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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 796

John Anthony Quitman papers,

Letters, speeches, and papers of American lawyer, soldier, and statesman John Anthony Quitman, concerning the movement to annex Cuba and northern Mexico.


  • 1833-1858 (inclusive) 1847-1858 (bulk).

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


1 collection (2 boxes and 1 oversize volume (1.5 linear ft.))

Collection is concerned chiefly with the movement in the 1850s among prominent political and military leaders in the South to invade and capture Cuba and northern Mexico in order to extend slave territory. It consists primarily of over 250 letters to Major-General Quitman who was to lead the annexation movement. Most of the letters are dated 1854-1858, some are from 1847 when Quitman was in Mexico City. Also includes 10 letters by Quitman, 2 printed copies of his speeches in Congress, accounts of money raised for the annexation effort, pamphlets, newspapers covering the 1850 trials in New Orleans in which Quitman was indicted for alleged neutrality violations because of his support for the Lopez expeditions to Cuba, and letters to Quitman requesting autographs or speeches.

Biographical / Historical

Quitman (1799-1858), a lawyer, soldier, statesman, and Southern planter, championed states' rights for his adopted state of Mississippi. He was a brigadier general in the Mexican War and appointed governor, then major-general of Mexico City. He served briefly as governor of Mississippi, was involved in the movement to annex Cuba, and spent his last years, 1855-1858, in the U.S. Congress.


Arranged alphabetically by author.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from and given by Virginia Quitman McNealus,granddaughter of J. A. Quitman; received: 1931-1932.

Related Materials

There are Quitman Papers in the Mississippi State Archives, Jackson, Miss.
Quitman, John Anthony. John Anthony Quitman papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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