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Maarten Janssen, 2014-

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[1824]. Carta anónima atribuída a Hermenegildo José e dirigida a Joaquim de Mira, lavrador, e a sua mulher.

Autor(es) Hermenegildo José      
Destinatário(s) Joaquim de Mira      
In English

Anonymous extortion letter to Joaquim de Mira, farmer, and to his wife, probably written by a former servant of them, Hermenegildo José.

The author orders Joaquim de Mira and his wife to give him four coins and some food for his group.

In the first quarter of the 19th century, extortion letters became a very typical practice. Authors threatened rich addressees 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.

«Mrs. Maria Joaquina and Mr. Joaquim. I wish you are in good health, in the company of your whole family. Mrs. Maria Joaquina and Mr. Joaquim de Mira, you will be so kind to do what this letter orders you, with absolute secrecy, to get me on Saturday, on the 7th this month, four coins and some bread and something to eat with it, this is for some fellows, we're going on a trip. If you do this, you'll prevent losses in your house, as I have prevented for you before. About the money and the provisions I'm asking you, will you please, on Saturday evening, when it gets dark, put everything in a bag, in your vegetable garden, on the right side, because the place will be watched all night. And be very cautious and discreet. If you do all this, everything will be paid in your best interest very soon. However, if you don't do it, or if you try to deceive me, you'll pay with your life. Don't you dare peeking, it will be better for you. A servant of yours, who esteems you and will keep esteeming you a lot.»

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