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A Guide to the James M. Adams "Pioneering in Cuba" Papers

Finding aid created by Andrew James Clyde Hart

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
November 2010


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Adams, James Meade, 1862-
Title: James M. Adams "Pioneering in Cuba" Papers
Dates: 1882-1909
Bulk dates: 1899-1901
Abstract: Bulk of collection deals with the notes and letters of James M. Adams trip and stay in Cuba during the first American colonization attempt of La Gloria. These letters and notes of his experience would later be put into his book Pioneering in Cuba which also is included.
Extent: 0.60 Linear feet. 2 boxes; 3 maps.
Identification: MS Group 277
Language(s): English
Online Content Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

James M. Adams was a major backer for La Gloria, Cuba, an American colony founded in 1900 that eventually developed into a town of 1,000 people. Born in Nashua, New Hampshire on June 26, 1862, Adams made his living as an author and a writer. By 1883 he was contributing verse and prose to many literary papers and magazines. Between 1887 and 1890 he served as Sergeant at Arms for the New Hampshire Senate.

La Gloria represented one of nearly three dozen American colonization attempts in Cuba established between the end of the Spanish American War and 1903. The original settlers, a party of 300 men, set off for Cuba on the steamship Yarmouth on December 31, 1899. The Cuban Land and Steamship Company out of New York was in charge of selling to settlers in 10 to 40 acre plots. Adams was one of the original travelers who bought a plot in La Gloria. His book Pioneering in Cuba (1901) describes his half year stay in the newly settled town. He gives details of everything involving the colony from descriptions on the layout to the daily life of the colonists during their first weeks in the colony. Although his papers only chronicle the beginnings of La Gloria, the settlement lasted until the 1950s.


Scope and Content

This collection encompasses the notes and letters of James M. Adams during his time in the American colony of La Gloria, Cuba. Most of the letters are written to his wife Marie Adams, describing his sea voyage to Cuba, the town of Nuevitas, and his stay in the La Gloria settlement. Adams used these notes and letters to write his book, Pioneering in Cuba. But in contrast to his published work about La Gloria, his earliest letters give a stark description of life at the colony. When he arrived, La Gloria was a tent city in a muddy jungle and provisions for food were short (e.g., see letter dated January 9, 1900). Adams expressed shock at the difficulties facing the settlement and decided to limit his investments there. Despite these initial impressions, he later became an advocate of the colony's agricultural promise.

The letters span the months from December 29, 1899 to April 21, 1900 and are filed in chronological order. The collection also contains a memoranda book with the names of ship passengers and their stake in the colony, and a record book with extra notes describing La Gloria. Three undated fold-out maps and plans provide information on the settlement and its creators. One is a full plan of the town of La Gloria, a second is a map of Cuba, and the third has a map of Cuba on one side and a plan of the city of Columbia on the other.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Related or Separated Material

See The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 78, No. 4 (Nov., 1998), pp. 729-765


Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of selected items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James M. Adams "Pioneering in Cuba" Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

This collection was purchased from Crown Collectibles, Chesterfield, Va., in 2010.


Contents List

Letters


Box
1 Letter to Marie. Circa Dec. 29, 1899
1 Letter to Marie. Circa Dec. 30, 1899
1 Letter to Marie. Circa Jan. 3, 1900
1 Two letters to Marie: Jan. 6 and Jan. 12, 1900. Also, one letter to Mother, no date. 1900 and Not dated
1 Letter to Marie. Jan. 9, 1900
1 Letter to Marie. Jan. 17, 1900
1 Letter to Marie. Jan. 26, 1900
1 Letter to Marie. Jan. 29, 1900
1 Letter to Marie. Feb. 1, 1900
1 Letter to Marie. March 26, 1900
1 Letter to Marie. April 21, 1900
1 Letter to James M. Adams from R.G. Barner. Sept. 20, 1900
1 Letter to James M. Adams from T.H. Maginniss. Nov. 10, 1900
1 Letter to James M. Adams from W. P. Pierce (Includes Documents). Nov. 14, 1900
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Cuban Land and Steamship Company Treasurer. Nov 17, 1900
1 Letter to James M. Adams from W.P. Pierce. Nov. 22, 1900
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Robert G. Beausejour. Dec. 7, 1900
1 Letter to James M. Adams from D.D. Flanagan. Feb. 5, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Cuban Land and Steamship Company Treasurer. Feb. 5, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Gardenhire and Vandirt. Circa Feb. 8, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Cousin Eva J. Walker (Includes Newspapers Clippings). Feb 10, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from R.G. Barner. Feb. 12, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Cuban Colonization Company. Feb. 13, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from A.A. Harding. Circa March 8, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Mr. Stephens of Cornell Co-Operative Society. March 20, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from The Tropical Land Company. April 6, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams Concerning His Book. March 19, 1901/ March 23, 1901/ April 6, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Mary Lyman. March 25, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from The International News Company. April 3, 1901
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Unknown. Circa May 17, No Year
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Son Lincoln. Aug. 14, 1908
1 Letter to James M. Adams from Printing Companies Concerning Jobs. 1909


Documents


Box
1 New Hampshire State Senate Card. January 1895 Session. 1895
1 Cuban Land and Steamship Company Documents. Circa 1900
1 Cuban Land and Steamship Company Sample Bond and Stock Certificate. Feb. 1, 1900
1 Cuban Fruit Growers Association Documents. Circa 1901
1 Munson Steamship Line Pamphlet. April 1, 1909
1 Pamphlets: "Thousands of Fortunes in Cuba for Thousands of Americans". Not dated


Books


Box
1 Pocket Manual. 1882
1 Clippings Booklet About James M. Adams. Circa 1884-1887
1 Cuban Land and Steamship Company Descriptive Booklet. Not dated
1 Record Book with James M. Adams Notes for Book. 1900
1 Memorandum Notebook Concerning Trip to La Gloria by James M. Adams. 1900
1 Pioneering in Cuba by James M. Adams. 1901
1 Spanish Translation Book, James Greenleaf Adams. 1904


Miscellaneous


Box
1 Cuban Flag Pin. Circa 1900
2 Wooden stakes, possibly survey or tent stakes from James M. Adams first stay at the La Gloria site


Maps and Plans

The maps and plans are stored in the Special Collections Map Collection - Latin America Drawer.

Map of Cuba (Cuban Colonization Company). On verso: Plan of City of Columbia, Cuba. Not dated
Plans: Cuba Land and Steamship Company: Town Site and Plantations of La Gloria. On verso: Town Site of La Gloria. Not dated
Map of Cuba: The New Cuba Railroad Map and Time Table. Not dated



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

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