The Elisha Oscar Crosby Papers consist mainly of autobiographical essays, documents, and correspondence regarding an early
(1849-1895) California pioneer, lawyer, politician, diplomat, and civil servant. Subjects include Crosby's reminiscences
of his official life in early California including his participation as a delegate at the constitutional convention that created
the state; his duties as an election official for the Sacramento district; his services as a state senator from 1848 until
1852; his term as the United States resident minister to Guatemala; and his legal work regarding the land claims of Spanish-speaking
Californios. Biographical materials include correspondence, personal family and financial papers, photographic portraits,
newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous materials.
Elisha Oscar (E.O.) Crosby was born on July 18, 1818, the second son of seven children born to a farming family in the upstate
New York Finger Lakes district near what is now Ithaca. He studied law under several lawyers, including his uncle, A.G. Spaulding
of Buffalo, and received his legal diploma on his twenty-fifth birthday. He then moved to New York City to practice with
Abner Benedict doing admiralty (maritime) law at 27 Wall Street.