[Cuban Land and Steamship Co. of New York City Archive of Maps and Ephemera for the First American Colony in post-Spanish-American War Cuba].
“Cuba—‘The Pearl of the Antilles’” • “La Gloria—The First American City in Cuba”
C.1899 Group of Cuban land development promotional literature issued by the Cuban Land and Steamship Co. of New York City, the first American colonizing effort in Cuba after the Spanish-American War; several items unrecorded.
By promoting American investment in post Spanish-American War Cuba and the development of agricultural land on the northern coast near the port of Nuevitas, the steamship company would profit thereby as a vital transportation and freight-shipping link to and from the island. Central to the company’s colonization plan was the sale of land and dividend-paying stock in the company and the establishment of the planned city of La Gloria—“The First American City in Cuba.”
The archive contains color and uncolored maps of Cuba and La Gloria, a broadside touting the investment scheme by a former Michigan State Senator now representing the Cuban Land and Steamship Co., a “FAQ ” sheet and other handouts for investors, a promotional booklet, a steamship excursion brochure, etc.
The American colony of La Gloria was established in 1899–1900; by 1913 there were 64 such colonies in Cuba. “La Gloria represented one of nearly three dozen attempts at US colonization in Cuba between the end of the Spanish American War and 1903. The first settlers were 300 men, who left for Cuba on the Yarmouth steamship on December 31, 1899. The Cuban Land and Steamship Company (Compañía Cubana de Tierra y Vapor) of New York was in charge of selling plots from 10 to 40 acres. ...the settlement lasted until the 1950s.”¹
Institutional holdings of contemporary or early literature on the Cuban Land and Steamship Co. and the La Gloria colony appears scant.
• Official Map of Cuba [cartouche title] (New York: Bormay & Co. Engravers, c.1899). 14 x 20½ inches. Folding color pocket map of Cuba with an inset map of the proposed City of La Gloria. Map folded and mounted within stiff cardboard illustrated bifolium, 5½ x 3½ inches; one inexpert tape mend on verso of map. OCLC 63614818, three holdings: Cornell, Univ. of Chicago, Univ. of Illinois and OCLC 1090766945, Univ. of Florida only.
• Town Site of La Gloria, Looking North (color) and Town Site and Plantations of La Gloria, Puerto Principe, Cuba [caption titles], designed and drawn by M.A. Custer Neff, C.E. and Architect (New York: Engraved by Bormay & Co., c.1899). pp. Large folded, double-sided map. 24 x 26 inches. Color map on recto shows business blocks, large and small residential lots, “Halls, Public Buildings and Churches,” and a central plaza and surrounding parks. The plantation map on verso depicts tracts reserved for future expansion of the town site and 5, 10, 20, and 40-acre lots and some larger tracts on the periphery of the Cuban Land and Steamship Co. property. OCLC 1029625711, Univ. of Florida only.
• First Cuban Town for Colonization [caption title] or Note.—The following accounts of the work done by Hon. Peter E. Park, former Michigan Senator… [opening lines] (Np: np, c.1899). p. 23¾ x 6½ inches. Broadside facsimile reprint of newspaper articles published in The Detroit Journal describing the work in La Gloria, Cuba by Peter E. Park, Cuban Representative of the Cuban Land and Steamship Co., with brief company promotional text added. No copies in OCLC.
• Thousands of Fortunes in Cuba for Thousands of Americans ([New York: Cuban Land and Steamship Co., c.1899]), pp. Pamphlet. Approx. 3½ x 5¾ inches. Printed self-wrappers. Touts the sale of land for cultivating vegetables, citrus fruits, coffee, rubber trees, etc. “The Company is erecting a Saw Mill, Hotel, and will build a Sugar Mill, Canning and Preserving Factories, and also to build an Electric Road, which will run through the town and extend through the plantations of investors, thereby giving direct communication with town and also quick transportation for products.” (p) No copies in OCLC.
• The Cuban Land & Steamship Co.‘s Special Excursions Direct from New York to La Gloria, The First American City in Cuba [caption title] (New York: Cuban Land & Steamship Co., c.1899). Tri-fold Brochure. 7 x 3¾ inches. With deck plans of the company’s steamship Yarmouth, proposed schedule of sailings in late 1899 and early 1900, and passage rates to Nuevitas and La Gloria, including meals. No copies in OCLC.
• Seven pieces of related literature comprising a Cuban Land and Steamship Co. FAQ broadsheet entitled Pertinent Questions Asked and Answered [caption title] ([New York: Cuban Land and Steamship Co, c.1899]). pp. 11 x 8½ inches, with map of Cuba and southern Florida on verso, no copies in OCLC; two company return address envelopes, one of which depicts former Virginia governor, Spanish-American War general, and military governor of Havana and Pinar del Río, Cuba, Fitzhugh Lee (1835–1905), within a patriotic vignette; a company mailing envelope postmarked “New York, N.Y. 1899” addressed to J.A. Groeble of Logan, Utah; and three small broadside or broadsheet handbills concerning Cuban Land and Steamship Co. stock classes, price information, and schedule of payments on shares, none of which are recorded in OCLC.
Description: [Cuban Land and Steamship Co. of New York City Archive of Maps and Ephemera for the First American Colony in post-Spanish-American War Cuba].
[New York, c.1899]. Details below. All Very Good to Near FIne.
Note. 1. Guía de Los documentos “Pioneros en Cuba” de James M. Adams [University of Florida] (approx. translation here) accessed online. See OCLC 947798797, 53342497, etc. for a 1902 promotional booklet, a promotion serial, and a few other archival items. Also see Leuenberger, ed., La Gloria, An American Colony (Np, 2013).