Lilly Library Manuscript Collections

CRAME MSS.

The Crame mss., 1774-1819, consist of the papers of Agustin Crame, -1780, brigadier general in the Spanish corps of engineers. In 1771 Crame came from Havana to be governor of Ulua in Nueva Espana. There he began a survey of the fortifications of Ulua and Veracruz. In 1774 Crame was sent to the West Indies and Central America to make comprehensive reports on the number and condition of fortifications and arms in the Spanish colonies there. Between 1774 and 1779 he concentrated on Margarita, Guiana, Cumana, Maracaibo, Santa Marta-Rio Hacha, Cartegena de Indias, Nicaragua, Omoa, Campeche, Yucatan, Merida-La Grita, and sites in Trinidad, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, New Granada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Honduras.

On October 10, 1779, Crame filed his report with the king, Carlos III, and petitioned Jose de Galvez, marques de Sonora, minister to Carlos III, to allow him to participate in Spain's war with Great Britain. His request, however, was not approved. Earlier that year, on September 15, Carlos III had directed him to go to Yucatan, but Crame never assumed the governmental position there as he died in Havana early in 1780.

The manuscripts in the collection consist of correspondence between Crame and the governors and officials of the Caribbean provinces concerning the arrival and mission of Crame, his salary, traveling conditions, etc. and correspondence with the "Junta de generales" established by Carlos III to evaluate Crame's reports. These reports were received very favorably by the Junta. Included also among the papers are detailed records kept by Crame and other engineers, the arms found in the fortifications, their condition, manpower suggestions for the reconstruction of forts, and plans for defense. The material after Crame's death deals with the implementation of his plans as well as those of other engineers on the fortifications in the Spanish colonies.

Among the correspondents are Francisco Javier Abadia; Jose de Abalos; Silvestre de Abarca; Jose Carlos de Aguero y Gonzalez de Aguero; Juan Procopio Bassecourt y Bryas, conde de Santa Clara; Juan Baptista Bonet; Maximo du Bouchet; Antonio Maria de Bucareli y Ursua Hinostrosa Lasso de la Vega; Juan Caballero; Juan Antonio de Cambre; Pedro Carbonell Pinto Vigo y Correa; Pedro Castejon, marques de Gonzalez de; Pedro Ceballos Cortes y Calderon; Melchor Correa; Nicolas Diaz de Perea; Vicente de Emparan y Orbe; Manuel Antonio Flores Maldonaldo Martinez de Angulo y Bodquin; Felipe de Fonsdeviela y Ondeano, marques de la Torre; Jose de Galvez, marques de Sonora; Ignacio Garciny; Felix Gazzola, conde de; Miguel Gonzalez Davila; Antonio Gonzalez Mollinedo y Saravia; Juan Guillelmi; Manuel Guirior y Portal Huarte y Endozain; Manuel Lopez Gallardo; conde de Macuriges; Jose de Matos y Rabel; Martin de Mayorga; Pedro Mendinueta y Muzquiz; Antonio Narvaez y la Torre; Manuel de Navarette, et al.; Diego Jose Navarro Garcia de Valladares; Alejandro O'Reilly, conde de; Antonio Ricardos; Bernardo Troncoso Martinez del Rincon; Luis Unzaga y Amezaga; Juan Ignacio de Urriza; Antonio Vasquez de Alvana; Juan Jose Vertiz y Salcedo.

For biographical information on Augustin Crame see Jose Antonio Calderon Quijano, Historia de las fortifications en Nueva Espana, Seville [Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos de Sevilla], 1953, (F1231 .C2).

Collection size: 257 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.