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Finding Aid to the Marsh Family Papers , 1815-1960
BANC MSS C-B 879  
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Collection Details
 
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Marsh family papers
    Date (inclusive): 1815-1960
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 879
    Creators : Marsh family
    Extent: Number of containers: 6 boxes, 1 volume Linear feet: 2.5
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The Marsh family papers, 1815-1960, reflect the life of California pioneer John Marsh and his wife, Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh; their daughter, Alice Marsh Cameron; her husband, William Walker Cameron (also referred to as Camron); and their daughter, Amy Gertrude Cameron; as well as other Marsh and Tuck family members. The collection contains correspondence with prominent figures in California history, including John Augustus Sutter, Charles David Maria Weber, and Thomas Oliver Larkin; writings; materials relating to family genealogies; notes on family histories; scrapbooks; diaries; legal documents; and newspaper clippings.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    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 Librarys online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Marsh Family Papers , BANC MSS C-B 879, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Related Collections

    Marsh family papers : additions, ca. 1829-1874: BANC MSS 72/91c.
    John Marsh family papers, 1832-1856: BANC MSS 73/202c.
    Material relating to John Marsh: BANC MSS C-R 65.

    Separated Material

    Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library. One carton of Indian baskets have been transferred to the Anthropology museum.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the librarys online public access catalog.
    Cameron family
    Tuck family
    Women--California
    California--History
    Family papers.
    Scrapbooks.
    Diaries.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Marsh Family Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Amy Gertrude Cameron on April 1963 and Mrs. Dorothy V. Lyman on June 1965.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Janice Otani in 2008.

    Biographical Information

    John Marsh

    John Marsh was born in South Danvers, Massachusetts in 1799. Following his graduation from Harvard University in 1823, Marsh moved to the Michigan Territory, where he studied medicine with a post doctor at Fort Snelling. He became an avid supporter of the Sioux during tribal difficulties and compiled the first dictionary of the Sioux language in 1831, with the help of his common law wife, Marguerite, who was half French and half Wahpeton. Marsh left her behind with their son, Charles, and eventually moved to Independence, Missouri, where he met Captain John Augustus Sutter, John Bartleson, and other prominent pioneers. Marsh decided to go westward to California. Without much money, he arrived in Los Angeles, where he set up a practice as a doctor, displaying his Harvard B.A. diploma, thus becoming Californias first Anglo American doctor. There was great demand for his services and he collected fees mainly in the form of livestock, which he could sell for gold.
    Marsh decided to head north and purchased a ranch in the San Joaquin Valley, at the base of Mt. Diablo (in modern-day Brentwood, Contra Costa County). He wrote numerous letters to family and friends, some of which were published in local newspapers, giving accounts of the future of California and concerns of life on the frontier. He continued his medical practice, became wealthy, and married Abigail Smith Tuck in 1851. When their daughter, Alice, was born Marsh set out to build a great stone house for his family. Abigail died before the house was completed. Marsh moved into the stone house three weeks before he was murdered by vaqueros from his ranch on September 24, 1856.

    Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh

    Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh was born in Massachusetts in 1818. She taught school in Raleigh, North Carolina before she moved to California, where she also was a teacher in Santa Clara. She and John Marsh were married in 1851 and their daughter, Alice, was born in 1852. After a long illness, Abigail Marsh died in 1855.

    Alice Marsh Cameron

    Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh was born in Massachusetts in 1818. She taught school in Raleigh, North Carolina before she moved to California, where she also was a teacher in Santa Clara. She and John Marsh were married in 1851 and their daughter, Alice, was born in 1852. After a long illness, Abigail Marsh died in 1855.

    William Walker Cameron

    William Walker Cameron was born in Iowa in 1843 and was orphaned at the age of eleven. He was raised in California by his uncle and eventually became a real estate dealer, landowner, and politician. He married Alice Frances Marsh in 1871. After their daughter, Amy Gertrude, was born in 1872, Cameron built a mansion, now known as Camron-Stanford House, on Lake Merritt in Oakland. He later married Viola J. Babcock in 1877 and resumed his political career in the State Legislature. William Walker died in Palo Alto in 1912 after a long illness.

    Amy Gertrude Cameron

    Amy Gertrude Cameron was born in Martinez, California in 1872. Her father and mother were William Walker and Alice Marsh Cameron. Her grandfather was John Marsh. She lived in Oakland for a brief time and when her parents separated, she moved to Santa Barbara with her mother.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Marsh family papers, 1815-1960, reflect the life of California pioneer John Marsh and his wife, Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh; their daughter, Alice Marsh Cameron; her husband, William Walker Cameron (also referred to as Camron); and their daughter, Amy Gertrude Cameron; as well as other Marsh and Tuck family members. The collection contains correspondence with prominent figures in California history, including John Augustus Sutter, Charles David Maria Weber, and Thomas Oliver Larkin; writings; materials relating to family genealogies; notes on family histories; scrapbooks; diaries; legal documents; and newspaper clippings.
    John Marshs papers, most significantly his correspondence and writings, provide descriptive accounts of early life in Northern California and such issues as annexation of California to the United States, livestock ranching, railroad and militia projects, and Indian relations. His papers also include family correspondence, Marshs student notebooks from various Massachusetts academies, and information regarding the Stone House he built in Contra Costa County.
    Correspondence includes originals, typed transcripts from the California State Library, handwritten transcripts, and Photostat copies. Some of the correspondence was donated by Mrs. David Potter, Mrs. George Lyman, donated correspondence, along with George D. Lymans research materials for his book, John Marsh, Pioneer: The Life Story of a Trail-Blazer on Six Frontiers (1931).
    Correspondence of Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh is primarily with Tuck family members.
    Alice Marsh Camerons papers contain correspondence with her family, friends, and contacts for research requests concerning family histories. The bulk of materials include various handwritten drafts, including numerous transcriptions of letters and articles written by her father, John Marsh; interviews with people who knew Marsh, and notes on his life in California. There is also a handwritten draft and notes on the Tuck family history in America. Of particular interest is a cookbook/scrapbook, dated 1870, consisting of recipes, newspaper articles, and handwritten notes. Also included in her papers are legal documents, her wedding invitation, a European travel journal, diaries, and scrapbooks of newspaper clippings on various topics.
    William Walker Camerons papers contain correspondence with his family, letters regarding the Marsh ranch and pardon of Marshs murderer, and also a brief response from Leland Stanford to a request. Camerons papers also include his will, real estate papers, and a membership certificate to the Free Masons of Oakland.
    Amy Gertrude Camerons papers contain correspondence, mainly with the Marsh and Cameron families, her friends, and persons regarding information on her familys history. Her handwritten drafts and transcriptions of Marshs letters and articles, typed transcriptions from The Bancroft Library, and research notes show that she shared her mothers interest in writing about her grandfather, John Marsh. There are also materials regarding the Cameron family history, including a scrapbook consisting of genealogy information, photographs, and notes. Camerons papers also contain legal documents; the will and estate documents of Viola J. Cameron, her step-mother; diaries; information on the family home in Oakland, California, materials relating to a Harvard Club event commemorating John Marsh; book reviews of George D. Lymans book, John Marsh, Pioneer; and miscellany
    The other Marsh family members papers include materials relating to James Marsh (brother of John Marsh), George E. Marsh (brother of John Marsh), and James M. Marsh (nephew of John Marsh), and Oliver C. Coffin.