Scope and Contents
Title: Pierce Family Letters to William Pierce
Date (inclusive): 1853-1855
Collection Identifier: SFH 218
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Letters to a San Francisco tinsmith from his family in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
The collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk
hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
[Identification of item], Pierce family letters to William Pierce, 1853-1855 (SFH 218), San Francisco History Center, San
Francisco Public Library.
Researchers are encouraged also to see: Pierce family papers, Henry N. Flynt Library, Historic Deerfield, Deerfield, Massachusetts,
The recipient of the letters, William Pierce, was born in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1828, the son of George and Olive
Pierce. George had three siblings: John, Phebe, and Samuel. George would later marry Luryan Long, and Phebe Anne was one of
two children born to them. John’s daughter, Anna Feron, married Theodore Dehone Judah. Phebe never married, nor did Samuel.
The Pierce family was known for their pewter, tin and other metalwork. William went to California during the Gold Rush, and
worked as a tinsmith while living in San Francisco 1852-1855. Returning to Greenfield, he married Ellen Coates in 1856 and
moved to Iowa in the 1860s. He returned to Greenfield, and died there in 1868.
Scope and Contents
Letters to William Pierce, tinsmith, while he lived in San Francisco. The letters relate news of Greenfield, Massachusetts
and surrounding areas and discuss family matters and finances. William's stepmother, Luryan, is mistrusted by other family
members for her opportunistic ways. There are scattered references to William's work and income in San Francisco, as well
as to the possibility that others from Greenfield will join him. The trial of Merrick Billings of Greenfield for forgery is
mentioned in two letters. Some letters mention Judah and Ann (Theodore Dehone Judah and his wife): at the time, Judah was
employed by the Sacramento Valley Railroad.
Letters are arranged chronologically within folder.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Judah, Theodore D.(Theodore Dehone), 1826-1863
Pierce, William, (William E. R.), 1828-1868 -- Correspondence
Pierce, Luryan, 1812-1871
Pierce, Phebe, (Phebe Anne), 1844-1897
Pierce, Phebe, 1796-1858
Pierce, Samuel, b. 1812
Greenfield (Mass.)--History--19th century.
Greenfield (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th century.