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Edward C. Dyer Papers

Identifier: Mss. Acc. 2014.024

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, ephemera, and financial documents related to Edward C. Dyer's business as an auctioneer and importer of cigars (segars) from Havana, Cuba. The majority of the documents are dated between 1853-1865 with the full scope of the collection ranging from 1808-1897. The bulk of the letters were written by John Benjamin Belt, a cigar exporter in Havana, detailing the Cuban import-export cigar trade including suppliers, brands, quality of various tobacco leaves, start-ups, and costs association with the tobacco business. The collection contains letters from Belt to his mother and sister, Elizabeth, Edward C. Dyer's wife. Dyer also had sustained correspondence with Herman Heins and George Dufour, J. Amez, James Harper, Robert Marron, and Reid and Eaton. In addition to the correspondence, there are also numerous ephemera items such as receipts, check stubs, Balance sheets, invoices, property deeds, legal documents, and estate papers. Among the receipts is a receipt for the purchase of a slave by Dyer. Finally, the collection contains several bound account books of Dyer's for various companies with which he did business.


  • Creation: 1808-1897 and undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1853-1865


Language of Materials

English Spanish;Castilian

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Edward Calistus Dyer was born around 1815, the son of John Randall Dyer and Mary Ann Gardiner. Edward had three brothers (Robert Walter, George, and Richard Hannibal) and married Elizabeth E. Belt, sister of William Benjamin Belt, on July 14, 1851.

Edward Dyer lived in Washington D.C. and was an auctioneer along with his brothers Robert and George. Some of the items Edward auctioned off included food, clothing, furniture and slaves. Later in his career, Edward began importing cigars from Cuba as well as fine liquor, whiskey, wine and food.


1.00 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

This collection is arranged chronologically by item type.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

The fragile nature of this material may limit handling.

Acquisition Information:

Acc. 2014.024 was received by Special Collections in January 2014.

Processing Information:

Accessioned and minimally processed by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in March 2014.

Guide to the Edward C. Dyer Papers
Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository