An enslaved black African man argued for his freedom claiming a noble African origin (1594)
[On the left margin: Witness Sebastian r 94. [arrobas?] 36.] And after what was said on the ninth day of the said month of October And in the said year for the said inquiry Before the said honorable judge oath was lawfully taken and received from Sebastian, criollo originally from Guinea, ladino, and he said to be Christian, who today the said day came to the house of the said honorable judge to request justice for himself for he is free and has been brought by the French of the Northern Strip, and after taking oath and being asked about the reason for the complaint and beginning of this business said that this witness is criollo from Vogonda which is in Guinea and that he is son of the King of such people and when this witness was coming from the said town by sea to Sierra Leone on a vessel of Gaspar de Agui, which may have been more or less a year ago, this witness was the pageboy of the said captain since he was being paid for it, and while sailing they were encountered by a French captain Bivel
Sebastian, an enslaved Black African captured by Spanish authorities in the coastal northern region of La Española, appeared before one of the Audiencia judges claiming to be a free man. The notary describing the event described Sebastian as a creole ladino from Guinea who identified himself as a Christian.
Under oath, Sebastian claimed to be a free man from Vogonda, a place in Africa in what was then called Guinea, and to be the son of the King of this African place. He reported that about a year before, he had been traveling from Vogonda to Sierra Leon on a ship owned by Gaspar de Agui who had hired him as his servant. The ship and its Portuguese crew were attacked by French pirates who kidnapped him and proceeded across the Atlantic with the cargo of gold, silver, wax, and ivory to La Española. There was also a free Black named Domingo Bran and a free Black woman named Leonor.