In the nineteenth century, elites in various Spanish American countries sought to create integrated nations by incorporating Indian populations into the general body of the citizenry, economically, socially, and politically. Through much of the colonial period, the Spanish crown had tried, with only partial success, to maintain a policy of separation between the Amerindian population (la república de indios) and the dominant Hispanic culture (la república de españoles). In the latter half of the eighteenth century, Spanish separationist policy began to give way to a new integrationist current. In the republican era, as creole elites sought to integrate and legitimize new polities, the ideology and policy of incorporating Indians into the general body of the citizenry became fully dominant. The postindependence incorporative process took two major forms: 1) symbolic incorporation, through legislative declarations that Indians were to be considered citizens, with equal rights and duties before the law;1 and 2) economic integration, through the conversion of non-alienable Indian community lands to individual property.

The broad pattern sketched above is well known to Latin American historians. The purpose of the present essay is to provide a sense of the specific content, or texture, of the process as it worked in Colombia. The essay contains three distinct but related segments. It first traces the development of integrationist ideas in the late colonial period; it then sketches some features of republican efforts at economic incorporation through the division of Indian community lands, from 1821 to 1850. A final section examines the attitudes of the Colombian elite toward Indians and their integration into the dominant Hispanic society as the process of Indian integration neared its conclusion, at least in the eastern cordillera (1850s-1860s). This section also compares elite attitudes toward Amerindians and Afro-Colombians and their integration into the dominant society. Through each section of the essay run two central themes: elite racial attitudes toward the dominated groups and the importance of the project of economic Europeanization (or economic “progress”) in conditioning those attitudes.

Before discussing the colonial background to republican integrationism, it would be well to note the various meanings of Indian incorporation to the elite in Colombia. These ideas are observable in gestation in late colonial times and became fully articulated in the republican era. On one level, Indian incorporation meant racial integration, that is, genetic assimilation. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, and throughout the nineteenth, elements of the elite hoped that the country’s population would become transformed, through miscegenation, into something corresponding to a European phenotype. The goal of whitening and Europeanizing the population tended to be stated a little obliquely, though nonetheless quite obviously, in public documents, but more baldly in private.2

In the formally articulated agenda for national integration, everyone, including subordinated racial groups, was to become a citizen and an effective participant in a market economy. In the pursuit of both goals, an important element was primary education for everyone in the society, even peasants. Education had an obvious importance for citizenship, or political integration. But for the nineteenth-century elite an equally if not more important function was economic. A critical economic aspect of education was that it would teach Colombians higher standards of housing, clothing, and food. These higher standards of consumption, in turn, would stimulate (or require) a new work ethic. Quite obviously, the elite had in mind the inculcation of values, behavior, and life patterns associated with Western Europe, the seat of world civilization. For many, to approach European models of work and consumption was an important ingredient of civilization and successful nationhood. The aspiration to emulate European economic models appears to have figured importantly in the concerns of the Colombian elite about Amerindians (and also Afro-Colombians) and to have been at least as important as the goal of genetic, or phenotypical, homogenization.

The Evolution of Integrationist Ideas, Policy, and Rhetoric to 1821

Amerindians in Colombia historically did not correspond to a single category. Some—like those in the Chocó, or along the middle reaches of the Magdalena River, or in the Caquetá and Putumayo territories—were forest peoples, who were quite distant from the nodes of Hispanic society, spatially as well as culturally. Because of this distance, they did not impinge much on the consciousness of the Hispanic elite. Somewhat less at the margin of elite thoughts were the cattle-herding denizens of the Guajira peninsula, who perennially bedevilled Hispanic administrators with an active contraband trade. Then there were the peoples of the mountainous regions of southern Colombia, who lived by farming but were less sedentary than the Spanish governing class expected them to be. Still another major variant was the former Chibcha or Muisca population of the eastern cordillera. This sedentary peasant population—already substantially integrated into Hispanic society, genetically and linguistically, by the middle of the eighteenth century—was the indigenous population best known to most of Colombia’s national elite.

Republican attitudes toward these various indigenous cultures had their roots in the eighteenth century. Colonial and republican elites, for the most part, shared a sense of hopelessness about civilizing the less sedentary forest peoples or bringing the Guajiros within the bounds of Hispanic legal or cultural prescriptions.3 Only exceptionally, as in the optimistic 1820s, at the dawn of independence, were there expressions of faith in the possibility of incorporating these peoples into the dominant culture.4 With regard to the sedentary farmers of the eastern cordillera and the mountainous regions of the south, on the other hand, there occurred a significant change of attitudes in the second half of the eighteenth century, as the Spanish policy of separating Indians and Spaniards increasingly was challenged by advocates of integration. The first proponents of integrating Indians and Hispanics supported the idea simply as a practical recognition of an already existing reality. By 1810, it was increasingly reinforced by liberal economic ideology, in which individual property rights and the unhampered exchange of property in a free market were cardinal points.

Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the official policy throughout colonial Spanish America had been to attempt to keep the Hispanic population out of Indian communities. Early on in the colonial era, poor Spaniards and mestizos had moved into highland Indian communities. But this process was officially disapproved and resisted until the latter half of the eighteenth century. 5 In New Granada a key point in the reversal of this policy occurred with the revelatory visita of Andrés Verdugo y Oquendo to 85 supposedly “Indian” pueblos in the jurisdictions of Tunja, Vélez, and Santafé de Bogotá in 1755-57. Verdugo found that in these pueblos the Indian population had greatly declined since the last systematic survey in 1635 and that the Hispanic or “white” population (for the most part mestizos) had become the majority. Of the total population of the 73 pueblos for which Verdugo thought he had an accurate count, more than two-thirds of the residents were “whites” (also referred to as vecinos). In the jurisdiction of Vélez, vecinos accounted for more than 90 percent of the inhabitants of communities that had been thought to be Indian pueblos. Even in the province of Tunja, where indigenes composed two-fifths of the population in Indian pueblos, there were at least half a dozen pueblos where the “white” population outnumbered them by more than ten to one.6 Even those who remained “Indian” (in legal terms) had become culturally Hispanicized to a considerable degree. Verdugo reported that in the pueblos he visited the Indians were “bien ladinos” and spoke Spanish well enough for him not to need an interpreter.7

One important consequence of this demographic and cultural change, according to Verdugo, was that in many Indian pueblos the relatively small Indian population with legal rights in the resguardos had more land than they could farm, while the more numerous vecinos depended on renting land from the Indian communities. He repeatedly depicted the Indians as lazy, unenterprising, and given to consuming in drink their income from land rentals, by contrast with the energetic “whites” who farmed the land rented from the Indians.8 To Verdugo, vecino control of this land had clear economic benefits. Where “whites” were farming Indian lands, increased alcabala and diezmo collections much more than compensated for declining Indian tribute. Further, these Hispanic producers also contributed to the growth of commerce as consumers of goods produced in Spain or in other provinces of New Granada.9

While “white” use of Indian community land produced significant social good in terms of increased production and consumption, in Verdugo’s eyes the productive vecinos were themselves victims of injustice. He portrayed the Hispanics living in Indian communities as being exploited in various ways. They had to rent their homes as well as the land they cultivated from the Indians; and they were subject to the authority of Indian community leaders and to arbitrary exactions from priests and corregidores, who could threaten to have them expelled from the Indian communities.10 Furthermore, Verdugo frequently noted, Hispanic settlers, lacking land close to the Indian pueblos, in effect were denied access to religious worship.11 Although acutely conscious that his recommendation broke radically with the historic Spanish policy of separation, Verdugo strenuously advocated accepting the overwhelming reality of the Hispanic presence in formerly Indian communities by allowing “whites” property rights in them.12

Verdugo’s advocacy did not bring an immediate end to the historic policy of separation. In 1766, for example, Francisco Antonio Moreno y Escandón, fiscal protector de indios of the Audiencia of Santafé, was still ordering that mestizos not be given property rights in Indian resguardos and that they not be permitted to live in the Indian communities.13 Later, in 1776-78, in a series of visitas ranging from Fusagasugá, south of Bogotá, to various parts of the Corregimiento of Tunja to the north, Moreno and the corregidor of Tunja, José María Campuzano, pursued a common policy of resegregating Indians and those identified as Hispanic. Their diagnosis of the situation was virtually the same as that of Verdugo. Once again, in many putatively “Indian” communities, those classified as non-Indian had become a majority. In what had become a standard visita litany, they declared that the Indians were renting land to Hispanic vecinos and were lazy and drunken. The vecinos, for lack of property rights, were subject to exploitation by the Indians or were forced to live distant from community, church, and religion. In two respects, however, the Moreno-Campuzano reports differed from that of Verdugo. Whereas the latter had referred to the vecinos in Indian pueblos as whites, Moreno and Campuzano frequently identified the vecinos as g entes de color (or some similar variant). More importantly, Moreno continued to observe the long-established policy of separation. In pueblos where Indians had become a minority, community lands were sold to Hispanics, and the Indians were moved to a neighboring community where they remained a majority.14 In his summary report, Moreno, reflecting on the mestizo tide, suggested that the longstanding policy should be reversed: “Your Majesty would lose nothing, rather government would be much advanced, if the Indians were Hispanicized and with [the end of] their caste were erased the memory of their tribute.” However, unlike Verdugo, he did not dare either to implement such a reversal himself or to forcefully urge such a change.15

From that point onward, Spanish officials and creoles alike increasingly advocated integrating the Indians, at least economically, with the rest of the population. To the end of the colonial period, such proposals for the economic integration of the indigenes frequently were accompanied by seemingly contradictory assertions of Indian inferiority, an inferiority made manifest, in the eyes of the Hispanic elite, by the Indians’ poverty. In 1781, the creole leaders of the Comunero rebellion demanded that Indian communities be returned land earlier taken from them and that resguardos be given full property rights to their land. At the same time, they pleaded for decreasing the Indian tribute, with allusions to Indian poverty and stupidity: “[F]ew anchorites would live in greater poverty in dress and food.” Clearly, the Comunero leaders concluded, the Indians’ “limited intelligence and slight faculties” did not permit them to pay the amount of tribute demanded of them.16

Some writers of the 1780s and 1790s, Spanish and creole alike, assuming Indian racial inferiority, called for their genetic assimilation, along with their legal and civic integration. The Spanish Capuchin, Father Joaquín de Finestrad, sent to set things right in the Socorro region after the Comunero rebellion of 1781, believed it urgent to “civilize” the Indian population, which to him was a matter of racial amalgamation as well as of ending their legal separation:

I believe firmly that . . . all the assistance and privileges that are conceded and poured over them are not sufficient to extract them from the miserable state of their uselessness. It is necessary to uproot the cause of their brutality, inactivity, and laziness, a perennial source of drunkenness and other vices that dominate them. I am firmly persuaded that it is necessary to graft them so that imperceptibly their caste may be finished and they may pass to the legal condition [estado] of zambos and mulattos.17

Apparently the Comuneros’ creole leaders and the anti-Comunero Fine-strad could agree on the Indians’ demonstrable inferiority.

The creole Pedro Fermín de Vargas, writing about 1790 while serving as corregidor of Zipaquirá, was no less convinced that Indian stupidity was demonstrated by their alleged economic inactivity. He made even clearer an intended connection between the civil and economic integration of Indians and their racial “extinction” (i.e., assimilation):

For the increase of our agriculture, it would be equally necessary to Hispanicize our Indians. Their general indolence, their stupidity, and the insensibility that they show to all that moves and inspires other men, make one think that they come from a degenerate race that worsens as it becomes more distant from its origin . . . . We know from repeated experience that, among animals, races improve by crossing them, and it even can be said that this observation has been made equally among the people of whom we speak, since the intermediary castes that come from the mixture of Indians and whites are stepping-stones. In consequence . . . it would be very desirable that the Indians be extinguished, fusing them with the whites, declaring them free of the tribute and other fiscal burdens peculiar to them, and giving them property rights to their land. Greed for their property will lead many whites and mestizos to marry Indian women. . . .18

When the imperial crisis of 1808-10 intensified creole political activity, for a time some creoles continued to employ a well-established pejorative rhetoric in referring to Indians. The cabildo of Socorro, in its instructions of October 1809 to the New Granadan delegate to the Junta Suprema in Spain, not only described the forest Indians to their west as “one or another horde of savages” but also said that the sedentary indigenes in their midst were “stupid and so poor that they seem not to understand any ideas beyond the present moment.” The Socorranos, with this premise of Indian stupidity, then went on to call for the distribution of resguardo lands among them, so that “as property owners they may alienate them or transmit them to their heirs.”19

During these beginning years of the independence era, however, elite rhetoric on Indian integration began to change in several respects. Liberal economic doctrines became more evident as theoretical underpinnings for dividing resguardo lands among individual property owners. And, in apparent adjustment to new political realities, documents intended for general public consumption made less reference to Indian stupidity. Instead, the emphasis tended to be more on how colonial institutions discouraged economic enterprise among Indians, whereas liberal economic policies would release their natural talents. Finally, while speaking less of Indian stupidity, creole leaders did recognize the Indians’ vulnerability by stipulating that, once they became property owners, they should be protected from alienating their property during a substantial transition period.

The assertion of liberal economic doctrine, with regard to the free circulation of property, already had been an element in the statement of the Socorro cabildo in 1809. Both liberal economic assertions and a less pejorative attitude toward the Indians were notable in policy statements on Indian land made in Santafé de Bogotá in the first months of autonomous creole government, in September 1810. On September 1, Miguel de Pombo offered the first systematic republican-era program for integrating the Indian by dividing resguardo land.20 Pombo’s ideas, more clearly than preceding dicta on this theme, were based on liberal economic ideas. Rather than depicting Indians as inherently stupid, Pombo argued that they were victims of the Spanish system. “Although endowed with most excellent qualities that made them so suitable for agriculture and crafts,” they had been “condemned by the absurd principles” of Spanish policy “to vegetate like plants, but without producing any fruit.” The Indians were unproductive because they were denied the economic stimulus of self-interest that came from individual property holding. New Granadan agriculture, Pombo argued, had not been able to prosper because it had been left in the hands of men kept “in a perpetual childhood, who without any property at all” had been obliged to farm “common land and [had] been deprived of the stimulus of self-interest and the attraction of profit.” For this reason, their farming had been “marked by the stamp of timidity.” If the Indian could farm his own property, “he would work with a different ardor, with a different spirit, because he would be animated by different expectations.”21

Pombo, like other creoles who followed him in legislating the division of resguardo lands, realized that the newly independent Indian land-owners would have to be protected from alienating their land for some extended period—Pombo suggested 25 to 30 years. Yet, in a seeming paradox, he echoed Vargas of two decades before in hoping that outright ownership of land by Indians would stimulate the greed of whites and mestizos, enticing them to marry Indian women in order to get their hands on these properties.22

Pombo apparently recognized the danger that the properties distributed to Indian owners eventually might end up swelling latifundiary holdings, which would deaden agriculture quite as much as the resguardos had. Apparently influenced by late eighteenth-century Spanish critiques of the latifundio, like a number of late colonial writers preceding him (including Finestrad and Vargas), Pombo understood that New Granada must avoid the accumulation of land in the hands of a few.23 Yet, in common with many other liberals of the period, he had a naive faith that the free market would take care of the problem. He seemed to believe that if mayorazgos were eliminated the free circulation of land in the market would prevent the development of territorial monopoly. He envisioned a country of many property owners, among whom competition would lower prices, enabling New Granada to become an effective exporter.24

Pombo, unlike later republican legislators, understood that if the new Indian property owners were to be brought into the economy as productive cultivators it would be necessary to do more than assign them land. He called for the establishment of a fund to provide them with tools, oxen, and seed, as well as primary schools and medical care. Unfortunately, his means of financing the fund raised the possibility of the very latifundiary accumulation against which he warned. The “surplus” land that was presumed to exist in some Indian communities would be sold to “powerful landowners,” who Pombo assumed would bring settlers in and cultivate the land “usefully.”25

Pombo’s statement on the division of Indian communal lands is important in that it presented the first full and clear exposition of the liberal doctrine that individual property ownership was essential for the productive use of land, a doctrine that soon became an article of faith among the nation’s leaders. In calling for a protective period in which Indians could not alienate land and in proposing that some resguardo land be set aside for public purposes, Pombo also established a pattern for later legislation.

Soon after his statement, in fact, the Junta Suprema of Santafé de Bogotá issued a decree calling for the division of resguardo lands that apparently was modeled on Pombo’s ideas. The decree varied from Pombo’s statement in three ways. First, it reduced to 20 years the period of protection against Indians’ alienation of their property. Second, while setting aside land to provide primary schools for Indians, it eliminated reference to a fund for medical care, tools, oxen, and seed. Finally, whereas Pombo focused entirely on the economic benefits of dividing Indian land, the decree, somewhat paternalistically, also gave weight to the themes of “equality and citizenship,” manifest, among other details, in the abolition of Indian tribute.26 There is no indication that the 1810 decree was implemented. Given the divisions and confusions of early republican government in the Patria Boba, it seems unlikely that it was ever actually applied.

Economic Integration of the Indians, 1821-1850

After Colombia definitively won its independence from Spain, creole leaders again attempted to legislate Indian integration. The Congress of Cúcuta in 1821 went further than the 1810 decree in asserting the theme of civic equality for Indians. Not only did its law of October 1821 call for abolishing the tribute, it also held that Indians could not be held for unpaid personal service and that they were capable of holding public office. In a further gesture to raise Indian status, the law announced that henceforth they would no longer be called indios but indígenas, an official euphemism frequently forgotten in practice.27 The Congress’s treatment of Indian community lands, however, was less favorable to the indigenes than the 1810 legislation. The 1821 law made no provision for a period of protection of Indians from immediate alienation of their land—though this idea would be resurrected in later years. It also continued the policy of putting aside some resguardo land to finance primary schools, now adding also the support of priests. These last provisions, originally intended no doubt as beneficial to Indians, were later viewed by the Indians as an onerous burden.

Some efforts apparently were made to divide Indian communal lands in the 1820s—enough to begin encountering some of the standard problems that cropped up in this process.28 Undoubtedly, however, the program for integrating the Indians was further obstructed by the political conflicts between Bolivarians and Santanderistas in the latter part of the 1820s. During the Bolivarian reaction (1827-30) the division of Indian community lands continued to be at least a stated goal, but some other aspects of the integration program went into reverse. The Bolivarian regime claimed that the 1821 law attempting to treat Indians as citizens had been a failure: the indígenas had proven that they were not able to enjoy the rights of citizenship, nor did they have the capacity to fulfill its duties. In 1828 Bolívar decreed the reestablishment of the Indian tribute, under the name contribución personal.29 In southern Colombia some wanted to go still further toward colonial modes of dealing with Indians. From the Cauca region, in particular, came the complaint that Indians were giving themselves over to idleness and drink and were refusing to work for hacendados, causing considerable losses to the latter as well as to the state. The intendant of the Department of Cauca, Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, advocated implanting a modified, republican version of corregidor control of indigenous labor.30

The Bolivarian crisis (including the brief episode of the Urdaneta dictatorship of 1830-31) had passed by the middle of 1831. As a part of their efforts to reconstitute the republic, New Granadan legislators resumed the integrationist program. The Convención Granadina, by law of March 6, 1832, once again abolished Indian tribute and reinitiated the division of Indian lands. The 1832 law was especially important because, immediately after its enactment, the liquidation of the resguardos became a high priority of the government. Perhaps the most notable new wrinkle in the 1832 law was a provision that, in the process of division, between 8 and 20 fanegadas of land from each resguardo be set aside for colonists (whom everyone presumed would be “white”). The law also provided that from one-twelfth to one-sixth of the remaining land of each resguardo be rented out to provide funds for a primary school. Another important feature was that the cost of surveying was to be paid by the Indian communities themselves; invariably this meant substantial amounts of additional land would have to be sold to pay the surveyors. Finally, the 1832 law prohibited the alienation of the Indians’ individual properties for ten years.31

When the creole elite began attempting to distribute resguardo lands, it ran into a host of problems. From the 1820s onward the distribution process was impeded by a lack of trained surveyors.32 Also, in the southern provinces and the Socorro region, as well as in some other areas, Indian community lands were mostly mountainous and frequently forested. These were difficult and costly to survey, and it was hard to divide them equally. Frequently, those pushing for the division of Indian lands contended that the process was being slowed because the compensation for surveyors was too low to attract their services.33 But the Indian communities, and those in the elite who spoke for them, argued that the cost of surveying was too high for the communities to bear. Often the complaint was registered that the surveyors reserved the best community land for their own compensation, with the result that little good land was left to divide among the Indians. Sometimes the cost of surveying was as great as the entire value of the land in the resguardo.34

One fairly common complication lay in determining who ought to be considered members of Indian communities and therefore deserving a share of community land. Many Indians who by family linkages belonged to a community no longer lived there, having gone to live on haciendas or on public lands. Often, it was contended, if these people were given a share of land, the plots available would be completely insufficient for anyone to farm.35

The question of who ought to be considered an “Indian” also took another form. In the Indian pueblos in which numerous mestizos lived, there had occurred considerable intermarriage. People questioned whether, in cases of Indian-mestizo marriages, the progeny were to be considered “Indian” and thus with a right to land, or mestizo and thus without such right. The Indian custom of matrilineal determination of status was the rule usually followed. But some claimants sought to assert Spanish rules of patrilineal descent. The question of who should be considered “Indian,” with regard to rights to resguardo land, was still a live one as late as 1846.36

Although determining who deserved a share of Indian land was complicated enough, the issues that most moved Indians to protest were those involving substantial losses of community land to “whites.” A number of Indian communities vigorously objected to the appropriation of the best land by surveyors, the sale of up to 20 fanegadas of land to colonists, and setting aside land to finance primary schools. With regard to the latter two issues, at least one Indian community turned the rhetoric of civil equality against the creole legislators. The Indians of Guane, in the province of Socorro, argued that taking the land for the colonists without any kind of compensation was “contrary to our constitution and to the right of equality that it concedes to the indigenes.” In no parish of “Spanish Granadans,” they pointed out, had it ever been seen that landowners had been despoiled of their property to provide for colonization, except with indemnization, and this only under the Spanish monarch. “How can the contrary be tolerable, under the rule of a constitution that equally guarantees their properties to all Granadans?” The Guane community also observed that their lands alone, not those owned by “whites,” were being used to sustain primary schools. The government, in effect, was making the Indians pay the whole cost of rural primary education. This, they argued, was another denial of the principle of equality.37

Using a more antique, paternalist rhetoric, a priest who had served the Indian pueblo of Pesca for 30 years argued that the separation of community lands for colonists and support of the schools would simply feed the greed of local “whites, as the indigenes know them.” Further, the schools being financed by Indian community lands would benefit primarily the white colonists who were moving in, since the Indians tended to take their children to the fields to work with them. For this reason, “you will not find an Indigene learning to read and write.”38

There were also, of course, problems peculiar to particular regions. In the southern provinces of Pasto and Popayán, for example, Indians were particularly hostile to the division of community lands. In these provinces, many Indians engaged in shifting cultivation, with which the assignment of particular plots was completely incompatible. Further, in these and other mountainous regions, the amount of flat, easily tillable land in the resguardos was so small that each family would receive a plot too tiny to be usable.39 Objections of Indian communities in these provinces to the division of their land were so strong that in Popayán Indians invaded government offices and interrupted business, while in Pasto some local administrators feared insurrection.40

A common response of government officials to Indian protests was to argue that those who defended the existing arrangement of resguardo lands were, in fact, a small elite within the Indian community. They contended that those who exercised power in the communities had monopolized the best community land and simply were resisting a more equal distribution of property. There may have been some truth in this allegation. It is noticeable, however, that the documents voicing this view were generated by creole administrators, rather than by members of the Indian communities.41

Just as there were local variations in the kinds of problems that emerged, creole responses also varied. In Popayán the governor and the cámara de provincia proved willing to listen to complaints of Indians, urging that in their province the distribution of community lands be suspended and the Indian tribute be restored.42 The retreat of the Popayán elite did not mean that they rejected the aims of the liberal integrationist program. Popayán’s governor, Rafael Diago, while responsive to the Indians in his recommendations, nonetheless pronounced them a “miserable class, whose habits it is not possible to extinguish, in order to call them to the state of civilization in which the government has wished to place them.”43 The Constitucional del Cauca, voice of the Popayán elite, admitted that the division of Indian lands represented a step toward “civilization” and agreed that the tribute was “odious,” as it symbolized their earlier servitude. But even “the most beautiful theories” sometimes did not work out in practice.44

By contrast with the governing group in Popayán, the governor of Pasto, Tomás España, confronted with the same sorts of Indian protests, was completely unsympathetic. Over the objections of local jefes políticos, he wanted to push ahead with the distribution of resguardo lands. España was particularly interested in “white” settlers’ being able to get hold of the lands the law allotted for colonization.45 His general attitude toward the Indians is suggested by the fact that in 1833 he wanted to deny them the vote on the ground of illiteracy, even though the constitution then in force held that illiteracy could not be a disqualification until 1850.46

While the distribution of Indian community lands met resistance in the southern provinces as well as in some other quarters, it proceeded more rapidly in some areas. The process was alleged to be substantially complete in Antioquia, for example, by the end of the 1830s.47

Through most of that decade there was a substantial elite consensus on the desirability of dividing Indian lands, with the exception of the governing element in Popayán. In the province of Bogotá, as late as 1838, pillars of the Ministerial or government party, who later became known as Conservatives, were attempting to accelerate the division process.48 At the end of the 1830s, however, some in the political elite—even some who had been firm supporters of breaking up the resguardos—began to recognize the negative effects of this process. From 1839 through 1843 authorities in Bogotá focused most particularly on the fact that Indians were rapidly losing their newly acquired properties. The 1832 law had sought to protect the Indians from alienating their individual plots for a period of ten years. Nonetheless, “whites” had appropriated many of these properties through empeños—that is, by obtaining from the Indians, for small cash advances, leases with indefinite terms that became tantamount to ownership. Frequently, white renters would demand compensation for improvements they made on the land. When the Indian owner could not come up with the cash, he might be forced to cede the land to the renter. In some cases hacendados pressed Indian farmers into rental agreements by threatening to deny them access to water, to markets, or to the land itself. Early in 1840, the government of President José Ignacio de Márquez became alarmed by the increasingly evident problem of the alienation of Indian land and called on the Congress to provide the Indians with additional protection.49

Although he was not the first to take up the cause, Alfonso Acevedo, governor of Bogotá province from 1842 to 1845, became the most notably impassioned advocate of protecting Indians from the “avarice” of the many whites battening off them and suspended further divisions of resguardo land.50 Acevedo indicted the surveyors for taking the best lands, leaving the Indians only with tiny plots; the priests for demanding Indian land in payment for burials; and the jefes politicos for consenting to the alienation of land by Indians under their charge. All of these had brought “complete ruin on the indigenes.” Later he added tinterillos (village shysters) to his list of villains. Once the chief cultivators of food for local markets, now Indians by the hundreds, having lost their land, had become beggars and drunks. We have here a cruel and ironic mockery of the sacred rights of property which we so much boast of protecting.” In Acevedo’s view, “the white race in the nineteenth century [had] proceeded with less justice . . . than the conquistadores.”51

More judgmental about the Indians than Acevedo, and also more committed to liberal economic doctrine, Secretary of the Interior Mariano Ospina Rodríguez nonetheless agreed with Acevedo on the need to provide special protection for the Indians, even though this contradicted economic principles. The latter would have to give way before the demonstrated fact of Indian inferiority: “The American race, whether because of its organization, or because of the abjection in which for three centuries it has lived, [is] in the greater part of the Republic in a state of inferiority in relation to the rest of the population.” The Congress, Ospina concluded, “must protect [the Indians’] inferiority against the avarice of the stronger race.”52

Accordingly, the Congress in 1843 extended the prohibition against the alienation of individual Indian properties to 20 years and attempted to erect other protections. In practice, however, more and more land passed from Indian hands, legally as well as illegally. After 1845, the concern began to shift somewhat from protecting Indian land to emphasizing modernization. This may have reflected the general atmosphere of the administration of General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera (1845-49), which was notably less conservative and more development-oriented than its predecessor. At the local level, at least in Rogotá province, a new governor, Pastor Ospina (the younger brother of Maríano Ospina Rodríguez), was in many ways a firm protector of Indians and their lands,53 and during his two years as governor only one resguardo was divided.54 But he was also concerned to promote primary education, and under his governorship there were considerable sales of land from already divided resguardos for financing rural schools.55 After a year in office, furthermore, Ospina concluded that the earlier policy of prohibiting Indians from alienating their plots had been a mistake. By 1846, he had reverted to an essentially liberal economic stance, assuming that the individual, even if an Indian, would know his own interests best. If the Indian wanted to keep the land, he would “make any sacrifice” to keep it; if he did not wish to farm, the State should not attempt to force him to. For such individuals the sale of land might provide a small capital to engage in other enterprises.56

The tide of economic liberalism reached the high-water mark with the Liberal presidential victory of 1849. The new government, among many other measures, on June 22, 1850 decentralized policy on Indian community lands by granting to each province the right to find its own way. The provincial chamber of Bogotá moved quickly to act in accord with liberal principles. In October 1851, it called for the immediate division of all Indian lands and left Indians completely free to sell their individual plots. A burst of sales of Indian lands in Bogotá province quickly followed.57 But many sales were still being recorded in the Bogotá region in 1864, after liberal policy on the alienation of resguardos became national law.58 Even after that point, however, there remained a good deal of regional variation. In the mountainous regions of southern Colombia, a number of resguardos survived until the 1890s, when they too came under assault.59

Glenn Curry, in his more concentrated study of the demise of the resguardo in the Bogotá region, takes a somewhat upbeat, revisionist view of the process. The alienation of individual plots, Curry contends, had its positive aspects. Permitting Indians to sell their land enabled individual Indians to profit from the sale of plots that were too small to cultivate or that, for other reasons, they did not wish to use. Further, he argues, it should not be assumed that all Indian lands were sold to hacendados; many sales were to other Indians, some of whom became successful agricultural entrepreneurs. Finally, he notes the Indians’ ability to use the courts and in other ways to defend their interests. The fact that Indians in the Bogotá region did not protest much, he thinks, must indicate that they themselves were in favor of the direction of change.60

This conclusion seems too optimistic. Certainly Indians outside the Bogotá region did protest. And in the province of Bogotá, while some entrepreneurial Indians undoubtedly bought plots from their peers, there is evidence of substantial Indian land sales to non-Indians.61 Further, contemporary writings attest to the negative impact of the Indians’ losing their land. By the middle of the 1840s, an elite-produced literature, elegaic in tone, began to lament the demise of the Indian farmer on the Sabana de Bogotá. Over and over, such pieces decried the replacement of Indians’ intensive cultivation of food crops by extensive cattle grazing on elite estates.62 (One peculiarity of this literature is that the same individuals who spoke so warmly about Indians as agriculturalists on other occasions wrote them off as stupid.)

Elite Views of the Dominated at Midcentury

It is of particular interest to examine the conceptions of Colombian writers about Amerindians during the 1850s and 1860s—and to compare these with the same writers’ views of Afro-Colombians. One reason is that the integration of dominated, non-European peoples into a dominant European-modeled culture, economy, and polity remained high on the elite agenda. And this project seemed to be well advanced, particularly in the most populated areas of Colombia (the eastern cordillera, greater Antioquia, the Cauca valley, and the Caribbean coast), though it remained unrealized for forest and other nomadic groups in more marginal regions. How, at this juncture, with the lands of many Indian communities now divided, did the dominant groups conceive of such integration? While the project usually was promulgated in terms of cultural and economic integration (there was now much less emphasis on political integration than in the 1820s), the integrative process, nonetheless, also had its racial or genetic aspects.

In the second place, a certain consciousness about race and culture was beginning to develop. Elite views of the dominated Amerindians (as well as Afro-Colombians) were rooted in, and in many ways extended, rather blunt notions inherited from the colonial period. Yet, at midcentury, European writings on race were beginning to make at least a few among the intellectual elite more self-conscious in their thinking about racial and cultural groups. Ideas about race and culture were still by no means sophisticated. But some Colombian intellectuals were beginning to move through a zone between the total unselfconsciousness of the late colonial years and the more heightened consciousness developed in later social science.

Finally, the 1850s and 1860s were one of those periodically recurring times when upper-class Colombians seemed to take a particular interest in discovering the country in which they lived. An earlier episode of such curiosity had occurred in the last two decades of the colonial era, under the stimulus of Enlightenment influences in general and the Expedición Botánica in particular. These two decades were another such period. The official geographic survey known as the Comisión Corográfica was one of its foci and one of its outstanding contributions. In contrast with the late colonial inquiry, which concentrated heavily on scientific study of the land and its resources, the midcentury examinations, while continuing this interest in economic potential, gave much more attention to social characteristics. Elite curiosity about the features of New Granadan society at this time found expression in many travel descriptions and cuadros de costumbres as well as in geographies and graphic illustrations of social types.

Several of the writers of greatest interest here were associated with the Comisión Corográfica, republican Colombia’s first systematic geographic study. Formally initiated in 1849, the project sought to develop a complete description of the country’s topography and populations and of local and regional economic and commercial patterns. The Comisión Corográfica sent out into the various corners of the country research teams—including illustrators, who painted watercolors of topographic features, characteristic economic activities, and socioracial types of the various regions of the country (e.g., “Indio y mestizo, Provincia de Pamplona”; “Notables de la capital, Provincia de Santander”; “Mineros blancos, Provincia de Soto”; “Tipo blanco e indio mestizo, Provincia de Tundama”).63 The first geography produced by the Comisión concentrates heavily on demographic and economic facts and does not indulge in divagations on sociocultural peculiarities.64 But other participants in the project devoted a good deal of attention to description of, and commentary on, the behavior of the various racial-cultural elements that formed the country’s lower orders.

Among those affiliated with the Comisión Corográfica who commented on racial or cultural questions were the Italian engineer, Colonel Agustín Codazzi (1793-1859), who directed the project; Manuel Ancízar (1812-82), whose survey of Colombia’s eastern and northeastern provinces in 1850-51 was published first in newspaper articles and soon afterward gathered in book form in his Peregrinación de Alpha (1853); and Felipe Pérez (1836-91), who, after Codazzi’s death, took on the task of writing a national geography based on descriptions provided by Codazzi and perhaps other collaborators.

Some contemporaries not connected with the Comisión also devoted attention to issues relating to racial and cultural integration. Notable among these is José María Samper (1828-88), who began his political career as a fiery liberal and ended it as a perhaps somewhat less fiery conservative. Samper’s most concentrated discussions of race appear in his diagnosis of the ills of Latin America that he published as Ensayo sobre las revoluciones políticas y la condición social de las repúblicas colombianas (Paris, 1861).65 Eugenio Díaz Castro (1803-1865), one of Colombia’s leading midcentury writers of socially descriptive fiction, is also an important figure for purposes of this analysis.

While all these authors could be described as racist to one degree or another, the content of their racism varied somewhat. Not surprisingly, given the period being discussed, they did not make a clear distinction between race and culture. Codazzi, the oldest of the authors, came closest to making such a distinction. Discussing Colombia’s forest Indians, he stated outright that he did not believe their “barbarity” was inherent in their nature. To believe this, he said, would be to proclaim the doctrine of the inequality of races and racial predestination, a doctrine which he held contrary to his ideas about the “justice of God and the unity of the human family.” Codazzi tended to give weight to the effects of the natural environment, as well as of human agencies, in molding the cultures or behavior of peoples.66 On the other hand, as I will indicate later, Codazzi was not completely consistent in the practice of his faith. The much younger Pérez, who was influenced by Codazzi, tended to emphasize both the role of natural environment and the possible transformative effects of human actions. Ancízar gives no sign of having given considered thought to questions relating to race and culture. He seems to have associated certain kinds of physical characteristics and cultural patterns with specific racial groups; on the other hand, he placed a lot of faith in the transformative effect of education. The most clearly racist author was Samper, who at least as of 1860-61 was much influenced by Joseph Arthur Gobineau and attributed many indwelling characteristics to particular racial types.

These authors’ writings about Amerindians reveal a number of thematic continuities with elite discourse of the late eighteenth century, treated above in the first section. First, as in the late colonial period, the midnineteenth-century writers focused particularly on the economic performance of Amerindians (and indeed also of Afro-Colombians) and measured them by that performance. The concern for political integration, which had become a significant theme in the 1820s, had receded to the background. Second, as in the late colonial period, there continued to be a pronounced tendency to treat Amerindians as stupid and to see lack of economic drive as a proof of that stupidity. Finally, these intellectuals continued to assume, as had some of their late colonial forebears, that racial amalgamation between Amerindians and whites (or blacks) would result in an improvement on the Amerindian original.

Most of the writers believed that Amerindians obstructed national “progress,” a concept apparently including cultural improvement (“civilization”) as well as economic development. Ideas about economic progress and cultural improvement actually tended to converge, since material consumption was seen as an important component and indicator of “civilization.” By the middle of the nineteenth century, the liberal economic framework was overwhelmingly hegemonic among Colombia’s dominant class.67 Their version of the liberal economic ideology placed great weight on the utility, indeed the primacy, of commerce and on the value of increased consumption as a stimulus to economic activity. If, from the point of view of economic activity, consumption was desirable, so also was increased material consumption necessary to establish Colombia among the ranks of civilized nations. Indeed, in the eyes of the Colombian elite, material consumption among the general population was as important a measure of “civilization” as was education. One of the important functions of the latter, after all, was precisely to alert the “lower orders” to the possibilities of increased consumption. Through schooling they would learn of the potential availability of “comodidades” and would be induced to work hard for them. Thus, for the intellectuals, there was a circular and mutually reinforcing relationship between industriousness and consumption. Consumption was good because it required the lower classes to work; hard work was good because it expanded the possibility of consumption. In their writings it was not clear which of these goals—consumption or cultivating industriousness—had primacy. Both were essential hallmarks of “civilization.”

As Colombia’s midcentury geographers and other writers surveyed their country, they tended to divide its population into several categories. The first division was between the “savage” (for the most part forest Indians) and the “civilized,” which included sedentary Indians and Afro-Colombians as well as Europeans and mestizos.68 The “civilized” in turn were divided into those who lived “decently,” in terms of housing and clothing, and worked hard in order to obtain such “comodidades,” and those who were satisfied with survival at a low level of material consumption and could not be induced to undertake systematic work. By and large, as elite writers saw it, the white and mestizo populations fell into the category of the meritoriously working and consuming, while Indians and Afro-Colombians in general revealed their deficient “civilization” by being content with low levels of material consumption.

Concern for increased consumption was explicit in the first published reports stemming from the Comisión Corográfica—Manuel Ancízar’s descriptions of and commentaries on Colombia’s northern provinces. Ancízar tended to minimize the persistence of an Indian population, preferring to consider most of the rural people as “white.” Nonetheless, in a number of communities he found peasants whom he identified as clearly “Indian.” 69 Comparing his accounts of “whites” and “Indians,” there is a fairly clear association between “white” peasants and the possession of “comodidades,” on the one hand, and Indians and the lack of such consumption, on the other. Ancízar did concede that Indian peasants were hard working. Indeed, he noted that where they had disappeared, so also had “painstaking cultivation of the land.”70 However, they were not good consumers, especially where housing was concerned. Speaking of predominantly Indian villages in the province of Tunja, he noted, “As is customary in the towns of the highlands, their material aspect and disposition in no way corresponds to the rare beauty of the land around them; the indigenous nature . . . does not attempt, nor does it conceive of, comfort in homes, limiting itself to putting up badly distributed and unsheltered thatched huts or houses.”71

Almost invariably, midcentury authors depicted the Indian population as less intelligent than Europeans or mestizos. They routinely attributed the Indians’ lack of spirit and enterprise in part to the (usually not specified) bad effects of the Spanish conquest and subsequent Spanish oppression. Nonetheless, the effects usually appeared to be indelible. Ancízar, speaking of the Indians in the eastern highlands, declared that “the conquest did not produce in this unfortunate race any result but humiliation and brutalization, killing even the root of . . . spirit [and] moral personality.”72 Similar statements condemning Spanish colonial treatment of the Indian can be found in the works of Codazzi, Pérez, and Samper. The latter blamed the colonial regime for keeping the Indians ignorant and particularly (in accord with liberal doctrine) for holding them separate from the Hispanic population, in protected indigenous communities.73

Eugenio Díaz, a political conservative, was caustically critical of liberal dogmas. Hence, he spoke of white exploitation of Indians in general, including the contemporary era as well as the colonial period. Díaz, in his unbelievably boring and insipid costumbrista novel, Los aguinaldos en Chapinero, has the otherwise simple-minded Indian gardener, Neuque, make a spirited (and implausible) reply to a white who has called him miserable:” “Miserable . . . porque los blancos así lo han querido, despojándonos de nuestras riquezas y sonsacándonos nuestras tierras.”74

Ancízar was more discreet than the other authors about labeling Indians as stupid or lazy. Frequently, however, he expressed shock that communities that had ceased to be Indian and were now mestizo or “white” continued to practice a superstition-ridden religion that he preferred to associate with Indians. Idolatrous practices had been permitted by the church in order to bring the indigenes into the fold, Ancízar noted, “but now that the indigenous race is being substituted by the Granadan, different than the first in nature, in intelligence, and moral necessities, and moreover galvanized by democratic institutions and modified in its manner of existing by the freedom of industry . . . today the former system lacks reason [for existing].”75

As previously noted, Codazzi explicitly rejected the notion of racial inequality. Nonetheless, his discussion of New Granada’s forest Indians was unqualifiedly negative. Noting that he had visited and studied Amerindian tribes all over the country, he concluded that I have not found motives for believing that in the years since the conquest . . . there has occurred in those people a transformation that is taking them toward intellectual and social improvement. Where the Indian crosses with Europeans or Africans, Codazzi continued, the progeny are enterprising, active, and educable. When such mixes cross again with Indians, the result is regressive. Where Indians remain pure, “everything sleeps, and indeed they become more “barbarous.”76

In his discourse on how the Indians got that way and how to civilize them, Codazzi wavered between historical understanding and racial pessimism. Discussing the Goajiros, he first declared them “incapable of civilization.” He then went on to assert that Spanish despotism had forced them into nomadism and that unperturbed commerce with Europeans ultimately would bring them to civilization. Similarly, the Andaquis, once a sedentary culture, had been driven by the Spanish into the tropical forest. The forest had overwhelmed them with its uncontainable growth, forcing them into the wandering life of the hunter. Both peoples had had to adapt to circumstances. On the other hand, Codazzi believed different peoples adapted in different ways. There were weak races and others that were “strong in civilization.” The former were those who acquiesced in the power of nature; the latter knew that they could transform nature. “Rudimentary peoples, who are unfamiliar with intelligent industry, [which] subjugates the physical world, are slaves of the matter that surrounds them and molds them to its demands.”77

Whereas Codazzi claimed that he rejected the inherent inequality of races, Samper, as a follower of Gobineau, was among the least subtle racists of the period. Samper repeatedly described highland Indians as simply “stupid.” He described the Indian of Pasto as “resistant to civilization, unmoved by progress. He is a sedentary savage . . . with a stupid look . . ., malicious, astute, untrusting . . . indolent in morality, but hardworking and patient.” His “Chibcha” counterpart in the eastern cordillera was, in Samper’s book, “frugal but intemperate, patient but stupid . . . simple, profoundly ignorant . . . without any ambition whatever,” among other negative qualities.78

That such views of highland Indians were generally shared by whites and mestizos is suggested by the social description in Díaz’s fiction. Neuque, the Indian gardener, is told by a stonemason, “Miserable Indian, go and sleep on your chicha.” And Díaz, on some other occasions sentimentally sympathetic with the Indians (as a doomed race), himself speaks of Neuque sleeping, with “his soul stupified by the narcotic of ignorance.” Later, Díaz compares Neuque to a dog.79

Elite writers also tended to consider the Indians ugly. Ancízar, having compared a boy bringing pigs to market to Apollo guiding the horses of the sun, noted, however, that “the representative of Apollo had nothing of beauty and much of the indigenous.”80 In Codazzi’s work, the esthetic preference is clothed in “scientific” language. Codazzi noted a uniformity of features and a lack of facial expressiveness among forest Indians, in comparison with Europeans. This phenomenon, he hastened to explain, was not inherent in race but was a product of experience. The inexpressiveness of forest Indians occurred because of their lack of frequent human contact and their lack of education. Noting that domesticated dogs showed a greater “variety of forms and of color” and a greater facial expressiveness than wild animals, Codazzi found a similar greater variety among humans in civilization. “If variety and mobility of features adorn animated nature, we must admit also that the two increase with civilization, without being entirely produced by it. In the great family of nations, no race so possesses these advantages as the Caucasian or European.” Codazzi, however, specifically denied that a racist conclusion should be drawn from this observation. He further noted that lack of expressiveness was “less apparent” in Africans than in native Americans and, following La Condamine, argued that this reflected differences in education.81

Most of these midcentury writers took comfort in the idea that the Indian population was tending to disappear, as it was absorbed by Colombians of European descent. Samper, though influenced by the concepts of Gobineau, turned Gobineau upside down with regard to the implications of miscegenation. Whereas Gobineau believed that race mixture brought the decline of civilization, Samper saw Colombia’s salvation in mestizaje. Miscegenation, he believed, would have a happy result, “because observation proves that the white race is the most absorbent” as well as that which “predominates in intelligence and moral faculties.”82

None of the other midcentury writers treated here made such a bald statement of racist “scientific” faith. But they appear to have cherished it nonetheless. In his tour of the provinces north of Bogotá, Ancízar frequently expressed satisfaction that in many localities the Indian populations were disappearing, having been absorbed by whites.83 In the province of Tunja, he announced,

the indigenous race forms the smaller number of inhabitants, it being admirable how rapidly it has crossed with and been absorbed by the European, since half a century ago the province of Tunja presented a compact mass of Indians and very few Spanish families. Today one notes in the new generation the progressive improvement of the castes: the children are white, blond, of fine and intelligent features and better built bodies than their elders.84

Ancízar found comforting proof of the progressive whitening of the peasants of the eastern cordillera in the rosiness of their cheeks. (He seems to have believed that native Americans could not have rosy cheeks.) Thus, in Uvita: “Only exceptionally was the coppery face of some Indian noted among the multitude of white people that formed almost the total of the inhabitants, the women being notable for the carmine of their cheeks.” Or in La Paz, a town of recent foundation: “ . . . almost all of European race, or so mixed that you can’t see the Indian: the women pretty . . . the children truly lovely, with blond hair and cheeks of carmine.”85 In the passage just quoted, as well as in some others, Ancízar recognizes that a process of mestizaje has taken place, that the Indians are still there, in part, even though you “cannot see” them. Ancízar preferred, however, to think of the result of such fusion as simply “white,” rather than mestizo. Hence his irritation that “superstitious” religious practices that he associated with Indians were being practiced by “white” peasants.

There is a similar ambiguity (or confusion?) on this matter in Díaz’s writings. He sometimes describes the persistence of indigenous practices among protagonists he has insisted on certifying as “white.” In Bruna la carbonera, he goes to some length to identify his tragic heroine as white. Her genealogy is established by the fact that her father, a humble charcoal-maker near Bogotá, hails from “the towns of the Northeast” (i.e., the allegedly “white” population of the Socorro region). Further, his “beard was black and thick, and in the white color of his face . . . was observable the Spanish race.” To make certain that no one failed to understand her true racial identity, Díaz describes Bruna herself as follows: “The rose color of her arms and cheeks, the abundance of her hair, the oval of her face, and the dimples in her cheeks made her recognizable as the daughter of a Spanish family that had conserved all the characteristics of the Latin race.”86 Evidently Díaz, like Ancízar, believed firmly in the “rosy cheeks” test.

Yet, Bruna and her family are described as weaving their ruanas on an indigenous loom, practicing “la industria de sus mayores.” One of the characters describes Bruna as being dressed “like the most contemptible of Indians.” And her family engages in practices that an elite intellectual protagonist imagines to be of indigenous origin.87 Díaz may have been deliberately making the point that those in the lower orders that the dominant class thought of as “Indian” ought really to be considered “white.” On the other hand, perhaps he simply falls into the New Yorker category of “Our Forgetful Authors.” (Díaz is said to have written his fiction straight out, with little subsequent revision.)

Whereas midcentury writers took comfort in the “absorption” of the highland Indian population by the dominant European race, they were less at ease about the Afro-Colombian population. They apparently considered this group much less assimilable and in some ways threatening. Whereas elite writers conceived of the Amerindian population as passive and declining in numbers, Afro-Colombians were perceived to be demographically dynamic. Pérez remarked on the fecundity of blacks in western Colombia, noting that Afro-Colombian girls in the tropical lowlands of Tumaco and the Chocó began to bear children at the age of 12 or 13.88 Samper raised the specter of an African demographic takeover, which could be contained only through a compensatory multiplication of mestizos. Like some other writers in the period, Samper was disturbed by the fertility of Afro-Colombians, which, with Gobineau as guide, he attributed to a lack of equilibrium in their physical, moral, and intellectual faculties. Blacks bred rapidly, he said, because in them the physical faculties “exercise an almost exclusive rule” (in contrast with the “very high degree of moral and intellectual refinement” of the French, which had so notably slowed their rate of reproduction).89 “The black race, which multiplies with prodigious facility in fiery climates [climas ardientes], would have become the strongest, and Colombia would have become a second Africa,” if the Spanish had not been able to counterbalance them demographically in eastern Colombia through beneficent breeding with the docile (and genetically passive) Indian population. Samper condemned the Spanish policy of trying to keep Indians in resguardos separate from the European population in part because it discouraged mating between Indians and Spaniards. “The important thing was to favor the crossing of the European race with the indigenes, thus obtaining a mixed society of good character: white, strong, benign, intelligent.”90

Afro-Colombians made elite commentators nervous not only because of their demographic dynamism but also because, unlike the Amerindian population, they were seen as a threat to the social order. Fear of black insurrection and even dominance had become a periodic concern among the Colombian elite since the early 1820s, when Simón Bolívar often voiced his gloomy predictions of imminent “pardocracy.” Bolívar’s anxieties were induced primarily by the Venezuelan experience (along with the specter of Haiti). But the dominant class in Colombia had found those fears confirmed in some parts of their own country, particularly the Cauca region, where a perennial nightmare of the local elite was the possible, and sometimes actual, mobilization of blacks. Activation of Afro-Colombians in politico-military struggles, banditry, or other forms of violent social conflict in the Cauca in 1823, 1840-41, 1843-44, and 1850-51 inspired occasional terror in the region’s upper classes.91 And the alarm, shared from afar in Bogotá, was reinforced there in 1861, when General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera invaded the capital with his army of negros cancanos,92 These preoccupations were reflected in Samper’s stereotypical characterizations of the country’s racial groups. Samper attributed Colombia’s political upheavals in part to the ease with which mulattos, whom he considered inherently turbulent, could be recruited into rebellions.93

If Afro-Colombians inspired fear in the dominant class in a way that the Amerindians did not, the judgment of elite writers about Colombian blacks as economic actors appears to have been at once more negative and more optimistic than that regarding the Indians. The actual economic behavior of many Afro-Colombians was distressing, but their strength and vigor endowed them with an untapped economic potential. The Afro-Americans along the Pacific coast, in Pérez’s descriptions, were for the most part even worse economic actors than Ancízar’s Indians of the eastern cordillera. The Indians of the eastern cordillera worked, but they did not consume in an appropriately European manner. Many blacks of the Cauca region did neither:

Notable in these inhabitants of the Cauca is the scarcity of necessities, [as well as] the extreme ignorance in which they exist [and] the uniformity of their life, which consists in eating, although badly, drinking strong liquor, chatting incessantly, and dancing to the sound of a drum. . . . If this strong and robust race had a love of work and ambition for the amenities [comodidades] of civilized life, it could enrich itself quickly and exchange its miserable huts for comfortable and sheltered houses . . . its ugly nudity for elegant clothing and its . . . ignorance for the first and most indispensable rudiments of instruction.94

But Pérez believed that the environment was responsible for the lamentable indolence of the people in this region; they had no impetus to work because the woods and rivers so readily provided them with sufficient food. However, he could envision how the Pacific coast, and the Afro-Colombians living there, might be energized economically. Because the climate of the forested lowlands was too hot and humid for whites, they could not operate there at present. But Pérez cherished the hope that whites might discover gold in nearby mountains and that white colonization and mining in the highlands would stimulate similar activity by blacks in the tropical lowlands. In the long run, if enough forest were cut in the lowlands, the climate would dry out and whites could move into regions that previously had been the exclusive province of blacks.95 Thus, a double benefit might be achieved: the local black population would be invigorated economically, and another region would be opened to white settlement.

Pérez found, in other parts of western Colombia, reason to believe that, under the right circumstances, blacks might be led into enterprise. He was impressed by the economic activity of Afro-Colombians in the Cali region.96 On the coast, in the delta of the Iscuandé Biver, he found a population that appeared to him to be “quarteroon” and was “active, industrious, intelligent . . . and without dispute the best sailors” on Colombia’s Pacific coast.97

A Persistent Agenda

From the middle of the eighteenth century through the middle of the nineteenth there were certain continuities in the attitudes of Colombia’s European-descended elite toward other racial groups whom they dominated. The attitudes were founded on a solid bedrock of racism, which had phenotypical (or esthetic) as well as cultural components. But, in the eyes of the elite, the perceived economic backwardness of the dominated was an important measure of their inferiority. Forest Indians were hopeless, because they could not be induced to settle down and work. Sedentary Indians sometimes were considered hard working, but they lacked European ambition and a bent for European consumption.

From the late eighteenth century onward, leading officials and elite observers in Colombia viewed the economic backwardness of the Indians as a constraint on economic progress. The solution for this backwardness lay in integration of two sorts. One was formal economic integration, through the division of Indian lands, which it was presumed would force the Indians to adapt to the dominant European economic culture. The other solution, genetic integration, was not a formal program but merely a hope or expectation. The principal aim here probably was phenotypical improvement, a more European appearance. But this process, it was presumed, would also serve the cause of economic progress.

Although discussed only in passing in this essay, the economic integration of the Afro-Colombian population also formed part of the elite agenda, though seemingly at a lower level of priority. (Slaves, after all, didn’t have land that might be appropriated.) The gradual abolition of slavery, of course, may be seen as part of a program of economic integration (as well as a matter of morality, justice, or social order). It is evident, however, from Felipe Pérez’s discussions of the black populations of the Pacific coast that the true integration of many Afro-Colombians into a capitalist economy required more than simply abolishing slavery, a process completed just after midcentury.

The concern for economic integration to enhance economic progress was thus a constant running throughout the period from the late eighteenth century to the second half of the nineteenth. Political integration through an at least formal civil equality was also advanced as a formal objective when the republic for the first time was being founded on a sound basis during the 1820s. But in subsequent years the Colombian dominant groups tended to forget the goal of incorporating Amerindians politically, while continuing to pursue the aim of economic assimilation.

Though the division of Indian community lands had as its aim the economic incorporation of the indigenes, it is not clear whether or to what degree the political elite actually believed that they could survive in a competitive, free-market economy. That the country’s leadership had doubts is indicated by the temporary protections erected against the alienation of the Indians’ individual property until midcentury. By the 1840s, it was becoming clear that many Indians were unlikely to prosper in their new “liberty.” By midcentury, genetic integration, the “disappearance” of the Indian through miscegenation, whether with whites or with blacks, seemed to some elite writers the most likely path by which the Indians would become integrated into European economic modes.


E.g., for Mexico, Charles A. Hale, Mexican Liberalism in the Age of Mora (New Haven, 1968), 217-218. For Colombia, see David Bushnell, The Santander Regime in Gran Colombia (Newark, DE, 1954), 174-175.


In 1823, when the Colombian Congress sought to encourage European immigration through grants of public lands, Secretary of the Interior José Manuel Restrepo commented in his diary, “[T]iene esta concesión el objeto de fomentar la población blanca, la industria y la agricultura.” (Restrepo, Diario político y militar, 4 vols. [Bogotá, 1954], I, 219.)


Two pessimistic comments about the possible integration of such peoples, one in 1789, the other in 1857, can be found in Francisco Silvestre, Descripción del reyno de Santa Fé de Bogotá (Bogotá, 1968), 70-71, and Colonel Agustín Codazzi, “Antigüedades indíjenas,” in Felipe Pérez, Jeografía física i política de los Estados Unidos de Colombia, 2 vols. (Bogotá, 1863), II, 97-98, discussed below. Another example, in the early 1830s, chronologically between those of Silvestre and Codazzi, was penned by Francisco Mosquera, about the Indians of the Chocó. Authorities in the Chocó were encountering grave difficulties in arranging an effective mode of government for “this wretched race, which at the same time would make them equal to other citizens.” Mosquera reported: “Los Yndigenas diseminados en los montes han abandonado las poblaciones por falta de sugeción, y en la vida salvaje que han adoptado entregados a la embriaguez, su embrutecimiento se aumenta, alejando la esperanza de que su generación futura pertenezca jamás a la clase de ciudadanos. . . . Secuestrados de los racionales, olvidan las pequeñas nociones de moral, que habían recibido, [y pierden el idioma español] que nunca han poseído bien. Sus hijos nacidos y criados en los bosques desconocen uno y otro, y no prometen a la sociedad sino justos temores de una especie que no pertenece más a los hombres que a las fieras.” (Archivo del Congreso, Bogotá [hereafter AC], Cámara, 1833, XIV, Decretos de las Cámaras de Provincia, aprobados, fols. 99-100.)


The exceptional optimism of the 1820s found expression in the allocation of 100,000 pesos per year to efforts to get “uncivilized” Indians to settle in fixed communities. See Gaceta de Colombia (Bogotá), May 21, 1826.


Magnus Mörner, “Las comunidades indígenas y la legislación segregacionista en el Nuevo Reino de Granada,” Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura, 1 (1963). 62-88; Margarita González, El resguardo en el Nuevo Reino de Granada (Bogotá, 1970), 18-19.


“Informe del Visitador Real Don Andrés Berdugo y Oquendo sobre el estado social y económico de la población indígena, blanca y mestiza de las Provincias de Tunja y Vélez a mediados del siglo xviii,” Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura, 1 (1963), 131-196. For population totals see 167-168. See also Germán Colmenares, La Provincia de Tunja en el Nuevo Reino de Granada: Ensayo de historia social (1539-1800) (Bogotá, 1970), 76, on pueblos in the Province of Tunja in which vecinos outnumbered Indians by ten to one at the time of the Verdugo visita.


“Informe . . . Berdugo,” 144.


Ibid., 145-146, 151, 153, 156, 160.


Ibid., 155-156.


Ibid., 161, 178, 191.


Ibid., 134, 135, 142, 149, 159.


This interpretation of Verdugo departs from that found in Mörner, “Las comunidades de indígenas y la legislación segregacionista en el Nuevo Reino de Granada.” Mönter seems to believe (p. 75) that, although Verdugo argued for an integrationist policy, he with one exception continued to implement the segregationist policy. As I read Verdugo’s informe, he actually granted “whites” the right to own property in a number of Indian pueblos. See “Informe . . . Berdugo,” 157-160, 162-165.


González, El resguardo, 68.


The site reports of Moreno and Campuzano are printed in Francisco Antonio Moreno y Escandón, Indios y mestizos de la Nueva Granada a finales del siglo XVIII, Jorge Orlando Meló, ed. (Bogotá, 1985).


Moreno’s conclusion is printed as an appendix in González, El resguardo. The quotation is at p. 144.


The Comunero demand is not a completely explicit articulation of the integrationist goal, because it appears to ask that the Indians be given property rights in the resguardo land. It does not make a clear reference to individual property rights, though that may have been what the authors had in mind. The statement can be read, however, simply as a defense of the resguardos against the seizure of their community land as carried out by Moreno y Escandón in 1778. For the passage, see Pablo E. Cárdenas Acosta, El movimiento comunal de 1781 en el Nuevo Reino de Granada (reivindicaciones históricas), 2 vols. (Bogotá, 1960), II, 20.


R. P. Fr. Joaquín de Finestrad, “El vasallo instruido en el estado del Nuevo Reino de Granada y en sus respectivas obligaciones,” in Los Comuneros (Bogotá, 1905), 135.


Pedro Fermín de Vargas, “Memoria sobre la población del reino,” in Pensamientos políticos y memorias sobre la población del Nuevo Reino de Granada (Bogotá, 1953), 83.


“Instrucción que da el muy ilustre Cabildo, Justicia y Regimiento de la Villa del Socorro al diputado del Nuevo Reyno de Granada, a la Junta Suprema y Central Gubernativa de España e Indias,” in Horacio Rodríguez Plata, Andrés María Rosillo y Meruelo (Bogotá, 1944), 48-54 (quotations on pp. 49 and 51), and La antigua Provincia del Socorro y la independencia (Bogotá, 1963), 40-46 (quotations on pp. 40-41 and 42).


Miguel de Pombo was of a distinguished Popayán family but had been resident in Santafé de Bogotá during the decade before 1810. He had been an assistant in the Expedición Botánica and had headed the viceregal vaccination campaign. Cf. Gustavo Arboleda, Diccionario biográfico y genealógico del antiguo Departamento del Cauca (Bogotá, 1962), 359, and Rafael Gómez Hoyos, La revolución granadina: Ideario de una generación y de una época, 1782-1821, 2 vols. (Bogotá, 1962), II, 196. On his residence in Santafé from at least 1799 onward, see Francisco José de Caldas, Popayán, to Santiago Pérez de Arroyo y Valencia, Santafé, Mar. 20, 1799, and subsequent letters. Cartas de Caldas (Bogotá, 1978), 48 and passim.


“Discurso político en (pie se manifiesta la necesidad y la importancia de la extinción de los estancos de tabacos y aguardiente y la abolición de los tributos de los indios con los arbitrios que por ahora pueden adoptarse para llenar el vacío que sentirán los fondos públicos en estos ramos. Leído en la junta suprema de Santafé por su vocal el doctor don Miguel de Pombo, en 1° de septiembre de 1810,” in El 20 de julio, Eduardo Posada, ed. (Bogotá, 1914), 353-354, 356.


On this point Pombo not only echoed Vargas but actually plagiarized him (patriotically), albeit making one crucial error in transcription. Vargas (1790): “La codicia de sus heredades [i.e., properties] haría que muchos blancos y mestizos se casasen con las indias, y al contrario, con lo que dentro de poquísimo tiempo no habría terreno que no estuviese cultivado, en lugar que ahora la mayor parte de los que pertenecen a indios se hallan eriales.” Pombo (1810): “Estableciendo el indio sobre este pié de consideración y de fortuna, la codicia de sus herederos [i.e., heirs] hará que muchos blancos y mestizos se casen con las indias . . .” (etc.). See Vargas, “Memoria sobre la población,” 83, and Pombo in Posada, El 20 de julio, 354.


Although late eighteenth-century Spanish criticisms of the latifundio are associated with Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, they evidently preceded the publication of his Informe de ley agraria (1795) by some years. In New Granada, Finestrad wrote of the negative economic effects of the latifundio around 1783, and Pedro Fermín de Vargas did so about 1790. On the Iberian background to Jovellanos’s Informe, see Richard Herr, The Eighteenth-Century Revolution in Spain (Princeton, 1958), 376-380.


Miguel de Pombo’s emphasis on developing exports was very much in the spirit of New Granada’s creole philosophes of the last two decades of the colonial period. It appears in the writings of Pedro Fermín de Vargas (1790) and Francisco José de Caldas (1800-10) and, most markedly, in those of Pombo’s uncle, José Ignacio, who was the intellectual force in the Consulado of Cartagena.


In Pombo’s plan, there would be surplus land because he would begin by dividing resguardos in which only a small Indian population remained. See Posada, El 20 de julio, 355-356.


Ibid., 211-212.


Bushnell, The Santander Regime, 174-177. See also Congreso de Cúcuta, 1821: libro de actas (Bogotá, 1971), 643-647.


Cf. Bushnell, The Santander Regime, 176-177.


José M. del Castillo [y Rada], “Esposición que por orden del Libertador hace el presidente del consejo de ministros al congreso constituyente, de los actos a que S. E. se refiere en su mensaje” [Jan. 25, 1830], Suplemento a la Gaceta de Colombia, 450 (Jan. 31, 1830). For Bolívar’s decree of October 15, 1828, see Gaceta de Colombia, 379 (Oct. 19, 1828).


Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, intendant of the Department of Cauca, in a report favoring the reinstitution of the Indian tribute as well as labor controls in the colonial mode (Oct. 13, 1828): “[L]os indíjenas en un estado casi salvaje en que se encuentran por el mal trato colonial, no han hecho otra cosa que abandonarse a sus placeres brutales, minorarse en número y retirarse de los poblados del Cauca . . .. En muchos pueblos se han entregado a la bebida de licores espirituosos, a que son muy propensos, i a (pie también dañándoles mucho pasan doce semanas enteras en este detestable vicio, sin (pie ninguna necesidad los haga trabajar . . .. Los hacendados han perdido estos brazos i así la agricultura ha padecido mucho.” (“Indíjenas,” Gaceta de Colombia, Nov. 9, 1828.)


Consejo de Estado, Codificación nacional de todas las leyes de Colombia desde el año de 1821, hecha conforme a la ley 13 de 1912 (Bogotá, 1924-), IV, 344-345.


Bushnell, The Santander Regime, 117, notes this and some other problems in his treatment of the 1820s.


J. M. Mantilla, governor of Bogotá province, in Constitucional de Cundinamarca (Bogotá), Sept. 18, 1836. See also subsequent decree of the Cámara de Provincia, ibid., Nov. 6, 1836.


See, on the resguardo of Guane in the province of Socorro, Governor Juan Nepomuceno Toscano to Secretario de lo Interior, June 7, 1833, Archivo Nacional de Colombia, República (hereafter ANCR), Gobernaciones, República, tomo 40, fol. 97.


E.g., on Popayán, AC, Cámara, 1835, VI, Decretos de las Cámaras de Provincia, fols. 418-435; on Buenaventura, AC, Cámara, 1833, tomo VII, Peticiones, fol. 320; on Popayán, ANCR, Gobernaciones, República, tomo 39, fol. 700.


For two communities in the eastern cordillera (Choachí and Boavita), see AC, Cámara, 1833, VII, Peticiones, fols. 133-135, and AC, Cámara, 1834, III, Antecedentes de Leyes, fol. 145. See also “Indíjenas,” El Constitucional (Bogotá), Feb. 14, 1846, and “Resguardos de indíjenas,” ibid., July 4, 1846.


ANCR, Gobernaciones, República, tomo 37, fols. 400-403.


AC, Cámara, 1834, III, Antecedentes de leyes, fols. 156-158. A similar argument (without discussion of why Indians made less use of schools) was made by the Indian cabildo of Choachí in the province of Bogotá. The entire Choachí cabildo appears to have been illiterate (i.e., unable to sign the protest). (AC, Senado, 1839, XI, Peticiones, fols. 4-5).


Rafael Diago, governor of Popayán, to Cámara de Provincia, Sept. 17, 1833, and Sept. 15, 1834, in Constitucional del Cauca (Popayán), Oct. 5, 1833 and Suplemento al #111 (ca. Sept. 20, 1834); AC, Cámara, 1834, III, Antecedentes de leyes, fols. 151–152 and 164. See also José María Galavis, Memoria que el Gobernador de Neiva presenta a la Cámara de Provincia en su reunión ordinaria de 1838 (Bogotá, 1838), 9.


Diago, governor of Popayán, to Secretario de lo Interior, Aug. 27, 1833, ANCR, Gobernaciones República, tomo 39, fols. 699-701; reports of the governor of Pasto, Tomás España, and of the jefe político of the canton of Pasto, Mar. 1, 1833, AC, Cámara, 1833, VI, Peticiones, fols. 207-208.


E.g. España, governor of Pasto, Nov. 2, 1833, ANCR, Gobernaciones, República, tomo 39, fol. 390. See also the argument of Senator Domínguez, a priest from Vélez, in AC, Diario de debates, Senado, Mar. 3, 1840.


For the attitudes of Governor Diago, see his message to the Secretario de lo Interior, Aug. 27, 1833, ANCR, Gobernaciones, República, tomo 39, fols. 699-701, and his report to the Cámara de Provincia of Popayán, Sept. 17, 1833, in Constitucional del Cauca, Oct. 5, 1833. See also his message of Sept. 15, 1834, in Constitucional del Cauca, Suplemento al número 111. The Cámara expressed agreement with the governor on Oct. 5, 1833 (Constitucional del Cauca, Feb. 1, 1833). For another statement of the Cámara de Provincia, Oct. 1, 1834, see AC, Cámara, 1835, VI, Decretos de las Cámaras de Provincia, fols. 418-423, published with a slightly different citation system by J. León Helguera, in Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura, 11 (1983), 342-349.


Diago to Interior, Aug. 27, 1833, ANCR, Gobernaciones, República, tomo 39, fol. 699.


“Indíjenas,” Constitucional del Cauca, Jan. 5, 1833.


España to Interior, Nov. 1 and 2, 1833, in ANCR, Gobernaciones, República, tomo 39, fols. 388-390.


España to Interior, Sept. 4, 1833, in ANCR, Gobernaciones, República, tomo 39, fol. 375.


Francisco A. Obregón, Esposición que el Gobernador de Antioquia dirije a la cámara de la provincia en sus sesiones ordinarias de 1839 (Medellín, 1839), 7.


See the proyecto of Alejandro Osorio and Maríano Ospina Rodríguez to accelerate surveying of resguardos, discussed approvingly in El Amigo del Pueblo (Bogotá), Sept. 23 and 25 and Oct. 28, 1838.


The government was moved to act by a Dec. 3, 1839, report from the jefe político of Ubaté, in Bogotá province. (Message of Secretario de lo Interior y Relaciones Exteriores Eusebio Borrero to the Senate, Apr. 9, 1840, in AC, Senado, 1843, II, Proyectos de ley aprobados en 3er debate, fol. 252.)


See Constitucional de Cundinamarca, July 3, 1842, for a characteristic Acevedo order to jefes políticos not to permit the alienation of Indian land under any pretext, including improvements or empeño arrangements.


Acevedo, Mar. 30, 1842, as quoted by Secretario de lo Interior y Relaciones Exteriores Mariano Ospina, Apr. 7, 1842, in AC, Senado, 1843, II, Proyectos de ley aprobados en 3er debate, fols. 236-237, 240; statement of Sept. 15, 1842, in Constitucional de Cundinamarca, Sept. 15, 1842; ibid., Mar. 30, 1845.


AC, Senado, 1843, II, Proyectos de ley aprobados en 3er debate, fols. 237v-239.


Pastor Ospina in his first year as governor, among other protective efforts, (1) attempted to protect Indian properties from cattle invasions (Constitucional de Cundinamarca, Aug. 31, 1845); (2) tried to regulate the rental or sale of Indian land (ibid., Nov. 9, 1845); (3) ordered that Indians serving in the army not lose their land (ibid., Jan. 4, 1846); (4) attempted to check empeños (ibid., Jan. 17, 1846); and (5) nullified cessions of Indian land to curates (ibid., May 10, 1846).


Ibid., Oct. 11, 1847.


“Terrenos de escuelas,” circular of Pastor Ospina to jefes políticos, May 12, 1846, ibid., May 16, 1846. See also “Resguardos de indijenas,” in El Constitucional, Sept. 15, 1846. Sales of Indian lands to support primary schools are reported ibid., Mar. 7, Apr. 5 and 13, May 16, Aug. 29, Nov. 21 and 28, Dec. 6, 1846; and in El Constitucional de Cundinamarca, Apr. 11 and 21, May 11, 1847.


“Resguardos de indíjenas,” El Constitucional, Sept. 15, 1846. In his dissertation on the breakup of resguardos in the Bogotá region, Glenn Curry quotes this opinion as delivered by Pastor Ospina in 1848. However, the opinion appears, word for word, in 1846. In any case, in 1848 Pastor Ospina was no longer governor of Bogotá province; his brother Mariano was governor at that time. See Curry, “The Disappearance of the Resguardos Indígenas of Cundinamarca, Colombia, 1800-1863” (Ph.D. diss., Vanderbilt University, 1981), 180.


See, e.g., many sales of resguardo lands recorded in ANCR, Notaría 2a, Bogotá, 1852, tomos 266 and 267.


See index for Notaría 2a, Bogotá, 1840-1879.


Helguera, Indigenismo in Colombia: A Facet of the National Identity Search, 1821-1973 (Buffalo, 1974), 7.


Curry, “The Disappearance of the Resguardos,” 176-180, 182, 196-197. Curry’s analysis here in some ways parallels that of Florencia Mallon in The Defense of Community in Peru’s Central Highlands: Peasant Struggle and Capitalist Transition, 1860-1940 (Princeton, 1983).


E.g., sale of their plots by 64 Indians of Chía, at 30 pesos each, to Sr. Jesús Castro, Jan. 22, 1852, ANCR, Notaría 2a, Bogotá, tomo 266, fols. 22v-23v. See also multiple sales by Indians of Neinocón to Fructuoso Alonso Cubillos, Jan. 20-24, 1852, ibid., fols. 17-20, 24, 26-29.


See, e.g., Mariano Ospina Rodríguez’s commentary in 1845, in his Artículos escogidos (Medellin, 1884), 193-195.


Two recent editions of these illustrations have been published: En busca de un país: La Comisión Corográfica: Selección de dibujos de Carmelo Fernández, Enrique Price y Manuel María Paz, con texto introductorio de Gonzalo Hernández de Alba (Bogotá, 1984) and Acuarelas de la Comisión Corográfica: Colombia, 1850-1859, Guillermo Hernández de Alba, ed. (Bogotá, 1986). The former edition is relatively slight (31 illustrations), the latter much more extensive (150 illustrations).


Jeografía física i política de las Provincias de la Nueva Granada por la Comisión Corográfica bajo la dirección de Agustín Codazzi, 3 vols. (Bogotá, 1858-59).


The edition cited here is a facsimile of the 1861 Paris edition, published in Bogotá in 1984.


“Antigüedades indijenas,” dated Nov. 28, 1857, app. to “Jeografía física i política del Tolima,” in Pérez, Jeografía física i política de los Estados Unidos de Colombia, II, 96_99.


See Frank Safford, “The Emergence of Economic Liberalism in Colombia,” in Guiding the Invisible Hand: Economic Liberalism and the State in Latin American History, Joseph L. Love and Nils Jacobsen, eds. (New York, 1988), 54-58.


E.g., Pérez, Jeografía física i política del Estado del Cauca (Bogotá, 1862), Apéndice, “Indios,” 229-233, and [by Agustín Codazzi], “Descripción jeneral de los indios del Caquetá,” 315-326. See also Pérez, Jeografía . . . Colombia, II, 29.


This, as well as the testimony of other authors discussed here, indicates that there were still peasants in the eastern cordillera whom contemporaries identified as “Indians” according to phenotypical and cultural (rather than simply legal) criteria. Illustrations for the Comisión Corográfica also distinguish among white, mestizo, and Indian types. It thus seems incorrect to maintain, as Curry does (‘“Disappearance of the Resguardos”, 40), that in the nineteenth century Indians existed in the region only as a legal category, not identifiable different from others by physical or cultural characteristics.


Manuel Ancízar, Peregrinación de Alpha por las provincias del Norte de la Nueva Granada, en 1850-51 (Bogotá, 1956), 315.


Ibid., 321.


Ibid., 26.


Codazzi, “Antigüedades indíjenas,” in Pérez, Jeografía . . . Colombia, II, 99; Pérez, Jeografía . . . Cauca, 134-135; Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones, 46-48, 59.


Eugenio Díaz Castro, Novelas y cuadros de costumbre, 2 vols. (Bogotá, 1985), I, 56.


Ancízar, Peregrinación, 117; see also 212.


Codazzi, in app. on “Antigüedades indíjenas” (dated Nov. 28, 1857), in Pérez, Jeografía . . . de Colombia, II, 96.


Ibid., 97-99, 105.


Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones políticas, 87-89.


Díaz Castro, Novelas y cuadros de costumbre, I, 55-56, 69, 77.


Ancízar, Peregrinación, 94.


Codazzi, “Descripción jeneral de los indios del Caquetá,” in Pérez, Jeografía . . . Cauca, 318-319.


Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones políticas, 100.


Ancízar, Peregrinación, 38, 93, 106, 114, 191, 214, 221, 342.


Ibid., 342.


Ibid., 214, 250; see also 199.


Díaz Castro, Novelas y cuadros de costumbre, I, 220, 223.


Ibid., 249, 272, 283.


Pérez, Jeografía . . . Cauca, 130, 168.


Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones políticas, 68.


Ibid., 63-64.


See Restrepo, Diario político y militar, I, 211, 222, 231, 308, 323, 375; II, 25-26; III, 155, 158, 345-346; and letters of Manuel José Mosquera to Manuel María Mosquera, May 19 and Sept. 29, 1843, and to Matilde Pombo de Arboleda, Sept. 25, 1844, in José María Arboleda Llorente, Vida del Illmo. Señor Manuel José Mosquera, Arzobispo de Sta. Fe de Bogotá, 2 vols. (Bogotá, 1956), II, 135, 218, 222-223. See also many of the letters in Helguera and Robert H. Davis, eds., Archivo epistolar del General Mosquera: Correspondencia con el General Pedro Alcántara Herrán, 3 vols. (Bogotá, 1972-78).


A commentary in Eugenio Díaz’s Bruna la carbonera that Mosquera had brought “muchísimos negros” is only one of many at the time. (Díaz Castro, Novelas y cuadros de costumbre, I, 230.)


“En Colombia, cuando las revoluciones . . . no son promovidas directamente por los gobernantes, por los clérigos o por los jefes militares (y esas son las más frecuentes), las suelen hacer los mulatos, o por lo menos encuentran fácil apoyo en ellos.” Mulattos, Samper thought, did not enter into war because of caste hatred, but simply out of exuberance. “El mulato es turbulento porque es mulato, es decir por exuberancia de savia.” (Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones, 89-90.)


This passage refers to Tumaco; he applies similar rhetoric to the Chocó. (Pérez, Jeografía . . . Cauca, 130-131, 158-159.)


Pérez found support for this hope in the already-established pattern of Antioqueño colonization in western Colombia (ibid., 129-135, 156-159, 165-168, and jeografía . . . Colombia, II, 493, 501, 503-504, 506).


Jeografía . . . Cauca, 135.


Ibid., 127.