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Dashwood, Charles, 1787–1832
Charles Dashwood diaries and commissions relating to Xalapa and Guatemala City.
Physical Description:
2 v. + (2 commissions) : ill. ; 27 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
F1432 .D37 1826+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Archives & Manuscripts
Charles Dashwood served as a British army officer in Spain, Portugal, and Flanders, and was present at the Battle of Waterloo. He died in 1832 at Devonport, England, from an illness obtained while serving in Central America.
Fairman, Elisabeth: "'Travel Narrative' by Charles Dashwood", Apollo, April 2007.
Selected exhibitions: "Paul Mellon's Legacy: A Passion for British Art" (Yale Center for British Art, 18 April-29 July, 2007).
Pen and brown ink; some illustrations in colored wash over pen and black or brown ink or graphite.
Both volumes bound in black- or blind-stamped calf; marbled end-papers. All items housed in one box.
Two manuscript journals by British Consul Charles Dashwood, the first (labelled "Vol 1st" on recto of second free end-paper) recounting a voyage from England to Vera Cruz and overland to Xalapa in 1826, the second (labelled "Vol 3d" on recto of second free end-paper) a voyage from England to the Guatemala Coast and overland to Guatemala City, Honduras and Belize in 1829-30. For the journey to Vera Cruz in 1826, Dashwood, his wife Caroline, her lady's maid and his manservant left Spithead on 25 January, 1826, on board HMS Tweed. The 12-week voyage included stops in Madeira, where Dashwood and his wife were entertained by Mr. Veitch, the Consul General at Funchal, Jamaica, and Barbados (where Dashwood observes that if conditions for the local enslave population are not improved "the slaves will eventually emancipate themselves"). The final part of the journey from Vera Cruz to Xalapa was made in three "littera" or litters carried between two mules, of one of which there is an illustration. A note at the end of the text of this volume informs us that "For further account of Xalapa, and our visit to the capital of Mexico, & to the Mines of Real del Monte & our first return to England, you must read vol. 2 of our journal"; the location of this "Vol 2d" is unknown. The second journal resumes on 25 October 1829, with the departure of the Dashwood party from England on board HMS Briton. They were apparently the only passengers on the ship, with a suite of cabins to themselves as well as the use of the Captain's sitting room. They were again entertained by Mr. Veitch in Madeira, who had by this time lost his post as Consul General after becoming involved in Portuguese politics. Dashwood proposed to exchange his own Consulate at Guatemala for that of Madeira, but this was rejected. After stopping again in Barbados and Jamaica, the party arrived in Vera Cruz. Dashwood then travelled overland to Guatemala City; an arduous journey, bedevilled by mosquitoes and pot-holed roads. At one point, Dashwood expresses his relief that his wife had been saved from such a journey (although a note in the journal signed by Caroline Dashwood informs us that she did undertake the journey the following August). From Guatemala City, Dashwood travelled by way of the village of Misco to La Antigua, the former capital of Guatemala, and climbed the Volcan de Agua before returning to Guatemala City, where he attended the opening of the Federal Congress and experienced his first earthquake. The volume concludes with two separate sections, one on "Mahogany cutting in Honduras", the other on "Belize".
Both journal volumes include numerous illustrations, both in pen and ink and in watercolor; these include maps, views of the local scenery and illustrations of the local life and people. Some of these are done directly in the volume, others on separate sheets tipped or pasted in. For the final illustration in the first volume ("A sketch of Xalapa and the surrounding country taken two miles from the town. August 22d 1826") an additional sheet of paper has been pasted to the fore-edge of the volume to create a "folding plate". The second volume includes a pasted in and annotated wood-engraved illustration of a local chair carrier transporting a woman. As well as a Consular interest in the economic opportunities presented by the region, Dashwood also describes the flora and fauna of the region, with a particular interest in the properties ascribed to plants by the local population. The passage on Belize includes particularly detailed information on the ethnic composition of the country. The diaries are accompanied by Dashwood's commissions (both on parchment) for his private posts as British Consul at Xalapa and British Consul at Guatemala City. Both commissions have finely embossed British Crown paper seals; the Xalapa commission has an additional embossed Mexican paper seal composed in a folded floral leaf design. Also accompanied by four loose sheets of paper, one bearing a pen and ink sketch with caption "Plan of our house in Guatemala", one a printed announcement of the arrival of Mrs. Dashwood in Guatemala City in September 1830, another a watercolor over pen and ink sketch of "Rosa our house maid at Guatemala, and the fourth a pencil sketch of "One end of our drawing room in Guatemala".
Subject Terms:
Antigua (Guatemala) -- Description and travel.
Belize -- Description and travel -- 19th century.
Botany -- Central America.
Central America -- Description and travel -- 19th century.
Consuls -- Great Britain -- Diaries.
Dashwood, Caroline, d. 1860.
Dashwood, Charles, 1787-1832 -- Diaries.
Diplomatic and consular service, British -- Central America.
Guatemala (Guatemala) -- Description and travel.
Guatemala -- Description and travel -- 19th century.
Honduras -- Description and travel -- 19th century.
Mahogany -- Harvesting -- Honduras.
Mexico -- Description and travel -- 19th century.
Ocean travel -- 19th century.
Slavery -- West Indies, British.
Xalapa (Mexico) -- Description and travel.
Maritime journals.
Graphite drawings.
Ink drawings.
Wash drawings.
Dashwood, Caroline, d. 1860.
IIIF Manifest:

Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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