This monograph is a welcome addition to the growing historiography of the African diaspora in Mexico, especially for its focus on free African-descended women in midcolonial central Veracruz, roughly from 1580 to 1730. The chronology invites readers to understand Black women's regional history in the Viceroyalty of New Spain through larger global and Atlantic events. The author demonstrates how free women and their families devised legal, financial, and religious strategies during the Iberian Union's formation and dissolution, various transatlantic slaving monopolies, and the emergence of the eighteenth-century inland commercial events known as las ferias de Xalapa. Undoubtedly, Xalapa's African-descended women are this study's focal point. However, Córdoba, Orizaba, and the port of Veracruz also emerge as vibrant spaces in which free women bequeathed property, bought plots of land, sold enslaved people, and awarded power of attorney to trusted associates. The Capital of Free Women offers an important regional counterpoint...
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Book Review| February 01 2023
The Capital of Free Women: Race, Legitimacy, and Liberty in Colonial Mexico
The Capital of Free Women: Race, Legitimacy, and Liberty in Colonial Mexico. By Danielle Terrazas Williams.
New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press,
2022. Illustration. Maps. Figures. Tables. Notes. Index. xiii,
282pp. Cloth, $65.00.
Pablo Miguel Sierra Silva
Hispanic American Historical Review (2023) 103 (1): 166–168.
Pablo Miguel Sierra Silva; The Capital of Free Women: Race, Legitimacy, and Liberty in Colonial Mexico. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 2023; 103 (1): 166–168. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-10216666
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