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Adolfo Díaz Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Manuscripts-Collection 132

Scope and Contents

1930-1947. This collection consists of correspondence, notarial acts, clippings, photos, reports and other items that detail the personal and business affairs of Adolfo Díaz, a three time President of Nicaragua. Most items describe Díaz's involvement with the La Luz & Los Angeles Mining Co., and Nicaraguan gold mining. Other items deal with the Nicaraguan political situation after 1940. Most notable are several letters from Emiliano Chamorro. The majority of the collection consists of a variety of correspondence (letters and telegrams) which detail Adolfo Díaz's personal and business affairs between the years 1930 and 1947. The greatest part of the correspondence deals with Díaz's relationship with the Laz Luz and Los Angeles Mining Company. There are a number of letters from the company's President, J. Gilmore Fletcher, who was also Díaz's personal friend. There are also letters or copies of correspondence from other people involved with the La Luz Mines including Telemaco Lopez, who served as a representative for the company in Nicaragua, George Tower and M.B. Huston, officials of the Tonopah Mining Company of Nevada, which took over the La Luz Concession, and Ernesto Solórzano Díaz, don Adolfo's nephew, who served as his representative in Nicaragua. There are also several letters from different lawyers detailing some of the mine's legal circumstances. Other items of interest in the correspondence include several letters from Emiliano Chamorro and other political figures that discuss the Nicaraguan political situation after 1940. There are several letters that detail don Adolfo's financial problems and arrangements to repay a loan he received from the Banco Nacional de Nicaragua. Finally one letter contains a nine-page attachment entitled "Señor Adolfo Díaz," which details his personal life, personal affairs, business affairs and involvement with the La Luz mine. The Díaz Papers also contain a series of thirteen notarial acts that gave don Adolfo the rights to several mines around the La Luz holdings in La Siuna. Also of note in the collection are an undated report entitled "Potosi Group of Mines," three miscellaneous items dealing with Nicaraguan politics and a small group of photographs.


  • 1934-1947


Conditions Governing Access

Open to the public. No known restrictions.

Biographical or Historical Information

Adolfo Díaz Recinos was born in Alajuela, Costa Rica to Nicaraguan parents on July 15, 1875. The family returned to Nicaragua when Díaz was five years old. As a longtime opponent of Liberal dictator José Santos Zelaya, (1893-1909), Díaz was jailed and exiled during the regime. He came to the forefront of Nicaraguan politics during the Conservative Party's ouster of Zelaya in 1909. He provided funds to the rebel movement's leader Juan Estrada and became Vice President in 1911. Diaz succeeded Estrada as President on May 9, 1911 serving out the term. Adolfo was elected President in his own right in 1913 serving until 1916. Díaz again served as President between November 14, 1926 and January 1, 1929 in the wake of the political unrest which resulted from the unsuccessful coup attempt led by Emiliano Chamorro, another Conservative Party leader. Díaz ran unsuccessfully as the Conservative Party's presidential candidate in 1932. He never sought office again, but maintained contact with many Nicaraguan political figures.

In addition to his political career, Adolfo Díaz was also very much involved in the mining business. Between 1901 and 1910 he worked in Bluefields as the Secretary for the La Luz y Los Angeles Mining Company, an American company incorporated in Delaware that mined gold at La Siuna in the Zelaya province in eastern Nicaragua. Díaz was in charge of the office and attended to everything concerning the mine including purchases, the receipt and forwarding of bullion, transportation and oversight of operations at the mine. In 1903 he also became an assistant to the company's treasurer. Díaz continued his involvement with mining and acquired the Potosí Mine, located near the La Luz holdings in 1914. The La Luz holdings were destroyed during raids by the forces of Cesar Augustín Sandino in 1928. Don Adolfo acquired control of several other mines around La Siuna in 1930 and took charge of the attempt to revive gold mining at the La Luz holdings in 1934 until that company sold its mines to the Tonopah Mining Company of Nevada in 1936. Díaz continued to receive concession payments from a company called La Luyz Mines Ltd. as late as 1944. In addition to these business ties, Díaz always enjoyed close relations with the United States. He was forced to rely on American troops to remain in power in 1912 and 1926. The Bryan-Chamorro treaty, granting the United States the right to construct an inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua, was signed in 1913 during his second term as President. Díaz first visited the United States during the time between June 1918 and July 1920 and returned between 1932 and 1934. Don Adolfo again took up residence in the U.S. between 1936 and 1947, this time as a political exile because he "had some fears for his personal safety and property in Nicaragua" under the Somoza regime. New York City became his primary residence, but he also stayed in Miami and New Orleans. He died in Alajuela, Costa Rica in 1964. His remains were later reburied in Managua, Nicaragua.


1.5 Linear Feet (shares 1 Hollinger clamshell box with Collection 134)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian

Arrangement Note

1 Hollinger box

Folders 1 - 8: Correspondence 1930-1947 - 132 pieces

Folders 9 - 14: Notarial Documentation - 14 pieces

Folder 15: Miscellaneous Mining Documentation - 3 pieces

Folder 16: Miscellaneous Political Material - 3 pieces

Folder 17: Addenum of 6 pieces of correspondence relating to the sale of Díaz's mining interests 1934 - 1947

Folder 18: Addenum of 2 agreements between Adolfo Díaz and J. Gilmore Fletcher for the transfer of leases and lands to mines in Nicaragua

Separated Materials

The previous Folder 17 of photographs in the Adolfo Díaz papers are now housed as sub-folder 47 in Small Photograph Collections 38. Two recently acquired gelatin silver prints have been added.
Díaz, Adolfo Papers, 1930-1947
Manuscript Collection 132, Manuscripts, The Latin American Library, Tulane University
Philip S. MacLeod
October 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
1st edition, revised in 2016

Repository Details

Part of the The Latin American Library at Tulane Repository

7001 Freret Street
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, 4th floor
Tulane University
New Orleans Louisiana 70118 US
(504) 865-5681