The population of Rio Grande de São Pedro according to population maps from 1780 to 1810
Abstract The aim of this article is to present the results of a methodological exercise exploring potentials and limitations of population maps related to Rio Grande de São Pedro, between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This documentation, produced at request of the Portuguese crown, was prepared for several captaincies and included, in charts or tables, information on the population based on sex, legal status, age and color/ethnicity. In the case of Rio Grande de São Pedro, seven of these “maps” are available and from their analysis, it is possible to know the general characteristics of the population of Rio Grande de São Pedro, a captaincy located in the extreme south of Portuguese America. In this regard, upon a general characterization of the documentation used, demographic indicators of the population in that territory in the passage from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century were established, through statistics produced for the years 1780, 1791, 1798, 1808, 1805, 1807 and 1810. The most significant results include a clear predominance of white population, sex ratio imbalance, especially among the slave population, and a variation in the weight of population distribution by territory, which shows occupation towards the border areas.