Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
George H. Mendell Correspondence
Consult repository  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (56.49 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: George H. Mendell Correspondence
    Dates: 1894-1899
    Bulk dates: 1897-1899
    Collection Number: Consult repository
    Creator: Mendell, George H.
    Extent: 141 items
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
    The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2203
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: manuscripts@huntington.org
    URL:http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: Collection of letters from George H. Mendell to D.D. Clarke - who was Engineer of the Water Board for Portland, Oregon – written between 1897 and 1899. Mendell writes detailed letters of instruction and advice for engineering issues raised by Clarke, particularly regarding drainage, wells, and the sinking of shafts.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.

    Administration Information

    Access

    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to the following website .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George H. Mendell correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased from Ian Brabner, Bookseller on May 1, 2012.

    Biography

    Colonel George Henry Mendell was born in Pennsylvania in 1831 and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1852. Mendell joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and served with a variety of topographical surveys before the Civil War, including the survey of the Northwestern Lakes (1852-1854) and various posts in the Oregon and Washington Territory (1855-1858). He was also an assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy from 1859-1863. During the Civil War he served under Colonel Miles in the Manassas Campaign (1861) and carried on siege operations in the Petersburg, Virginia area (1864); was Assistant Engineer of Defenses of Baltimore (1864); and was Superintending Engineer of the construction of the Defenses of New Bedford Harbor, Massachusetts (1865) and the Preservation of Plymouth Beach, Massachusetts (1866). He was made a Colonel for his war service in 1865 and subsequently became superintending engineer in charge of fortifications of Alcatraz Island and Lime Point, San Francisco Harbor (beginning 1867) and for defenses of the Columbia River (1867-1871). He later served on the board of engineers for fortifications of the Pacific Coast (1867-1886); on the commission for a system of irrigation for the San Joaquin, Tulare, and Sacramento Valleys (1873-1874); was Supervising Engineer of Districts in California, Oregon, and Washington in charge of junior officers (1884-1888); was Division Engineer for Inspection of Engineer Works in the Pacific territory (beginning in 1888); was Division Engineer of the Pacific Division (until 1895); and was in charge of construction of defenses of San Francisco Harbor (1890-1895). In civilian life he worked as Engineer to the Water Commissioners of San Francisco (1876-1878), was the author of a report on water supply for San Francisco (1877), and was Consulting Engineer for the State of California (1878-1880). Mendell retired from the Engineering Corps due to mandatory age requirements in 1895. Following his military retirement he worked as a consulting engineer in San Francisco, where he died in 1902. The Battery Mendell at Fort Barry was named in his honor.

    Scope and Content

    Collection of letters from George H. Mendell to D.D. Clarke - who was Engineer of the Water Board for Portland, Oregon – written between 1897 and 1899. Mendell writes detailed letters of instruction and advice for engineering issues raised by Clarke, particularly regarding drainage, wells, and the sinking of shafts. The majority of the letters were written from Mendell’s office in San Francisco, although some originated in Los Angeles or Springfield, Illinois, where Mendell had traveled “on account of mental illness of a relative” in 1897. He also mentions meeting with Clarke in Portland on his return trip from Illinois in September 1897. Also included in the collection are a few other pieces of miscellaneous correspondence from 1894-1899 relating to water engineering in Portland.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged chronologically in two boxes.
    A detailed container list is available through the Manuscripts Department.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Clarke, D.D.
    Mendell, George H. (George Henry), 1831-1902.

    Subject

    Drainage.
    Shafts (Excavations)
    Water-supply--Oregon.
    Water-supply engineering--Portland--Oregon--History.
    Wells.

    Geograhic Areas

    Oregon--History--19th century.
    Portland (Ore.)--History.

    Genre

    Letters (correspondence)--Oregon--19th century.