Julian D. (David) Smith, known as "Mutt" to his friends, was born in 1900 near Boston, perhaps in Ipswich, Massachusetts, an only child. His father was a stockbroker who suffered major losses in the crash of October 1929. Smith, who had graduated form Harvard in 1922, supported both parents by sending them money he made on his job in Peru, where he seems to have gone around 1930. After passing the civil service exams, he worked in the commercial attache's office of the United States Embassy before being hired by a Mr. Kingsmith, "the King of Peru" and head of Cerro de Pasco Corporation, the oldest of the great mining concerns in the country. Smith became assistant general office manager of the Lima Office on November 1, 1935. (The Lima Office of Cerro de Pasco was the "political" office of the firm, while the Sierra Office was in charge of mining operations.) He was promoted to office manager sometime before 1949, the date of the first of the diaries in the collection.
In 1937 Smith, "Peru's best bachelor," had married Dorothy Leland in Panama, the bride being related to Henry Leland, a founder of General Motors who helped to design the Cadillac car (as detailed in Alfred Sloan's _My Years with General Motors_, which both Smiths read). Born in 1902, Dorothy was a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1946 the couple divorced, Dorothy going to Reno for the occasion and Smith taking refuge in Santiago in Chile. Although Dorothy had intended to marry someone else, her sister Addah J. Leland (Jadda) succeeded in reuniting her with Smith. (Dorothy had already been married twice before her initial nuptials with Smith. Her first marriage in 1930 had lasted only a few months.) In January 1960 Dorothy, who had been a Methodist, was converted to Catholicism. In May of that year she and Smith remarried in the Catholic Church thanks to a dispensation allowing Dorothy to wed a Protestant. The Smiths had no children.
In 1961 Smith, whose health was not good, resigned as manager of the Lima Office to become a consultant for Cerro de Pasco. Three years later his wife and two other investors set up Chan Dor Prints, a silkscreen printing company that claimed to use authentic Peruvian designs. The company was plagued with problems between the partners, and in 1967 its facilities were damaged in an earthquake. The Smiths then returned to the United States, and Julian Smith died shortly thereafter in San Francisco of a heart attack. Dorothy survived him by ten years, dying in 1977 in Pacific Grove, California.
Thad Emory Leland Jr. (Thad or Tad), Dorothy Smith's brother, lived for many years in Peru with his sister and brother-in-law. Born in 1914, he graduated from Highland Park High School in Michigan, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1937, and completed a master's degree at Stanford University in 1950. After finishing his undergraduate work Leland studied painting with Sarkis Sarkisian and John Carroll at the Arts and Crafts in Detroit. He helped to paint a mural for the New York World's Fair in 1939. Establishing a studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he executed a series of portraits of33rd degree Masons for the local consistory and completed many private commissions. In 1941 he joined the Navy and was stationed on Tulagi in the Solomon Islands for two years, serving as a pharmacist in the medical corps. While there he painted portraits of officers and men for them to send home to their families, and decorated the walls of the commanding officers' mess with murals of servicemen in action. After receiving an honorable discharge, Leland studied commercial art at the Academy of Advertising Art in San Francisco. Garnering his master's degree from Stanford, he worked as a commercial illustrator and taught art classes for adults. He seems to have arrived in Peru sometime between August 1954 and May 1955, returning to the United States in 1967 with his relatives and thereafter moving for a time to Arizona. Following the lead of his sister Dorothy, Leland formally converted to Catholicism. He never married. He died of a heart attack in Pebble Beach, California in 1987.