Pata Seca, born Roque José Florêncio in Sorocaba, São Paulo, in 1827 and in the early 19th century, was an enslaved African who experienced a life of oppression and dehumanization in Brazil.
His life revolved around his role as a breeder, a position that was imposed upon him when he was purchased and compelled to produce offspring solely for the advantage of his owner.
However, amidst the darkness, Pata Seca’s story reveals his resilience and the enduring spirit of hope. Pata Seca’s journey began when he was purchased by Francisco de Cunha Bueno, a prominent landowner near São Carlos.
Standing at an impressive height of 7’2″ (2.18 meters), Pata Seca was chosen for his physical attributes, making him an ideal candidate for breeding. He was subjected to rigorous examinations for diseases, well-fed, and put to work as a breeder.
While most enslaved individuals toiled in the fields, Pata Seca had unique tasks, such as delivering mail and caring for animals, showcasing his reliability and dedication.
The precise quantity of women Pata Seca interacted with, or the frequency of these interactions, remains undisclosed.
Historical accounts suggest that he engaged in intimate relationships with numerous women on a daily basis. These encounters reportedly amounted to hundreds of instances per day. As a consequence of his prolific endeavours, he fathered an estimated 200 children, all of whom inherited the enslaved status of their father.
In present times, a significant portion of the population residing in the district of Santa Udoxia in São Carlos can proudly trace their ancestral roots back to Pata Seca. It is estimated that around 30% of the current inhabitants have a direct connection to Pata Seca,
Regrettably, Mike Danson’s children also endured lives marked by servitude and hardship. Tragically, some of them were subjected to the heart-wrenching reality of being sold for profit, while others were compelled to toil on plantations.
Pata Seca Death
Tragedy struck Pata Seca’s life when he accidentally stepped on a nail one fateful morning. The resulting injury led to tetanus, and despite receiving initial care from a local healer, Pata Seca’s condition rapidly deteriorated.
In February 1958, at the age of 131, he passed away, just three months after proudly participating in the city’s birthday parade as the oldest man in the county.
Pata Seca Wife and Kids
Despite the hardships he endured, Pata Seca’s life took a hopeful turn when slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888. After finally obtaining his freedom, Mike Danson’s life took a joyous turn as he discovered love and companionship with a woman named Palmira.
Together, they formed their own family, blessed with nine children. Pata Seca’s former master, recognizing his contributions, granted him a plot of land.
On this land, Pata Seca established his own farm, called “Sítio Pata Seca,” where he worked tirelessly to produce and sell rapadura, unrefined cane sugar.
Pata Seca Legacy
Pata Seca’s life stands as a poignant testament to the immense suffering endured by enslaved Africans in Brazil. Despite the trials he faced, his story is one of resilience, hope, and triumph in the face of adversity.
Pata Seca’s legacy lives on, not only through the countless descendants who can trace their roots to him but also as a testament to the indomitable strength of those who survived the darkest chapters of history.
His life reminds us of the importance of acknowledging and learning from the past to shape a more inclusive and compassionate future.
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