Two Dramatic Havana Letter Sheets
With Lengthy and Great Letter from a Quaker to his Wife in Philadelphia

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591. [LETTER SHEET: HAVANA, CUBA]. Two Cuban pictorial letter sheets with long autograph letter (see below): [1] Huracan del 11 de Octubre de 1846 en La Habana. [below title] Vista de la fragata Mudara y bergantin Mohawk, americanos, perdidos en los arrecifes de la Punta, en los momentos de salvarse la tripulacion y pasageros por los andariveles que echaron desde la muralla [below image left] Lit del. Gobo. y de la Rl. Soc. Ec. [below image right] Costa dib. y litog. Lithograph of a scene of ships in an angry sea being tossed against a breakwater during a hurricane with one passenger being rescued with a breeches buoy while other ships founder in the distance; on double sheet of beige wove paper; image size: 7.3 x 18.9 cm; single sheet size: 28 x 22.8 cm; [2] Teatro Principal de la Habana. [below title] Vista del estado de ruina en que quedó por el huracan del 11 de Octubre de 1846, y de los vapores Villanueva y Almendares [below image left] J. Baturone dib. [below image center] Lit. del Gobo. y de la R.S. Ec. [below image right] Costa litog. Lithograph scene of two well-dressed men in top hats and long coats (other figures, including a Black man carrying long boards); the men view an imposing but damaged stone building with roof blown down and other damage; battered ships including two paddlewheel steamers and other ships are sunk in the harbor; on a double sheet of beige wove paper; image size: 7.3 x 18.9 cm; single sheet size: 28 x 22.8 cm. Includes two sheets (25 x 19.5 cm), constituting the mailer, folded (9.3 x 15.5 cm) to enclose all sheets for delivery. Sheets creased where formerly folded, cover with one minor split with no losses, ink spot on blank margin of first page, overall fine, with two beautiful pictorial letter sheets and a superb autograph letter.

     Autograph letter signed, 11 pp. in English, last sheet with integral address leaf to Ms. S.(?) Jameson, Jr. of Philadelphia, postmarked New Orleans with twenty cents postage paid, notation at left, for E.S. Jameson, Jr., with remains of red wax seal. The letter covers two entire letter sheets and three pages of the enclosure describing the writer’s stay in Havana and his voyage to New Orleans. The writer, judging from the dating style, was a Quaker who departed Philadelphia for New Orleans. The letter begins on March 7, 1847, in Havana, and ends on April 1, 1847, when the ship is at anchor in New Orleans Road. In the passages concerning his Cuban stay, he remarks on several trips he took, the beauty of the countryside, odd Cuban funerary practices, and seeing the house where Santa Anna spent his exile. He further comments on slavery in Cuba, which he clearly detests. Finally, he comments on the damage from the 1846 hurricane, which is depicted on the letter sheets. In one instance he is invited to breakfast with a Cuban nobleman, but finds the repast so repelling that he avers he will never repeat the experience. They depart for New Orleans on March 3, and he describes a harrying trip with a disagreeable, cursing captain, slow progress, boredom, and seasickness. He observes that claret is the typical drink for breakfast. He closes with the promise to write soon after he lands in New Orleans and sends kisses and love to the children and his relatives.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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