Nineteenth-Century Colonial Cuban Documents Collection
Scope and Content
The collection is arranged into eight series:
Series 1: "Education" contains petitions to open primary schools, teacher license requests and detailed budgets to repair a school in Havana.
Series 2: "Hospitals and Public Health" contains documents and reports regarding public health concerns such as cholera, diphtheria, smallpox outbreaks and vaccinations, the administration of hospitals, and two illustrated plans for the construction and repairs of San Francisco de Paula hospital.
Series 3: "Military" contains documents related to wars such as the Ten Year’s War (1868-1878), the Little War (1879–1880), the insurrection of Sancti Spíritus region (1869), Cuban War of Independence (1895–1898), and the British invasion (1762-1763). This series also contains a request for transferring Spanish troops from Mexico to Guatemala and orders for the execution of a prisoner. Three of the documents are from important Cuban pro-independence figures such as General Antonio Maceo Grajales, Calixto García Íñiguez, and José Silverio Jorrín.
Series 4: "Miscellaneous" contains topics about tobacco factories, baptisms, economic relations and foreign trade, an accounting method, clergy salaries, a plantation sale, legal documents regarding adultery and bigamy, migration, death, marriage and a diary of a Cuban traveler to Constantinople.
Series 5: "Railroads" contains reports about public roads and railway companies, legislations and policies for Cuban railroads, and the extension of railway lines. One of the documents discusses the construction of the first railway in Cuba, which connected Havana and Bejucal passing through important sugar plantations in the municipality of Güines.
Series 6: "Royalty of Spain" contains decrees regarding King Ferdinand VII of Spain, Spanish Queen Isabelle II, King Alfonso XII, Alfonso the Prince of Asturias, and inmates’ sentence pardons.
Series 7: "United States" contains genealogy documents from Cubans born in the southeast of the U.S., a signed document and a biography of Luis Peñalver y Cárdenas Bishop of Louisiana, of the two Floridas and Archbishop of Guatemala. One genealogy document is written in French.
Series 8: "Slavery" contains documents related to indentured servants and a dispute between enslavers.
- 1788 - 1896
During the first half of the nineteenth century, Cuba experienced important events: the first pro-independence uprising occurred in Bayamo, the tobacco monopoly was eliminated; Cuban merchants received the right to trade with other countries. There were also important technological developments, such as the use of steam engines in sugar plantations and the construction of railroads. One consequence was a diaspora of Cubans to Florida. During this period, there was also a growth in the education infrastructure with the construction of schools and public instruction.
The second half of the nineteenth century in Cuba was marked by the abolition of slavery (1886) and four major wars for independence: The Ten Years' War (1868-1878), the Little War (1879-1880), Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898) and the Spanish-American War (1898). The Ten Years’ War was led by Mayor General of “Ejército Libertador” Carlos Manuel Céspedes. The War ended with the Pact of Zanjón, which promised political reform and amnesty. In the following years the bad administration, repression and infectiveness of the Spanish government resulted in the Little War and the Cuban War of Independence, led by José Martí, Calixto García Íñiguez and Máximo Gómez. In 1898, the United States intervened in the war after the explosion of the USS Maine. The intervention of the United States in Cuba unleashed the Spanish-American War, in which Spain lost possession of all its territories. The United States continued to intervene in Cuba with the approval of the Platt Amendment in 1901. At the beginning of the twentieth century, after more than 400 years of Spanish domination and the United States’ invasion, Cuba (albeit with limitations) gained its independence.
.58 Linear Feet (1 box; 98 documents)
Language of Materials
Alternate Form of Finding Aid
- A Guide to the Nineteenth-Century Colonial Cuban Documents Collection
- Finding aid created by Nelissa E. Caraballo-Ramos
- March 2020 (Updated July 2021)
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is written in English.
Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository
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