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A Guide to the Business Letters Describing the Financial Market in Cuba

Finding aid prepared by John R. Nemmers

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
October 2004

Descriptive Summary

Title: Business Letters Describing the Financial Market in Cuba
Dates: 1867-1871
Abstract: Includes correspondence, dated 1867-1871, from agents in Cuba reporting on business and market conditions to merchants in Portland, Maine.
Extent: 0.01 Linear feet. 3 Folders.
Identification: MS Group 176
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

J.B. Brown and Sons was one of the largest private banking houses in Portland. The firm was founded and operated by John Bundy Brown and his sons Philip Henry Brown and John Marshall Brown. John Bundy Brown was a leading capitalist of Maine. He was the head of the Portland Sugar Company, one of the original incorporators and directors of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad, a director or investor of several other railroads and corporations.

His eldest son, Philip Henry Brown, was born on October 16, 1831. He assisted his father in the development of the Portland Sugar Company, which became one of the most important manufacturing houses of the country, turning out five hundred barrels of sugar a day, and distributing its product to all parts of the United States. During this time, Philip Henry also became a founder of the West India house of Churchill, Browns and Manson.

Scope and Content

Collection of handwritten letters dated 1867-1871 and written by various agents in Cuba reporting on business conditions to merchants in Portland, Maine. Most of the letters are addressed to J.B. Brown and Sons or to Churchill, Browns and Manson. The letters report the market prices and sales of molasses, sugar, shooks (knock-down barrels), and other commodities. Additionally, they discuss market conditions, agricultural concerns, grinding and manufacturing activities, and shipping. Descriptions of the ships and which cargoes are selling or not selling are also provided.

The letters are written from such places as Havana, Mataurus, Caibarien, Cardenas, and Sagua La Grande. The agents include Vanderkreft, La Puerta and Co.; D. Ruiz Toledo; Smith and Company; Juan Ferrin; L.Y. Stocker and Co.; J.C. Burnham and Co.; and C.P. Madan. The majority of the letters are written in English, but a small number are written in Spanish.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the Digital Library of the Caribbean and 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], Business Letters Describing the Financial Market in Cuba, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Purchased in 2004 from Charles Apfelbaum.

Contents List

1 Correspondence. 1867
2 Correspondence. 1868
3 Correspondence. 1869-1871

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Capital market -- Cuba -- History -- 19th century.
Churchill, Browns and Manson
Cuba -- Commerce -- United States.
J.B. Brown and Sons
Sugar trade -- Atlantic Ocean Region -- History.
Sugar trade -- Cuba.
United States -- Commerce -- Cuba.

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

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