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Series VI. Cerro de Pasco Corporations, 1901-1925

Historical Background

During Henry Clay Frick’s career, he become oncreasingly interested in mining non-ferrous metals such as copper and silver. Frick soon became interested in a copper mine in Cerro de Pasco, Peru. The region of Cerro de Pasco was known for its rich deposits in minerals, most notably silver. When the silver was exhausted in the region in the late nineteenth century, copper was the next largest mineral mined. The Cerro de Pasco Corporation was comprised of three separate companies including an investment firm, mining company and railway development company, all bearing the Cerro de Pasco name. The Cerro de Pasco Corporation began with the investment firm supported by a wealthy New York syndicate compromised of J.P. Morgan, Hamilton Mcknown, H.M. Twombly, Alfred McCune, and Frick. Unlike other business ventures, Frick kept his involvement in the corporation to a minimum.

In 1887, the New York syndicate started to evaluate the copper reserves in Cerro de Pasco. By 1900 mining engineer and syndicate partner, William Van Slooten became impressed with the potential prospects of the area. He persuaded fellow mine engineers James B.A. Haggin and James McFarlane, along with mine promoter Alfred W. McCunne, to go to Cerro de Pasco and evaluate the mining prospects of the area. Confident in the area’s potential, Haggins went into a Cerro de Pasco partnership with McCunne. They developed and promoted the idea of the “Peruvian Mining Project” to entice American investors. A preliminary agreement made for the individuals wishing to participate in a “Peruvian Mining Project” was to form a “Mining Development Company.” The purpose of this company was to “purchase, development, and equip various mining claims and properties in the Cerro de Pasco region. The company had the rights to locations, coal ledges and deposits, water and tunnel access, land and water transportation and railway lines.”

The Cerro de Pasco Corporations were formally organized in 1901 by Haggin who was backed by the wealthy New York syndicate. The Cerro de Pasco Corporation started production in 1902 for the mining of copper. In the same year, the Cerro de Pasco Mining Company bought the majority of the mining concessions in the area, while also buying railroad rights, to form the Cerro de Pasco Railway Company. This corporation became the largest U.S. investor in Peru in the twentieth century. The Investment firm of the Cerro de Pasco Corporation dissolved in late 1915 and the Cerro de Pasco Copper Corporation was formed by absorbing the mining and railroad companies. A number of the original investors were a part of the new corporation.

Scope and Content Notes:

This series contains incoming and outgoing correspondence, reports, legal agreements, and financial materials of the Cerro de Pasco Corporations. This series contains four subseries: Correspondence, Reports, Financial Material, and Administrative Records. The correspondence, written mostly to Frick, relates to the business activities of all of the Cerro de Pasco companies. The correspondences of the investment firm, mining company and railroad development company have not been separated. A small number of outgoing letters from Frick can be found among the correspondence and some of these letters state that a copy can be found in a letterpress book. Correspondence also includes coded telegrams sent from Peru to Frick. Included with the telegrams is a key to assist in deciphering what is written in the telegrams.

The Reports Subseries describes Cerro de Pasco and its surrounding areas in terms of natural resources, labor, transportation, and area projected productivity. These reports were sent from Peru between 1902 and 1904 during the initial phases of business in the region. Reports concerning financial matters have been placed with the Financial Materials subseries that consists of Treasurer’s reports, which note the establishment of the mining and railway companies in South American, as well as financial statements and agreements. The administrative records date from 1902 to 1919 and document the business aspects of the Cerro de Pasco Corporations. The majority of materials are agreements; however, additional information on annual meetings and newspaper clippings can be also be found. The documents in this series date from 1901 to 1925.

Subseries 1. Correspondence, 1901-1925

Scope and Content Notes:

The Correspondence Subseries contains the incoming and outgoing letters documenting the business activities of the Cerro de Pasco Corporations. Many of the letters from the years 1902 to 1904 describe in detail the mining prospects, railway progress, employees, and travel to and from Cerro de Pasco. Many letters address business announcements of annual meetings or payments on stock. Other correspondence refers to environmental or political problems, such as the bubonic plague, yellow fever of 1904, the 1904 earthquake, and an outbreak of a regional war in 1915. Although much of the correspondence is written to Frick from the president of the companies J.B. Haggin, Frick was copied on a number of other letters concerning the individual companies. There is also correspondence concerning the death and settlement procedures of Frick’s estate relative to the Cerro de Pasco investment dating from 1920. At Frick’s death in 1919, his total investment in Cerro de Pasco was worth approximately $4,570,000 dollars. The materials in this subseries date from 1901 to 1925.


Box 28
Folder 1 Correspondence, November 1901-September 1902
Folder 2 Correspondence, October 1902
Folder 3 Correspondence, November 1902
Folder 4 Correspondence, December 1902
Folder 5 Correspondence, January-May 1903
Folder 6 Correspondence, June-December 1903
Folder 7 Correspondence, January-March 1904
Folder 8 Correspondence, March-April 1904
Folder 9 Correspondence, May-August 1904
Folder 10 Correspondence, September-December 1904
Folder 11 Correspondence, January-April 1905
Folder 12 Correspondence, May-July 1905
Folder 13 Correspondence, August-December 1905
Folder 14 Correspondence, January-March 1906
Folder 15 Correspondence, April-June 1906
Folder 16 Correspondence, July-December 1906

Box 29
Folder 1 Correspondence, 1907
Folder 2 Correspondence, 1908
Folder 3 Correspondence, 1909
Folder 4 Correspondence, 1910-1911
Folder 5 Correspondence, 1912
Folder 6 Correspondence, 1913
Folder 7 Correspondence, 1914
Folder 8 Correspondence, 1915-1916
Folder 9 Correspondence, 1917
Folder 10 Correspondence, 1924-1925
Folder 11 Correspondence, telegrams, 1904-1906

Subseries 2. Reports, 1902-1905

Scope and Content Notes:

Reports in this subseries regard the condition of Cerro de Pasco future business prospects in mining and railway production. The reports discuss issues of transportation, natural resources, labor, and food for the region. These reports give an American view of the Cerro de Pasco region in the early twentieth century. The reports in this subseries date from 1902 to 1905.

Folder 12 Reports, Mining, April 1904-July 1905
Folder 13 Reports, Copper Mining, undated
Folder 14 Reports, Natural Resources, April 10, 1902
Folder 15 Reports, “The Copper Handbook” Excerpt, Vol. III, undated
Folder 16 Reports, Coal and Iron in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, J.A. Potter, 1901

Subseries 3. Financial Material, 1903-1917

Scope and Content Notes:

Material in this subseries documents the financial concerns of the Cerro de Pasco companies. Included are Cerro de Pasco Investment Company Treasurer’s reports, stock information, and financial statements for both the Cerro de Pasco and Morococha Mining Companies. The early Treasurer’s reports include information on the railway and mining companies and provide expenses for the building of mines, coke plants, and smelters. Morococha Mining Company financial statements are also found with these materials. The Cerro de Pasco Copper Corporation took over Morococha Mining Company prior to 1915. Receipts for payments on capital stock are also located in this subseries. The materials in this subseries date from November 1903 to June 1917.


Box 30
Folder 1 Treasurer’s Report, November 1903
Folder 2 Treasurer’s Report, May-July 1905
Folder 3 Treasurer’s Report, August-October 1905
Folder 4 Treasurer’s Report, November-December 1905
Folder 5 Treasurer’s Report, January-March 1906
Folder 6 Treasurer’s Report, April-May, 1906
Folder 7 Treasurer’s Report, July, September-December 1906
Folder 8 Treasurer’s Report, (intermittent), 1907
Folder 9 Treasurer’s Report, 1908
Folder 10 Treasurer’s Report, 1909
Folder 11 Treasurer’s Report, (intermittent), 1910
Folder 12 Treasurer’s Report, 1911
Folder 13 Treasurer’s Report, January-December 1912
Folder 14 Financial Statement, Cerro de Pasco, 1913
Folder 15 Financial Statement, Cerro de Pasco, (intermittent), 1914
Folder 16 Financial Statement, Cerro de Pasco, (intermittent), 1915
Folder 17 Financial Statement, Morococha Mining Company, 1913
Folder 18 Financial Statement, Morococha Mining Company, (intermittent), 1914
Folder 19 Financial Statement, Morococha Mining Company, (intermittent), 1915

Box 31
Folder 1 Outstanding Drafts, September 1907-December, (intermittent), 1908
Folder 2 Outstanding Drafts, 1909
Folder 3 Outstanding Drafts, 1910
Folder 4 Outstanding Drafts, 1911
Folder 5 Outstanding Drafts, 1912
Folder 6 Outstanding Drafts, 1913
Folder 7 Outstanding Drafts, January-May 1914
Folder 8 Stock, April 1905
Folder 9 Stock, May 1906
Folder 10 Stock, October 1909
Folder 11 Stock, July 1911
Folder 12 Stock, November 1915
Folder 13 Stock, June 1917
Folder 14 Disbursements, June 1901-June 1902
Folder 15 Disbursements, June 1902-December 1902
Folder 16 Disbursements, December 1902-May 1903
Folder 17 Disbursements, Estimated, October 1904
Folder 18 Interest Calculations, 1908
Folder 19 Receipts, 1902-1905
Folder 20 Receipts and Expenses, June 1906

Subseries 4. Administrative Records, 1902-1919

Scope and Content Notes:

Material in this subseries relates to the business and administrative aspects of the Cerro de Pasco companies. The majority of the materials are agreements, however, additional information on annual meetings, and newspaper clippings concerning the Cerro de Pasco companies can also be found. The materials in this subseries date from 1902 to 1919.

Folder 21 Agreements, Preliminary, 1902
Folder 22 Agreements, A.W. McCune, 1905-1912
Folder 23 Agreements, James McFarlane, 1907-1913
Folder 24 Agreements, R.H. Channing, Jr., 1906
Folder 25 Agreements, Loans, 1905
Folder 26 Agreements, Loans, 1906
Folder 27 Agreements, Guarantee of payment, 1908
Folder 28 Agreements, Sinking Fund, March 1912

Box 32
Folder 1 Annual Meeting, Announcements, 1916-1919
Folder 2 Annual Meeting, Minutes, June 1905
Folder 3 Annual Report, 1918
Folder 4 Newspaper Clippings, 1915-1917
Folder 5 Newspaper Excerpts, El Commercio, November-December 1902
Folder 6 Financial Outline, March 1909
Folder 7 Morococha District Properties, 1905
Folder 8 Advertisement, November 1915
Folder 9 Administrative Notes, undated