Havana. 1900. Three typescript letters, pp. total. Previously folded, light chipping at edges. Evenly tanned. Good. Item #542
An interesting series of three letters from the Adjutant General W.V. Richards at U.S. Army Headquarters in Havana after the end of the Spanish-American War, during the period of American military government. On February 28, 1900, the military governor herein authorized the purchase of a book collection owned by heirs of a Don José Maria de Cardenas y Rodriguez, from the town of Guanabacoa, for the formation of a library at the university in Havana, "at a price not to exceed $4,000." In the second letter, dated April 17, the collection seems to have been sold out from under them at a much lower price, which has left the governor wondering why the university could not acquire the books with the allotted funds. In the third letter, dated May 23, the collection seems to be for sale again by a third party, and the governor again states that he is willing to purchase the collection for the previously stated sum, "However to warn you that there has been so much said about the purchase of this Library for the Institute that there is danger that some of the books may have been extracted, or that the property is not as valuable as when it was inspected." A neat record of a book deal gone sideways in 1900 Havana.