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Slavery In Cuba

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Fricnds ot humanity all over the world wlll hear with interest, with pleasure, and with gratitude that the queen regent oí Spain has signed a deoree freeing the slaves in Cuba fromtbe remainder of tlieir term of servitude. The reform tlms rons umtnated by a graceful and, let us add, womanly act of generosity began more than fiftocn years ago in the law of Feb. 10, 1809, wbleh provided for the conditional liberatiuu of certain classes of slaves in Cuba and for the paymeiit of recompense to the owners of the men and wennen Creed. In 1879 a bilí was passed by the cortes íor the gradual abolitlon of Cuban slaveiv. This law at once Illierated slaves fiom 5" years old and upward. Slaves frorn 50 to 55 rere set free In 1880; from 45 to 50 In 18S2; from 40 to 45 in 1884, and from 35 to 40 in 1886. The intention of the law was to set free those from 0 to 35 years old in 18S8, and those under 30 in 1890. The recompenslng of owners has pone on from the lirst, but since 18S0 a suin of 100,000 piastres has been set annuullv apart in the Cuban budget for defraying the expenses of the cmancipatlon, each owner receiving recompense at the rate of 35J piastres per slave. That the abolitlon policv bas been moderately successful is fairly indicated by the statistics of emancipatiou. In the seven years between 1870 and 1877 the uumber of slaves in Cuba was decreased by 136,000, but tbe population showed a falliug off in the same period of 20,500. In December, 1878, Cuba still had 227,903 negro slaves. We may conclude, thereforc, that Queen ChrlMina bas bestowed upon upward of 200,000 slaves the rights and privileges of freemen, and the act is none the less magsanlmous because it has anticipated bv four years the emanelpation in 1890 coutemplated by the cortes itself. Spain bas long been the only European state permittiiig the existence of slavery in its colonies: tbut, lmpatlent of the slow justification's of legislativo enactment, she bas at last rid herself of thp reproaeh by an act as noble as it was well timed offers one more promise of the new and vigorous life which seems to be returniug to the later yeiirs


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat