Henry J. Johnson papers  1862-1865
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection (1.5 linear feet) contains correspondence between Antonio C. Maden of Cárdenas, Cuba, and Saratoga Springs, New York, and his wife, Kathleen Duryea of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. The couple exchanged letters about their lives in Cuba and New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Correspondence series (around 350 items) mainly contains personal letters that Maden and Duryea exchanged from 1895-1912, before and during their marriage. In 1895 and 1896, Maden reported on life in Cárdenas and Varadero, Cuba, during the Cuban War of Independence, commenting on military developments, political issues, and his plans to travel to New York. In his letter of October 13, 1895, he enclosed a chart from the New York & Cuba Mail Steamship Co., including his notes about the journey to Cuba. Duryea wrote about her social life, friends, and family in Bensonhurst, and both frequently enclosed newspaper clippings containing quips, verses, and cartoons about relationships between men and women. In 1897, Maden moved to Tampa, Florida, and periodically visited Saratoga Springs, New York, while Duryea remained in Bensonhurst. In 1899, Maden wrote about his return to Cárdenas and his hemp plantation. After the couple's marriage, Duryea's siblings Robert, Edna, and Florence occasionally sent letters to the Madens in Saratoga Springs and Cárdenas. In one letter, Robert Dureya told his sister of their father's death (January 17, 1904). During Duryea's visits to Brooklyn, Maden provided her with updates about the plantation's production and about finances; one later series of letters concerns her poor health. Items dated after 1912, several of which are written in Spanish, include personal letters, newspaper clippings, prayer cards for Rosa Maden Samson, and a late letter to Kathleen Maden regarding a tax payment.

Documents and Financial Papers series (10 items) includes lists of the Maden family's expenses in Cuba, as well as receipts, accounts regarding the Madens' hemp plantation, and a Catholic Church document (in Latin).

The Photograph and Newspaper Clipping series (2 items) contains a black-and-white photograph of the Havana Cathedral and a clipping titled "Whining and Complaining Wives Often Drive Husbands from Home."

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