On March 22, Puerto Rico celebrates the annual holiday, Emancipation Day, commemorating the abolition of slavery from its island in 1873. Slavery had existed in Puerto Rico since the mid-16th century. In 1866, petitions were brought to Parliament to end slavery.
Leaders of the Puerto Rican abolitionist movement, included José Julián Acosta, Francisco Mariano Quiñones, Julio L. de Vizcarrondo, Ramón Emeterio Betances and Segundo Ruiz Belvis, who waged a long struggle to end slavery on the island. The Spanish National Assembly finally abolished slavery but owners were compensated with an indemnity bond of 35 million pesetas per slave, and slaves were required to continue working for three more years.
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