#FromtheArchives - a Christmas telegram

This month a Christmas telegram from an important client provides an opportunity to explore our House Correspondence - Argentina series (HC4.1).

On 26 December 1903 Marco Avellaneda, the Minister of Finance of the Argentine Republic sent festive greetings to Barings via The Eastern Telegraph Company. He telegraphed in Spanish to thank Barings for their cordial congratulations and kindhearted thoughts, reciprocated compliments for the new year and expressed wishes that Barings' relations with Argentina would become closer every day. On receipt the telegram was carefully translated by staff at Barings and then filed away with the other correspondence received from Argentina that year.

Avellaneda was responding to a Christmas telegram that Barings had sent to him. Telegrams that survive in the archive demonstrate that from the late 1850s this new and innovative communication method was used to relay important information in a quick and timely manner. To maintain confidentiality telegrams were often composed using code words and the decoded messages were usually carefully filed away alongside the original message.

The Argentinian Government was an important client for Barings. Involvement with Argentina had decreased following the Baring Crisis of 1890 but a decade later Barings were once more engaged in Argentinian loans. They often worked in collaboration with the Buenos Aires firm, Ernesto Tornquist and Co, and the archive contains much correspondence with this important firm. The topics of other telegrams in the 1903 file include railroads, ports and the investment of the proceeds from the sale of warships. This correspondence has now been digitised enabling researchers to explore this important relationship in more detail.

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Posted on Wednesday, 15th December 2021

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