Guide to the Spanish Consulate records, 1794-1898 and undated


Collection contains correspondence, logbooks, shipping and passport registers, crew lists, and an inventory of consular property. Communications in the collection are chiefly directed to the Spanish Consulate in Charleston, S.C., by the Madrid government, by Spanish diplomats and consular representatives in the U.S., and by governing officials in Florida, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The papers of the 1790s and early 1800s are largely concerned with Spanish interests in Florida. The papers of the 1830s, except those dealing with routine commercial matters, are largely concerned with political affairs in Spain. Later papers relate to Spain's concern that the U.S. will aid Cuban insurgents; reports of American filibustering for Spanish possessions before and after the Civil War; revolutionary movements in Cuba; Spain's diplomatic approach to the U.S. during the Civil War; Spain's naval war with Chile and Peru (1865-1866); Charleston's trade with Spanish West Indian possessions during most of the 19th century; and occasionally to Spanish diplomatic relations with nations other than the U.S. Bound volumes in the collection include letter books, shipping and passport registers, logbooks, crew lists, and an inventory of consular property.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Spanish Consulate records
1794-1898 and undated
Spain. Consulado (Charleston, S.C.)
10.5 Linear Feet
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English and Spanish

Collection Overview

The collection contains dispatches from the Madrid government, Spanish diplomatic and consular representatives in the United States, and officials in Florida, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, addressed to the Spanish consulate in Charleston, South Carolina. Prior to 1803 there are similar dispatches addressed to the Spanish vice consul at Savannah. Topics include Spanish fear of American filibustering in Florida in the 1790s, especially the activities of Samuel Hammond in 1794; the fear of English invasion of Florida, 1796, or invasion by Americans sympathetic to England; and privateering and the actions of William Augustus Bowles in seizing the fort at St. Marks (Appalachee) in 1800. Papers of the 1830s and after concern political affairs in Spain, the Carlist War, and Spanish expectations of a favorable ruling from the U. S. Supreme Court in the Amistad case, 1841. Material concerning the fear of American filibustering activity in Cuba extends from the 1840s to the 1890s, and includes comment on American neutrality policy and on Northern support for and Southern opposition to filibustering after the Civil War. During the Civil War period papers relate to neutrality of the consulate; the capture of Spanish property in American vessels by Confederate privateers; the seizure of the Nuestra Señora de Reqla by Union forces; Beauregard's claim to have lifted-the Charleston blockade, 1863; and the bombardment of Charleston. There are lists of ships entering and leaving Charleston harbor in violation of the blockade. Papers of 1865-1866 concern Spain's naval war with Chile and Peru and activity in the United States of Chilean privateers. Most of the papers in the collection are of a routine nature and concern shipping, health conditions, passports, changes of government in Spain, and legal problems encountered by Spaniards in South Carolina. Numerous papers relate to commerce between Charleston, Cuba, and Puerto Rico; and after the Civil War there are letters of the vice consul in Wilmington, North Carolina, relating to shipping at that port.

Bound volumes in the collection include letter books, shipping and passport registers, logbooks, crew lists, and an inventory of consular property. The shipping registers, 1850-1860, 1871-1896, contain information on the nature and value of cargoes entering and leaving Charleston, and on the nationality, type, origin, and destination of vessels calling at the port. Letter books relate almost entirely to such commercial affairs as the arrival and departure of Spanish ships, prices of goods, tariffs, legal problems of merchants and shippers, costs of ship repairs, and the discipline of Spanish seamen. For the Civil War period, reports of consul Francisco Muñoz Ramón de Moncada describe conditions in Charleston and news of political and military events within the Confederacy; French intrigues in Texas; the attack on Fort Sumter; Confederate policy on privateering; the capture of Fort Hatteras and other points along the coast, the ineffectiveness of the blockade; conditions in Charleston and the flight of residents; and Confederate conscription policies, especially as they concerned citizens of foreign countries. Post-Civil War letter books relate almost exclusively to routine commercial matters.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Spanish Consulate records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Papers, 1794-1896, and undated
Box 1
Papers, 1799-1801
Box 2
Papers, 1802-1836
Box 3
Papers, 1837-1848
Box 4
Papers, 1849-1852
Box 5
Papers, 1853-1856
Box 6
Papers, 1857-1860
Box 7
Papers, 1861-1862
Box 8
Papers, 1863-1866
Box 9
Papers, 1867-June 1869
Box 10
Papers, July 1869-1877
Box 11
Papers, 1873-1875
Box 12
Papers, 1876-September 1878
Box 13
Papers, October 1878-1880
Box 14
Papers, 1881-1883
Box 15
Papers, 1884-June 1886
Box 16
Papers, July 1886-1888
Box 17
Papers, 1889-1892
Box 18
Papers, 1893-1895
Box 19
Papers, 1896 and undated
Box 20
Box 21
Maria Corbeta, Rol De Navigacion, 1874-1883
(1 item)
Volume S:6817

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The Spanish Consulate Records were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1951.

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