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Finding Aid for the Jonathan Drake Stevenson papers, 1840-1892, bulk 1845-1880
2040  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Index of Names and Subjects

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Jonathan Drake Stevenson papers
    Date (bulk): 1840-1892, bulk 1845-1880
    Collection number: 2040
    Creator: Stevenson, J. D. (Jonathan Drake), 1800-1894.
    Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
    Abstract: The papers of Jonathan Drake Stevenson consist of correspondence, miscellaneous legal and business papers and a few accounts and clippings. They are contained in one document box and range in time from 1840 to 1892, although the larger part of the material falls within the time span 1845-1880.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Robert E. Cowan, purchase, 1936.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jonathan Drake Stevenson papers (Collection Number 2040). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Biography

    Stevenson was born Jan. 1, 1800 in NY; private secretary to NY Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, later accompanying him to Washington, DC, when Tompkins was elected Vice-President in 1816; won a seat in the NY State Assembly; accepted command of military volunteer regiment in CA from President Polk in 1846 and arrived in San Francisco in March 1847; made commander of post in Monterey and later became military commander of the southern district of CA (headquartered in Los Angeles), May 1847; after his regiment went out of service in 1848, he later entered the mining and real estate businesses; appointed Shipping Commissioner, Port of San Francisco, 1872; died in San Francisco on Feb. 14, 1894.

    Expanded Biographical Narrative

    Jonathan D. Stevenson was born with the century on January 1, 1800, in Richmond, Staten Island, New York. His father, an old time shipmaster attached to the Revenue Department, was an intimate friend of the Vanderbilt family. Young Stevenson and Cornelius Vanderbilt were contemporaries, and through Stevenson's influence, Vanderbilt received his start in the shipping business that was to lay the foundation for the Vanderbilt fortune. Although Vanderbilt often urged him to go into business, Stevenson's proclivities were in the direction of mercantile pursuits which eventually brought him into New York state politics.
    At an early age, he attracted the attention of New York Governor Daniel D. Tompkins and became his protege. He served as private secretary to the Governor and accompanied him to Washington in that capacity when Tompkins was elected Vice President in 1816.
    Through his work at Washington and later in New York State, Stevenson made friends with men like Martin Van Buren, Cave Johnson of Tennessee, Levi Woodbury of Connecticut, William Henry Haywood of North Carolina and Silas Wright of New York. His friendship with prominent politicians and his temerity in helping to expose the notorious Glentworth election frauds of 1839-1840 gained him a certain stature in the Democratic Party. He won a seat in the New York State Assembly and supported James K. Polk for the Presidency in 1844.
    While on a visit to Washington in 1846, President Polk offered Stevenson the command of a regiment of volunteers to be raised for military service in California. He accepted the command and returned to New York. Within three days after the rolls opened, the Regiment. was recruited. Stevenson sailed for California with his Regiment of New York Volunteers on September 26, 1846, and arrived at San Francisco March 7, 1847.
    After his arrival in San Francisco, Stevenson joined General Stephen Watts Kearny at Monterey and was made commander of the post. In May, 1847, he became the military commander of the southern district of California with headquarters in Los Angeles. While there, Stevenson did much to gain the goodwill of the native Californians and became known for his justice and kindness.
    When his Regiment was mustered out of service in 1848, Stevenson went to the mining community of Mokelumne Hill. He was appointed alcalde of the settlement, and drew up a code of mining laws and regulations. He remained in the "diggings" long enough to amass the respectable fortune of ten thousand dollars.
    He returned to San Francisco to enter the real estate business with William C. Parker. He remained in the city carrying on his real estate business and was appointed Shipping Commissioner for the Port of San Francisco in 1872. He held this position for many years. Even after his term as Shipping Commissioner expired, he continued to engage in his law practice and to manage real estate transactions. He died in San Francisco on February 14, 1894, a respected and prominent figure among local celebrities.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of correspondence, legal and business papers, accounts, and clippings related to the life of J.D. Stevenson. Includes materials related to his political career in NY, his command of the 1st NY Infantry Regiment of Volunteers in CA during the Mexican War, and his law practice and real estate business in San Francisco.
    The papers cover the larger share of Stevenson's life, but are especially important for the years 1840 to 1870. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley acquired a larger group of Stevenson's papers from the General Library of the University. These papers were sold to the University by Robert E. Cowan in 1897 and were paid for with funds donated by Collis P. Huntington. The Stevenson papers described in this guide were purchased by the University of California Library, Los Angeles, with the Library of Robert E. Cowan in 1936.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Incoming correspondence
    2. Outgoing correspondence
    3. Correspondence to and from various persons re: Stevenson
    4. Legal papers re: lots acquired by Stevenson in Santa Cruz, CA
    5. Miscellaneous legal papers
    6. Receipts, accounts, etc.
    7. Clippings concerning Stevenson.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Stevenson, J. D. (Jonathan Drake), 1800-1894 --Archives.
    Politicians --New York (State) --Archival resources.
    United States. Army --Officers --California --Archival resources.

    Index of Names and Subjects

    Subject references are capitalized; individuals or corporate entities for which there are materials by or to are in lower case.
    Alley, S. -----Folder 3
    Anderson, William -----Folder 8
    "APOSTLE THOMAS'S EPISTLE TO THE CALIFORNIANS" -----Folder 4
    Bankhead, J. -----Folder 8
    Bayerque, J.B. -----Folder 13
    Bayesteros, Maria de Figueroa -----Folder 12
    BEBB, GEORGE D. -----Folder 8
    Bennett, James -----Folder 7
    BENNETT, JAMES -----Folder 13
    BENTON, THOMAS HART -----Folder 5
    Berry, Richard N. -----Folder 10
    Billings, Frederick -----Folder 6
    Blackburn, William -----Folders 8 & 9
    BLAIR, FRANCIS PRESTON -----Folder 2
    Blair, James -----Folder 10
    Boorman, James -----Folder 3
    Bowden, Joseph S. -----Folder 9
    Brady, J.H. -----Folder 9
    Brewley, Jackson -----Folder 9
    BUTLER, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, 1795-1858 -----Folder 2
    Carns, Henry S. -----Folder 14
    Carr, Jesse D. -----Folders 12 & 15
    CENTRAL WHARF CO., SAN FRANCISCO -----Folder 11
    CHERIS, FRANCIS -----Folder 6
    Clark, Francis D. -----Folder 6
    Coffin, George W. -----Folder 14
    CONTAN, GUSTAVE J.
    Cook, Elisha -----Folder 8
    COOKE, PHILIP ST. GEORGE -----Folder 4
    COOLEY, R.H. -----Folder 14
    Cooper, M. -----Folder 8
    Crane & Peckham, Attorneys -----Folder 6
    DALE ( U.S. SLOOP OF WAR) -----Folder 4
    Davis, Francis -----Folder 9
    Dias y Suisa Soto, Benito -----Folder 10
    Du Bois, Francis B. -----Folder 2
    DU BOIS, FRANCIS B. -----Folder 7
    Dye, Howard -----Folder 9
    Elections, New York -----Folder 1
    Flagg, Azariah Cutting -----Folder 1
    Folsom, Joseph Libby -----Folder 8
    Fowler, J.V. -----Folder 7
    Fredericks, William -----Folder 6
    Freemasons, San Francisco, Lodge No. 1 -----Folder 14
    FREMONT, JOHN CHARLES -----Folders 4 & 5
    Fuller, J.D. -----Folder 6
    Gallagher, F. -----Folder 8
    Garrison, C.K. -----Folder 12
    GENEVA AWARD FUND -----Folder 14
    Gibson, Randall Lee -----Folder 6
    Gillespie, Charles V. -----Folder 11
    GLENTWORTH ELECTION FRAUDS, NEW YORK -----Folders 1 & 7
    Graham, David -----Folder 1
    GRAYSON, ANDREW J. -----Folder 8
    Gros, Camille -----Folder 14
    Haight, Samuel W . -----Folder 12
    Halleck, Henry Wager -----Folder 5
    Hammond, Richard P. -----Folder 10
    Hardie, James Allen -----Folder 3
    Hardy, William H. -----Folder 8
    Hart, Mary -----Folder 15
    Hart, William -----Folder 12
    Haywood, William Henry -----Folders 2 & 7
    Haywood, Wright -----Folder 6
    Hensley, Samuel J. -----Folder 12
    Hibernia Savings & Loan Association, San Francisco -----Folder 16
    Hillen, Solomon -----Folder 1
    Hubbard, George C. -----Folder 9
    HUDSON RIVER RAILWAY CO., NEW YORK -----Folders 3, 6, & 7
    Hunt, Washington -----Folder 8
    INDIANS--CALIFORNIA -----Folder 5
    Jamison, George -----Folder 9
    Jenkins, Griffith L. -----Folder 8
    Johnson, Cave -----Folder 2
    Johnson, Thomas P. -----Folder 11
    JOHNSTON, ALBERT SIDNEY -----Folders 6 & 7
    Jones, Elbert P. -----Folders 10 & 11
    Jones, Roger -----Folder 8
    Kearny, Stephen Watts -----Folder 4
    Kearster, J.V. -----Folder 7
    Kellogg, E.B. -----Folder 8
    [Kemp, C.) -----Folders 6 & 7
    Kemp, S.A. -----Folder 8
    Knight, William Henry -----Folders 6 & 7
    Lawyer, Lorenzo -----Folder 8
    LEIDESDORFF, WILLIAM ALEXANDER -----Folder 5
    Levanworth, T.M. -----Folder 7
    LEXINGTON. (U.S. SHIP) -----Folder 4
    LIEBRANDT, JOHN -----Folder 6
    McDougal, George -----Folder 9
    Maclay, William Brown -----Folder 8
    Marcy, William L. -----Folder 4
    Martin, William H. -----Folder 8
    Mason, Richard Barnes, 1797-1850 -----Folder 5
    MASON, RICHARD BARNES, 1797-1850 -----Folder 4
    Matsell, Henry C. -----Folder 4
    Mesa, Jose Antonio -----Folder 10
    MEXICAN CLAIMS -----Folders 6, 8 & 14
    Milford, Edmund N. -----Folder 4
    Miller, Albert -----Folder 9
    MISSIONS--CALIFORNIA, SOUTHERN -----Folder 5
    Moore, Eli C. -----Folder 8
    Moore, J. -----Folder 2
    Morehead, James Turner -----Folder 8
    Morris & Co., San Francisco -----Folder 11
    Morris, Robert H. -----Folder 1
    Naglee, Henry M. -----Folder 4
    NAGLEE, HENRY M. -----Folder 4
    N[etenari], P.M. -----Folder 6
    NEW YORK INFANTRY, 1st REGIMENT, 1846-1848, -----Folders scattered references, 3-17
    NEW YORK OF THE PACIFIC, CONTRA COSTA CO., CALIF. -----Folders 10 & 12
    NEW YORK STATE--POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT -----Folders l, 2, 3, & 7
    NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS, see NEW YORK INFANTRY, 1st REGIMENT, 1846-
    Niles, John Milton -----Folder 8
    O'Sullivan, James -----Folder 14
    Pacheco, Sylvestre -----Folder 12
    Palmer, Joseph C. -----Folder 12
    Parker, Richard -----Folder 9
    Parker, William C. -----Folders 6, 8, 9, 10 & 11
    Parsons, Levi -----Folder 7
    Perlee, J.B. -----Folder 8
    PICKETT, CHARLES EDWARD -----Folder 5
    Polk, James Knox -----Folder 8
    POLK, JAMES KNOX -----Folders 2 & 7
    Pollard & Co., San Francisco -----Folders 10 & 12
    Preston, William L. -----Folder 8
    RANCHO DEL MEGANO -----Folder 10
    Randall, Albert G. -----Folder 12
    REAL PROPERTY--SAN FRANCISCO -----scattered references.
    REAL PROPERTY--SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. -----Folder 9 (entire folder) and scattered references
    Ridley, Robert T. -----Folder 9
    Rives, John Cook -----Folder 2
    Rodriguez, Manuel -----Folder 13
    SAN BUENAVENTURA MISSION, CALIF. -----Folder 5
    SAN RAFAEL ARCHANGEL MISSION, CALIF. -----Folder 5
    SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. -----scattered references.
    SANDERSON, GEORGE B. -----Folder 4
    SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. -----Folders 4, 5 & 14
    Santa Cruz, Calif., Town Council -----Folders 8 & 9
    SCOTT, ABEL F. -----Folder 12
    Shannon, William E.[dward] -----Folder 4
    Sheall, John -----Folder 9
    Sherman, William Tecumseh -----Folders 4, 5, 7, 8, 10
    SHERMAN, WILLIAM TECUMSEH -----Folder 6
    Shulters, John -----Folder 9
    Sime (John) & Co., San Francisco -----Folder 14
    Skirm, Joseph H. -----Folders 6, 7, 8
    Smith, Alexander -----Folder 9
    Smith, Henry -----Folder 9
    Smith, John James -----Folder 8
    Snyder, J.R. -----Folder 15
    Spence, J. -----Folder 6
    Stearns, John P. -----Folder 8
    Stevenson, Mathew R. -----Folder 9
    STEVENSON, MATHEW R. -----Folder 4
    Stevenson, Parker & Co. -----Folder 10
    Stevenson, Sarah Clementine -----Folder 10
    STEVENSON'S REGIMENT, see NEW YORK INFANTRY, 1st REGIMENT, 1846-
    Stockton, N.H. -----Folders 6 & 13
    STOCKTON, N.H. -----Folders 7 & 16
    SUISUN BAY -----Folders 6 & 10
    Swords, Thomas -----Folder 4
    SWORDS, THOMAS -----Folder 4
    Tansant, J. -----Folder 8
    TARIFF--CALIFORNIA--LAW -----Folder 5
    Thomas, Francis -----Folder 8
    Thomson, William -----Folder 8
    Tobin, Robert -----Folder 8
    Tomson, Maria Antonio -----Folder 13
    Town Council [Santa Cruz] -----Folder 8
    Townsend, James B. -----Folder 13
    Turner, Henry S. -----Folder 4
    U.S. COURT OF CLAIMS -----Folder 12
    U.S. CUSTOM HOUSE, SAN FRANCISCO -----Folder 12
    U.S. DISTRICT COURT. -----Folder 12
    CALIFORNIA (NORTHERN DISTRICT) -----Folder 12
    U.S.--HISTORY--WAR WITH MEXICO, 1845-1848 -----Folders 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17
    U.S. QUARTERMASTER, SAN FRANCISCO -----Folder 8
    U.S. SHIPPING COMMISSIONER, SAN FRANCISCO -----Folder 7
    VAN BUREN, MARTIN -----Folder 1
    Vanbussum, John -----Folder 9
    Vance, James R. -----Folder 14
    VANDERBILT, CORNELIUS -----Folders 6 & 7
    Vanderbilt, William Henry -----Folders 6 & 7
    Vansant, Joshua -----Folder 8
    Wells Fargo & Co. -----Folder 7
    Wetmore, P.M. -----Folder 6
    WHIG PARTY -----Folder 8
    White, John A. -----Folder 13
    Whiting, J.R. -----Folder 1
    WILDE, ASA E. -----Folder 8
    Williams, Edward -----Folder 16
    Williams, Henry G. -----Folder 14
    Williams, John -----Folder 7
    WILLIAMS, ISAAC -----Folder 13
    Williams, Stephen H. -----Folder 12
    Wilson, Nathaniel -----Folder 8
    Windom, William -----Folder 7
    Woodbury, Levi -----Folders 1 & 2
    Wright, George -----Folder 6
    Wright, Silas -----Folders 1, 2, 3, 6 & 7
    WRIGHT, SILAS -----Folder 2