- Robert C. Schwaller
was probably born in West Africa during the last decades of the fifteenth century. As a youth, Garrido was sold to Portuguese slave traders and taken to Lisbon, the kingdom’s capital and major trade center. In Lisbon, Garrido converted to Christianity. Around 1500, he traveled to, or was taken from, Portugal to Seville, in the kingdom of Castile. After about seven years, Garrido left Seville a free man and traveled to the Caribbean where he became a participant in Spanish conquests.
Most of the details concerning Garrido’s life are preserved in a 1538 petition in which he solicited royal favor for his participation in Spanish conquests. Unfortunately, Garrido did not make mention of his life in Portugal or Africa. Instead, he began his narrative by noting that he traveled to the Americas as a free man arriving sometime before 1510.
Even though a freed slave Garrido s life in ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.