John Melmoth Dow papers,
John Melmoth, Dow 1827-1892.
6.4 cubic ft.
Forms of Material:
Financial Records, Legal Documents, Correspondence, Printed Materials.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Personal and professional papers of John M. Dow. Also included are letters and newspaper clippings concerning political events
in Central America in the second half of the nineteenth century. Dow also pursued his interests as a naturalist, exploring
the Central American coast to collect marine flora and fauna.
Collection material in English
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
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.
Dow, John Melmoth,1827-1892.
Aspinwall, William Henry.
Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887.
Clyde, William Pancoast.
Dow, Elizabeth Allen.
Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890.
Henry, Joseph I., 1797-1878.
Houston, J. B.
Joy, Joseph F.
Lane, W. H.
Salvin, Osbert, 1835-1898.
Sanford, Henry Shelton, 1823-1891.
Sclater, Philip Lutley, 1829-1913.
Skinner, George Ure.
Slaven, Henry Bartholomew.
Wyman, Jeffries, b.1864.
Zalvídar, Rafael, 1834-1896.
American Contract and Dredging Company.
Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panama.
Pacific Mail Steamship Co.
Panama Railroad Co.
Zoological Society of London.
Canals--Design and construction.
Caricatures and cartoons.
Freight and freightage.
Central America--Commerce--United States.
Central America--Description and travel.
Central America--Foreign relations.
Central America--Politics and government.
Panama Canal (Panama)
South America--Commerce--United States.
South America--Description and travel.
South America--Foreign relations.
South America--Politics and government.
United States--Commerce--Central America.
United States--Commerce--South America.
Form and Genre Terms: