In 1780, in Belem, Brazil, Joanna Baptista sold herself into slavery. This article probes Joanna’s motives and situates her actions not only in the milieu of slaveholding Brazil, but also in the more specific context of Portuguese Amazonia during the Directorate (1758–1798). Indians, especially former slaves and their descendants, faced forced resettlement and increased labor demands. Joanna’s case and contemporary petitions demonstrate how women of Indian and mixed descent, especially single women, widows and orphans, used legal means to defend their autonomy.
This is the publisher’s version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College’s institutional repository by permission of the copyright for personal use, not for redistribution.
Barbara A. Sommer. "Why Joanna Baptista Sold Herself into Slavery: Indian Women in Portuguese Amazonia, 1755-1798." Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies (2012): 1-21.