You are here: / The London banking house / American Department / Outgoing Correspondence
Copies of outgpoing correspondence concerning American business, 1834-1922 will be found in II/10. The scope of the records in the American Department is wider than the name suggests. Rothschilds' non-European business interests, in Australia, Mexico, China and India, were dealt with by the American Department.
Copies of outgoing general correspondence with agents will also be found in XI/148/0-454: General Letter Copy Books of the Correspondence Department.
Note on using the American Letter Copy Books
Researchers wishing to consult the original Letter Copy Books are advised to contact the Archive. Most of the copy letters were originally produced using a wet copy process; the quality of the copy thus made can vary enormously and legibility is at times poor. Some volumes, particualrly early volumes are in poor condition; there may be limitations on what can be produced in the Reading Room at any one time.
American Letter Copy Books, 1834-1922
II/10/0-113, 114 volumes
Copies of outgoing letters relating to American (and other New World) business survive from 1834, with an index of correspondents within each volume. The earliest volumes consist mainly of letters to agents such as J. I. Cohen of Baltimore, R. & J. Phillips of Philadelphia and J. L. & S. Josephs of New York, and are concerned with routine remittance business. The incoming correspondence is within the Correspondence Department series, XI. Volume 1 contains a letter written to Cohen just after the death of N M Rothschild, acknowledging receipt of a portrait of President Jackson which had been intended as a gift for him. After 1837, letters to Belmont, initially in German, appear frequently. There are also letters to Tolmé, the agent in Havana, notably one dated 15 June 1837 acknowledging the recommendation he made that Francisco de Goyri should take over his responsibilities as agent. In 1848, during the visit to the USA of Alphonse de Rothschild of the Paris house, many letters are addressed to him concerning the placement of orders for tobacco. Later, letters to American clients and to clients elsewhere with American stocks predominate. Letters to Nellie Melba in New York, for example, are contained within the volume because they are concerned with her American stocks, not because she was temporarily resident there.
American Letter Copy Books, Private, 1909-1918
II/140/1, 1 volume
The majority of the letters in this volume are to August Belmont from Alfred, Leopold and Natty, and contain political and financial news and comment and the occasional piece of racing news. A letter dated 25 November 1909 contains the remark, "As regards our feelings at New Court, we always were Free Traders, but circumstances have changed and without going so far as to say that we have deserted the principles of Free Trade entirely, we are waiting to see what turn matters will take and what Tariff Reform, really means." In the same letter, Belmont is asked to buy on behalf of NMR a piece of silver plate to the value of $1,000 to present to Mr Luttgen of Belmont's office in honour of his 50 years' service. The volume also contains letters to close associates advising on American stocks, and other American business letters.
American Letter Copy Books, Copper, 1894-1895
II/11/0, 1 volume
This volume of copy letters, along with some enclosed incoming correspondence, is concerned with the negotiations between European and American copper producers to reduce the production of European copper, and the moves by NMR to concentrate the European sale of American deliveries of copper into its own hands. The negotiations broke down.
American Letter Copy Book, United States Loan, 1895
II/12/0, 1 volume
The letters in this volume are virtually all between August Belmont & Co. and NMR concerning the 1895 US Government 4% Loan, issued by the two firms in conjunction with J.P. Morgan & Co. and J. S. Morgan & Co. There is only one volume in the series, covering the period January 1894 to July 1895. For later 'American ' correspondence see the II/10 series of American Letter Copy Books.
American Coupons Purchased, Copy Books, 1874-1904
II/5/0-2, 3 volumes
Brief notes recording the purchase and sale of American stock.