Isabel Carret Peirce Correspondence, 1849-1888 | Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database
Carret, Eliza H. -- Correspondence.
Carret, Maria -- Correspondence.
Carret, Theresa -- Correspondence.
Cuba -- History -- Insurrection, 1868-1878.
Henchman, E. H. -- Correspondence.
Massachusetts -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
Peirce, Isabel Carret, 1831-1888 -- Correspondence.
Sugar plantations -- Cuba.
Women -- Cuba -- History -- 19th century -- Correspondence.
Women -- Massachusetts -- History -- 19th century -- Correspondence.
Women -- West Indies -- History -- 19th century -- Correspondence.
This collection contains fourteen letters written to Isabel Carret Peirce (1831-1888) of Lincoln, Massachusetts, from 1850-1888. The eight letters to Isabel from her sister Adeline written between 1870 and 1888 document life on the Carret family sugar plantation near Trinidad, Cuba during and immediately after the Ten Years War. The war began in 1868 when rebels declared Cuban independence from Spain and called for the emancipation of slaves. The letters contain descriptions of dangers faced by the family, including the looting and burning of local towns and plantations by bands of insurgents. The letters also document interactions with soldiers sent to protect the sugar plantations from rebels. The failure of neighboring plantations and the economic decline of Trinidad in general are frequently described, as are the mounting debts of the Carret plantation. The imminent abolition of slavery in Cuba is also discussed.
The six letters written from Isabel’s mother, Eliza H. Carret; aunt, E. H. Henchman; and sisters Theresa and Maria Carret in Massachusetts during the 1850s focus on family news, including trips to Dedham, Lynn, Scituate, Watertown, and Wolfsborough.