Skip to Search

Braga Brothers Collection - Contents List Continued

Return to the main finding guide for the Braga Brothers Collection.


Contents List

Record Group 1: Early Years 1860-1885

33.5 linear feet (18 boxes, 66 volumes)

The earliest records in the Braga Brothers Collection date to 1860 and bear the name of a commission merchant, Lewis Benjamin. Benjamin was one of many traders buying and selling a variety of commodities in Manhattan's vibrant financial district. In 1873, Benjamin and Joaquín Rionda y Polledo (1850-1889) formed the partnership of Benjamin, Rionda and Company. Joaquín Rionda was the middle brother in a family of six sisters (Maria, Isidora, Gregoria, Ramona, Concepción, and Bibiana) and three brothers (Francisco, Joaquín and Manuel), offspring of Don Bernardo de la Rionda y Alvarez and Doña Josefa Polledo y Mata. All were born in the village of Noreña in the Oviedo district of Asturias.

The eldest brother, Francisco (1844-1898), resided in Cuba most of his life. It is uncertain when he arrived in Cuba, but he worked with his uncle, Joaquín Polledo, in the firm Polledo, Rionda and Company. The company was a sugar export house with its office and warehouse in Matanzas. The family also owned sugar plantations near that Cuban port. By 1875, Francisco had married Elena de la Torriente, the daughter of one of Cuba's wealthiest sugar barons. His father-in-law, Cosmé de la Torriente, awarded him management of a sugar estate dubbed La Elena after Francisco's bride.

The Polledos and Riondas also enjoyed a long and profitable association with George S. Hunt, owner of the Eagle Sugar Refinery at Portland, Maine. In addition to the refinery, Hunt operated a fleet of ships that traded primarily in Maine lumber products and Cuban sugar and molasses. Hunt took under his wing Joaquín and Manuel when they came to America and oversaw their preparation for the business world. Joaquín spent his adolescent years at the Abbott School in Farmington, Maine, before he settled in New York City. Manuel (1854-1943) left Spain in 1870 and followed Joaquín at the Abbott School before joining his brother at Benjamin, Rionda and Company in 1874.

In the meantime, Francisco and his uncle enlarged their Cuban sugar holdings. By 1877, they had acquired the Central China and contracted with Franklin Farrel of the Farrel Foundry and Machine Company of Ansonia, Connecticut, to modernize the estate's industrial plant. However, debts incurred by the purchase of expensive mill machinery, coupled with declining sugar prices, forced the bankruptcy of Polledo, Rionda and Co. in December, 1878. $400,000 of that debt was to Rionda, Benjamin and Co.

As part of a 1880 court settlement of Polledo, Rionda's remaining assets, the Rionda brothers acquired the Central China and the Matanzas warehouses. Joaquín subsequently moved to Cuba to take charge of the Central China. Francisco continued at the Elena estate until the de la Torrientes sold it. He then joined Joaquín at the Central China. Manuel also moved to Cuba and assumed control of the Matanzas warehouses for a brief period. While all three of the brothers were in Cuba, the New York business was left in the hands of a partner, Hugh Kelly.

Quickly, though, the business network began to crumble. By 1883, Rionda, Benjamin and Co. was declared insolvent. Manuel returned to New York and attempted a new partnership with Kelly, but that lasted only a year. The Matanzas operations also failed and the Central China eventually became the property of the New York Sugar Manufacturing Company, established by Farrell, Kelly and Lewis Cooke.

The Riondas then focused their energies on sugar properties they acquired in the vicinity of Sancti Spiritus in Santa Clara province. Manuel returned to Cuba briefly to work with his brothers. By 1886, though, he was back in New York working with the firm of J. M. Ceballos and Co. The record trail in Record Group 1, however, stops in 1885. Record Group 2 starts in 1895, and there are no records in the collection for the intervening years. The memoirs and recollections of family members (see also: Addendum) recount the history of the intervening years.

Record Group 1 of the Braga Brothers Collection is a valuable resource for studies of early North American investments in the Cuban sugar industry. It also documents the Spanish communities in the United States and Cuba and the important role they played in the development of Cuba's sugar industry. The Benjamins' business interests are also well documented in the correspondence with Lewin and Sohr of Antwerp and Truninger and Company of London. Record Group 1 includes correspondence, bound and unbound business records, shipping contracts and other maritime documents, legal papers, and trade circulars. A small amount of family correspondence can also be found.

Record Group 1 is divided into six series.



Series 6: Shipping records circa 1870-1885

4 linear feet (6 boxes)

Series 6 includes cargo pouches, charter parties, maritime protests, insurance policies, and contractual records. The largest part of the collection consists of cargo pouches. The original pouch envelopes, many of which were wrapped in bundles marked "consignment envelopes," have been retained.

A typical cargo pouch contains sales receipts, import slips, invoices, insurance receipts, memoranda and charter memoranda. Some pouches (especially 1876 and 1877) may also include towing bills, quarantine bills, shipwright bills, bills of lading, storage receipts, consulate bills, custom house receipts, warden's office legislative acts, bank correspondence, sugar weight return notices, marine protests, import bonds and trust receipts. Sugar transactions are prominent throughout most years, but also included are railroad grain transactions (1879), iron rails (1880) and bat guano sales (1882). Some cargo pouches contain charter parties and have been labeled as such. Charter parties found independent of cargo pouches are listed separately.

Box 6 contains insurance policies, receipts and ledgers (1870-1885) related to ships, cargoes on ships, and cargoes stored in wharves and bulkheads. The ledger entitled "Marine Insurance G.R. and Co." lists vessels with merchandise, exit ports, dates and amounts of insurance (in gold or currency), and compliments material found in many of the cargo pouches.

The majority of the maritime papers are written in English with some in Spanish and a few in French and German.

Box
1 Maritime protests. 1874, 1877
1 Report of the loss of the Brig Georgia. 1880
1 Case of Captain Glover. 1873
1 Contracts. 1874, 1875
1 Committee on Maritime Affairs, Rules of Consignment shipment book. 1875-1876
1 Consignment book. 1877
1 Shipment book Orders: Rionda Benjamin and Co. 1876-1884
1 Loose papers taken from Orders Shipping packet. 1882
1 Maritime U.S. Treasury Bonds. 1871, 1873-1877, 1879-1880
1 Brig Sullivan/Demurrage. 1876
1 Memoranda of Claims. 1877
1 Encargoes. 1881
1 Cargo pouch Josepha. 1879
1 Charter parties. 1876-1879
1 Cargo pouches. 1874-1877
2 Cargo pouches. 1877
3 Cargo pouches. 1877
4 Cargo pouches. 1877-1879
5 Cargo pouches. 1879-1883
6 Insurance certificates. 1872, 1875
6 Annual marine insurance policies. 1870, 1872, 1874-1879, 1881, 1883-1884
6 Fire insurance receipts. 1876, 1877
6 Insurance policies covering specific cargoes and ships. 1875, 1877
6 Insurance ledgers. 1870-1885


Series 31: Correspondence and documents 1864-1885 (bulk: 1872-1885)

9 linear feet (9 boxes)

Series 31 consists primarily of business correspondence received at the early Rionda trading houses in New York City. Also included in the series are copies of letters sent from the trading houses, but most of the outgoing correspondence will be found in the letterbooks in Series 32. Some internal business correspondence, including memoranda, is also found along with contracts and other business documents. The series also contains a small number of private letters and documents from family members in Spain and Cuba. The majority of letters revolve around the purchase and sale of various commodities, including sugar. The Riondas interest in sugar production factors more heavily in the later years of the series. Of particular interest are the letters and documents related to the modernization of several mills in the 1880s. Discussion related to the abolition of slavery can be found in the correspondence of the brothers, most notably in 1879.

The materials were bundled with titles and dates written on the bundle wrappers. Unless otherwise noted in brackets, the folder titles here are the same as those that were on the wrappers. About a tenth of the series was found loose with no identification. Those letters have been arranged by date and marked in the contents lists with an asterisk. A considerable portion of the series was lost to rodent damage.

Legal size documents are in box 8, oversize documents in box 9.

Box
8 Dept. of State claim of Wolf, Hoffnung and Levi, British subjects [legal size]. 1864
1 [Two letters]. 1869
1 [Miscellaneous correspondence]. Not dated
1 [Correspondence].* 1872 Feb-Mar
1 Compositions in English,. 1872
1 Correspondencia desde Deciembre a Enero 24,. 1872, 1873
8 [Miscellaneous documents l [legal]. 1872-1874
1 Taken from envelope marked "BAIZ" and addressed to Isaac Phillips. 1872-1875
1 [Found in unmarked bundle]. 1872-1876
1 Versos (miscellaneous). 1872-1877
1 [Correspondence found in bundle marked 1872]. 1873
1 Enero-Febrero. 1873
1 Correspondencia Enero 2 a [February 18]. 1873
1 Correspondencia hasta Marzo 31. 1873
1 Letters from February to December. 1873
1 [June to December]. 1873
1 Letters of L, Benjamin from August to October. 1873
1 [November-December}. 1873
1 Private letter. 1873, 1874
1 Letters of Francisco Rionda from August 1873 to September 1874. 1873-1874
1 M, Quesada. 1873-1875
8 Julius J, Lewin, papers in connection with Produce Exchange escapade [legal]. 1873-1879
8 Polledo contra White [legal size]. 1874
8 Jose de Tongh contra Charles Tietjen [legal size]. 1874
8 S. Hoffnung versus B. R. and Co. in liquidation [legal size]. 1874
8 Contrato de Zaza [legal size]. 1874
8 [numbered Cuban documents 2-4 legal size]. 1874
8 [umbered Cuban documents 5-10 and 13-14 legal size]. 1874
1 [Correspondence].* 1874
1 January and February. 1874
1 March and April. 1874
1 May and June. 1874
1 Julio y Agosto. 1874
1 Letters September. 1874
1 Letters from January to December. 1874
1 Private letters from February to September. 1874
1 Cartas de recomendaci6n y privadas del Benjamin Cerradas. 1874
1 Recuredos de 1874. 1874
1 Letters of A, Hoffning, Esq, from February to September. 1874
1 Varios Apuntes. 1874
8 Unidentified bundle [legal size]. 1874
1 Banque d'Anvers. 1874
1 Strictly Private. 1874-1875
1 Cartas de Francisco Rionda desde Setiembre 1874 hasta Junio 1875. 1874-1875
8 Misplaced letter RB and Company and GM and Company. 1874, 1877
8 [January-June (legal size)].* 1875
1 [July-August].* 1875
1 [Name lists found with other 1875-1876 papers].* 1875
1 January. 1875
1 January-February [outgoing]. 1875
1 February. 1875
1 March. 1875
1 April. 1875
1 May. 1875
1 May [outgoing]. 1875
1 June. 1875
1 July letters. 1875
1 July. 1875
1 Letters received in August. 1875
1 August - September [outgoing]. 1875
1 Letters received in September. 1875
1 Letters received in October [November]. 1875
1 Enero y Febrero, Cartas de D. Gomez. 1875
1 July-October, Letters of D.Gomez. 1875
1 August and September, Francisco Rionda. 1875
1 Cartas de Jaime S. Guardiola. 1875
1 Varias Copias con respeto a la casa de Matanzas y asuntos privados de L. B. 1875
1 Lawrence Johnson. 1875
8 B and P Lawrence [legal size]. 1875
8 Papers of Mr. L. Benjamin [legal size]. 1875
8 Varios [legal size]. 1875
2 Private, Notas recibidas de Dunn, Barlow and Company. 1875
2 Taken from envelope marked "Baiz Notes" and "Benjamin, Rionda and Company". 1875-1878
8 Intnernational Steam Navigation Co. concerning claim on them [legal size]. 1875
8 Guardiola, Tejedor vs Duncan, Mathews [legal size]. 1875
8 Pasaportes, cedulas de vencidad, fe de bautismo. 1875
8 Fouche affair [legal size]. 1875
8 [miscellaneous documents legal size]. 1875-1876
2 [January-March].* 1876
2 [April-May].* 1876
2 [June].* 1876
2 [July-September].* 1876
2 [October-December].* 1876
8 Gomez-Rionda and Co. [legal size]. 1876
8 Poder especial conferido por Jose Foriello Guerra a favor de Gomez, Rionda and Co. [legal size]. 1876
2 Reports of business firms from the Mercantile Agency. 1876
2 November-January, J. Lewin. 1876-1877
2 Letters to Manuel Rionda. October 1876-August 1877
2 [January-March].* 1877
2 [April-June].* 1877
2 [July-September].* 1877
2 [October-December].* 1877
2 A. December 1876-Novmber 1877
2 B. December 1876-March 1877
2 B. April-June 1877
2 B. July-December 1877
2 C. January-March 1877
2 C. April-June 1877
2 C. July-September 1877
2 D. December 1876-June 1877
2 D. July-December 1877
2 E. December 1876-December 1877
2 F. December 1876-December 1877
2 G. December 1876-May 1877
2 G. June-December 1877
2 H. December 1876
2 H. January-March 1877
2 H. April-May 1877
3 H. June-August 1877
3 H. September-December 1877
3 J. December 1876-December 1877
3 K. May-November 1877
3 L. December 1876-November 1877
3 M. December 1876-December 1877
3 N. December 1876-December 1877
3 O. December 1876-March 1877
3 P. December 1876-January 1877
3 P. 1877 February
3 P. 1877 March
3 P. 1877 April
3 P. 1877 May
3 P. 1877 June
3 P. 1877 July
3 P. 1877 August
3 P. 1877 September
3 P. 1877 October
3 P. 1877 November
3 P. 1877 December
3 Q. 1877 January, June, October-December
3 R. 1877 August-December
3 S. December 1876-February 1877
3 S. 1877 March-December
3 T. December 1876-July 1877
3 V. December 1876-November 1877
3 W. October 1876-December 1877
3 Y. 1877 September
3 Z. December 1876-December 1877
3 J. Willebeek, L Mair and Company. 1877 June-August
3 Private papers of value to Joaquin Rionda. 1877
8 Letters [legal size]. 1877
3 Johs Marwede, Letters from January 5 to December 28. 1877
3 J. Lewin (only). 1877 February-March
3 J. Lewin (only). 1877 April-May
3 J. Lewin (only). 1877 June-July
4 J. Lewin (only). 1877 August-October
4 J. Lewin (only). 1877 November-December
4 Letters from Emil Sanders, February 10-July 28. 1877
4 Letters from Emil Sanders, August 1-December 29. 1877
4 Copies and Letters of Joaquin Polledo. 1877 November-December
8 Contract for machinery [legal size]. 1877
4 Cartas de Polledo, Rionda and Company a Rionda, Benjamin and Company. 1877-1878
8 Polledo, Rionda and Company, Matanzas and Havana [legal size]. 1877 Diciembre
4 Letters to Joaquin Rionda. 1877-1878
4 [Miscellaneous]. 1877-1878
4 Letters [to] Manuel Rionda. 1877-1878
8 [Miscellaneous documents] [legal size]. 1877-1878
4 [Correspondence].* 1878
4 A. 1878
4 B. 1878
4 C. 1878
4 D. 1878
4 F. 1878
4 G. 1878
4 H. 1878 January-June
4 H. 1878 July-December
4 I,J, K. 1878
4 L. 1878
4 M. 1878
4 N. 1878
4 P. 1878
4 R. 1878 January-July
4 S. 1878
4 T. 1878
4 W. 1878
4 Z. 1878
4 W,Y, Z. 1878-1879
4 Letters from Lewin and Sohr, Antwerp. 1878 January-February
4 Letters from Lewin and Sohr. 1878 March-May
4 Letters from Lewin and Sohr. 1878 June-September
4 Letters from Lewin and Sohr. 1878 October-December
4 Letters from Manuel Rionda Esq. (Private). 1878
4 Manuel Rionda, January-December Faltan Algunos [Part one]. 1878
4 Manuel Rionda, January-December Faltan Algunos [Part two]. 1878
4 [Copies of letters]. 1878 Feb.ruary -March
5 V., R. and O. 1878
5 Letter form Polledo, Rionda and Company, Matanzas. 1878
5 Letter form Polledo, Rionda and Company, Havana. 1878
5 Cartas de las Hermanas. 1878
5 Bernardo Rionda y Alvarez. 1878
5 Joaquin Rionda, Cables [to]. 1878
8 Assignments and affidavits and documents relationg to same [legal]. 1878
8 [Removed from envelope addressed to Domingo Gomez from Vanderpoel, Green and Cuming] [legal]. 1878
5 Manuel Rionda (letter to]. 1878-1879 March-January
5 Letters received from J. J. Lewin. 1878-1879 September-August
5 Letters received from J. J. Lewin. 1879 September-December
5 [E. Webb and Company]. 1878-1879
5 [Letters and Cables from Europe]. 1878-1879
5 Letters from J. Rionda. 1878-1879 April-January
5 March-July. 1878-1879
5 Letter R.B. and Co. M.W.L. 1878 and 1879
5 A. Noriega; D. Perez de la Riva. 1878-1880; 1879-1880
5 Fran[cisco] Rionda [letter from]. 1878-1880
5 Correspondence and bills for service. 1878-1880
5 Letter from the Societe Francais et Belge de Banque et D'escompte, Paris. 1878-1880 February-March
5 Miscellaneous letters. 1878-1880
5 [Correspondence].* 1879
5 A. 1879
5 B. 1879
5 C. 1879
5 D. 1879
5 F. 1879
5 G. 1879
5 H. 1879
5 I,J, K. 1879
5 L. [1878] 1879
5 M. 1879
5 N. 1879
5 P and R. 1879
5 S and T. 1879
5 W. 1879
5 Letters from Lewin and Sohr, Antwerp. 1879 January-April
5 Letters from Lewin and Sohr, Antwerp. 1879 May-August
5 Letters from Lewin and Sohr, Antwerp. 1879 September-October
5 Letters from Lewin and Sohr, Antwerp. 1879-1880 November-March
5 Letters from Lewin and Sohr, Antwerp. 1880 April-July
5 Letters from Emil Sanders, Hamburg. 1879 January-June
5 Letters from Emil Sanders, Hamburg. 1879 July-December
5 Joaquin Rionda, Francisco Rionda [letters from]. 1879
5 Manuel Rionda [letters from]. 1879 January-April
5 Manuel Rionda [letters from]. 1879 May-December
6 Rionda, Noriega. 1879 January-June
6 Rionda, Noriega. 1879 July-December
8 [Copies of letters from Cuba to third parties] [legal size]. 1879 Janaury-July
8 Rionda, Benjamin and Co., Releases, Hallgarten et al [legal size]. 1879
6 Miscellaneous, M. Rionda, J. Rionda, B. and Co. [letters to]. 1879-1880
6 Franklin Farrell and Farrell Foundry. 1879-1880 January-August
6 A. Noriega. 1879-1880 January-August
6 Truninger and Co., London. 1879-1880 September-March
6 Truninger and Co., London. 1880 April-November
6 Johs, Marwede, Bremen. 1879-1880
6 Emil Sanders, Hamburg. 1879-1880
6 London [1]. 1879-1880
6 London [2]. 1879-1880
6 London [3]. 1879-1880
6 Letters from 2e Banque d'Anvers, Antwerp. 1879-1880 December-February
6 Frank J. Benjamin, et al. 1879-1880 March-August
8 Issac Phillips, his letters regarding overcharged duties [legal size]. 1879-1880
6 Frank J. Benjamin, et al. 1879-1880
6 Fred E. Allen and Geo. S. Hunt and Company. 1879-1880
6 Fred E. Allen and Geo. S. Hunt and Company. 1879-1880
6 Ricardo Rodriguez. 1879-1880 November-July
6 Bernardo Rionda. 1879-1880
6 Cartas de las hermanas. 1879-1880
8 Franklin Farrel, Contracts, bills for interest on loan, copy of mortgage on Central China held by him [lega; size]. 1879-1880
6 Correspondence.* 1880 January-June
6 Correspondence.* 1880 July-December
6 A-C. 1880 January-March
6 A-C. 1880
6 A-H. 1880
6 D-E. 1880 February-March
6 D-F. 1880 April-December
6 G-L. 1880 January-March
6 N-Z. 1880
6 R-Z. 1880
6 J. J. Lewin, Paris. 1880
6 Copias de la Correspondencia de Sres: Geo. C. Carson and Co. de Philadelphia a Guardiola y Tejedor, de Sagua la Grande desde 23 de Junio de 1880 a 21 de Julio de 1882. 1880-1882
6 Manuel Rionda [letters from]. 1880
6 Joaquin and Francisco Rionda [Letters from]. 1880 January-May
6 Letters Truninger, 2a Banque d'Anvers, J. Lewin, Antwerp, Wolff. 1880-1881
6 Rionda, Noriega. 1880 January-July
8 Joaquin Rionda's notes to several banks [legal]. 1880
8 [Notice of dissolution of Rionda, Benjamin and Co.] [legal]. 1880
8 New York Sugar Manufacturing Co., incorporation, minutes, etc [legal]. 1880
8 Rionda, Benjamin and Co., statement to agencies; power of attorney to J. Cuyas [legal]. 1880
6 August-March Rionda, Noriega. 1880-1881
8 Papers in the suit of C. Tobias and Co. re "Gymer" [legal]. 1880-1881
6 [Correspondence and circular related to mill equipment]. 1880-1884
6 Rionda, Noriega. 1881 April-July
6 Rionda, Noreiga. 1881 August-December
7 A-D. 1881 January-October
7 C. 1881 March
7 C [Rufus C. Cushman]. 1881 March-June
7 C [Rufus C. Cushman]. 1881 July-August
7 C [Rufus C. Cushman]. 1881 September-December
7 D-W. 1881
7 F-H. 1881
7 H-M. 1881
7 R-T. 1881
7 U-W. 1881
7 M. Rionda [Letters to]. 1881 January-September
7 M. Rionda [Letters to]. 1881 January-September
7 M. Rionda [Letters to]. 1881 November
8 Suit of Madame Lumley against Mrs. Benjamin [legal]. 1881
8 David Forrester vs Joaquin Rionda and Louis Monjo [legal]. 1881
8 Law Telegraph Co. vs Joaquin Rionda et al [legal]. 1881
7 Correspondencia de Manuel Rionda. 1881-1882 December-January
7 Letters from Joaquin and Francisco Rionda. 1881-1882
7 Letters from Joaquin and Francisco Rionda. 1881-1882
7 Electric lights [correspondence and documents related to]. 1881
7 December Vacuum pan for "Central China". 1881
7 [Correspondence, invoices, circulars, diagrams and bills of lading related to mill machinery found in envelope marked "G. de Zaldo"]. 1881
7 [Papers related to equipment for "Central China" and "YNG: Elena"]. 1881
7 Copia de la correspondencia entre los Sres. Goodrich, Deady and Platt de N. York y los Sres. Guardiola y Tejedor Sagua de Gade desde 3 de Marzo de 1881 a 30 de Noviembre de 1882. 1881-1882
7 Correspondence plus newspaper clippings.* 1881-1885
7 A-E. 1882 January-June
7 C. 1882 January-June
7 C. 1882 July-Decmeber
7 F-H. 1882 January-October
7 K-N. 1882 January-December
7 P-T. 1882 January-December
7 Man. Rionda [Letters to]. 1882 January-March
7 Letters of Joaquin and Francisco Rionda. 1882 June-August
7 Letters to Joaquin Rionda. 1882 August-October
7 Letters of various--including Fred E. Allen. 1882 June-October
7 Letter received from Rionda, Noriega and Company. 1882
7 Guano AIC Fsco. Rionda. 1882
7 [Copies of letters to J. Marwede]. 1882
7 Copies of letters to H. Kelly, F. E. Allen, E. Conill, F. Farrel. 1882
7 Letters forwarded to Manuel Rionda. 1882 March-June
8 Copias contratos con Valencia s/el "Central China" en Mayo 1882 [legal]. 1882
8 Copias de los contratos de Valencia con Fred E. Allen y Franklin Farrel [legal]. 1882
7 Man. Rionda [Letters to] durante viaje a Cuba de 2 Octubre 1882 al 19 Febrero 1883 que llegue. 1882-1883
7 Telegrams, Manuel Rionda, personal. 1883
7 Answered letters of Manuel Rionda. 1883 February-March
7 Man. Rionda. 1883 Abril-Julio
8 Answered. 1883 August
8 Man. Rionda. 1883 October-December
8 Copy of letter of J. Rionda to Mr. Ickelheine. 1883 October 24
8 Draft of agreement between Joaquin and Manuel Rionda for formation of Rionda Hermanos [legal]. 1883
8 Correspondencia de Enero a Octubre, Man. Rionda [1]. 1884
8 Correspondencia de Enero a Octubre, Man. Rionda [2]. 1884
8 Correspondencia de Enero a Octubre, Man. Rionda [3]. 1884
8 Correspondence of October, Manuel Rionda. 1884
8 Correspondence of November, Manuel Rionda. 1884
8 Correspondence of Manuel Rionda. 1884-1885 December-April
8 Legal Size Correspondence
9 Oversize material


Series 32: Letterbooks 1871-1873; 1875-1885

2.5 linear feet (20 volumes)

Series 32 consists of twenty letterbooks containing copies of outgoing correspondence from the Rionda trading houses in New York City. Eight of the volumes contain letters from Rionda, Benjamin and Co., exclusively, while the remainder carry correspondence from various houses. A small amount of personal and family correspondence is also included.

The letterbooks do not form a continuous series and there is considerable overlapping of dates. Special care should be taken when looking for specific dates.

In general the records of this series are in good condition, with only minor mutilation and some ink fading.

Volume
1 Letterbook. 12/1871-7/1873
2 Letterbook. 3/1875-11/1876
4 Rionda, Benjamin Foreign #1 (no binding, in box). 11/1876-6/1877
5 Rionda, Benjamin Domestic #1. 11/1876-10/1877
6 Letterbook. 11/1876-4/1878
7 Letterbook. 1/1877-4/1878
8 Rionda, Benjamin Foreign #2. 6/1877-1/1878
10 Rionda, Benjamin Domestic #2. 1877-1880
11 Rionda, Benjamin Foreign #3. 1/1878-4/1879
12 Letterbook (marked J.R. #3 Private). 4/1878-11/1878
13 Letterbook. 12/1878-8/1879
14 Rionda, Benjamin Foreign #4. 4/1878-11/1880
15 Letterbook. 8/1879-7/1880
17 Rionda, Benjamin Foreign #5. 4/1880-3/1881
18 Letterbook. 7/1880-7/1881
20 Rionda, Benjamin Foreign. 3/1881-9/1881
21 Letterbook. 7/1881-3/1883
22 Letterbook. 3/1883-4/1884
23 Letterbook. 4/1884-4/1885
24 Letterbook. 11/1884-4/1885


Series 33: Circulars and trade publications 1872-1880

1 linear foot (2 boxes)

Series 33 consists of trade circulars and market reports received by the various firms associated with Record Group 1, including Rionda, Benjamin and Company. Most of the circulars and reports relate to the sugar trade and were issued in the United States, Cuba, and Europe. There are also publications on other commodities traded by Rionda, Benjamin.



Market Circulars
1 Barry and Hoogewerff - Weekly Sugar and Molasses Report. 1878
1 Bowerman Bro's - Receipts, Sales and Stocks of Sugar and Molasses Compared with Preceeding Year; Quotations (Folder 1 of 2). 1872-1880
1 Bowerman Bro's - Receipts, Sales and Stocks of Sugar and Molasses Compared with Preceeding Year; Quotations (Folder 2 of 2). 1872-1880
1 C. Czarnikow's Weekly Price Current (London). 1878-1880
1 Dana Brothers - Sugar and Molasses Circular (Boston). 1878-1880
1 Edey, Turnure and Co. - Sugar Circular (New York). 1878
1 Guardiola y Tejedor - Sagua la Grande, Cuba. 1876-1878
1 H.E. Moring and Co.'s Monthly Sugar Circular (New York). 1878
1 H.E. Moring and Co.'s Monthly Sugar Circular (New York). 1878
1 Havana Commercial Adviser and Price-Current - Volume 8, Number 28. 1877
1 Havana Price Current - Volume 59, Numbers 7, 43, 46, 52. 1877
1 Havana Weekly Report: Mercantile Review, Price Current and Shipping Intelligencer (Volume 60, Numbers 14-17) [Stored in Record Group I Oversize Box]. 1878 April
1 John F. Craid - Sugar and Molasses Circular (Philadelphia). 1878
1 Miscellaneous Circulars (not sugar). 1876-1880
1 Polledo, Rionda and Co. - Market Report (Matanzas, Cuba). 1872, 1877
1 Revista Quincenal Mercantil (Gibara, Cuba). 1878
1 Rionda, Noriega and Co. - Market Report (Matanzas, Cuba). 1880
1 Rufus C. Cushman and Co. - Weekly Sugar and Molasses Report (Boston). 1880
1 Vidal, Hermanos and Co. - Boletin de Exportacion; Mercantile Review . 1878-1879
1 Wait, Creighton and Morrison's Weekly Coffee Circular; Weekly Sugar Circular (New York). 1878
1 Willett and Hamlen - Memorandum of Stocks (New York). 1878
1 Willett, Hamlen and Co. - Sugar and Molasses Circular (Boston). 1878-1880
1 Willett and Hamlen (New York) and Willett, Hamlen and Co. (Boston) - Statistical Position of Sugar. 1878-1880


Trade Publications
2 Export of petroleum from New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore; compiled by Whitman and Fisher. 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878
2 Export of petroleum from New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore; compiled by Beling, Neimeyer and Wessels. 1877, 1878


Series 34: Accounting books and other business records 1860-1885

16.5 linear feet (43 volumes)

Series 34 contains the ledgers, journals, and other bound financial records of Benjamin, Rionda and Company and several related firms. An interesting feature of this series is the inclusion of several items from the years prior to Joaquin Rionda's partnership with Lewis Benjamin. This includes ledgers from A. Wolf, one of several business associates of Lewis Benjamin. The series also contains a cashbook for the Central China.

Volume
1 L. Benjamin. Register. 1860-1862
2 A. Wolf. Journal #1. 1866-1867
3 A. Wolf. Journal #2. 1867-1869
4 A. Wolf. Journal #3. 1869-1871
5 L. Benjamin. Ledger. 1869-1871
5A L. Benjamin. Ledger index.
6 L. Benjamin. "Quotations.". 1870
7 L. Benjamin. Ledger #2. 1871-1873
8 L. Benjamin. Journal #2. 1871-1876
9 L. Benjamin. Outward Invoices #2. 1872-1873
10 L. Benjamin. Inward Invoices #2. 1872-1874
11 Benjamin, Rionda. Outward Invoices #1. 1873-1874
12 Benjamin, Rionda. Journal #1. 1873-1874
13 Benjamin, Rionda. Bill Book. 1873-1877
14 Benjamin, Rionda. Ledger #1. 1873-1878
14A Benjamin, Rionda. Ledger #1 index.
15 Benjamin, Rionda. Outward Invoices #2. 1874-1875
16 Benjamin, Rionda. Inward Invoices #2. 1874-1876
17 Benjamin, Rionda. Journal #2. 1874-1878
18 Rionda, Benjamin. Statements #1. 1876-1877
19 Rionda, Benjamin. Outward Invoices #1. 1876-1878
20 Rionda, Benjamin. Journal #1. 1876-1879
21 Rionda, Benjamin. Inward Invoices #2. 1876-1880
22 Rionda, Benjamin. Ledger #1. 1876-1880
22A Rionda, Benjamin. Ledger #1 index.
23 Rionda, Benjamin. Bill Book. 1876-1880
24 Rionda, Benjamin. Accounts Current #1. 1876-1880
24A Rionda, Benjamin. Storage. 1877
25 Rionda, Benjamin. Account Sales #1. 1877
26 Rionda, Benjamin. Statements #2. 1877-1879
27 Rionda, Benjamin. Orders. 1877-1879
28 Rionda, Benjamin. Petty Cash. 1878
29 Rionda, Benjamin. Receipts. 1878-1881
30 Rionda, Benjamin. Storage. 1879
31 Rionda, Benjamin. Letters of Credit #2. 1879
32 Central China. Caja. 1879-1880
33 Rionda, Benjamin. Statements #3. 1879-1881
34 Rionda, Benjamin. Journal #2. 1880-1885
35 Rionda, Benjamin. Petty Cash. 1880-1882
36 Manuel Rionda. Ledger. 1881-1882
37 Manuel Rionda. Journal. 1881-1882
38 Manuel Rionda. Sales Made by Manuel Rionda for Rionda, Noreiga. 1881-1882
39 Rionda, Kelly. Ship Arrivals. 1883-1885


Series 59: Cables 1875-1885

1 linear foot (1 box)

Most of the daily correspondence of the Rionda trading houses was in the form of international cables. The availability of cheap telegrahpic messaging allowed smaller and newer firms as Rionda, Benjamin and Company to compete with older established firms. Cable messages relayed the price and availability of specific commodities. To save money, commercial codes were employed to reduce the number of letters used in a single cable. Series 59 contains only a sampling of the hundreds of thousands of largely undeciperable cables originally foound in the collection. Series 59 contains several telegraph code books employed by Rionda, Benjamin and Company and Gomez, Rionda and Company, a cable book containing copies of outgoing cable messages, and some examples of incoming cables.




Return to the main finding guide for the Braga Brothers Collection.



For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

University of Florida Home Page