Cuba 1843: La Negra Carlota’s Assault on Matanzas

1 Posted by - March 30, 2023 - BLACK WOMEN, SLAVERY

A Yoruba woman named Carlota became one of the main faces of a slave rebellion in Cuba between 1843 and 1844. This particular rebellion occurred in Matanzas during the Year of the Lash inquisition period in the Spanish colony. The November 1843 rebellion made La Negra Carlota an even bigger target.



Cuba was marked several slave conflicts at the time and the early 19th century in the Caribbean was an extremely heated time for revolts with the success of the Haitian Revolution. The stories that came out afterward of the massacre of former power holders in Haiti raised concern throughout the American South and the Caribbean among White elites. The same stories were obviously viewed differently among the largely enslaved Black population.

On November 5, 1843, Carlota along with others took the fight to the Triunvirato sugar mill. Drums were used to dictate mill and plantation defenses and their positions. Since drumming was common on plantations, overseers and owners paid no mind to them. As a result, Carlota’s forces were able to sweep through these farms rapidly.

Houses and other farms and plantations were set ablaze and damaged. As they moved through the plantations, mills, and farms Carlota’s group picked up more fighters seeking to end the institution of slavery in the colony.  Due to concerns that the rebellion could grow even more out of control, Spanish force was increased.

La Negra Carlota would die in combat during one attack in March 1844. This was just as the Year of the Lash began to take out rebels, supporters, and conspirators in droves.


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