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History: The Arrival of the Portuguese in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1834 – 2 articles

By Odeen Ishmael

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From the time of the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 and, particularly, during the period of the campaign to end slavery, the planters of the Caribbean and Guyana were aware of the acute need to find a substitute labour force that was both cheap and reliable to fill the ranks of the soon-to-be-liberated Africans. They initially were interested in seeking a labour force from Europe since they realised that there was a decreasing proportion of Whites in the colony.

They felt that this imbalance could be remedied by recruiting indentured labour from European countries. In addition to strengthening their own security, they wanted to have an alternative labour force to compete with the ex-slaves for plantation jobs after emancipation and thus forcing down employment costs.     Continue reading

Portuguese emigration from Madeira to British Guiana

 (Editor’s Note: This article was carried in the January 2012 edition of Guyanese Online.  It is being re-published here due to the interest shown by our readers in the story of the Portuguese in Buxton-Friendship)

Portuguese emigration from Madeira to British Guiana

On May 3, 1835, the first Portuguese landed in what was then British Guiana. In commemoration of that event, Sr M. Noel Menezes looks at the early Portuguese, and the skills they brought with them from Madeira.
(All photos published courtesy of M.N. Menezes, RSM) by Sr M. Noel Menezes, R.S.M – Stabroek May 7th. 2000 (Reprinted courtesy of Kyk-Over-Al, December 1984)

Portugal in crisis

In the 1830s and into the 1850s Portugal was undergoing a series of crises – recurring civil wars between the Constitu-tionalists and the Absolutists, the repercussions of which were felt in Madeira. Many young men jumped at the opportunity to get out of Madeira at any cost and thus evade compulsory military service which was necessary, as Madeira was considered part of metropolitan Portugal. Also, more and more, poverty was becoming a harsh reality of life on the thirty-four mile long, fourteen mile wide island of 100,000 inhabitants. During the first decade of the nineteenth century life for the peasant, the colono who worked the land for the lord of the manor, had be-come even harder. ….

Read complete article: Portuguese Immigration from Madiera to British Guiana

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— Post #1206

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