Guide to the Rousseau Family Papers

Sean Heyliger
African American Museum & Library at Oakland
659 14th Street
Oakland, California 94612
Phone: (510) 637-0198
Fax: (510) 637-0204
Email: aamlo@oaklandlibrary.org
URL: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/locations/african-american-museum-library-oakland
© 2013
African American Museum & Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Rousseau Family Papers

Collection number: MS 44

African American Museum & Library at Oakland

Oakland, California
Processed by:
Sean Heyliger
Date Completed:
06/28/2013
Encoded by:
Sean Heyliger
© 2013 African American Museum & Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Rousseau family papers
Dates: 1904-1958
Collection number: MS 44
Creator: Rousseau family.
Collection Size: .1 linear feet (1 box)
Repository: African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
Oakland, CA 94612
Abstract: The Rousseau family was a family musical ensemble consisting of husband and wife, Walter H. and Margaret Rousseau, and their seven children: Anna E. Rousseau, James L. Rousseau, Charles P. Rousseau, Milton T. Rousseau, Margaret Rousseau, and Green M. Rousseau. Beginning the 1910s, the family began performing at church and vaudeville theater venues throughout California, including a four month long performance at the Panama-California International Exposition in San Diego, California in 1915-1916. The Rousseau family papers include photographs, correspondence, and contracts that document the musical performances and business activities of the Rousseau family.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.

Access Restrictions

Materials are for use in-library only, non-circulating.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish from the Rousseau Family Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.

Preferred Citation

Rousseau family papers, MS 44, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

Processing Information

Processed by Sean Heyliger, 06/28/2013.

Biography / Administrative History

The Rousseau family was a family musical ensemble consisting of husband and wife, Walter H. and Margaret Rousseau, and their seven children: Anna E. Rousseau, James L. Rousseau, Charles P. Rousseau, Milton T. Rousseau, Margaret Rousseau, and Green M. Rousseau. Beginning the 1910s, the family began performing at church and vaudeville theater venues throughout California, including a four month long performance at the Panama-California International Exposition in San Diego, California in 1915-1916. The family performed as the ‘World’s Most Famous Rousseau Family of Musicians’ and the ‘Silver Star Musical Family’ playing an assortment of over 25 musical instruments, including the steel guitar, ukulele, mandolin, and violin.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Rousseau family papers include photographs, correspondence, and contracts that document the musical performances and business activities of the Rousseau family. The papers consist of 21 photographs of various members of the Rousseau family, including two group photographs from the 1920s depicting members of the Rousseau family musicians with their musical instruments. The papers also includes letters of recommendation from theater hall managers attesting to the musical abilities of the Rousseau family, a letter related to the Rousseau’s performance at the Panama-California International Exposition in 1916, two contracts for performances at theaters throughout California, and W.H.H. certificate of appointment for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in El Centro, California.

Arrangement

Series I. Photographs Series II. Correspondence Series III. Contracts

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Rousseau family (musical group).
African American musicians--California.
African American families--California.


Collection Contents

 

Photographs

Physical Description: 1 folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes 21 photographs of the Rousseau family.

Arrangement

Arranged by photograph identification number.
Box 1:1

Portrait of Walter Henry Rousseau [001] undated

Box 1:1

Portrait of the Rousseau Family with musical instruments, Los Angeles, California [002] 1924

Box 1:1

Portrait of the Rousseau Family with musical instruments, caption: ‘The World Famous Rousseau Family’ [003] circa 1920s

Box 1:1

(Left-right): Charles Rousseau, Milton Rousseau, James Rousseau, and Walter R. Rousseau standing in front of fence [004] circa 1920s

Box 1:1

Portrait of Anna Rousseau Knox [005] undated

Box 1:1

Portrait of Margaret Rousseau [006] undated

Box 1:1

Portrait of Cornelia Mason [007] circa 1900s

Box 1:1

Portrait of Anna Mae Rousseau [008] 1923

Box 1:1

Portrait of Cornelia Blakney Rousseau [009] circa 1900s

Box 1:1

Portrait of William Henry Rousseau wearing Hawaiian lei [010] circa 1920s

Box 1:1

Unidentified woman sitting on sofa [011] circa 1950s

Box 1:1

Man and woman standing next to television [012] 1956

Box 1:1

Ella Rousseau [013] undated

Box 1:1

Woman holding dog on front porch steps, reverse: ‘Greenie Pegeese L.A. 1955’ [014] 1955

Box 1:1

Portrait of a boy, reverse: ‘Lincoln Pegeese’ [015] undated

Box 1:1

Soldier lying on ground aiming rifle, reverse: ‘field pack for 12 mile hike Billy’ [016] undated

Box 1:1

Man in military uniform smoking a pipe [017] 1958

Box 1:1

Two soldiers standing in the woods [018] 1958

Box 1:1

Family leaning over concrete wall [019] circa 1950s

Box 1:1

Photographs sitting on table in bedroom [020] circa 1950s

Box 1:1

Portrait of Gladys Blakely Pettis [021] undated

Box 1:2

Correspondence 1904-1956

Physical Description: 1 folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes letters of recommendation and correspondence related to the scheduling of various Rousseau family musical performances.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.
Box 1:3

Contracts 1920-1928

Physical Description: 1 folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes two contracts for the Rousseau family to give performances in Los Angeles, California and at the Ackerman & Harris circuit of theatres in Oakland, Sacramento, Stockton, San Francisco, Fresno, and Long Beach. Also includes a W.H.H. Rousseau's certificate of appointment to serve as pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, and Imperial, California.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.