Santo Domingo settlers feared maroon and rebel black slaves (mid-1540s)

Santo Domingo settlers feared maroon and rebel black slaves (mid-1540s)
Maroon and rebel Black slaves in La Española were a concern for residents of the city of Santo Domingo in the mid-1540s
ESPAÑA. MINISTERIO DE CULTURA, Archivo General de Indias,


minar ni se aquerda / e que los vee bol /
ver e que si los sobre dichos van e an /
ydo a visitar sus haziendas / e a vi /
sitar e Remediar la tierra e Ri /
beras comarcanas / de los negros / Al /
çados o de delitos que Ayan susçedido.
En los campos de fuego que Echen / los /
dichos negros que no lo sabe E que le pa /
reçe A este testigo que para lo poco /
que En esta çibdad Ay que hazer /
e Residiendo En ella la rreal Ab /
diençia que conosçe de todas cosas /
que terna por mejor que los dichos /
Alcaldes Anduviesen por Alla fuera /
en el canpo por cavsa de los delitos /
e negros Alçados e otros Robos /
que por alla fuera se hazen que /
no Estarse en ella / mas que si En las dichas /
salidas An hecho / El no dever que el /
no lo sabe porque como dicho tiene ternia /
E tiene Este testigo por bueno que vna /
vara de Justiçia de los dichos Alcaldes An /
duviese por alla fuera sienpre [sic] /
seria gran paçificaçion para la ysla e /
para los vezinos de esta çibdad e que esto /
sabe de esta pregunta /
r A la quarta pregunta dixo que /
no sabe mas de esta pregunta de lo /
tocante a los derechos de los dichos Al /
caldes que llevan dos quartos / por /


nor he recalls, and that he sees them returning, and whether the aforesaid ones [alcaldes] go and have gone to visit their estates and to visit and remedy the nearby land and river banks as to the insurgent Blacks or any crimes that may have occurred in the countryside, as to fires set up by the said Blacks, he does not know and it seems to this witness that for the little there is in this city to do and being that it is the site of residence the Real Audiencia, who is responsible for all matters, it would be better for the said alcaldesto be out there in the countryside, because of the crimes and insurgent Blacks and other robberies that are done out there rather than being in it [the city], but whether in the said forays they have done undue things he does not know because, as he has said, this itness

considers and would consider good that one of the alcaldes were to always walk around out there; it would mean much pacifying for the island and for the denizens of this city and this is what he knows about this question

[On the left margin: 4th] To the fourth question, he said that he does not know more about this question about the fees of the said local judges that take two cuartos for

Bahoruco mountains, traditional home of maroons. Barahona, Dominican Republic

Bahoruco mountains, traditional home of maroons. Barahona, Dominican Republic


While giving a deposition to the judicial authorities of La Española who were conducting an audit-inquiry of the actions of the colonial alcaldes or constables, a witness gave his opinion about the need to have such officials -those with policing responsibilities- spend more time watching for criminal behavior across the island. The witness suggested that an eye be kept on the inland areas rather than mainly on the city of Santo Domingo, where the bulk of the colonial judicial and government institutions were located and concentrated.

In his comments about the ideal deployment of the local police forces of the time, and to further make his point, the witness mentioned farms and river beds “near the rebel Blacks” as well as “crimes that had occurred in places in the countryside resulting from fire set by the Blacks,” and “the crimes and uprisings by Blacks and other robberies that are committed.”