This is a simple but eloquent account of slavery in the Spanish colonies of the New World, as well as the first testimony in Spanish written by a slave and a document of immense historical and human value. Manzano began writing in 1835, encouraged by Domingo del Monte, a writer determined to abolish slavery, who a year later organized a group to buy Manzano's freedom. The work remained unfinished and was only published in Spanish in Cuba more than a hundred years later, in 1937 (an English edition had appeared in 1840). The author, born a slave in the Cuban province of Matanzas, tells of the vicissitudes of his life as a slave before being freed. This edition has respected the spelling and punctuation of the author.