Making Abolition Brazilian: British Law and Brazilian Abolitionists in Nineteenth-Century Minas Gerais and Pernambuco

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This article compares two cases in which Brazilian abolitionists mobilized around a law passed in 1843 to prohibit British subjects, no matter where they resided, from owning slaves. Placing a case against a large British-owned gold mine in Minas Gerais alongside outcry against a Scottish widow who owned two slaves in Recife, the article argues that this law was used as a rhetorical tool to gain support for abolitionism and create public outrage against British slaveholders in Brazil at a moment of expanding public participation in abolitionism as a form of nationalism.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-543
JournalSlavery and Abolition
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Sep 2015


  • British Abolitionism , Brazilian Abolitionism , Act for the More Effectual Suppression of the Slave Trade , Sociedade Nova Emancipadora , St. John d’el Rey Mining Company , Morro Velho , Abolitionist discourse