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Robert Dawe Collection, 1874-1925

12 centimetres of textual records

Administrative history

The firm of C. & A. Dawe of Bay Roberts was formed circa 1877 by Captain Charles Dawe (1845-1908) and his brother, Azariah Dawe. It was a typical outport fish merchant operation: goods were imported and sold to fishermen in exchange for their produce, which was then shipped to foreign markets. C. & A. Dawe may have imported and exported goods and produce on its own account since it was a large firm and probably not dependent on a St. John's supplier, which was often the case with smaller outport operations. The owners registered 37 vessels between 1873 and 1907.

Captain Charles Dawe was also a well-known schooner and steamer master in both the Labrador cod fishery and the sealing industry. Among the steamers which he took to the annual seal hunt were the Aurora, Bear, Greenland, Iceland, Terra Nova, Thetis, and Vanguard - his crews bringing in 318,290 seals over a twenty-four year period. Charles Dawe was also active in politics, first sitting as a Conservative MHA for the district of Harbour Grace, 1878-1889, and from 1893 as the representative for Port de Grave. He sat on the Executive Council in the administrations of Goodridge and Winter, and served as leader of the Opposition after the resignation of A.B. Morine in 1906.

Prior to his death in 1908, Dawe wrote a will in which he bequeathed $50,000 cash comprised mainly of savings and life insurance to be placed in trust for his wife, Emma, and $25,000 in trusts for each of his children Louise, Emma and Robert. He also stipulated that the business be wound up within five years of his death with the net proceeds of his one-half share also to be invested for his wife's benefit. Azariah, Robert Dawe and Arthur S. Rendell were the executors. The business must have been wound up by the executors circa 1911 because, on July 30 of that year, the Registrar of the Supreme Court received just over $140,000 from the executors and released them from "all claims and demands in relation to the estate". Nevertheless, the existence of the 1923-1925 ledger confirms that the business was re-formed, either by Azariah, Robert, or some other family member.

Registry of Newfoundland Vessels, Maritime History Archive
Last will and testament of Charles Dawe, 1908. Maritime History Archive
Chafe's Sealing Book. St. John's: Trade Printers, 1924

Scope and content

This fonds consists of four ledgers for C. & A. Dawe, Bay Roberts, 1876-1877, 1877, 1878, 1923-25; financial statement for C. & A. Dawe, 1910; last will and testament of Charles Dawe, 1908; correspondence; a photocopy of a family tree of the Dawe family; an insurance policy, 1874; diary/logbook of the barque Nebo, 1904; and an undated statement of the master watch on the S.S. Terra Nova.


Supplied title based on description.
Four books were included with this donation
Donated by Robert Dawe
Copyright expired
Maritime History Archive finding aid 90
Accession number: 1981-0003
Location: R95-41, OMF-010, OMF-011
Related material can be found in the Dawe, C. Collection, Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador, MG 455.


Item list

Series 1: Financial Records
1.01   Pocket ledger, 1877
1.02   Pocket ledger, 1877 (2nd item)
1.03   Pocket ledger, 1878
1.04   Ledger, 1923-1925
1.05   Financial statement, 1910

Series 2: Correspondence
2.01   Letter to Charles Dawe, receiveer general from Joseph O'Reilley re the St. Pierre fishery, 5 July 1898 (OMF-011)
2.02   Statement of John Badcock, master watch on the S.S. Terra Nova, not dated (vessel lost in 1943)
2.03   Letter re sale of fish, 1900

Series 3: Miscellaneous
3.01   Insurance policy, 1874
3.02   Last will and testament of Charles Dawe, 1908
3.03   Photocopy of the Daw(e) family tree
3.04   Diary/logbook of the barque Nebo, 1904
3.05   Blank bill of sale form for schooner (OMF-010)

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