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Inventory of the Henry Douglas Bacon Papers, ca. 1766-1906
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Subject matter
  • Persons represented by fifteen or more letters
  • Interesting or important items
  • Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Henry Douglas Bacon Papers,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1766-1906
    Creator: Bacon, Henry Douglas
    Extent: ca. 4000 pieces
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Most of the papers were purchased in January, 1945 from Edwin Grabhorn. The Marengo material was bought from Charles Yale's Bookshop, Pasadena, in March, 1944.


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Henry Douglas Bacon Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Henry Douglas Bacon, the son of Joseph and Abigail Cleveland Bacon, was born in East Granville, Massachusetts in 1817. In 1835, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he engaged first in the dry goods, then in the iron, trade. He was married in 1844 to Julia Ann Page, daughter of Daniel Dearborn Page, miller, merchant, and owner of considerable property in and around St. Louis.
    Four years later, Bacon and his wealthy father-in-law formed the banking firm of Page & Bacon, Bacon being the active member. The success of this enterprise led to the opening, in 1849, of Page, Bacon & Co.'s express office in San Francisco. The partners were Page, his son Francis W. Page, Bacon, Henry Haight, and David Chambers. Page, Bacon & Co. soon became primarily a banking concern, with branches in Sacramento, Sonora and Honolulu. Business flourished until January, 1855. Then various factors, among them falseness on the part of Page & Bacon's New York correspondents, and involvement in the financing of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, compelled the St. Louis house to close its doors. When the news reached San Francisco, a run on Page, Bacon & Co. also resulted in suspension. Both firms resumed, but by May both were forced into liquidation. The failure of Page, Bacon & Co. served as a prelude to the San Francisco crash of 1855.
    Bacon devoted the next few years to settlements with creditors and to attempts to make the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad a paying proposition. In the eighteen sixties, he turned his attention to mining. He invested in mines throughout the western United States and Mexico. After about 1870, however, his primary interest lay in properties in California and Arizona.
    Paralleling Bacon's mining ventures were numerous other business activities and investments. The chief of these was his purchase, in 1871 and 1873, of the Marengo Ranch, 1036 acres of what is now South Pasadena. At first his son, Frank Page Bacon, managed the raising of stock and the growing of citrus fruits, grapes and walnuts on the ranch. Then this task was taken over by Langston C. Winston. In 1883, some of the land was bought by Walter Raymond for his hotel, later the entire ranch was subdivided and sold.
    Bacon himself is not identified with Southern California. In 1866 he moved to the bay area, setting up an office in San Francisco and making his home in Oakland. He is remembered for generous gifts to the University of California at Berkeley, notably the Bacon Art and Library Building. At his death early in 1893, he was survived by his widow, his son, and two daughters, Carrie J. Bacon and Ella Etta Bacon Soulé.

    Subject matter

    • A. Banking methods in the eighteen fifties
    • B. The failure of Page & Bacon and Page, Bacon & Co., and subsequent settlements with creditors
    • C. Financing of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad
    • D. Land transactions in Missouri and Illinois, especially in St. Louis and East St. Louis
    • E. Mines and mining properties in Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Mexico
    • F. Purchase and boundaries of the Marengo Ranch
    • G. Wine and citrus industries in Southern California
    • H. Construction of the Raymond Hotel
    • I. The Los Angeles & San Gabriel Valley Railroad
    • J. Subdivision of the Marengo Tract

    Persons represented by fifteen or more letters

    • Frank Page Bacon, 19
    • Henry Douglas Bacon, 164
    • Julia Ann (Page) Bacon, 54
    • Samuel Latham Mitchill Barlow, 57
    • James Buckland, 31
    • William Tell Coleman, 31
    • R. A. Fisher, 18
    • Samuel Gaty, 273
    • Walton G. Hughes, 117
    • William Birdie Hyde, 19
    • J. G. Mahany, 19
    • Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel, 76
    • Daniel Dearborn Page, 33
    • Francis W. Page, 33
    • Henry Starr, 21
    • John D. Weems, 15
    • Langston C. Winston, 27
    • Thomas M. Yerkes, 100

    Interesting or important items

    • Bacon, Henry Douglas. Letters to Daniel D. Page and Francis W. Page concerning the failure of Page & Bacon and Page, Bacon & Co., and efforts to recoup. 1855, Jan. - May
    • Barlow, Samuel L. M. Letter to Henry D. Bacon concerning attempts to avert southern secession. 1860, Nov. 30
    • Shaffner, Taliaferro Preston. Letter to Henry D. Bacon explaining his use of military mines during the Schleswig-Holstein War. 1864, Sep. 15
    • Letters to Bacon from mining agents in Mexico, describing the political unrest and resultant obstacles to business. 1865-1866
    • Gaty, Samuel. Letters to Henry D. Bacon concerning attempts to get a land bill through the Illinois legislature by means of lobbying and bribery. 1866, Nov. - 1867, June
    • Carr, Jeanne C. and Winston, Elizabeth M. Letters to Henry D. Bacon concerning the Pasadena Library Society. 1883, Jan. - Feb.
    • Hyde, William Birdie. Letters to Henry Douglas Bacon about Leland Stanford and the Southern Pacific. 1873, Aug. 14 - 22
    • Cambell, James and others. Letter to Henry D. Bacon differentiating between the Pasadena and San Pasqual school districts. 1879, Dec. 26
    • Bacon, Henry Douglas. Incomplete manuscript of his dedicatory speech for the Bacon Art and Library Building. 1881, Aug.


    Cross, Ira B. Financing an Empire. Banking in California. vol. 1. p. 67, 71, 181ff., 188-190
    Ferrier, William Warren. Origin and Development of the University of California. p. 427-430
    Jones, William Carey. Illustrated History of the University of California. p. 207, portrait of Henry Douglas Bacon on p. 210
    Stevens, Walter B. History of St. Louis, the Fourth City. 1764-1909. vol. 1. p. 305-306, portrait of Henry Douglas Bacon on p. 321