restricted access Insights into Slavery and Abolition in an Eighteenth-Century Portuguese Interlude: Novo, e devertido Entremez Intitulado O contentamento Dos Pretos Por terem a sua Alforria

This article examines a short Portuguese chapbook interlude, Novo, e devertido Entremez Intitulado O contentamento Dos pretos Por terem a sua Alforria. Despite the year in which O contentamento dos pretos was published – 1787 – it is likely that the anonymous author wrote the play and set its action more than a decade earlier, and attempted to guide the views of readers of that previous period regarding ongoing debates over slavery in Portugal. More specifically, the author argues that O Contentamento dos pretos makes the case for a substantially qualified version of abolition to circa-1770 readers. This play additionally gives us insight into the hearts and minds of the population at the time, and helps us to understand how eighteenth-century Portuguese chapbook theatre sometimes functioned as a vehicle through which to promote positions on contentious social issues.