This book examines the demographic and economic history of slavery in Minas Gerais, the single largest slave-holding region in Brazil, from its settlement in the early eighteenth century until the abolition of Brazilian slavery in 1888. It utilizes the largest database ever assembled on a slave population in the Americas to reconstruct and analyse the unique history of slave labour in Minas Gerais. This slave population was remarkable in its ability to diversify economically as well as in increasing through natural reproduction, rather than through importation via the trans-atlantic slave trade. Minas Gerais therefore invites comparison with the patterns of slave reproduction found in the United States' South, heretofore considered unique. Extensively researched and finely documented, this book places the history of a unique Brazilian slave community into comparative perspective.