Feeding the City
From Street Market to Liberal Reform in Salvador, Brazil, 1780–1860
352 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.90 in
Sales Date: October 1, 2010
Winner, Bolton-Johnson Prize, Conference on Latin American History, 2011
Murdo J. McLeod Book Prize, 2011
On the eastern coast of Brazil, facing westward across a wide magnificent bay, lies Salvador, a major city in the Americas at the end of the eighteenth century. Those who distributed and sold food, from the poorest street vendors to the most prosperous traders—black and white, male and female, slave and free, Brazilian, Portuguese, and African—were connected in tangled ways to each other and to practically everyone else in the city, and are the subjects of this book. Food traders formed the city's most dynamic social component during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, constantly negotiating their social place. The boatmen who brought food to the city from across the bay decisively influenced the outcome of the war for Brazilian independence from Portugal by supplying the insurgents and not the colonial army. Richard Graham here shows for the first time that, far from being a city sharply and principally divided into two groups—the rich and powerful or the hapless poor or enslaved—Salvador had a population that included a great many who lived in between and moved up and down.
The day-to-day behavior of those engaged in food marketing leads to questions about the government's role in regulating the economy and thus to notions of justice and equity, questions that directly affected both food traders and the wider consuming public. Their voices significantly shaped the debate still going on between those who support economic liberalization and those who resist it.
This is an exemplary work of social history that would benefit scholars interested in both slave societies and urban provisioning.~Journal of Social History
- List of Tables
- List of Illustrations
- A Note on Currency, Measures, and Spelling
- Chapter 1. The City on a Bay
- Part I. Getting and Selling Food
- Chapter 2. From Streets and Doorways
- Chapter 3. Connections
- Chapter 4. "People of the Sea"
- Chapter 5. The Grains Market
- Chapter 6. The Cattle and Meat Trade
- Chapter 7. Contention
- Part II: Changed Rules: Reform and Resistance
- Chapter 8. "The True Enemy Is Hunger": The Siege of Salvador
- Chapter 9. A Tremor in the Social Order
- Chapter 10. Meat, Manioc, and Adam Smith
- Chapter 11. "The People Do Not Live by Theories"
- Appendix A. Purchasing Power over Time in Salvador
- Appendix B. Volume of Foodstuff Handled at the Grains Market, 1785-1849 (in Alqueires)
- Credits for Illustrations
The publication of Feeding the City was made possible by the support of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowment in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture.