John Melmoth Dow papers, 1798-1918.

ArchivalResource

John Melmoth Dow papers, 1798-1918.

Personal and professional papers of John M. Dow include shipping and trading contracts with Central American governments; administrative records, cargo and freight (primarily coffee and indigo) statements; and financial and commercial records, annual reports, logs, schedules, and telegraph code. Also included are letters and newspaper clippings concerning political events in Central America in the second half of the nineteenth century; correspondence with Central American politicians such as General Barrios, Rafael Zaldívar and Enrico Palacio regarding United States policy toward attempts to unify the Central American countries into a single federation. Also included is Dow's correspondence as arbitrator in the settlement between the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique and the American Contracting and Dredging Company, 1887. Dow also pursued his interests as a naturalist, exploring the Central American coast to collect marine flora and fauna and carrying on an extensive correspondence with Professor Spencer Baird of the Smithsonian Institution and Osbert Salvin and P. L. Sclater of the Zoological Society of London concerning the collection and transportation of specimens native to Central America. Papers also contain several letters to his wife, Elizabeth Allen Dow, which provide daily accounts of his life on board ship and in port. Among other correspondents are William Henry Aspinwall, John Cassin, Alexander Center, William Pancoast Clyde, Charles Dorat, John Charles Frémont, Joseph I. Henry, David Hoadley, J. B. Houston, J. Jacquier, Joseph F. Joy, W. H. Lane, George Newbold, James Orton, Henry Shelton Sanford, George Ure Skinner, Henry Bartholomew Slaven and Jeffries Wyman. Eight diaries kept by Dow provide comments on his daily life, and two notebooks give descriptions of the coast of Central America. Photographs include Dow and several Central American scenes. An album contains portraits of Dow's family, relatives and acquaintances, and well-known persons. There are two albums of caricatures and a book of "Ocean Mosses" (pressed specimens) given to Elizabeth Allen "from her friend Capt'n John M. Dow." Remaining items include a significant group of nineteenth century maps, membership certificates, inventories of property, bills, bank books, insurance policies, memoranda, passenger lists, menus, invitations, and printed matter pertaining primarily to natural history.

6.4 cubic ft.

Information

SNAC Resource ID: 7906559

Cornell University Library

Related Entities

There are 37 Entities related to this resource.

Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6nm4583 (person)

At only 27, the ornithologist Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887) was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, a precocious appointment that suited a precocious scientist. Born into a well to do family in Reading, Pa., and raised in Carlisle, Baird acquired an interest in natural history even prior to enrolling at Dickinson College at age 13. Although he was not an outstanding student, he was unusually committed to his course in life, keeping meticulous notes of ...

Hoadley, David, 1806-1873

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6n11xq1 (person)

Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6zt3kwm (person)

John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890) was an American explorer, military officer, and politician. He was a US Senator from California, and in 1856 was the first Republican nominee for President of the United States. A native of Georgia, Frémont acquired male protectors after his father's death, and became proficient in mathematics, science, and surveying. During the 1840s, he led five expeditions into the Western United States and became known as "The Pathfinder". During the...

Dow family.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6gv50fh (family)

Panama Railroad Co.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6qp04x0 (corporateBody)

Wyman, Jeffries, b.1864.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6zq1hh2 (person)

Prestán, Pedro.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jb3j8k (person)

Newbold, George, -1858

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6xw64c1 (person)

George Newbold and Thomas Franklin were commission merchants in New York City. Newbold, originally from Burlington, NJ, served as President of the Bank of North America and as a governor and President of the New York Hospital Society. A member of New York Monthly Meeting, he was disowned from the Orthodox branch in 1830 for marrying his second wife contrary to discipline. He died in 1858. His partner until March 1, 1804, Thomas Franklin, is assumed to be the Quaker merchant who died in 1830, age...

Smithsonian Institution

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6rc7tp0 (corporateBody)

The Smithsonian Institution was established on August 10, 1846, is a group of museums and research centers administered by the United States government. The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. Originally organized as the United States National Museum.James Smithson (1765-1829), a British scientist, left his estate to the United States to found “at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusio...

Skinner, George Ure, 1804-1867

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6n9536n (person)

Epithet: archaeologist British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001130.0x0001fd ...

Slaven, Henry Bartholomew.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6hj4bw9 (person)

Zalvídar, Rafael, 1834-1896.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6pd0vcf (person)

Goldblatt, Charles

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6675qcm (person)

Constitution (Ship)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jb0zzc (corporateBody)

Whaling vessel, out of Nantucket, Mass., mastered by Obed R. Bunker; owner-agent: Charles G. & Henry Coffin; first ship to use camel out of Nantucket harbor (not on this voyage). From the description of Log/journal, 1842 Sept. 23-1843 Oct. 20. (Nantucket Hist Association). WorldCat record id: 71013209 Logbook belonging to a whaler from Nantucket, Mass. From the description of Logbook of the whaling ship Constitution, 1840-1842. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: ...

Lane, W. H.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6s25tqw (person)

London Zoo (London, England)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jq60dp (corporateBody)

Clyde, William Pancoast.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w67q6rff (person)

Palacio, Enrico.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6hn2m24 (person)

Aspinwall, William Henry, 1807-1875

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w63x99x9 (person)

Aspinwall was a railroad tycoon who had a near monopoly of trade between New York City and San Francisco before the completion of the transcontinental line. Pierrepont was a friend of President Lincoln and later Grant's Attorney General. From the description of Letter, 1864 April 30 : New York, N.Y., to [Judge Edwards Pierrepont]. (Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies Library). WorldCat record id: 19852718 ...

Pacific Mail Steamship Co.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w600796w (corporateBody)

Center, Alexander.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6p349h1 (person)

Jacquier, Jean-Louis.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w69d47vc (person)

Allen, Elizabeth Cheresh, 1951-....

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w64t7qs0 (person)

Sclater, Philip Lutley, 1829-1913

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6d22b4x (person)

Epithet: FRS, Sec Zoological Society of London British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000758.0x0001eb ...

Salvin, Osbert, 1835-1898

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65f0b8k (person)

British naturalist who made several trips to Central America including one in 1860-1861. From the description of Views of Maya ruins at Copán in Honduras. 1862-1863. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 406997321 ...

Sanford, H. S., 1823-1891

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6r50jrv (person)

Diplomat. Secretary of Legation in Paris, 1849 to 1854; Minister Resident to Belgium 1861 to 1867. Authored books on international systems of penal codes. Known as "General" because of his enrollment as a major-general in the Minnesota militia during the Civil War, in recognization of his gift of a pair of field pieces to the 1st Minnesota Volunteers. Founder of Shelton, Florida. From the description of Letters : Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium, to Samuel Sullivan Cox, 1861-1885....

Dow, Elizabeth Allen.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6zd5vd8 (person)

Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panama.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6f2672m (corporateBody)

Dow, John Melmoth, 1827-1892.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w64n6xbj (person)

John Melmoth Dow was a shipmaster, shipping agent and naturalist. Born in New York City in 1827, he joined the Panama Railroad Company. He made his first voyage to the Central American coast in 1851, and remained involved with Central and South American coastal trade as a ship captain until 1876. He was appointed commander of the steamer Constitution in 1853, and opened the Central American service of the Panama Railroad Company as commander of the steamer Colombus. He later became a shipping ag...

Houston, J.B.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6zw2bpb (person)

J. B. Houston was president of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. From the description of Papers of J. B. Houston, 1881-1899. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 79458001 ...

American Contract and Dredging Company.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w671587p (corporateBody)

Colombus (ship)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6vn1mm1 (corporateBody)

Henry, Joseph I., 1797-1878.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w61w36ms (person)

Orton, James.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6hv0ft7 (person)

Joy, Joseph F.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6x427sj (person)

Cassin, John D.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6qf8vqm (person)

Barrios, Gerardo, General.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6355xt9 (person)