Papers documenting Moore's work as an ivory trader employed by Arnold, Cheney and Co. Includes copies of his diary entries while working as an ivory trader, financial documents, price lists, his writings on the subject of ivory, articles, a map, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists primarily of copies of records still in the possesssion of Moore's family. Foremost among these are copies of his diary entries for the time he was employed overseas by Arnold, Cheney & Co. These provide a daily, often humorous, description of the lifestyle of an American businessman trading in the outposts of the British Empire. Further documentation of this lifestyle is provided by Moore's personal account book, expense account statements, and receipts, as well as the materials on Club life in these spots. These include rule books for the Union Club at Aden, the Mombasa Club, the Mombasa Sport Club, and the Mnazi Moja and English clubs at Zanzibar, along with statements of Moore's accounts at each.
The collection contains a great deal of information on the ivory trade, primarily in Moore's correspondence, both business and private, and in documents relating to his contract and service abroad. Although most of these are xerographic copies, a number of originals are included; since these are fragile, it is recommended that the researcher use the copies. There are several items directly related to ivory, including three ivory pricelists from 1922, a small pamphlet about ivory published in 1921, and Moore's handwritten description of the characteristics and classification of ivory. Also contained in the collection are a number of articles written by Moore about ivory and the ivory trade, along with his book, Ivory: The Scourge of Africa, in both typescript and published form. An additional folder contains a photographic copy of the map of "Ivory Country" used to illustrate the book.
The collection also contains copies of many of Moore's photographs. Most of them were taken during his days in Aden, Mombasa, and Zanzibar. These document all aspects of the ivory trade, from the elephant in the wild to the loading of tusks onto ships bound for New York. They depict ivory poachers, transport of tusks, weighing and measuring tusks, storage facilities in the traders' compound or "ivory house," trade goods used to purchase the ivory, and local scenes. Of especial interest are a number of photographs which show the visit of ex President Theodore Roosevelt to Mombasa in 1909. There are also three photoprints showing activities in Pratt, Read & Company's factory at Deep River, Ct. The remaining photographs are family snapshots, mainly of Moore's children. NOTE: Permission to publish these photographs must be obtained directly from the donor, who retains the copyright on them. The collection also includes a history of Pratt, Read & Company which Moore wrote in 1930.
Biographical information in the collection includes a chapter from a biography of Moore which was written by his daughter as a school assignment, autobiographical recollections of Moore's days as an ivory buyer, and a copy of his obituary.
Of additional interest are copies of documents relating to Moore's uncle, Dwight Moore. These deal with his service as U.S. Consul at Aden and Zanzibar in the 1880s 1890s, and correspondence between Moore and his uncle during Moore's service overseas.
Biographical / Historical:
Ernst R. Domansky was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 1, 1884. He was an ivory trader employed by Arnold, Cheney & Co., ivory importers of New York city, serving as that firm's agent in Aden, Mombasa, and Zanzibar from 1907 to 1911. He negotiated for the purchase of tons of elephant tusks from the Arab traders who brought them from the interior of Africa, and made several trips into the interior himself. He also served briefly as U.S. Consul at Zanzibar in 1911.
Shortly after his return to the United States sometime between 1911 and 1913 Domansky changed his name to Ernst D. Moore. There were evidently several reasons for this: Moore had been his mother's maiden name and, while his own parents were dead by this time, his uncle, Dwight Moore, had always looked after his interests. Dwight Moore had, in fact, obtained Ernst's position with Arnold, Cheney & Co. for him. In addition,
both of his brothers had already switched from Domansky to Moore.
In 1913, Moore married Miss Elsie Warner of Chester, Connecticut, where he took up residence. He was then employed by the piano manufacturing firm of Pratt, Read & Co., of Deep River, Connecticut. Pratt, Read was the chief customer for the ivory which Moore had purchased in Africa; the company used it in making piano keyboards. Moore served as Secretary, and later as Vice President, of Pratt, Read's subsidiary, the Pratt Read Player Action Company, located in Deep River. Following that, he was head of the Moore & Fisher Manufacturing Company, also of Deep River. He retained his interest in ivory and, after retiring, wrote a book describing his days in Africa and the ivory trade his Ivory: Scourge of Africa was published in 1931. He died on June 5,1932.
The Archives Center also contains Collection #320, the Pratt Read Corporation Records. It includes a few photographs of E. D. Moore, as well as information on the ivory trade and the American ivory industry. The records of Arnold, Cheney & Company for the period 1873 1902 are to be found at the Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts; they are in Collection #103, the Ropes Emmerton & Company Records. Additional records relating to both Arnold, Cheney & Company and Pratt, Read & Company can be found in the Cheney/Downing Collection at the Connecticut River Foundation at Steamboat Dock, Essex, Connecticut.
Collection donated by Edith Sibley, January 30, 1989.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish these photographs must be obtained directly from the donor, who retains copyright. See repository for details.