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Finding Aid to the James William Denver Papers, 1832-1925 (bulk 1832-1892)
BANC MSS 92/759 c  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Consists of personal, political, business and family correspondence of James William Denver and his family. Topics reflect the political focus of Denver and his family, with speculation about political success, discussion of the nuts and bolts of politicking, and the ethical foundations of Denver's democratic beliefs. Correspondents include William McKendree Gwin, Thomas A. Hendricks, and members of the Democratic Party and other California, Ohio, and national political figures. Topics reflecting his Washington DC based legal practice are claims against the government such as Civil War claims, tax litigation, especially the cotton tax, and other cases from around the United States. Denver's ongoing involvement with Mexican War veterans and the military in general is reflected in other letters. Family correspondence reflects current affairs, as well as conveying regular news from home and includes letters from Denver's siblings, between him and his wife Louise and their children.
Background
General James William Denver, born in Virginia in 1817, was an important figure in Democratic Party and national politics throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, until his death in 1892. After his family moved to Ohio in 1830, Denver adopted the series of professions available to young men on the frontier--he taught school in Missouri, and then moved back to Ohio to finish his education at Cincinnati College, where he took a law degree and joined the Bar. While practicing law in Xenia, Ohio in the early 1840s, he bought and edited a newspaper. When the Mexican War broke out, Denver joined the army and served as a captain in the Twelfth Regiment, United States Infantry. He immigrated to California in 1850, where he rose to prominence in politics, serving as State Senator from Trinity and Klamath Counties from 1851-1853, and as Secretary of State from 1853-1855. In August 1852, he killed Edward Gilbert, newspaper editor, in a duel which was the result of a political quarrel. Denver became U.S. Congressman from northern California in 1855, and served one term, through March 3, 1857.
Extent
Number of containers: 7 boxes, 2 oversize folders Linear feet: 2.7
Restrictions
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, 94270-6000. 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.
Availability
Collection is open for research.