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Grant number like: FA-52842-06

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Herman Lee Bennett
Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8559)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2007 – 6/30/2008

Narratives of Freedom in Colonial Mexico

This project explores the seventeenth-century emergence of New Spain's free colored population by focusing on two sites--urban Mexico City and rural Michoacan. Collectively, Mexico City and Michoacan offer a cross-sectional perspective on how the descendants of slaves and their descendants forged lives and experiences as free persons. Long overshadowed by slaves and the narrative of slavery, the free colored population grew from 116,529 in 1646 to 624, 461 in 1810 always retaining its position as the largest population of free persons in the hemisphere. By drawing on a range of ecclesiastical sources and Inquisition records this study examines a population that has long been the subject of scholarly neglect.