African Maroons in Sixteenth Century Panama


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The back of the book reads:

"From the 1520s through the 1580s, thousands of African slaves fled captivity in Spanish Panama and formed their own communities in the interior of the isthmus. African Maroons in Sixteenth-Century Panama, a primary source reader, edited by Robert C. Schwaller, documents this "marronage" in the context of five decades of African resistance to slavery.

The self-sufficiency of the Maroons, along with their periodic raids against Spanish settlements, sparked armed conflict as Spaniards sought to conquer the Maroon communities and kill or re-enslave their populations. After decades of struggle, Maroons succeeded in negotiating with Spanish authorities and establishing the first two free Black towns in the Americas. The details of this dramatic history emerge in these pages, traced through official Spanish accounts, reports, and royal edicts. Most important, this reader includes translation of the first peace agreements made between a European empire and African Maroons and the founding documents of the free-Black communities of Santiago del Principe and Santa Cruz la Real-- the culmination of the first successful African resistance movement in the Americas.

Each document is translated into English and presented with a short introduction, thorough annotations, and a full historical, cultural, and geographical context."

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