Maria L. Acuna lived in Valparaiso, Chile during the conflict between the Gades of Spain, and the Castilles of Chile. She lived with her two sisters, Adelle and Maria during these disputes while her brother lived with her Aunt Pepa and Uncle Jacinto.
This collection contains four letters between members of the Acuna family from 1866 to 1909. Three letters are written by Maria L. Acuna to her brother, Rumardo Acuna, in San Francisco. The fourth letter is written by Maria Socirro Contreras to her son, Juan Acuna. Each letter is handwritten in Spanish, transcribed in Spanish and translated into English. These letters give very little biographical information. The first letter, dated 16 September 1866, expresses Maria's concern for her brother, Rumardo, who hasn't written for three months. Maria informs her brother that she is finally overcoming an illness due to medication provided by a local doctor. Maria also writes of the confusion of the bombardment that happened because of the Gades of Spain. The second letter is written on 10 February 1867. Maria chastises her brother for not writing for over six months and implores him to quickly send a letter addressed to 79½ San Jose Street. In her pleadings to her brother Maria states, 'You know that the work of a woman is nothing compared to that of a man [but] please don't forget me.' Maria continues her letter by informing Rumardo that the Gades left on 8 April 1866. She notes that everything is quieter in Chile and that Valparaiso is a better place because of the increased business and peace. She hopes that the Gades will not return because the Castilles have thirteen warships, seven of which are working very well. Maria's third letter to her brother is written on 9 July 1867, informing him that the Gades are returning to Valparaiso in August or September. She feels that war is inevitable and although she doesn't know where to go, she and her sisters want to leave the country. The fourth letter in this collection is written by Maria Socirro Contreras on 18 August 1909. This one-page letter is sent from Chilchota to Sacramento, California. She tells her son that she received his money to buy bulls and informs him that her husband left with all of their money. She writes that if he doesn't believe her, he should travel to Chilchota and see for himself.