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Hugh Gelston Correspondence


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Gelston, Hugh

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.

AM 83-139

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.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Collection Inventory

Letter from J. F. Didier and 3 Letters to Thomas J. Shepard, 1823 June 17-December 17. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

16 Letters to Thomas J. Shepard in Alvarado, Mexico, 1824 4 January-3 October. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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