The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Ropes, Edward D. (Edward Dehonde), 1838-1902
Edward D. Ropes (1838-1902)
3 linear feet (3 boxes)
The Edward D. Ropes papers
document the activities of this Salem, Massachusetts, merchant and United States
Consul to Zanzibar and his son, Edward D. Ropes, Jr. The collection has been divided
into two series.
SERIES I. Edward D. Ropes (1838-1902) Papers SERIES II. Edward D. Ropes (1864-1903) Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Edward D. Ropes papers document the activities of this Salem, Massachusetts,
merchant and United States Consul to Zanzibar and his son, Edward D. Ropes, Jr. The
collection has been divided into two series. Each series is arranged in
Series I. Edward D. Ropes (1838-1902) Papers contains
letters, passports, and accounts. It includes documentation relating to the
formation of Ropes, Emmerton & Company, the appointment of Ropes as Consul of
the United States to Zanzibar, and a letter from his father, Timothy Ropes.
Correspondents in "letters from others" (box 1, folder 9) include A. S. Peabody,
William H. Nichols III, J. Orne Ryder, Henry N. Austin, N. A. Bachelder, R. M.
Whitney, F. M. Cheney, Henry Curwen, and Joseph A. Jones.
Series II. Edward D. Ropes, Jr. (1864-1903) Papers
contains mainly letters from Ropes to his parents. These letters were transcribed
and annotated in the book The Zanzibar Letters of Edward D.
Ropes, Jr. 1882-1883 by Norman Robert Bennett in 1972. The letters are
not necessarily personal, but contain descriptions of the commercial life of
Zanzibar including the social conditions. This series also contains some ephemera, a
passport, and his appointment as United States Consul to Zanzibar in 1890. The Brooklyn Eagle was a newsletter published by The
Neptune Publishing Company on board the USFS Brooklyn
and contains articles on Zanzibar.
Edward Delhonde Ropes was born on April 3, 1838, in Salem,
Massachusetts, to Timothy (1797-1873) and Mary (Silver) Ropes. He attended local
schools and in 1853, accepted a position with a Boston commission house. In the next
year he joined John Bertram's firm and soon left for East Africa on one of the
firm's vessels. Ropes continued in the Zanzibar trade for over a decade, serving as
acting consul on the island during 1859 to 1860 and as consul from 1865 to 1867.
During the latter period Ropes worked successfully to rebuild the war-damaged
American position. Poor health caused Ropes to return to Salem in 1867. He never
returned to East Africa, although he remained a member of the Bertram organization
until John Bertram's death in 1882. He then became a principal partner of the
successor firm, Ropes, Emmerton and Company.
Ropes married Mary Goodhue (1840-1915) of Salem in 1862 and they had a son,
Edward D. Ropes, Jr. Ropes died in Salem on August 8, 1902 of stomach cancer.
Edward D. Ropes was born on September 5, 1864, in
Salem, Massachusetts, to Edward D. (1838-1902) and Mary (Goodhue) (1840-1915) Ropes.
He was educated in Salem's public schools. After graduating from high school at age
17, he went to Zanzibar to work for John Bertram's agency. He left Zanzibar in March
1885 at the expiration of his original contract. He returned in July 1886 as the
firm's chief agent at age 22. He left Zanzibar for Salem sometime in 1889, but he
was appointed as American consul in mid-1890 and returned to Zanzibar. He was forced
to leave Zanzibar for the last time in February 1892 due to ill health.
In Salem, he entered the employ of Arnold, Cheney and Company, the successor
firm to Arnold, Hines, and Company. Later Ropes worked for William E. Hutton and
Company, a firm of New York brokers. Poor health increasingly plagued him and he
died in Salem on October 30, 1903.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons,
or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Bachelder, Leonard A.
Bertram, John, 1796-1882
Emmerton, E. Augustus (Ephraim Augustus), 1827-1901
Hathorne, W. H.
Hines, William E.
Kharas, Rustomjee Sorabjee
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924
Ropes, Edward D., 1864-1903
Ropes, Timothy, 1797-1873
Webb, Francis Ropes
Webb, John Felt
Webb, William George, 1821-1890
Williams, James S.
Dossabhoy Merwanjee & Co.
Maclean Maris Company
Ropes, Emmerton & Co.
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex
Edward D. Ropes (1838-1902) Papers, MH 201, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum,
This material was donated by Ruth Rogers on October 24, 1947 (acc #11,840) and the
Lucia P. Ropes estate on January 20, 1948 (acc #11,884). Three items were donated by
Mary R. Trumbull on May 23, 1974 (acc #20,353).
Collection processed by Tamara Gaydos, November 2016.
Bennett, Norman Robert, ed. The Zanzibar Letters of Edward
D. Ropes, Jr., 1882-1892. Boston: African Studies Center, Boston
Ebenezer and William Hollingsworth Hathorne Papers, 1818-1886, MH 119
Ropes Emmerton and Company Records, 1873-1902, MSS
Papers of Edward Delhonde Ropes, 1870-1876, MSS
The Edward D. Ropes papers document the activities of this Salem, Massachusetts, merchant and United States Consul to Zanzibar and his son, Edward D. Ropes, Jr. The collection has been divided into two series.
Dossabhoy Merwanjee & Co.; Maclean Maris Company; Ropes, Emmerton & Co.; Glide (Ship); United States--Commerce--Tanzania--Zanzibar; Salem (Mass.); Ropes, Edward D., 1864-1903; Ropes, Timothy, 1797-1873; Bachelder, Leonard A.; Bertram, John, 1796-1882; Emmerton, E. Augustus (Ephraim Augustus), 1827-1901; Hathorne, W. H.; Hines, William E.; Kharas, Rustomjee Sorabjee; Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924; Sparhawk, Augustus; Spaulding, H.; Tharia, Jaffer; Tharia, Moosa; Toppan, Thariah; Webb, Francis Ropes; Webb, John Felt; Webb, William George, 1821-1890; Williams, James S.; Consuls; Passports; Shipping
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.
This material was donated by Ruth Rogers on October 24, 1947 (acc #11,840) and the Lucia P. Ropes estate on January 20, 1948 (acc #11,884). Three items were donated by Mary R. Trumbull on May 23, 1974 (acc #20,353).