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Collection Overview

Gelston, Hugh
Hugh Gelston Correspondence
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


Consists of eighteen letters (1823-1824) of Hugh Gelston, an American merchant from Baltimore, Maryland, to his Mexican agent, Thomas J. Shepard, regarding business conditions.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of eighteen letters of Hugh Gelston, an American merchant from Baltimore, Maryland, to his Mexican agent, Thomas J. Shepard. The subject of the letters is about the trade of arms and food with Mexico as Gelston was trying to establish a trading business there. They concern Gelston's business at home and in Mexico, insurance on the products, instructions to Shepard, exchange rates, the price of goods, lists of accounts, news from home, and also queries about Shepard's safety during the unrest in Mexico.The letters were sent to Shepard via the offices of the merchants Messrs. Reilly & Suberville or Messrs. Bolles & Treat in Alvarado, Mexico. Also included is a letter dated June 17, 1823, posted from San Louis Potosi, Mexico, by J. F. Didier to Gelston, advising him not to send any "fancy goods" to Mexico yet, as "this country is overstocked with articles in your line from New Orleans or the Havana."

Collection Creator Biography:

Gelston, Hugh

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.

Collection History


Purchased on March 28, 1983 .

AM 83-139


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Dina Britain in June 21, 2009. Finding aid written by Elizabeth Mulvey in June 22, 2009.

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Hugh Gelston Correspondence; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1