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A Guide to the Royal Havana Company Collection

Finding aid created by Ana D. Rodríguez

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
November 2014


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Royal Havana Company
Title: Royal Havana Company Collection
Dates: 1749
Abstract: Royal Havana Company was a Spanish company based in Havana, Cuba, which specialized in shipbuilding and trading of tobacco and sugar. This collection includes notes about shipments of tobacco, and a letter penned by Martin de Arostegui, defending his role as president of Royal Havana Company.
Extent: 0.01 Linear feet. 1 folder.
Identification: MS Group 25
Language(s): Spanish
Note: This guide is available in Spanish at http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/manuscript/guides/royal_es.htm

Biographical/Historical Note

Founded in 1740, Royal Havana Company was a collaboration between the Spanish Crown and businessmen based in Cuba. The primary goal of the company was the administration of the island's three biggest industries: shipbuilding and trading of sugar and tobacco. Martín de Aróstegui (1698-1764), was the president of Royal Havana Company, from its inception in 1740, until 1752, when accused of embezzlement and excessive recruitment of employees, and he was removed from this post by King Ferdinand VI. Eventually shipbuilding costs proved higher than expected, causing the Spanish government to conclude this enterprise after completion of ships under contract.


Scope and Content

This collection includes notes about shipments of tobacco aboard the frigate San Cristobal and the brigantine Santo Tomas, and a letter penned by Martin de Arostegui, defending his role as president of Royal Havana Company. Arostegui also talks in the letter about the construction of navy ships Rayo and El Fénix, which in 1749 sailed from Havana. Both ships were of good use to the Spanish navy, and especially Rayo was used in the Battle of Trafalgar, then taken by the British, and unfortunately sunken during a hurricane.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Finding Aid

This guide is available in Spanish at http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/manuscript/guides/royal_es.htm.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Royal Havana Company Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The collection was purchased in 2012.


Contents List

Folder
1 Folio 1, note about a tobacco shipment loaded on the frigate San Cristóbal, in Havana, August 26, 1749. Folio 2, Note about tobacco shipment loaded on the Bergantín Santo Thomas. Captain is Lorenzo Beristain, in Havana, October 20, 1749.
1 Martín de Aróstegui letter to José de Carvajal y Lancaster, Havana, October 27, 1749. Letter has 6 sheets for a total of 12 folios (22 pages with content).

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Aróstegui, Martín de, 1698-1764
Shipbuilding - Spain - History - 18th century
Shipbuilding industry -- Cuba - History
Sugar trade - Cuba
Tobacco industry - Cuba



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

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