This article reexamines the historical trajectory of escaped slaves who, encouraged by the abolitionist propaganda of the 1880s, established themselves in the runaway slave communities of Jabaquara and Pai Felipe, remaining in these quilombos through the decade that followed the abolition of slavery in Brazil on May 13, 1888. Both quilombos were located within the city limits of Santos, which served as the major port for coffee exports from São Paulo Province — especially after 1867, when completion of the province’s first railroad facilitated transport between the western coffee districts and the Atlantic. These quilombos drew support from, and even were organized by, free persons — mostly white intellectuals, lawyers, and coffee brokers who were active in Santos’s political and commercial life. However, the rapid growth of the black population (some authors claim, no doubt exaggerating, that Jabaquara received as many as ten...

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