A need for more black labor in Santo Domingo (1568-1572)
[On the left margin: Blacks] ~ but because the main task depends on the Blacks who willingly or unwillingly must work as the island expands, the Blacks are of major necessity, so to my understanding it would be appropriate that your majesty favors this island by granting licenses for two thousand slaves with none or very minimum interest__
~ and after granting your majesty this favor to them, supposing that it is granted for the working of the land and its improvement, [your majesty] could impose these additions and conditions:
~ first, that all peoples in the island of La Española would benefit from this favor__
~ second, that within two years, after being announced, in Each of these towns they should be obliged to bring them And if not brought, the said favor should expire__
~ third, that of these Blacks none should be taken out of the island for a term of six years, and so that there is no fraud, they should be branded in the face by the royal officials with certain iron or sign, and also that the royal officials for the record should note down on a separate book those that each one brings in and [he] should sign there, so that with the book they can be held accountable of those they brought in when there is any doubt__
~ fourth, that of these Blacks that are granted to them they be obliged to put one half of them to work with wheat, barley or ginger or cotton or other toils of Castille, or mines, and that the other half they may put into the businesses or toils that they now have, and of these, to see how it works out, there should be accounting, and that the prosecutor should have it, and that whoever does the opposite be obliged to pay the thirty ducados of the license.__
Judicial official Santiago del Riego writes to the Crown somewhere between 1568 and 1572, urging that 2,000 slaves be allowed into the colony free of duties or paying very little. Del Riego highlighted the importance of enslaved or free Blacks’ labor for the well-being of the colony.
Del Riego added the following requests: 1) that the opportunity to acquire additional slaves be given to all the towns of the colony; 2) that towns be given a two-year term to import the slaves; 3) that none of the enslaved Blacks to be imported be taken out of the colony for at least six years; 4) that the imported slaves be branded on the face to avoid their fraudulent transferring to other territories; 5) that a record be kept by the colonial treasury officials of the slaves brought by each colonist; 6) that one half of the imported slaves be put to work in the wheat, ginger, cotton or mining industries; and the other used for commercial agriculture.