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Billington Crum Whiting Papers: Finding Aid
mssHM 54459-54508  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection consists of letters written on the overland journey of New York lawyer Billington Whiting (1812-1881) to California in 1849 and life after his arrival. There are also memoirs written by his wife, Susan Whiting (1826-1913), who came to California via Panama in 1852. The collection also contains military papers related to Whiting's service in the New York militia (1834-39) as well as genealogical records and 8 photographs.
Background
Billington Crum Whiting (1812-1881), an Owego, New York, lawyer, joined the Ithaca and California Mining Company and traveled from Ithaca, New York, to the southern mines of California in 1849. He went by way of the Arkansas River, Pueblo (Colorado), Salt Lake City (where he stayed and worked for a time) and the Old Spanish Trail through Cajon Pass to Los Angeles. After going to Mariposa County, he was one of a group who organized a freight line from Stockton and ran a grocery store and restaurant. A short time later he left for San Francisco to practice law. In July 1852, his wife, Susan Helen (Colegrove) Whiting (1826-1913) sailed for California, coming by way of Panama. She arrived in San Francisco and soon the couple moved to Santa Cruz where Whiting owned a ranch, practiced law, and became State Senator for Monterey and Santa Cruz (1854-1855). For a time he had a law office in Sacramento with his brother-in-law, Cornelius Cole. From 1861 to 1867 he was U. S. District Attorney for the Southern District of California and from 1867 to 1873 he served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in California. In 1873 he moved to Los Angeles, buying a small orchard and ranch on West Adams St. The couple had two daughters: Katharine Lucretia born in Santa Cruz in 1853 (later married to Albert James Howard, son of Volney Erskine Howard) and Lalla, born in Sacramento in 1856 (married James Johnson Mellus, son of Francis Mellus and grandson of Santiago Johnson).
Extent
66 items and 8 photographs in 1 box
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.