24 flight to freedom figure 3 whipping an enslaved

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24 Flight to Freedom Figure 3 . Whipping an enslaved person. From Voyage pittoresque et historique au Brésil , by Jean-Baptiste Debret (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, 1834–39 ).
When the governor saw her at the end of that period, he found that her frail body had been badly torn in places, and it was only his intervention that secured her release (Thompson 1987 , 118 ). What do we make of the sexual sins of a manager in Suriname who stripped naked a young Coloured woman about eighteen years old, tied her up with her hands suspended to a tree branch and gave her two hundred lashes because she had refused to allow him to invade her body sexually? Stedman ( 1988 , 264 66 ), who recorded this incident, declared that she was being “skinned alive”, and that when he, Stedman, intervened on the young woman’s behalf, the manager was so furious that he decided to give her another two hundred lashes! Stedman wrote that after the first whipping she was dyed in blood from her neck to her ankles. The sexual violation of women, both married and single, was one of the cardinal sins of the enslavers and led to frequent violence between them and their enslaved charges. It was often a reason for desertion, as illustrated by reference to the Venezuelan Maroon Juan Antonio, who declared that he had decamped because his over- lord violated his wife (who presumably absconded with him) (Brito Figueroa 1985 , 241 ). Court records in Cartagena from the late seventeenth century recount the statement of Francisco, seventy years old, about why he had deserted. He related before Governor Don Marín de Cevallos Lacerda (Martín de Ceballos y la Cerda) that since his childhood he had served Pedro Pérez, his overlord, with much love, and that he had married an enslaved Mulatto woman with whom he had sired eleven children, eight of whom had sur- vived. Though Francisco had not given his master any motive for umbrage, the latter decided to sell him, thus separating him from his wife and children. When Francisco could find no one to help him, he fled to the Tabacal farm and from there to a palenque. Later, he decided to go with other Maroons to Pedro Pérez’s place to rescue his wife and four of his children, who were the only ones that he could find (Navarrete 2003 , 47 48 ). There was also the case of Juan Alejandro, in Venezuela, who declared that he had fled from his overlord five years before because the latter had kept him shackled in irons, given him only a scrap of meat without bread once daily and no water unless he asked for some, forced him to sleep half- naked on the floor, and, for greater torment, during the day kept him in a cattle pen, tied up with a dog chain, because he had refused to perform the duties of headman (Brito Figueroa 1985 , 240 41 ). But this case pales into 25 Totalitarianism and Slavery
insignificance in comparison with that of Cadetty, a young man enslaved in Suriname, whose manager practised extreme psychological torture. In Stedman’s ( 1971 , 179 ) words, he tormented the lad for a year by flogging him

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