Auction Date: 2/09/2014 at 01pm
Slavery – British Slavery in Cuba – women owned for the purpose of sexual abuse remarkable consular letter dated 1841 written by the Spanish Consul in Boston to the Capitain General of Cuba (i.e. the Cuban Head of State) discussing the activities of a British Doctor and Professor, Dr Meikleham who was moving to Havana with his family but was also requesting passports for his ‘criadas’ – ie women slaves in all but name, who were used to tend the house and family of their owners. The letter reports that he asked Meikleham if his ‘criadas’ were white or black and that he responded that they were ‘mulata’ – and hence it was determined that they were from Havana. Remarkably the Consul concludes that Meikleham had mind only to abuse the women sexually and states ‘...we know what lies in his heart as regards slavery...’ The Consul also states that Meikleham had told him that he should get his passports anyway ‘because the laws of Havana can be easily bent...’ A rare and remarkable letter showing that sexual abuse of women and slavery were still rife in certain British people some ten years after slavery in the British Empire had been officially banned. In Spanish 2pp folio.