By Jorge L. Chinea
Read Online or Download Race and Labor in the Hispanic Caribbean: The West Indian Immigrant Worker Experience in Puerto Rico, 1800-1850 PDF
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Extra resources for Race and Labor in the Hispanic Caribbean: The West Indian Immigrant Worker Experience in Puerto Rico, 1800-1850
81 While the 1815 cédula swayed many immigrants from the non-Hispanic Caribbean to relocate to Puerto Rico, many others did so under a variety of circumstances. For example, natural catastrophes (earthquakes, hurricanes, and droughts), epidemics, and intra-European warfare negatively affected all of the inhabitants of the West Indies, compelling many to pack up and leave. Racial discrimination and repression, depressed wages, and competition with slaves severely limited the social mobility of ex-indentured servants, poor whites, and free coloreds, prompting their decision to look for better social and working opportunities elsewhere.
61 In 1813, Manuel Díaz, juez territorial of the southern town of Yauco, also denounced foreigners in a dispatch to Governor Salvador Meléndez. The official complained that Domingo Mattei, Cipriano Cipriany, and Lucas Luchessy were part of a tight-knit group of Corsicans illegally engaged in commerce in Yauco. The foreign trio allegedly not only failed to pay taxes for their mercantile and shipping businesses, they also cheated poor vecinos by purchasing their coffee cheaply and later selling it for fat profits to international buyers.
They were expected to declare to the government how they planned to earn an honest living, and to report their personal goods, properties, or wealth. A libro de matrícula or immigration register kept track of their personal traits, names, places of origin or nationalities, accompanying relatives, professions or trade, towns of destination, and assets. Cartas de domicilo or residential permits were to be issued only after they took an oath of allegiance to Spain and vowed to abide by all laws and ordinances applicable to Spanish subjects.