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Maarten Janssen, 2014-

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

Author(s) Anónimo17      
Addressee(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»

If there is no translation for the letter itself, you may copy the text (while using the view 'Standardization') and paste it to an automatic translator of your choice.

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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 mo
edas na forma que he para o livramto
deste prezo que he meu camarada e da
minha quadrilha eu sou Antonio Chu
co 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 soma
nas 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

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