The Benson Latin American Collection

William Schuchardt Papers, 1867-1882, 1973

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Schuchardt, William
Title: William Schuchardt Papers
Dates: 1867-1882, 1973
Abstract: Letterbook and collection of related documents by German-born William Schuchardt, appointed as Commercial Agent to Piedras Negras, Mexico, in 1867.
Accession No.: 2015-24
Extent: 1 linear foot
Language: English and Spanish
Repository: Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

German-born William Schuchardt first moved to the United States in 1849. After spending several years there (the Benson has no information about this time period), Schuchardt relocated to the Coahuila region of Mexico, where he spent 13 years serving as Office Manager to the Madero Winery in Parras, Coahuila.

In 1867, Schuchardt was appointed by U.S. Secretary of State William Seward to serve as a Commercial Agent in Piedras Negras, Mexico, located across the Rio Grande river from the town of Eagle Pass, Texas. The appointment was then confirmed by Benito Juarez in 1968. As Commercial Agent, Schuchardt worked as an intermediary negotiating sales and other types of commercial transactions on the behalf of the U.S. Schuchardt served as an agent for 16 years before reolcating to San Antonio, Texas.

He was married to German-born Anna Schaezler.

Sources: Letter in Folder 1.6 and information provided by donor.

Scope and Contents Note

The primary document in this collection is a handwritten text, known as a letterbook, comprised of the letters Schuchardt wrote during his years as Commercial Agent. The letterbook, which contains over two hundred entries written in Spanish and English, spans the years 1877 to 1882. Subjects discussed include land sales, bonds, various treaties, and plots of land. Commerce, agriculture, and life on the frontier are all prevalent topics. Letters are addressed to high ranking US and Mexican officials, members of the Madero family, and many others.

Because the book is in a very poor state of preservation, it has been separated into several folders. Some pages are legible, while others have become completely illegible over time. The paper itself is brittle and many edges are torn. Researchers should be exercise caution when handling these delicate materials.

Folder 1.1 contains the first three leaves of the book, which have been placed in mylar sleeves for protection.

Folder 1.2 contains the bulk of the letterbook, which has been removed from its binding.

Folder 1.3 contains the final, loose leaves of the letterbook.

Folder 1.4 contains the cloth binding.

Folder 1.5, "Loose Documents," contains a copy of the Schuchardt's appointment letter, signed by William Seward, Secretary of State, in 1867, and the confirmation by the Mexican Government, signed in 1868 by Lerdo de Tejada and Benito Juarez. Also present are several other documents including a letter written by Schuchardt's son in 1973 and addressed to the donor of this collection; the letter contains biographical information about Schuchardt.

Folder 1.6 contains four photographs: one of the William Schuchardt, one of his wife, Anna Schaezler, and two of unidentified homes.

The collection was donated by a descendant of Schuchardt, George Eric Olsen of Arlington, Texas.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

William Schuchardt Papers are classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries' catalog:
Subjects (Persons)
Juárez, Benito, 1806-1872.
García Naranjo, Francisco, 1867-1915.
Lerdo de Tejada, Sebastián, 1823-1889.
Madero, Evaristo, 1828-1911.
Schuchardt, William.
Schaezler, Anna.
Seward, William, 1801-1872.
Madero family.
Piedras Negras (Mexico)
Eagle Pass (Texas)
Coahuila (Mexico)
Document Types
Letter books.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: William Schuchardt Papers, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin.

Acquisition Information


Processing Information

Collection processed by Emma Whittington, October 2016.


No additional material is expected.

Box and Folder Inventory

Folder Titles, 1867-1882, 1973

Box Folder
1 1 Letterbook pages 1-3, undated (probably 1877)
2 Letterbook, 1877-1883
[removed from binding, approximately 617 leaves, very fragile]
3 Last pages of letterbook, 1882, undated
[loose, approximately 30 leaves, very fragile]
4 Letterbook binding, undated
[cloth and boards, extensive water damage]
5 Loose assorted documents, 1867-1882, 1973
6 Photographs of William Schuchardt and wife Anna Shaezler, undated