América Latina en la historia económica
versión On-line ISSN 2007-3496
GUIMARAES, Elione Silva. Economia autônoma de escravos nas grandes fazendas cafeeiras do sudeste do Brasil (Zona da Mata mineira -século XIX). Am. Lat. Hist. Econ [online]. 2009, n.32, pp.165-195. ISSN 2007-3496.
The focus of this article is to show the partial results from a research which has the purpose to reconstruct stories and memories from rural black workers in Zona da Mata mineira (Juiz de Fora and Mar de Hespanha -XIX century). In this period the region had physical conditions to cultivate coffee, the main Brazilian commodity of exportation and it was the richest of Minas being responsible for a production which varied from 90% (decade of eighties of the XIX century) to 70% (decade of twenties of the last century). The main workmanship used in these coffee plantations was the black man, first of all as slave and then as free worker. Considering memories from travelers, documents of register offices, criminal proceedings and array of civil lawsuits (postmortem inventories, charges of debts, suits about division and demarcation of rural properties), I studied the economic activities of slaves in little plots of land destined by their landlords for cultivating on Sundays and saint's days to their subsistence.
Palabras llave : Autonomous economy of slaves; coffee economy; Zona da Mata mineira (Brazil).