Information for Researchers
Scope and Content of Collection
Collection Title: Drawings of Indians and California scenery
Date (inclusive): circa 1851-1854.
Collection number: BANC PIC 1980.022--A
Brown, Henry B., fl. 1850-1859.
53 drawings and 26 hand-drawn copies after original drawings : b&w ;
67 digital objects
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Abstract: Includes images of mining camps, mining activities and local
Native American peoples chiefly from areas around Sacramento, Marysville, Nevada
City, Shasta City and Coloma.
Languages represented: Collection materials are in English and Spanish
Physical location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored
offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the
location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Information for Researchers
RESTRICTED ORIGINAL DRAWINGS. Use of originals only by permission of the
appropriate curator. Inquiries concerning these materials should be directed, in
writing, to the Curator of Pictorial Collections, The Bancroft Library. Please
use digital facsimiles when possible.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for
permission to publish or reproduce must be submitted in writing to the Head of
Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA
94720-6000. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or
imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original
materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
[Identification of item], Drawings of Indians and California Scenery, BANC PIC
1980.022: [item number]--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Alternate Forms Available
Digital reproductions of items are available.
Henry B. Brown papers, 1851-1853.
BANC MSS 80/54 c
C. Hart Merriam papers
BANC MSS 80/18
(Notes related to Henry B. Brown
and John Russell Bartlett in Carton 19, folder 52 and 58 and in Carton 18,
Drawings by Henry Box Brown [sic], 1851-1852
The Huntington Library (mssHM
Henry B. Brown letters to Susannah Calhoun
California Historical Society (CHS
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886.
Indians of North America -- California --
Mines and mineral resources -- California --
Ranches -- California -- Pictorial works.
California -- Pictorial works.
Shasta, Mount (Calif. : Mountain) --
The Henry B. Brown drawings, along with a small amount of related correspondence,
were received by The Bancroft Library with the papers of C. Hart Merriam in
1979. Merriam acquired the Brown material from an unknown source prior to 1966.
Related Brown drawings were retained by Merriam family members at the time
Merriam's papers were give to the library. In 2000 these drawings were acquired
by the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.
Additional material is not expected.
The Drawings of Indians and California scenery were processed for digitization by
LuAnn Sleeper and Mary W. Elings as part of the California Cultures project. The
digitization was carried out by the Digital Imaging Lab at UC Berkeley.
Henry B. Brown is believed to have been born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in January
1816. In the early 1840s, Brown worked as a portraitist, engraver, and illustrator.
Brown arrived by ship in San Francisco in May 1851 and set up residence in the Post
Office building where he began working for postmaster Jacob Bailey Moore. In late
1851, Brown left San Francisco to tour the California countryside, making
illustrations of scenery and points of historical interest. Brown travelled through
mining camps and settlements along the Yuba River east of Marysville, and in the
vicinity of Grass Valley and Nevada City.
In 1852, John Russell Bartlett, Commissioner of the United States and Mexican
Boundary Commission, was introduced to Brown by Jacob Bailey Moore. Bartlett
commissioned Brown to gather information on native languages and create drawings and
sketches of California scenery and the various Indian peoples and their activities.
Throughout 1852, Brown travelled up the Sacramento River valley to Shasta City
capturing images and local vocabularies for Bartlett.
In 1854, several of Brown's drawing were published in Bartlett's
Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New
Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua
. From 1854 to 1859 Brown
resided in Bermuda and in 1856 was appointed U.S. Consul for Bermuda. He resigned
three years later and nothing was heard of him again.
Several 20th century biographical dictionaries of American artists conflate Henry B.
Brown's identity with both New England artist Harrison B. Brown and escaped slave
and abolitionist Henry Box Brown. The research of Dr. Thomas C. Blackburn in
preparation of a study of Henry B. Brown and his California drawings has largely
untangled this confusion, and is the basis of the preceding biographical sketch.
Scope and Content of Collection
The drawings are mainly by Henry B. Brown with a few by J.R. Bartlett. The collection
includes some copy photos "by Merriam" of Brown's drawings. Subject matter includes
images of mining camps, mining activities and local Native American peoples chiefly
from areas around Sacramento, Marysville, Nevada City, Shasta City and Coloma.
Views of and relating to Indians show native peoples, including the Nisenan, of the
Sacramento area doing various chores (mending nets, etc.), Simmon Peña Storms who
served as an interpretor and Indian Agent near Grass Valley, stacks of acorns in
Colusa County, Yuba [Uba] River Indians gambling, Chino Indians near Munroe's, a
Chino village, etc. Other drawings depict Reddings Ranch near Mt. Shasta, Sierra
Nevada views from Sacramento, Grass Valley scenes, mine diggings near Nevada City,
Mt. Shasta and vicinity, etc.