2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 16, 2020 1:39 PM by Martin Bollinger

    Seeking Department of State records regarding Matthew Kersey


      I am looking for Department of State records about accounts of Matthew Kersey in a Spanish Prison in Cuba in 1896. There are numerous press accounts that US citizen Matthew Kersey was being held in a Spanish prison or military hospital in Gibara, Cuba in 1896. Secretary of State Olney ordered Assistant Secretary of State Rockhill to conduct an inquiry. I am looking for the Department of State records on that inquiry.  My inquiry is very specific -- I am just looking for the Department of State records. I have already gathered the publicly available information on this case. In the past I have visited NARA in College Park to obtain these documents but not sure what to do now.

        • Re: Seeking Department of State records regarding Matthew Kersey
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Mr. Bollinger,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Domestic Letters, 1784 - 1906 and Letters Received, 1789 - 1906 in the General Records of the Department of State (Record Group 59) that may include correspondence on this matter. These records have been digitized and are available online using the Catalog.  If you have any questions about locating the records within these series, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov. If you encounter any technical difficulties with the Catalog, please email Catalog@nara.gov


          We also located Despatches from U.S. Consular Officers, 1789 - 1906 in Record Group 59

          and 9 series of consular records for US Consulates in Cuba in the Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State (Record Group 84). These might include consular correspondence regarding the matter.  These records are not available online.  For more information about these records, please email RDT2.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


          [information provided by Cate Brennan, Subject Matter Expert]