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Juliana García

Other names/titles:
Gender: F
Ethnic origin: Black

Biographical details

A slave woman from the Banda Oriental, who was living near Montevideo in 1811 with her husband Miguel and children Ventura and Mateo. An invading army from Buenos Aires offered freedom to those slaves who joined them. Migel enlisted and Juliana and their children went too as camp followers in the hope of gaining freedom. They stayed with the army for four years during the sieges of Montevideo and the campaigns in Upper Peru. After the defeat of Sipe-Sipe she "experienced unspeakable travails and naked needs" as she and her children made their way to Buenos Aires to join Miguel. She was captured by her former owner's sister-in-law and returned to slavery. Juliana García appealed to the courts, explaining that she had earned her freedom: "I consider myself of being free together with my children, not only because my master has lost all his rights but also because the Patria owes me for my fatigues of more than four years." Blanchard points out that she was motivated by freeing herself and conserving the family unit. Her case lasted for years. One lawyer argued that the commander of the Buenos Aires forces had said he would free all slaves belonging to Spaniards living in Montevideo and that all Spaniards´ property was to be confiscated; another that she had run away from her owner and that this was not sanctioned by the law. Moreover, he argued, as she and her children had not provided "useful service" to the independence cause she should not be given her freedom. The latter lawyer won and in 1821 García and her children were returned to slavery. (Blanchard, 5-6, 12)

Life Events

Other 1811She joined the independence troops.
Other 1821She was returned to slavery after a lengthy legal case.


Blanchard, Peter, (2004), Freedom and Family: Slave Women and the Wars of Independence in South America


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