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Maarten Janssen, 2014-


1823. Carta assinada sob o pseudónimo de António Chuço e enviada a Roberto Lucas, negociante inglês.

Autor(es) Anónimo17      
Destinatario(s) Roberto Lucas      
In English

Extortion letter, signed with the alias Antonio Chuço (Antonio, the Pike), sent to Roberto Lucas, English merchant.

The author threatens the recipient with death if the latter doesn't deliver 25 coins to liberate a man from the Limoeiro jail.

In the first quarter of the 19th century, extorsion letters became a very typical practice in the Limoeiro jail, near Lisbon. Prisoners, pretending to be highwaymen, contacted people outside jail, threatening them with all sorts of ruinous events in the case they didn't hand in a certain amount of money. The frequentness of this practice was possible also because of the political and social turmoil associated with these first years of Liberalism.

«You'll do me, by hook or by crook, the favour of sending someone to hand in to the prisoner Andrade, at Limoeiro, in the dungeon, the amount of 25 coins, since it is to set free this prisoner, who is my fellow and a member of my gang. I'm António Chuço, captain of gangs, and Taborda's fellow. As soon as you receive this letter, you will send someone to deliver it, in his hand, on Friday 9th, and if you fail me, you'll be killed. Beware of what you're getting into! Commenting on this, to whoever it may be, will cost you, since I know that, almost every week, you go to your warehouses. They will be torn into pieces, and I'll set fire to your warehouses, and I'll break down as many barrels of wine as the ones you have there. We will cause you great damage. If you don't protect my hands and my collegues hands, I can also rob your yard, which is in great position to do so. Beware of what you're getting into. I'm leaving to the Galveias, to the fair and, from there, I will depart to Cuba and, on my return, I'll go to Lisbon, along with 12 fellows to go to Torres Vedras. And then I'll send you what I've asked you to send to the prisoner. Pay attention to the fact that I had met you before and never meant to hurt you, as I was saving it for a moment of distress. That moment has now arrived, we should help each other. Therefore, send them on Wednesday and hand in this amount to the prisoner at 6 o'clock in the afternoon and, whoever delivers it, must sit down on 1 of the guard stones, which are next to the Limoeiro stairs, near the first small bed, in the guard's bed of vegetables. As soon as the prisoner sees you seated, he will yell twice «Ó José, ó José!» After this scream, you will then hand in to prisoner what you have taken. Don't go before he yells, this I order you not to. Take care of this, without fail.

January 4th, 1823

Your servant, the captain of the gangs,

the António Chuço»

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VSa me fara o por bem o por mal o favor de mandar entregar ao Limoeiro a emxovia o prezo Andrade a quantia de 25 moedas na forma que he para o livramto deste prezo que he meu camarada e da minha quadrilha eu sou Antonio Chuco Capitão de quadrilhas e companheiro do Taborda logo que VSa esta receba mandara entregar o prezo na sua mão, sesta feira 9, e quando me falte sera morto olhe em que se mete o disto dicer seja quem for juro lhe que mo paga visto que sei que quace todos as somanas vai os seus armazeis veja que he feito em pedacos e largo fogo os seus armazeis e quantas pipas de vinho estiverem e todas são aRonbadas veja que lhe fazemos grande estrago VSa não empara as minhas mãos e dos meos Camaradas que tamben lhe poco dar asaltado no quintal e esta en boa s empara esso veja en que se se mete eu parto para as Galveias para a feira e de la vou a Cuba e na volta vou a Lisboa e 12 Camaradas para passarmos a Torres vedras otao mandarei pagar a VSa o que mandar o prezo esto que peco veja que eu ja tenho encontrado a VSa e nunca lhe quis fazer mal visto que aguardei para huma aflecão he chegada devemos valer huns os outros asem as mande carta feira e note q as 6 horas da tarde entregar esta a qta o prezo e quem for que leve sentar em 1 dos frades de pedra que estão pegados com as escadas do Limoeiro o pe de 1ma rozinha da parte da roza da guarda logo que o prezo o veja sentado a d o bradar 2 vezes o Joze o Joze a este brado hira então entregar o prezo o que levar antes de elle bradar não va que he a ordem que lhe mando veja e rague isto sem falta

Janeiro 4 1823 seu criado o Capitão das quadrilhas Antonio Chuco



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