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This chapter studies the enslaved population of the Recôncavo’s sugar plantations in the last two decades of slavery in Bahia, Brazil (1870–1888) The goal is to understand the slaves’ social and ethnic composition, occupation, work lives, relationships with their owners, and strategies for survival. The chapter shows that slaves had expectations about the end of captivity in this period. The political debates about the end of slavery, the passage of emancipatory laws, and the growth and radicalization of the abolitionist movement had repercussions in the attitudes and choices of when slaves decided to confront seignorial power. That is why the flights of enslaved people that occurred during this period offer excellent opportunities to perceive how the attitudes of the captives changed as events occurred that culminated in the end of slavery.

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