An Account of the Present State of the Island of Puerto Rico


An Account of the Present State of the Island of Puerto Rico

George Dawson Flinter (d. 1838) served in the British army, before working for the Spanish crown. In both capacities he spent time in the West Indies, and was well placed to write about the region, and compare the different colonies. He published a report on slavery in Puerto Rico in Spanish in 1832, and this more wide-ranging report on the island in English in 1834. Addressed to the King of Spain, the work shows considerable bias in his flattering interpretation of Spanish policies towards Puerto Rico, and he downplays the degree to which the colony was involved in the slave trade. His description of the island and its natural resources makes it seem like a paradise, as Spain was trying to encourage further settlement. But he provides a good picture of the way of life of the different social and racial groups of inhabitants, and much detail about trade.

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