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C.E. Dawkins letter


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Clinton Edwards Dawkins lived from 1859 to 1905. He was an English diplomat who served in various capacities throughout his career, including as under-secretary for State Finance, Egypt, 1895; private secretary of the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and as a representative of the Peruvian Corporation in Chile. He was knighted in 1902 for his service to the crown. As Peru's Civilian regime faced imminent bankruptcy in 1889 after losing the War of the Pacific to Chile, the government devised a plan to pay back bondholders who were to be represented by the Peruvian Corporation, headquartered in London. The plan granted the Peruvian Corporation control of Peru's raliroads for 66 years, permitted them to mine up to three million tons of guano in the country, and paid them 33 annual payments of 80,000 British pounds. Althought the plan worked effectively to ameliorate the debt, it was despised by the Peruvian people.

In his letter to Baron Rennell, a fellow British diplomat, Clinton Edward Dawkins describes the nature of his work and his impressions of Perú and its people, upon having recently arrived there as a representative of the Peruvian Corporation. He describes the daily work of the Corporation as consisting of "developing the resources of the country" through "railway management, establishing colonies, shipping guano, working mines" and managing complex legal negotiations between Chile, Perú, France, and the Corporation regarding money owed by Chile to bondholders whose money had been borrowed by Perú on the security of Peruvian provinces that were subsequently annexed by Chile at the conclusion of the War of the Pacific. Dawkins confesses to enjoying "a new sense of combined responsibility" attached to his new position in Perú, but also laments the distance he feels from what he believes to be a superior and refined European mileu, saying that Perú "is badly supplied with news, lies quite outside the vortex of the great European or world questions, and is destitute of intelligent and educated society."

This collection was arranged by the creator.

The C.E. Dawkins letter was purchased by Special Collections, Haverford College in 2004.

Processed by Phillip Norman; completed April, 2019.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Phillip Norman
Finding Aid Date
April, 2019
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

C.E. Dawkins Letter, 1891.
Box 1

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