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Stevens Brothers letter book on sugar commerce with Cuba

Identifier: MSS 0549

Scope and Content

This nineteenth-century letter book provides a glimpse to the business correspondences of the New York City sugar brokerage firm of Stevens Brothers, including its relationship with Cuba. All the information is handwritten, with the majority of the book recording letter transcripts addressed to the firm's clients. The names of the company's clients, and their city locations (places in the United States and Cuba), are located in the first few pages of the book. This contact list provides the reader a reference to the individuals mentioned in the following pages. The rest of the book shows the letter transcripts, with the first letter dated on March 4, 1858, addressed to Goicouria Pedroso from Matanzas, Cuba. The letter is brief, and describes the firm's transition and their newly formed house of Stevens Brothers. Thus, the letter book begins with the company's transition and new establishment. The writer throughout the letters maintains a respectful and polite tone, in the hopes of creating good relations with clients and hence, potential business endeavors. There are approximately 697 letters recorded in this book.


  • 1858 March-1860 October



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

With the elimination of Britain being the primary source for sugar in the United States towards the end of the eighteenth century, the United States had to deal directly with other sugar producing regions, including nations in the Caribbean, such as Cuba. Hence, the United States and Cuba have had a long history in their relations concerning the sugar industry. The Stevens Brothers letter book testifies to those connections, as it documents the correspondence with clients in Cuban cities, such as Havana and Matanzas. Cuba, during the dates which the letter book records, was experiencing a major boom in the sugar trade, improving the infrastructure of roads and railroads in order to more efficiently transport sugar from the plantation to the port. The United States was also experiencing the benefits of the sugar industry during this time, but its production would momentarily decline with the effects of the Civil War.


0.08 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



A handwritten nineteenth-century letter book from the New York sugar brokerage firm of Stevens Brothers, containing business material of the firm, including its relationship with Cuba.


University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Purchased in 2012.

A Guide to the Stevens Brothers letter book on sugar commerce with Cuba
Finding aid created by Department Staff
October 2019
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America