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Despatches from US Consuls in Cardiff, Wales (1861-1906); Despatches from US consuls in Swansea, Wales (1892-1906)

Register of despatches from US consulate offices in Cardiff between 1861-1906 and in Swansea between 1892-1906. There are 6 reels of microfilm for Cardiff despatches and 1 microfilm reel for Swansea. These consular despatches are reports from U.S. consular representatives to the State Department.

The despatches cover all aspects of US diplomacy, such as: relations with foreign nationals; instructions and reports on economic, political or social conditions; treaties and arrangements; the protection of US citizens and interests abroad; reports on natural disasters; and activities of US citizens or officials. They also include copies of correspondence from various sources including other consuls, local government officials, private citizens or U.S. Naval commanders stationed in Wales. Among the related materials are newspaper clippings, copies of notes to and from the foreign offices of various countries, publications, and ceremonial letters.

The collection is important for students and researchers studying international relations between the United States and Great Britain and the United States and Wales in the Victorian period.

Date range:  1861-1906

Significance: Of international significance

Size:  6 microfilm reels (US consuls, Cardiff), 1 microfilm (US consuls, Swansea)

Language:  English

Keywords: Diplomatic and consular service, Cardiff (Wales), history sources, Swansea (Wales), United States, Great Britain, William Wirt Sikes (1836-1883)

Notes: This collection is notable for its connection to the novelist William Wirt Sikes who was appointed US Consul in Cardiff in June 1876. Before coming to Wales, Sikes was a well-respected author and journalist for the Chicago Evening Journal. He also contributed to the Harpers New Monthly Magazine, the Youth's Companion, Oliver Optic's Magazine, and the New York Sun. Whilst in Cardiff he published much on the archaeology and history of Wales and shortly after his appointment, he began a series of papers on Welsh history, archaeology, and social conditions, which attracted wide attention. He died in Cardiff on August 18th, 1883. Two of his most notable works on Wales are available within SCOLAR: Rambles and studies in Old South Wales (1881) and British goblins: Welsh folklore, fairy mythology, legends and traditions (1880). The page proofs for the illustrations of British Goblins are available in the archives.