Trade: Female Traders in Nineteenth Century Luanda.” Portuguese Studies Review 23, no. 2 (2015): 93–121.
  • Oliveira, Vanessa S. Slave Trade and Abolition: Gender, Commerce and Economic Transition in Luanda. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2020.
  • Pantoja, Selma. “Donas de ‘Arimos’: um negócio feminino no abastecimento de gêneros alimentícios em Luanda (séculos XVIII e XIX).” In Entre Áfricas e Brasís. Edited by Selma Pantoja and Carlos Alberto Reis de Paula, 35–49. Brasília: Paralelo 15 Editores, 2001.
  • Pantoja, Selma. “Women’s Work in the Fairs and Markets of Luanda.” In Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire: The Theatre of Shadows. Edited by Clara Sarmento, 81–94. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.
  • Silva, Daniel B. Domingues da. The Atlantic Slave Trade from West Central Africa, 1780–1867. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • Venâncio, José Carlos. A economia de Luanda e Hinterland no século XVIII. Lisbon: Estampa, 1996.


  • 1. On the idea of the Atlantic as a unit, see Jacques Godechot, Histoire de l’Atlantique (Paris: Bordas, 1947); Michael Kraus, The Atlantic Civilization: Eighteenth-Century Origins (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1949); Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993); Bernard Bailyn, “The Idea of Atlantic History,” Itinerario 20, no. 1 (1996): 19–44; David Eltis, “Atlantic History in Global Perspective,” Itinerario 23, no. 2 (1999): 141–161; Peter A. Coclanis, “Atlantic World or Atlantic/World?” William and Mary Quarterly 63, no. 4 (2006): 725–772; and Estevam Thompson, “O Atlântico Sul para além da miragem de um espaço homogêneo (séculos XV–XIX),” Temporalidades 4, no. 2 (2012): 80–102.

  • 2. David Birmingham, The Portuguese Conquest of Angola (London: Oxford University Press, 1965), 7; Anne Hilton, The Kingdom of Kongo (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985); and Douglas L. Wheeler and René Pélissier, Angola (New York: Praeger, 1971), 29.

  • 3. Birmingham, The Portuguese Conquest of Angola, 7.

  • 4. Birmingham, The Portuguese Conquest of Angola, 7.

  • 5. Birmingham, The Portuguese Conquest of Angola, 8–9.

  • 6. Beatrix Heintze, Angola nos séculos XVI e XVII: Estudos sobre fontes, métodos e história (Luanda: Kilombelombe, 2007), 245–248.

  • 7. Heintze, Angola nos séculos XVI e XVII, 473–504; Luiz Felipe de Alencastro, O trato dos viventes: Formação do Brasil no Atlântico Sul (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2000); and Kara D. Schultz, “‘The Kingdom of Angola Is Not Very Far from Here’: The South Atlantic Slave Trade Port of Buenos Aires, 1518–1640,” Slavery and Abolition 36, no. 3 (2015): 424–444.

  • 8. For the slave trade conducted in the northern ports under African control, see: Christina Frances Mobley, “The Kongolese Atlantic: Central African Slavery and Culture from Mayombe to Haiti” (PhD diss., Duke University, 2015); Phyllis Martin, The External Trade of the Loango Coast 1576–1870: The Effects of Changing Commercial Relations on the Vili Kingdom of Loango (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972); Stacey Sommerdyk, “Trade and the Merchant Community of the Loango Coast in the Eighteenth Century” (PhD diss., University of Hull, 2012); Stacey Sommerdyk, “Rivalry on the Loango Coast: A Re-Examination of the Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade,” in Trabalho Forçado Africano: O caminho de ida, ed. Arlindo Manuel Caldeira (Porto: CEAUP, 2009), 105–118; Robert W. Harms, River of Wealth, River of Sorrow: The Central Zaire Basin in the Era of the Slave and Ivory Trade, 1500–1891 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981); Carlos M. Serrano, Os Homens da terra e os homens fo mar: Antropologia de um reino africano (São Paulo: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas da USP, 1984); Roquinaldo A. Ferreira, “The Suppression of the Slave Trade and Slave Departures from Angola, 1830s–1860s,” in Extending the Frontiers: Essay on the New Transatlantic Slave Trade Database, ed. David Eltis and David Richardson (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008), 313–334; Roquinaldo A. Ferreira, “The Conquest of Ambriz: Colonial Expansion and Imperial Competition in Central Africa,” Mulemba 5, no. 9 (2015): 1–16; Maria Cristina Wissenbach, “As Feitorias de Urzela e o Tráfico de Escravos: Georg Tams, José Ribeiro dos Santos e os Negócios da África Centro-Ocidental na Década de 1840,” Afro-Ásia 43 (2011): 43–90; and Ariane Cravalho da Cruz, “Guerras nos sertões de Angola: Sobas, Guerra Preta e Escravização (1749–1797)” (PhD diss., Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 2020).

  • 9. David Eltis and David Richardson, Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010).

  • 10. Roquinaldo A. Ferreira relates the rise of the Luanda slave trade in the 18th century to the gold boom in Brazil. Roquinaldo A. Ferreira, Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 8, 96.

  • 11. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database,” Slave Voyages, 2008; José C. Curto, “A Quantitative Reassessment of the Legal Portuguese Slave Trade from Luanda, Angola, 1710–1830,” African Economic History 20, no. 1 (1992): 1–25, estimates that the number of captives shipped through the port of Luanda during the same period reached 9,700.

  • 12. David Richardson, “The British Empire and the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1660–1807,” in The Eighteenth Century, ed. Peter James Marshall (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 2: 451; Wheeler and Pélissier, Angola, 46; and Joseph C. Miller, Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730–1830 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988), 226–227.

  • 13. José C. Curto, “Luso-Brazilian Alcohol and the Legal Slave Trade at Benguela and its Hinterland, c. 1617–1830,” in Négoce Blanc en Afrique Noire: L’évolution du commerce à longue distance en Afrique noire du 18e au 20e siècles, ed. Hubert Bonin and Michel Cahen (Paris: Publications de la Société française d’histoire d’outre mer, 2001), 351–369; Joseph C. Miller, “The Political Economy of the Angolan Slave Trade in the Eighteenth Century,” Indian Historical Review 15, nos. 1–2 (1988–1989): 161; Ferreira, Cross-Cultural Exchange, 7; and Mariana P. Candido, An African Slaving Port and the Atlantic World: Benguela and Its Hinterland (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 85.

  • 14. Miller, “The Political Economy of the Angolan Slave Trade,” 162. For the transporters of slaves exported from Angola, see Daniel B. Domingues da Silva, The Atlantic Slave Trade from West Central Africa, 1780–1867 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017), chap. 2; and Mariana P. Candido, “Enslaving Frontiers: Slavery, Trade and Identity in Benguela, 1780–1850” (PhD diss., York University, 2006), 106–109.

  • 15. José C. Curto, Enslaving Spirits: The Portuguese-Brazilian Alcohol Trade at Luanda and Its Hinterland, c. 1550–1830 (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2004). For more information on the use of geribita and other commodities in the acquisition of enslaved Africans, see Roquinaldo Ferreira, “Dinâmica do comércio intra-colonial: Geribitas, panos asiáticos e guerra no tráfico angolano de escravos (século XVIII),” in O antigo regime nos trópicos: A dinâmica imperial portuguesa, séculos XVI–XVIII, ed. João Fragoso, Maria de Fátima Gouvêa, and Maria Fernanda Baptista Bicalho (Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 2001), 339–378.

  • 16. Ferreira, Cross-Cultural Exchange, 203–241; Alencastro, O trato dos viventes, 247–271; Rosa da Cruz e Silva, “Benguela e o Brasil no Final do Século XVIII: Relações Coemerciais e Políticas,” in Angola e Brasil: nas rotas do Atlântico Sul, ed. Selma Pantoja and José Flavio Saraiva (Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil, 1999), 127–142; Catarina Madeira Santos, “De ‘antigos conquistadores’ a ‘angolenses’: A elite colonial de Luanda no contexto da cultura das Luzes, entre lugares da memória e conhecimento cientifico,” Cultura 24 (2007): 202–205; and Vanessa S. Oliveira, Slave Trade and Abolition: Gender, Commerce and Economic Transition in Luanda (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2020), 71–73.

  • 17. Judith A. Carney, “‘With Grains in Her Hair’: Rice in Colonial Brazil,” Slavery and Abolition 25, no. 1 (2004): 1–27; and Lucilene Reginaldo, Os rosários dos angolas: Irmandades de africanos e crioulos na Bahia setecentista (São Paulo: Alameda, 2011).

  • 18. Joseph C. Miller, “The Slave Trade in Congo and Angola,” in The African Diaspora: Interpretative Essays, ed. Martin L. Kilson and Robert Rotberg (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976), 83; and Ferreira, “Suppression of the Slave Trade,” 327.

  • 19. See, for example, George Brooks, Eurafricans in Western Africa: Commerce, Social Status, Gender, and Religious Observance from the Sixteenth Century to the Eighteenth Century (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2003); Philip Havik, Silences and Soundbytes: The Gendered Dynamics of Trade and Brokerage in the Pre-Colonial Guinea Bissau Region (Munster, Germany: Lit Verlag, 2004); Ivana Elbl, “Men without Wives: Sexual Arrangements in the Early Portuguese Expansion in West Africa,” in Desire and Discipline: Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West, ed. Jacquelline Murray and Konrad Eisenbichler (Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 1996), 61–86; Hilary Jones, The Métis of Senegal: Urban Life and Politics in French West Africa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013); and Pernille Ipsen, Daughters of the Trade: Atlantic Slavers and Interracial Marriage on the Gold Coast (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania University Press, 2015).

  • 20. Júlio de Castro Lopo, “Uma rica dona de Luanda,” Portucale, Vol. 3, no. 16–17 (1948): 129–138; Carlos Alberto Lopes Cardoso, “Ana Joaquina dos Santos Silva, industrial angolana da segunda metade do século XIX,” Boletim Cultural da Câmara Municipal de Luanda, Vol. 32 (1972): 5–14; Douglas L. Wheeler, “Angolan Women of Means: D. Ana Joaquina dos Santos e Silva, Mid-Nineteenth-Century Luso-African Merchant-Capitalist of Luanda,” Santa Bárbara Portuguese Studies, Vol. 3 (1996): 284–297; Selma Pantoja, “Donas de ‘Arimos’: Um negócio feminino no abastecimento de gêneros alimentícios em Luanda (séculos XVIII e XIX),” in Entre Áfricas e Brasís, ed. Selma Pantoja and Carlos Alberto Reis de Paula (Brasília: Paralelo 15 Editores, 2001), 45–67; Selma Pantoja, “Gênero e comércio: As traficantes de escravos na região de Angola,” Travessias, Vol. 4–5 (2004): 79–97; Vanessa S. Oliveira, “The Gendered Dimension of Trade: Female Traders in Nineteenth Century Luanda,” Portuguese Studies Review 23, no. 2 (2015): 93–121; Vanessa S. Oliveira, “Mulher e comércio: A participação feminina nas redes comerciais em Luanda (século XIX),” in Angola e as Angolanas: Memória, Sociedade e Cultura, ed. Edvaldo Bergamo, Selma Pantoja, and Ana Claudia Silva (São Paulo: Intermeios, 2016), 133–152; Vanessa S. Oliveira, “Donas, escravas e pretas livres em Luanda (séc. XIX),” Estudos Ibero-Americanos 44, no. 3 (2018): 447–456; and Vanessa S. Oliveira, “Spouses and Commercial Partners: Immigrant Men and Locally Born Women in Luanda, 1831–1859,” in African Women in the Atlantic World: Property, Vulnerability and Mobility, 1660–1880, ed. Mariana C. Candido and Adam Jones (Woodbridge: James Currey, 2019), 217–232.

  • 21. Linda M. Heywood, “Portuguese into African: The Eighteenth-Century Central African Background to Atlantic Creole Cultures,” in Central Africans and Cultural Transformations in the American Diaspora, ed. Linda M. Heywood and John K. Thornton (London: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 91–114.

  • 22. Santos, “De ‘antigos conquistadores’,” 198; and Ariane Carvalho da Cruz, “Militares e a militarização no Reino de Angola: Patentes, guerra, comércio e vassalagem (segunda metade do século XVIII)” (Master thesis, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, 2014), 127–131.

  • 23. Arquivo Nacional de Angola (ANA), Registro de Escravos, Códice 5613, fol. 43.

  • 24. Oliveira, “Spouses and Commercial Partners,” 217–232.

  • 25. Biblioteca Municipal de Luanda (BML), Códice 055, Vol. II, Registo de Entrada e Saída de Milho, fls. 9–10; and Bispado de Luanda (BL), Registro de Casamento, fls. 26v–27.

  • 26. Elias Alexandre da Silva Corrêa, História de Angola, 2 vols. (Lisbon: Editorial Ática, 1937), 1: 78–79.

  • 27. ANA, Registro de Escravos, Códice 2467, fls. 5v–7.

  • 28. See the burial records of free black Africans in Bispado de Luanda (BL), Livro de óbitos, Freguesia dos Remédios, 1851–1852.

  • 29. Mariana P. Candido, “Different Slave Journeys: Enslaved African Seamen on Board of Portuguese Ships, c. 1760–1820,” Slavery and Abolition 31, no. 4 (2010): 395–409.

  • 30. Candido, An African Slaving Port, 138.

  • 31. On the development of an Atlantic creole culture in West Central Africa, see Linda M. Heywood and John K. Thornton, Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of the Americas, 1585–1660 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

  • 32. Heywood, “Portuguese into African”; Roquinaldo A. Ferreira, “Ilhas crioulas: O significado plural da mestiçagem na África atlântica,” Revista de história 155, no. 2 (2006): 17–41; and Kalle Kananoja, “Healers, Idolaters, and Good Christians: A Case Study of Creolization and Popular Religion in Mid-Eighteenth Century Angola,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 43, no. 3 (2010): 443–465.

  • 33. Heywood, “Portuguese into African,” 94.

  • 34. António Gil, Considerações sobre alguns pontos mais importantes da moral religiosa e systema de jurisprundência dos pretos do continente da África Occidental portuguesa além do Equador, tendentes a dar alguma idea do character peculiar das suas instituicções primitivas (Lisbon: Typografia da Academia, 1854), 6, 10; and Religious practices in 17th- and 18th-century Angola are discussed in James Sweet, Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the Portuguese World, 1441–1770 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

  • 35. Corrêa, História de Angola, 1:87.

  • 36. John K. Thornton, “Central Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade,” in Slaves, Subjects, and Subversives: Blacks in Colonial Latin America, ed. Jane G. Landers and Barry M. Robinson (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006), 83–110; and Heywood and Thornton, Central Africans.

  • 37. See, for example, Marisa de Carvalho Soares, People of Faith: Slavery and African Catholics in Eighteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011); and Reginaldo, Os rosários dos angolas.

  • 38. Linda M. Heywood, “Slavery and its Transformation in the Kingdom of Kongo: 1491–1800,” Journal of African History 50, no. 1 (2009): 1–22.

  • 39. Mariana P. Candido, “Women and Slavery in Africa,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of African History (2020), 1–30; Paul E. Lovejoy, “Concubinage and the Status of Women Slaves in Early Colonial Northern Nigeria,” Journal of African History 29, no. 2 (1988): 245–266; Paul E. Lovejoy, “Concubinage in the Sokoto Caliphate (1804–1903),” Slavery & Abolition 11, no. 2 (1990): 159–189; and Paul E. Lovejoy, “Internal Markets or an Atlantic-Sahara Divide? How Women Fit into the Slave Trade of West Africa,” in Women and Slavery: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic, ed. Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph Calder Miller (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2007), 259–279.

  • 40. Mary C. Karasch, “The Brazilian Slavers and the Illegal Slave Trade, 1836–1851” (Master thesis, University of Wisconsin, 1967), 24–25; and Vanessa S. Oliveira, “Gender, Foodstuff Production and Trade in Late-Eighteenth Century Luanda,” African Economic History 43 (2015): 57–81.

  • 41. José Carlos Venâncio, A economia de Luanda e Hinterland no século XVIII (Lisbon: Estampa, 1996); and Selma Pantoja, “A dimensão Atlântica das quitandeiras,” in Diálogos Oceânicos: Minas Gerais e as novas abordagens para uma história do Império Ultramarino Português, ed. Júnia Ferreira Furtado (Belo Horizonte: UFMG, 2001).

  • 42. Mário António Fernandes de Oliveira, “Para a história do trabalho em Angola: A escravatura luandense do terceiro quartel do século XIX,” Boletim do Instituto do Trabalho, Providência e Ação Social, Vol. 2 (1963): 45–60; and Vanessa S. Oliveira, “Trabalho escravo e ocupações urbanas em Luanda na segunda metade do século XIX,” in Em torno de Angola: Narrativas, identidades e as conexões atlânticas, ed. Selma Pantoja and Estevam C. Thompson (São Paulo: Intermeios, 2014), 249–275.

  • 43. Oliveira, “Trabalho escravo.”

  • 44. Selma Pantoja, “A dimensão atlântica das quitandeiras”; Selma Pantoja, “Imagens e perspectivas culturais: O trabalho feminino nas feiras e mercados luandenses,” in Condição feminina no império colonial português 1, ed. Clara Sarmento (Porto: Politema, 2008), 125–139; Selma Pantoja, “Women’s Work in the Fairs and Markets of Luanda,” in Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire: The Theatre of Shadows, ed. Clara Sarmento (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2008), 81–94; and Vanessa S. Oliveira, “Baskets, Stalls, and Shops: Experiences and Strategies of Women in Retail Sales in Nineteenth Century Luanda,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 54, no. 2 (2020): 1–18.

  • 45. Boletim Oficial de Angola, no. 363 (11 September 1852): 4.

  • 46. Francisco Travassos Valdez, Six Years of a Traveller’s Life in Western Africa (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1861), 2:104–105.

  • 47. José Joaquim Lopes de Lima, Ensaios sobre a statistica das possessões portuguezas (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1846), 3:203.

  • 48. Jean Baptiste Douville, Voyage au Congo et dans l’intérieur de l’Afrique équinoxale, 1828, 1829, 1830 (Paris: J. Renouard, 1832), 1:53.

  • 49. José C. Curto, “‘As If from a Free Womb’: Baptismal Manumissions in the Conceição Parish, Luanda, 1778–1807,” Portuguese Studies Review 10, no. 1 (2002): 26–57.

  • 50. Barbara Bush, “‘The Eye of the Beholder’: Contemporary European Images of Black Women,” in Slave Women in Caribbean Society, 1650–1838, ed. Barbara Bush (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), 11–22; Douglas Hall, ed., In Miserable Slavery: Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica, 1750–1786 (Barbados: University of West Indies Press, 1999).

  • 51. Curto, “As If from a Free Womb.”

  • 52. BL, Livro de Batismos Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, 1812–1822, fl. 48.

  • 53. Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino (AHU), Secretaria de Estado da Marinha e Ultramar (SEMU), Direcção Geral do Ultramar (DGU), Angola, Correspondência dos Governadores, segunda secção, códice 6A, carta do Governador Geral de Angola Adrião Acácio da Silveira Pinto, 15 September 1850.

  • 54. Boletim Oficial de, no. 325 (20 December 1851): 4.

  • 55. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database”.

  • 56. Biblioteca Municipal de LuandaBiblioteca Municipal de Luanda, Códice 037, “Receita da Ciza dos Prédios dessa Cidade,” 1809–1833, fols. 76v, 115, 124v.

  • 57. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database,” Voyage ID 47030.

  • 58. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database,” Voyage ID 545.

  • 59. José C. Curto and Raymond R. Gervais, “The Population History of Luanda during the late Atlantic Slave Trade, 1781–1844,” African Economic History, no. 29 (2001): 1–59.

  • 60. Miller, “Political Economy,” 164; João José Reis, “Slavery in Nineteenth-Century Brazil,” in Cambridge World History of Slavery, ed. David Eltis, et al. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 129–154.

  • 61. Douglas L. Wheeler, “The Portuguese in Angola, 1836–1891: A Study in Expansion and Administration” (PhD diss., Boston University, 1963), 6.

  • 62. Ferreira, Cross-Cultural Exchange, 230; Francisco Leite de Faria, “Echoes of the Atlantic: Benguela (Angola) and Brazilian Independence,” in Biography and the Black Atlantic, ed. Lisa Lindsay and John Sweet (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 224–247.

  • 63. Curto, Enslaving Spirits, 119.

  • 64. José de Almeida Santos, Vinte anos decisivos da vida de uma cidade (1845–1864) (Luanda: Câmara Municipal, 1970), 14; and Wheeler, “Portuguese in Angola,” 74.

  • 65. Wheeler, “Portuguese in Angola,” 76; and Ferreira, “Suppression,” 313–334.

  • 66. João Pedro Marques, Os Sons do Silêncio: O Portugal de Oitocentos e a Abolição do Tráfico de Escravos (Lisbon: Instituto de Ciências Sociais, 1999), 203–214.

  • 67. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.”

  • 68. William L. Mathieson, Great Britain and the Slave Trade, 1839–1865 (London: Longmans, 1929); Leslie M. Bethell, “Britain, Portugal and the Suppression of the Brazilian Slave Trade: The Origins of Lord Palmerston’s Act of 1839,” English Historical Review 80, no. 317 (1965): 761–784; and Mary C. Karasch, “The Brazilian Slavers and the Illegal Slave Trade, 1836–1851” (MA thesis, University of Wisconsin, 1967), 3–4.

  • 69. Karasch, “Brazilian Slavers,” 3–4; and Wheeler, “Portuguese in Angola,” 106.

  • 70. Ferreira, “Suppression,” 324; and Roquinaldo Ferreira, “Dos Sertões ao Atlântico: Tráfico Ilegal de Escravos e Comércio Lícito em Angola, 1830–1860” (MA thesis, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 1996), 18, 30.

  • 71. Karasch, “Brazilian Slavers,” 44.

  • 72. Wheeler and Pélissier, Angola, 52.

  • 73. Samuel Coghe, “The Problem of Freedom in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Slave Society: The Liberated Africans of the Anglo-Portuguese Mixed Commission in Luanda (1844–1870),” Slavery and Abolition 33, no. 2 (2012): 480.

  • 74. José C. Curto, “Producing ‘Liberated’ Africans in Mid-Nineteenth Century Angola,” in Liberated Africans and the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1807–1896, ed. Richard Anderson and Henry B. Lovejoy (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2020), 238–256.

  • 75. AHU, SEMU, DGU, Angola, Correspondência dos Governadores, Segunda Secção, Cx. 8B, “Carta do Governador de Angola Lourenço Germack Possolo,” 6 April 1845.

  • 76. Valentim Alexandre and Jill Dias, O Império Africano, 1825–1890 (Lisbon: Estampa, 1998), 386; and Carlos Pacheco, José da Silva Maia Ferreira: O homem e sua época (Luanda: União dos Escritores Angolanos, 1990), 72; and Boletim Oficial de AngolaBoletim Oficial de Angola, no. 332 (7 February 1852): 4.

  • 77. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database,” Voyage ID 900217; and “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database,” Voyage ID 4137.

  • 78. Gustav Tams, Visit to the Portuguese Possessions in South-Western Africa (London: T. C. Newby, 1845), 1:251–252.

  • 79. Alexandre and Dias, O Império Africano, 370; Oliveira, Slave Trade and Abolition, 66.

  • 80. João Carlos Feo Cardoso de Castello Branco e Torres, Memórias contendo a biographia do vice almirante Luiz da Motta Feo e Torres: A história dos governadores e capitaens generaes de Angola, desde 1575 até 1825, e a descripção geographica e política dos reinos de Angola e de Benguella (Paris: Fantin, 1825), 334–336.

  • 81. Vanessa S. Oliveira, Slave Trade and Abolition: Gender, Commerce, and Economic Transition in Luanda (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2021).

  • 82. Isabel Castro Henriques, Percursos da Modernidade em Angola: Dinâmicas Comerciais e Transformações Sociais no Século XIX (Lisbon: Instituto de Investigação Científica e Tropical, 1997), 125–126; and Aida Freudenthal, Arimos e fazendas: A transição agrária em Angola, 1850–1880 (Luanda: Chá de Caxinde, 2005), 130–140.

  • 83. Freudenthal, Arimos e fazendas, 136; Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, 3rd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 230–231; Boletim Oficial de AngolaBoletim Oficial de Angola, no. 272 (14 December 1850): 2; and Boletim Oficial de AngolaBoletim Oficial de Angola, no. 276 (11 January 1851): 2–3.

  • 84. Boletim Oficial de AngolaBoletim Oficial de Angola, no. 230 (23 February 1850): 3–4.

  • 85. William Gervase Clarence-Smith, The Third Portuguese Empire, 1825–1975: A Study in Economic Imperialism (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1985), 69; Oliveira, Slave Trade and Abolition, 71–72.

  • 86. Boletim Oficial de Angola, no. 54 (19 September 1846): 2.

  • 87. Valdez, Six Years of a Traveller’s Life, 2:277.

  • 88. For women farmers in mid-19th century Angola, see Selma Pantoja, “Donas de ‘Arimos’: Um negócio feminino no abastecimento de gêneros alimentícios em Luanda (séculos XVIII e XIX),” in Entre Áfricas e Brasís, ed. Selma Pantoja and Carlos Alberto Reis de Paula (Brasília: Paralelo 15 Editores, 2001), 35–49; and Mariana P. Candido, “Women, Family, and Landed Property in Nineteenth-Century Benguela,” African Economic History, Vol. 43 (2015): 136–161.

  • 89. Roquinaldo A. Ferreira, “Agricultural Enterprise and Unfree Labor in Nineteenth-Century Angola,” in Commercial Agriculture, the Slave Trade and Slavery in Africa, ed. Robin Law, Suzanne Schwartz, and Silke Strickrod (Woodbridge: James Currey, 2013), 228; and José de Almeida Santos, “Perspectivas da Agricultura de Angola em Meados do Século XIX: Pedro Alexandrino da Cunha e o Pioneiro do Cazengo,” Anais da Academia Portuguesa de História 36, no. 2 (1990): 138.

  • 90. Biblioteca Municipal de Luanda, Códice 048, “Actas da Companhia Mineralógica, 1839–1840.”

  • 91. José C. Curto, “The Anatomy of a Demographic Explosion: Luanda, 1844–1850,” International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 32 (1999): 381–405.

  • 92. See, for example, Biblioteca Municipal de Luanda, Códice 055 I, “Registo de Entradas e Saídas de Farinha,” 1827–1828, fls. 7v–8.

  • 93. Silva Corrêa, História de Angola, 1:137–138, 155–156; and Lopes de Lima, Ensaios, 3:12.

  • 94. Alexandre and Dias, O Império Africano, 385; and António Gil, Considerações sobre alguns pontos mais importantes da moral religiosa e systema de jurisprundência dos pretos do continente da África Occidental portuguesa além do Equador, tendentes a dar alguma idea do character peculiar das suas instituicções primitivas (Lisbon: Typografia da Academia, 1854), 24.

  • 95. Curto, “The Anatomy.”

  • 96. Oliveira, “História do Trabalho”; and Oliveira, “Trabalho escravo.”

  • 97. Ferreira, “Agricultural Enterprise and Unfree Labor”; and Tracy Lopes, “The ‘Mine of Wealth at the Doors of Luanda’: Agricultural Production and Gender in the Bengo,” in O Colonialismo Português: Novos Rumos da historiografia dos PALOP, ed. Ana Cristina Roque and Maria Manuel Torrão (Porto: Edições Húmus, 2013), 177–205.

  • 98. Jill Dias, “Crise e conflito,” in O império africano, 1825–1890, ed. Valentim Alexandre and Jill Dias (Lisbon: Estampa, 1998), 488; and Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery, 230.

  • 99. Maria da Conceição Neto, “De Escravos a ‘Serviçais’, de ‘Serviçais’ a ‘Contratados’: Omissões, perceções e equívocos na história do trabalho africano na Angola colonial,” Cadernos de Estudos Africanos 33 (2017): 107–129.

  • 100. Philip Curtin, The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969).

  • 101. Daniel B. Domingues da Silva, “The Transatlantic Slave Trade from Angola: A Port-by-Port Estimate of Slaves Embarked, 1701–1867,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 46, no. 1 (2013): 105–122; and Martin, External Trade.

  • 102. Birmingham, Portuguese Conquest of Angola; Heintze, Angola nos séculos XVI e XVII; and Heywood, Njinga of Angola.

  • 103. Miller, Way of Death; Wheeler, “Portuguese in Angola”; Curto, “Quantitative Reassessment”; Silva, “Transatlantic Slave Trade”; Silva, The Atlantic Slave Trade; Ferreira, Cross-Cultural Exchanges; and Ferreira, “Dos Sertões ao Atlântico.”

  • 104. Joseph C. Miller, “Capitalism and Slaving: The Financial and Commercial Organization of the Angolan Slave Trade, According to the Accounts of Antonio Coelho Guerreiro (1684–1692),” International Journal of African Historical Studies 17, no. 1 (1984): 4–10; Daniel B. D. da Silva, “The Supply of Slaves from Luanda, 1768–1806: Records of Ancelmo da Fonseca Coutinho,” African Economic History, no. 38 (2010): 53–76; and Arlindo Manuel Caldeira, Escravos e traficantes no Império português: O comércio negreiro português no Atlântico durante os séculos XV a XIX (Lisbon: Esfera do Livro, 2013).

  • 105. Pantoja, “Donas de ‘Arimos’”; Pantoja, “Gênero e comércio”; Oliveira, “The Gendered Dimension of Trade”; Oliveira, “Mulher e comércio”; Oliveira, “Donas, escravas e pretas livres”; and José C. Curto, “A restituição de 10.000 súbditos ndongo ‘roubados’ na Angola de meados do século XVII: Uma análise preliminar,” in Escravatura e transformações culturais: África–Brasil–Caraíbas, ed. Isabel Castro Henriques (Lisbon: Vulgata, 2002), 185–208.

  • 106. Jan Vansina, “Portuguese vs. Kimbundu: Language Use in the Colony of Angola (1575–c. 1845),” Bulletin des Séances de l’Académie des Sciences d’Outre-Mer, Vol. 47 (2001–2003): 267–281; Heywood, “Portuguese into African”; Ferreira, “Ilhas Crioulas”; Ferreira, Cross-Cultural Exchanges; and Kananoja, “Healers.”

  • 107. Curto, “As If from a Free Womb”; Pantoja, “A Dimensão Atlântica das Quitandeiras”; Pantoja, “Imagens e Perspectivas Culturais”; Pantoja, “Women’s Work”; Ferreira, Cross-Cultural Exchanges; and Oliveira, “Donas, escravas e pretas livres em Luanda.”

  • 108. José C. Curto, “The Story of Nbena, 1817–1820: Unlawful Enslavement and the Concept of ‘Original Freedom’ in Angola,” in Trans-Atlantic Dimensions of Ethnicity in the African Diaspora, ed. Paul E. Lovejoy and David V. Trotman (London: Continuum, 2003), 43–64; and José C. Curto, “Struggling against Enslavement: The Case of José Manuel in Benguela, 1816–20,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 39, no. 1 (2005): 96–122.

  • 109. Karasch, “The Brazilian Slavers”; Ferreira, “Dos Sertões ao Atlântico”; Ferreira, “Suppression”; and Roquinaldo A. Ferreira, “Brasil e Angola no Tráfico Illegal de Escravos,” in Brasil e Angola nas Rotas do Atlântico Sul, ed. Selma Pantoja (Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand, 1999), 143–194; Oliveira, Slave Trade and Abolition.

  • 110. William Gervase Clarence-Smith, The Third Portuguese Empire, 1825–1975: A Study in Economic Imperialism (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1985); and Dias and Alexandre, O Império Africano; Henriques, Percursos da Modernidade in Angola; Freudenthal, Arimos e fazendas.

  • 111. Curto, “The Anatomy”; Oliveira, “História do Trabalho”; and Oliveira, Slave Trade and Abolition.