The Catholic University of America

Iturbide-Kearney Family

An inventory of The Iturbide-Kearney Family Collection at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


Contact Information:

Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

Email: archives@mail.lib.cua.edu

URL: http://archives.lib.cua.edu/

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Augustin Iturbide III, 1863-1925
Title: Iturbide-Kearney Family Collection
Dates: 1787-1977
Extent: 5.5 linear feet; 6 boxes
Abstract: This collection contains original documents from the Iturbide family from Emperor Iturbide I's reign until the death of his grandson Augustin Iturbide III. The collection includes correspondence, Mexican governmental documents, military medals and coins, newspapers, magazines, and portraits. The Kearney portion contains correspondence from Louise Kearney, Augustin Iturbide III's wife as well as early family correspondence and portraits.
Collection Number: 93
Language: English, Spanish

Biographical Note

Augustin Iturbide III was born to Augustin Iturbide II, a Mexican diplomat in Washington DC, son of Emperor Iturbide I. Augustin III was born in Mexico City to Augustin Iturbide II and Alice Green, Dona Rosa, daughter of a prominent American diplomat. His grandfather had led Mexico's independence movement and had been emperor for eleven months, 1822-1823, until he was deposed. Augustin was born during the French occupation of Mexico under Emperor Maximilian I. Maximilian wanted a Mexican heir due to the fact that he was Austrian and that his regime was supported only by the French Army. At age two, 1865 Maximilian convinced a reluctant Alice Green to sign her son off to Maximilian as his adopted son. Maximilian's regime collapsed in 1867 and Augustin III was sent with his wife Carlotta to Havana to meet Augustin III's parents. He was then moved to his mother's family homestead until 1875 when he was entrusted to a ship captain to study in Brussels.

His illness, tuberculosis, forced him back to America until he was again shipped to a Catholic school, Oscott, in England. While in Europe he enjoyed the rich luxuries of an exiled royal and even had an Audience with Pope Leo III. In 1884 Augustin III completed his post-graduate education at Georgetown University in linguistics. Three years later he relocated to Mexico to enter the Mexican Military Academy in Chapultepec. His ego however caused many problems for his political future. While in Mexico he aspired to become the great military man his Grandfather had been, but his remarks to a New York newspaper in 1890 on the Porfirio Diaz regime caused him to be imprisoned and court-martialed. The controversy got worse before the court-martial because of a letter he wrote in Mexico condemning the Diaz regime for selling the nation to foreign powers.

The court-martial took place on June 11th 1890, and he was convicted of insubordination after only an hour of deliberation. He was sentenced to a year in prison and was subsequently exiled, losing his Mexican decorations and property. After his release his mother returned to Mexico to straighten out the Family's financial issues. The stress of this resulted in her death from which Augustin never fully recovered. Augustin returned to his mother's home in Rosedale and became a Spanish and French professor at Georgetown, where he lived the life of a cosmopolitan. He also tried bringing back his fortune through land deals in California which eventually failed. His life took a turn for the better in 1915 when he married Louise Kearney, who was twenty years his younger.

The Kearney family was a prominent Washington family that emigrated from Ireland around 1794. The family originally lived in Falls Church, Virginia until their house burned during the Civil War, which afterwards they relocated to Georgetown. The Irish Catholic Patrician married Augustina and they lived together at the Kearney Georgetown home. Augustin III would live the last ten years of his life as a modest college professor until he died in 1925, from his earlier Tuberculosis illness. Louise Kearney lived the rest of her life in a small P Street Apartment and became friends with Catholic University procurator Msgr. Joseph Magner, to whom she entrusted this collection in 1957.

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Scope and Contents

The Iturbide-Kearney Family collection consists of seven series. These series contain personal information on both families; such as correspondence, personal portraits, and official government documents. There are many publications on the Iturbide family and their contributions to Mexican independence. There are also personal scrapbooks that Augustin Iturbide III compiled during his lifetime. Lastly, there are personal papers from Louise Kearney, including correspondence after Augustin III's 1925 death.

The first series of this collection are the personal letters and governmental documents from Augustin Iturbide I. This includes his 1787-1793 personal diary, correspondence during the Independence movement, 1813-1821, and governmental documents from when he was emperor. Also there are three photocopies of the Mexican Declaration of Independence, known in Spanish as El Plan de Iguala. (An original copy of El Plan de Iguala is in secure storage). One last note is this series is completely in Spanish.

The second series is Augustin III personal and family correspondence, 1849-1924. Most of these letters pertain to his time with Emperor Maximilian and his later life after his exile from Mexico. There is some correspondence from the time of his scandal in Mexico. The third series of this collection is fairly short and contains three folders on Mexican politics during the 1870s, including a Mexican political cartoon board game.

The fourth series is correspondence and legal documents to land deals made by Augustin Iturbide III from 1905-1921. Much of these land deals, especially in California were completely unsuccessful. There are also legal proceedings on business done with a local California lawyer, Holcomb. Lastly, there are legal proceedings dealing with confiscated land from Mexico that Augustin III tried reclaiming after the fall of the Diaz regime.

The fifth series is Publications. It includes collected articles, magazines, and books on the Iturbide family's contribution to Mexican independence.

The sixth series in this collection are the Kearney family papers. This includes correspondence from the first member of the Kearney family to immigrate to the United States. This series also contains the personal papers of Louise Kearney; which includes her handwritten autobiography, correspondence, and correspondence with Msgr. Magner on the donation of the collection to Catholic University.

The seventh series, Photos, Portraits, and Scrapbooks, contains two boxes. The first box has family portraits, coat of arms, and personal photos of Augustin Iturbide III and Louise Kearney. The second box contains family documents as well as scrapbooks of newspaper clippings that Augustin III collected of his scandal in Mexico as well as his Adoption with Maximilian I.

Overall, this collection will give potential researchers a good look at the lives of the Iturbide family, in particular Augustin Iturbide III and his relationship with a member of one of the oldest and prominent Irish-Catholic families in America, the Kearneys.

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Arrangement

The Iturbide-Kearney Family Collection consists of two series:








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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on access

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated in four parts. The initial donation was by Louise Kearney to Msgr. Joseph Magner in April 1957. When Magner retired he gave part of the collection to the CUA Archives. In 1975 he gave a copy of the Mexican Declaration of Independence, and the rest of the collection was taken from his 1995 donation of his personal papers.

Processing Information

Processing completed in September 2012 by Raymond Moore. EAD markup completed in September 2012 by Raymond Moore. EAD revisions in 2014 by Michael J. Dobbs.

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Related Material

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Iturbide

Persons:
Kearney

Places:
Mexico

Places:
Washington D.C.


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Bibliography

Times Herald Sunday, March, 23, 1941

Mayo, C.M "The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire" (Denver: Unbridled Books, 2009), 419-422.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Emperor Iturbide I Correspondence and Governmental Documents, 1787-1921 (1 Box)
This series contains the personal correspondence of Augustin Iturbide I. This includes his personal diary and correspondence during the Independence movement in Mexico. This series also has governmental proclamations made by Iturbide I and three copies of the Mexican Declaration of Independence. Lastly, this series is completely in Spanish.
Box Folder
1 1 Havana Embassy Letter, 1813
        Spanish letter to the ambassador in Havana.
  2 Mexican Declaration of Independence Copy, 1822
        A photocopy of the Mexican Declaration of Independence. An original copy of El Plan de Iguala is in secure storage.
  3 Mexican Declaration of Independence Copy, 1822
        Two photocopies of the Mexican Declaration of Independence. An original copy of El Plan de Iguala is in secure storage.
  4 History of the Mexican Army, 1821-1921
        A magazine in Spanish commemorating the centennial of the Mexican Army includes Iturbide correspondence from 1821 concerning the formation of the army.
  5 Iturbide Family Documents, 1808-1919
        Includes personal correspondence and flyers celebrating Iturbide I from 1919.
  6 Colonial Mexican Native American Prints, n.d.
        Hand drawn prints possibly from a book
  7 Iturbide Journal and Colonial Documents, 1787-1793
        Augustin Iturbide I personal journal during his years in the army as well as miscellaneous Spanish colonial documents.
  8 Iturbide Journal, 1793-1795
        A later journal from Augustin Iturbide I, with personal correspondence, in Spanish.
  9 Typed Copy of Iturbide's Military Journal, n.d.
        Typed copy in Spanish of 1812-1813 Journal
  10 Iturbide Family Medals, 1821-1871
        Collection of Iturbide family coins from Iturbide I reign as well as military medals dating as late as 1871. Includes original ribbons and a nameplate as well.
                       
Series 2: Augustin Iturbide III Correspondence and Family History, 1849-1939 (1 Box)
This particular series contains Iturbide III personal correspondence as well as correspondence from his childhood concerning his adoption by Maximilian I. There is also the alphabet code he invented as well as a text on the Iturbide family history.
Box Folder
1 11 Iturbide III Alphabet and Photo, 1866-n.d.
        This is an alphabet code that Iturbide invented during childhood and a photo taken when he was six months old.
  12 Personal Correspondence, 1875-1922
        This folder contains personal correspondence, an essay on the Diaz overthrow in 1910, and family funeral cards
  13 Iturbide III Personal Correspondence, 1912-1921
        Handwritten and typed correspondence in Spanish
  14 Text on Iturbide III Adoption by Maximilian I, 1939
        This is text in Spanish and English on Iturbide III adoption, research for a newspaper article, as well as the article.
  15 Iturbide Family History, 1878
        This is a handwritten manuscript on the history of the Iturbide family as well as a typed English version.
  16 History of Alta-California, 1850-1852
        Handwritten history in Spanish by B. Wels.
  17 Iturbide III Correspondence, n.d.
        Handwritten and typed personal correspondence as well as a typed poem by Jorge Manrique.
  18 Iturbide III Childhood Correspondence, 1861-1871
        This correspondence pertains to Iturbide III adoption as well as family documents before his birth and after his escape from Mexico in 1867.
Box Folder
2 1 Photo Print of Iturbide family Records, 1878
        Photo Print of family statistics in Spanish
                       
Series 3: Iturbide III Political Correspondence, n.d.-1923 (2 Folders)
This small series is significant because it gives insight into Iturbide III's political beliefs during the Mexican Revolution. There is also a board game cartoon that critiques the state of Mexican politics in the era between Maximilian I and Porfirio Diaz.
Box Folder
2 2 Iturbide III Political Correspondence, 1919-1923
        This typed English and Spanish Correspondence chronicles Iturbide III's opinions on the Mexican Revolution and politics in the country shortly following the revolution.
  3 Political Cartoon, n.d.
        This board game political cartoon critiques life in Mexico in between the regime of Maximilian I and Porfirio Diaz regime.
                       
Series 4: Land Deal Correspondence, 1905-1921 (1 Box)
This series contains personal correspondence concerning California land deals that Augustin Iturbide III made with William H. Holcomb. There are also court proceedings concerning these land deals and claims to confiscated lands in Mexico that were confiscated following Iturbide III's court martial in 1891. *Note this series is completely in English.
Box Folder
2 4 Correspondence on Lower California Land Deals, 1909-1921
        Correspondence and legal documents with William Holcomb concerning land purchases in lower California, Mexico.
  5 Land Deal Correspondence, 1917-1919
        Correspondence, handwritten and typed, concerning the land deal as well as telegrams.
  6 California and Washington DC business Correspondence, 1908-1920
        This correspondence concerns the California land purchases as well as investments in the Washington DC Navy-Army club.
  7 Legal Documents Concerning the Land Deal, 1909-1913
        These are contracts and court proceeding concerning the failure of the land deal in California and claims to land in Mexico.
  8 Telegrams and Correspondence Concerning the Land Deals, 1909-1913
        Telegrams and Correspondence with William Holcomb.
Box Folder
3 1 Holcomb Correspondence on Land Purchase, 1905-1906
        Correspondence with William Holcomb on Land Purchases in California.
  2 Holcomb Claims to Iturbide Family Claims, 1905-1913
        Spanish correspondence on family land claims in Mexico that was confiscated by Diaz, and claims to the land by Holcomb.
                       
Series 5: Publications, 1823-1961 (2 Boxes)
This series contains publications the Iturbide family's contribution to the Independence movement as well as personal books owned by Iturbide III. There are also articles on the family's history as well.
Box Folder
3 3 Copy of Ravsta Jarocha Magazine, 1961
        Contains articles on the 1821 independence of Mexico and about Iturbide I reign.
  4 Photo Prints of Newspaper Articles on Iturbide III, 1914-1925
        These photo prints and correspondence pertain to the later life of Augustin Iturbide III.
  5 Copy of Mercurio Magazine, 1921
        September edition commemorating the 1821 independence of Mexico, in Spanish.
  6 Newspaper Articles/Clippings, 1875-1905
        A newspaper article on Benito Juarez's death and a 1905 magazine on Iturbide I.
  7 Iturbide Family Press, 1823-1924
        An 1863 play in Spanish titled Guerra Estanjera, A series of Independence Postcards from 1903, A 1924 Play on the Iturbide family titled, La Tragedia de Padilla, and a collection of Newspaper clippings on Iturbide I, from 1823. Also includes a personal letter from 1903
  8 Typed Manuscript of "El Libertador Iturbide", 1921
        Typed manuscript of a speech on Iturbide's contribution to the independence movement.
Box Folder
4 1 Personal Letters of Iturbide I, 1816-1821
        Personal correspondence, small paper letters
  2 Book on the heroes of the Independence of Mexico, n.d.
        Undated book in Spanish on the major political leaders of Mexico's independence, including pictures.
  3 Spanish Biography on Agustin Iturbide III, 1960
        Mexican Biography titled, "Don Agustin De Iturbide y Aramburu".
  4 Harpers Brothers Monthly Bulletin, 1883
        April edition in English on the English literature form the 18th century, possibly part of Iturbide III personal collection.
  5 Elementary Geography, 1873
        Children's Geography book in Spanish, used when Iturbide III was in School.
  6 History of the Independence of Mexico, 1910
        Titled "La Guerra de Independencia: Hidalgo-Iturbide" by Francisco Bulnes. Chronicles the independence movement from Fr. Hidalgo's protest to independence under Emperor Iturbide I.
                       
Series 6: Kearney Family Documents, 1794-1959 (1 Box)
This series contains the original correspondence of John Kearney, the first member of the family to immigrate to America in 1794. There are also the personal papers of Louise Kearney, Augustin Iturbide III wife. This includes her handwritten autobiography and her correspondence concerning the donation of this collection.
Box Folder
4 7 Louise Kearney Autobiography and Photo of Kearney and Iturbide, 1915
        Handwritten Autobiography and two snapshots in mint condition.
  8 Louise Kearney Correspondence, 1947-1959
        Correspondence with Msgr. Magner on donating the Iturbide-Kearney collection. Includes photo of the donation ceremony at CUA, and a CUA bulletin from 1957 concerning the donation of the collection.
  9 Family Correspondence, 1876-1919
        A mixture of related Spanish and English correspondence between the Iturbides and the Kearneys.
  10 Handwritten Correspondence from John Kearney, 1817
        Handwritten letter to A.L. Jonesberg in Georgetown.
  11 Iturbide Kearney Newspaper Clippings and Kearney Family Documents, 1793-1939
        John Kearney correspondence in French upon immigrating to the United States. A typed biography of John Kearney, and newspaper clippings and photocopies on Louise Kearney and her marriage to Augustin Iturbide III.
                       
Series 7: Photos, Portraits, and Oversize Scrapbooks from the Iturbide-Kearney Families, 1858-1977 (2 Boxes)
This particular series contains family portraits from the Iturbide and the Kearney family. This includes personal photos, all framed, of Louise and Augustin Iturbide III. There are also coats of arms for both families. There is a box of scrapbooks and miscellaneous items as well. The scrapbooks are mainly newspaper clippings throughout Augustin Iturbide III life. Lastly, there are some certificates for Iturbide III.
Box Folder
5 1 Valentine, n.d.
        Blanche Kearney Valentine from Senor Escoba, Student at Georgetown from Chile.
  2 Framed Photo, n.d.
        Home of Augustin III and mother in Mexico.
  3 Portrait, n.d.
        Alice Green Iturbide portrait, framed.
  4 Iturbide III, 1915
        Framed photo.
  5 Portrait, n.d.
        Blanche Kearney, Aunt of Louise Portrait
  6 Painting, n.d.
        Iturbide mother personal effects including painting of Augustine.
  7 Portrait, n.d.
        Portrait of Empress Iturbide.
  8 Perfume Bottles, n.d.
        Two unmarked perfume bottles.
  9 Table Cloth Linen, n.d.
  10 Kearney Coat of Arms, n.d.
        Framed hand drawn.
  11 Iturbide family coat of arms , n.d.
        Frames, hand drawn.
  12 Iturbide Portrait, n.d.
        Hand drawn portrait of Iturbide I.
  13 Portrait of James Kearney , n.d.
        Early Photograph.
  14 Another Portrait of Kearney, n.d.
  15 Augustin III wallet with prayer card, n.d.
Box Folder
6 1 Certificate, 1932
        Lifetime membership letter and certificate to the American Heraldry Society to Mrs. Augustin Iturbide
  2 Portrait and Photo, 1915
        Portrait of Iturbide I and photo of Iturbide III
  3 Two Photos and Book on Iturbide Family, 1957-1977
        Two more photos of Iturbide donation, 1977 book in Spanish on Iturbide family
  4 Photo-Stat copy of Iturbide letters from Library of Congress, n.d.
  5 Sheet music to "I Guess You'd Better Hush-Hush-Hush, 1901
  6 Scrapbook, 1890-1921
        A complete scrapbook of Iturbide newspaper clippings from Mexican Newspaper about his family, in English as well, many on 1890 court martial, obituaries for his mother 1892, ads for a Mexican Restaurant, centennial prints (full pages), on Mexican Independence.
  6 Scrapbook, 1858-1925
        This scrapbook includes a 1858 poem on Iturbide I, articles on a young Iturbide III, Maximilian heir article (English and Spanish), other articles in Spanish of Iturbide, 1890 court martial, 1925 death and funeral clippings

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Emperor Iturbide I Correspondence and Governmental Documents, 1787-1921

Series 2: Augustin Iturbide III Correspondence and Family History, 1849-1939

Series 3: Iturbide III Political Correspondence, n.d.-1923

Series 4: Land Deal Correspondence, 1905-1921

Series 5: Publications, 1823-1961

Series 6: Kearney Family Documents, 1794-1959

Series 7: Photos, Portraits, and Oversize Scrapbooks from the Iturbide-Kearney Families, 1858-1977

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