Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
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Overview and metadata sections
Hugh Gelston was an American merchant from Baltimore, Maryland, trying to establish a trading business with Mexico during a period of extreme turmoil in the history of that country. Rebel leader Vicente Guerrero and defected royalist general Agustín de Itúrbide collaborated to gain Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821. Together they drafted a Mexican constitution. However, in 1822, Itúrbide declared himself emperor of the country. A year later, Antonio López de Santa Anna overthrew Itúrbide and drew up a new constitution that established a federal Mexican republic composed of 19 states and four territories.
This collection consists of eighteen letters of Hugh Gelston, an American merchant from Baltimore, Maryland, to his Mexican agent, Thomas J. Shepard. The subject of the letters is about the trade of arms and food with Mexico as Gelston was trying to establish a trading business there. They concern Gelston's business at home and in Mexico, insurance on the products, instructions to Shepard, exchange rates, the price of goods, lists of accounts, news from home, and also queries about Shepard's safety during the unrest in Mexico.The letters were sent to Shepard via the offices of the merchants Messrs. Reilly & Suberville or Messrs. Bolles & Treat in Alvarado, Mexico. Also included is a letter dated June 17, 1823, posted from San Louis Potosi, Mexico, by J. F. Didier to Gelston, advising him not to send any "fancy goods" to Mexico yet, as "this country is overstocked with articles in your line from New Orleans or the Havana."
Purchased on March 28, 1983.
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This collection was processed by Dina Britain in June 21, 2009. Finding aid written by Elizabeth Mulvey in June 22, 2009.
Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.
No appraisal information is available.
- Merchants -- Mexico -- 19th century -- Correspondence
- Merchants -- United States -- 19th century -- Correspondence
- Trading companies -- Maryland -- Baltimore -- History --19th century -- Sources
- Trading companies -- Mexico -- Alvarado -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Date
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