Landing Slaves at a Brazilian Port, 1830s

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Image Reference

Johann Moritz Rugendas, Voyage Pittoresque dans le Bresil. Traduit de l'Allemand (Paris, 1835; also published in same year in German). Reprinted in Viagem Pitoresca Através do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, 1972; images shown on this website), and in color from original water colors, in Viagem Pitoresca Através do Brasil (Editora Itatiaia Limitada, Editora da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 1989) [NOTE: both 1835 French and German original editions were published in black/white].

Caption, "Debarquement"; shows newly arrived Africans being landed from small boats in a harbor; larger ships in background. The same illustration was later published in the Illustrated London News (Aug. 6, 1842; vol. 1, p. 193), inexplicably with the caption "Hill Coolies Landing at Mauritius." The commercial house Corbis sells this image from the Illustrated London News, with the same caption, and authors/publishers who purchase from Corbis repeat the erroneous identification as a scene from the "British colony of Mauritius," e.g., J. P. Rodriguez, Chronology of World Slavery (ABC-CLIO, 1999, p.142). For an analysis of Rugendas' drawings, as these were informed by his anti-slavery views, see Robert W. Slenes, African Abrahams, Lucretias and Men of Sorrows: Allegory and Allusion in the Brazilian Anti-slavery Lithographs (1827-1835) of Johann Moritz Rugendas (Slavery & Abolition, vol. 23 [2002], pp. 147-168).