Finding aid to the Jacob P. Leese papers, 1837-1862, MS OV 10

Finding aid prepared by Marie Silva.
California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105-4014
(415) 357-1848
reference@calhist.org
2012


Title: Jacob P. Leese papers
Date: 1837-1862
Collection Identifier: MS OV 10
Creator: Leese, Jacob P. (Jacob Primer), 1809-1892.
Extent: 1 oversize box (2 linear feet)
Contributing Institution: California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105-4014
(415) 357-1848
reference@calhist.org
URL: http://californiahistoricalsociety.org/
Location of Materials: Collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Most collection materials are in English, with some correspondence in Spanish.
Abstract: Consists of personal and business correspondence, indentures, legal documents, ship's papers, accounts, inventories, and maps, documenting the activities, business interests, and land holdings of early California merchant Jacob P. Leese, his wife Rosalia Vallejo de Leese, and his partner Thomas O. Larkin, between the years 1837 to 1862. Items of note include indentures for three Chinese servants transported to California from Hong Kong in 1849; accounts for the brig Eveline, on which Leese traveled to China to engage in trade (1849); a signed account statement of John C. Fremont for the United States Army (1847); accounts with Hudson's Bay Company (1841); and deeds and other legal documents for land holdings in San Francisco, Monterey, and Sonoma, including Rancho Sausal. The collection also contains three manuscript maps depicting Rancho Sotoyome (surveyed by Jasper O'Farrell, 1844); lots 327 and 328 at Broad Way and Battery in San Francisco (surveyed by William M. Eddy, 1850); and lots in Monterey belonging to Thomas Larkin and others prior to 1848 (1849).

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jacob P. Leese papers, MS OV 10, California Historical Society.

Related Collections

Daguerreotype portraits of Jacob P. Leese and Rosalia Vallejo de Leese can be found in the California Historical Society's Daguerreotype Collection under the identifying numbers 8G and 8H.

Donor

Collection items are on indefinite loan from the M. H. De Young Memorial Museum.

Biographical Information

Early California merchant Jacob Primer Leese was born in St. Clairsville, Ohio, in 1809, and came to California in 1833 and again in 1834, engaging in trade in Los Angeles and later in Monterey. In 1836, Leese entered into a mercantile partnership with Monterey businessmen Nathan Spear and William Sturgis Hinckley, relocated to Yerba Buena (now San Francisco), and there opened a store. The partners ran a profitable business, trading merchandise for rancho products. Naturalized in 1837, Leese married Rosalia Vallejo, sister of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. In 1841, Leese sold his business interests to Hudson's Bay Company, and moved to his Sonoma ranch, still retaining extensive land holdings in Yerba Buena. Leese served as alcalde in Sonoma (1844-1845), and was one of the prisoners taken in the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt. Around 1849, he entered into a business partnership with Thomas Oliver Larkin in Monterey, traveling to China on the brig Eveline. Leese and his wife were also major land holders in Monterey County; among their claims was Rancho Sausal, deeded to Rosalia by her brother Mariano G. Vallejo. Leese left California in 1865, returning to the state in 1885. He died in San Francisco in 1892.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of personal and business correspondence, indentures, legal documents, ship's papers, accounts, inventories, and maps, documenting the activities, business interests, and land holdings of early California merchant Jacob P. Leese, his wife Rosalia Vallejo de Leese, and his partner Thomas O. Larkin, between the years 1837 to 1862. Items of note include indentures for three Chinese servants transported to California from Hong Kong on the Mary in 1849; accounts for the brig Eveline, on which Leese traveled to China to engage in trade (1849); a signed account statement of John C. Fremont for the United States Army (1847); accounts with Hudson's Bay Company (1841); and deeds and other legal documents for land holdings in San Francisco, Monterey, and Sonoma, including Rancho Sausal. The collection also contains three manuscript maps depicting Rancho Sotoyome (surveyed by Jasper O'Farrell, 1844); lots 327 and 328 at Broad Way and Battery in San Francisco (surveyed by William M. Eddy, 1850); and lots in Monterey belonging to Thomas Larkin and others prior to 1848 (1849).
Many prominent early Californians, businessmen, and firms are represented in Leese's correspondence, accounts, and legal papers, including: Thomas O. Larkin; Philip A. Roach; Antonio M. Osio; Fr. Rafael de Jesus Moreno; Rafael Garcia; Faxon Dean Atherton; G. F. Grant (?); Henry Mellus; Joseph B. Eaton; John C. Fremont; Graciano Manjarrez; Mariano G. Vallejo; William E. P. Hartnell; Juan B. Alvarado; Alexander S. Taylor; Parrott & Co.; the Society of California Pioneers; Hudson's Bay Company; Lovering & Gay; Mellus, Howard & Co.; Alizal Silver Mining Co.; and the Monterey Wharf Company.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog:
Leese, Jacob P. (Jacob Primer), 1809-1892--Archives.
Merchants--California.
Chinese--California.
Chinese--United States--Legal status, laws, etc.
Land titles--California--Monterey County.
Real property--California--Monterey County.
Real property--California--San Francisco.
Real property--California--Sonoma County.
California--Commerce.
San Francisco (Calif.)--Commerce.
China--Commerce--United States.
United States--Commerce--China.
Rancho Sausal (Monterey County)
Rancho Sotoyome (Sonoma County)--Maps.
Monterey (Calif.)--Maps.
San Francisco (Calif.)--Maps.
Larkin, Thomas Oliver, 1802-1858.
Vallejo de Leese, Rosalia.
Frémont, John C. (John Charles), 1813-1890.
Eddy, William M.
O'Farrell, Jasper, 1817-1875.
Eveline (Brig).
Hudson's Bay Company.
Manuscript maps.
Ship's papers.
Deeds.
Indentures.
Inventories.


Folder 1

Letters from Jacob P. Leese 1843, 1849

Scope and Contents

Consists of letters to Thomas O. Larkin (1849) and John M. Loughlin (1843). The letter to Larkin concerns the transport of fifteen Chinese cooks from Hong Kong to California on the ship Mary.
Folder 2

Photocopies of letters from Jacob P. Leese 1849-1850

Folder 3

Letters to Jacob P. Leese 1837-1852

Language of Materials: In Spanish.

Scope and Contents

Consists of letters written in Spanish to Jacob P. Leese. Correspondents include Philip A. Roach, Antonio M. Osio, Fr. Rafael de Jesus Moreno, and Rafael Garcia.
Folder 4

Letters to Jacob P. Leese 1844-1862

Scope and Contents

Consists of letters written in English to Jacob P. Leese. Correspondents include Faxon Dean Atherton, G. F. Grant (?), Henry Mellus, Joseph B. Eaton, Parrott & Co., and the Society of California Pioneers.
Folder 5

Accounts 1841-1850

Scope and Contents

Consists of accounts with and for Thomas O. Larkin, Hudson's Bay Company, Lovering & Gay, Mellus, Howard & Co., John C. Fremont (for the United States Army), the brig Eveline, the ship Mariposa, the bark Don Quixote, and others. Accounts for the Eveline and Mariposa document trade between Hong Kong and California.
Folder 6

Receipts and promissory notes 1841-1858

Folder 7

Indentures between Jacob P. Leese and Ahine ("coolie"), Atu (cook), and Awye (tailor) 1849

Folder 7

Memo: of coolie passengers [aboard the] Mary, amount advanced to account of wages 1849

Folder 8

Photocopies of indentures between Jacob P. Leese and Chinese servants 1849

Folder 9

Miscellaneous indentures and legal documents 1849-1850

Scope and Contents

Includes agreements between William E. P. Hartnell, Juan B. Alvarado, and Alexander S. Taylor concerning the Alizal Silver Mining Co. in Monterey.
Folder 10

Graciano Manjarrez land records, Monterey 1849

Language of Materials: In Spanish.

Scope and Contents

Consists of copies of Manjarrez's letter to the Ayuntamiento of Monterey and the Ayuntamiento's reply concerning land granted to Manjarrez by David Spence.
Folder 11

Translation of naturalization paper for Jacob L. Leese 1849

Folder 11

Deed of Rancho Sausal, from Mariano G. Vallejo to his sister Rosalia Vallejo de Leese 1857

Folder 11

Monterey Wharf Company certificate of stock 1857

Folder 12

Records in Case No. 74, Board of the United States Land Commission 1854

Folder 13

Map of Rancho Sotoyome, surveyed by Jasper O'Farrell 1844

Folder 13

Map of lots in Monterey belonging to Thomas Larkin and others prior to 1848 1849

Folder 13

Map of lots 327 and 328 at Broad Way and Battery, San Francisco, surveyed for Jacob P. Leese by Wm. M. Eddy 1850