Biography and History

Hugh Gelston was an American merchant from Baltimore, Maryland, trying to establish a trading business with Mexico during a period of extreme turmoil in the history of that country. Rebel leader Vicente Guerrero and defected royalist general Agustín de Itúrbide collaborated to gain Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821. Together they drafted a Mexican constitution. However, in 1822, Itúrbide declared himself emperor of the country. A year later, Antonio López de Santa Anna overthrew Itúrbide and drew up a new constitution that established a federal Mexican republic composed of 19 states and four territories.

Source: From the finding aid for C1340