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Society of California Pioneers
300 Fourth Street
San Francisco, California 94107-1272
Phone: (415) 957-1849
Email: pkeats@californiapioneers.org
Collections with online items: 2
Physical collections: 155
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Actress and Singer Photograph Collection, ca. 1850 - 1930

Actress and Singer Photograph Collection, ca. 1850 - 1930 contains 308 card photographs, cabinet cards, carte-de-vistes, enlarged studio portraits, photographic miniatures, and halftones. These publicity images are of some of the most celebrated female thespians and opera singers from the...

Adams, D.Q. Letters, 1864-1865

Typed reproductions of 8 letters written by D.Q. Adams in the years 1864 and 1869. Letters are mainly addressed to L.D. Stephens, and written from various places in the Nevada Territory and Butte and Tehama Counties in California. Subjects includes...

Admission of California into the Union Celebration Program

Typewritten program of Admission of California into the Union. Program includes the names of the people that participated in the celebration that occurred on October 29, 1850 in San Francisco. Included 7 divisions of people, fireworks, arms fired, and other...

Alexander (Samuel J.) Correspondence, 1895-1902

Correspondence written or received by members of the Alexander Family. Correspondence spans the period 1895 to 1902 and concerns legal matters pertaining to property leases and the military service of a sibling, William A. Alexander.

Allen (Walter C.) Papers, 1943-1944

Documents related to the writing and publication of an article by Walter C. Allen about the creation of the original San Francisco City Directory and its two reprints published by Charles P. Kimball in 1850.

Alvord (William) Papers, 1833-1904

One handwritten legal deed, dated July 20, 1871 and 3 pages in length, from William Alvord and addressed to Huntington, Stanford and Hopkins. Deed documents the sale of the railroad formerly known as the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad Company...

American Hotel Guestbook

Guest Registry for American Hotel 1905, April 8 - July 21 of Auburn, CA

Angel (Myron) Papers, 1827-1911

A letter written by Myron Angel to the Society of California Pioneers president thanking him for reinstatement as a member to the society.

Anthony (Abraham) Scrapbook

This book contains newspaper clippings from San Francisco newspapers of Abraham Anthony's police career as a detective in the San Francisco Police Department.

Applegate Jr. (O.C.) Letters, 1941

Correspondence from Oliver Cromwell Applegate, Jr. concerning some history of the Applegate family related to the Oregon Trail and other aspects of Oregon history.

Arguello (Luise L.) Letters, 1911

Correspondence between Luise L. Arguello, L.A. Sorbier, C.F. Adams, and Z.E. Eldredge concerning the proper pronunciation of the surname Arguello.

Associated Pioneers of the Territorial Days of California Papers

Includes the original articles of the Associated Pioneers of the Territorial Days of California. Also includes a hard-cover book which contains the original articles, as well as updated articles and a list of members. The folder also includes a letter...

Atherton (Faxon Dean ) Papers, 1863-1915

Collection of 3 items belonging to and pertaining to Faxon Dean Atherton (1815-1877).

Atkins (Henry B.) Letters, 1901

A letter from Henry B. Atkins to members of the Society of California Pioneers in answer to a request for the story of his overland journey to California in 1849.

Austin (Robert & Alexander vs. David W. Chandler) Indenture

The indenture of the court case, Robert and Alexander Austin vs. David W. Chandler, which took place in 1850 in San Francisco. The dispute was over mortgage payments.

Austin (Robert & Alexander vs. David W. Chandler) Papers

The mortgage sale of three lots of land in San Francisco: "Washington Market and other Valuable Property" (July 24, 1850), and a receipt for claim from the Superior Court of the City of San Francisco (September 28, 1850).

Ayer (Dr. Washington) Papers

The Dr. Washington Ayer papers include two handwritten letters, one from 1853, the other undated. The first discusses his daily life, in very flowery language, and then goes on to talk about his spiritual life. The second letter seems to...

Ayers, James J., Colonel, Speech on July 4, 1872

Includes a packet with an eleven-page handwritten speech. The speech was written by Colonel J.J. Ayers as a celebration for the 4th of July in 1872. Ayers� speech, given at San Buenaventura, focuses on patriotism and celebrating the founding of...

Badlam, Sr. (Alexander) Papers

The folder includes the biographical account of Alexander Badlam, Senior's life during his voyage to California in 1849. It is a typed version from May 27th, 1935 of an originally handwritten letter.

Baker (George Holbrook) Papers

Includes numerous handwritten letters between George Holbrook Baker, his sister, mother, and father, John Baker. Also includes business cards from Baker’s lithography business in San Francisco, a brief description of Baker’s life before and after coming to California, diaries...

Bancroft (Hubert Howe) Papers

This collection includes biographical accounts of Hubert Howe Bancroft’s life. One is written by his brother, Albert Little Bancroft, and the other by his nephew, W.B. Bancroft. This folder also includes numerous articles, mostly from San Francisco newspapers in the...

Bates (Captain) Papers

This folder contains a handwritten receipt by Captain Bates regarding carpenter work. His handwritten receipt contains details about his work and wages.

Bates (E.S.) Letters

This folder contains a handwritten letter addressed to Mr. Daugner.

Belloni (Charles) Letters

The folder contains a handwritten letter addressed to Mr. John J. Spear. It was written by Charles Belloni on July 28, 1896. Belloni is inquiring about the possibility of future membership and is explaining why he would be a profitable...

Bense (Henry) Papers

The folder contains a letter from E.D. Judd & Co. in Alameda dated Feb. 23, 1899, regarding papers belonging to Henry Bense. The documents include; a request for safe passage of Henry Bense to California, documents of Henry Bense’s membership...

Bigler (Henry William) Diary

Two pages of Henry Bigler's original diary, with the first written mention of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill. Though the first discovery of gold in California had been attributed to James W. Marshall of Sutter’s Fort in Coloma,...

Billings (Gilbert) Papers

The folder contains letters (dated 1852) from Gilbert Billings in San Francisco to his father.

Biographical File Collection

Consists of a variety of ephemera relating to people widely known and relatively unknown in San Francisco, the greater Bay Area, and California. Bulk of ephemera relates to forty-niners, gold rush-era miners, and members of The Society of California Pioneers....

Birnie (Robert) Memoirs

The folder contains a memoir of Robert Birnie’s life and experiences in pioneer California.

Black Bart Letters

A handwritten transcription, dated 1884 in San Andreas, California, of a series of letters between Harry A. Morse of San Francisco and Sheriff B.K. Thorn of Calavaras County, California concerning a dispute between the two men as to who actually...

Blankman (Harold) Papers

The folder contains a section of the Dawson Daily News with an article on Harold G. Blankman’s appointment to the head of two large companies because of a lawsuit the companies were involved in.

Blasdel (Henry Goode) Papers

The folder contains official documents regarding Henry Blasdel’s time in office as the Governor of Nevada.

Bludworth, (Frances "Fannie") Papers

This collection contains deeds and indentures carried out by Fannie B. Bludworth on behalf of her deceased husband, Charles Bludworth, regarding his properties in the village of Snelling, in the County of Merced.

Boyd (Theodore Chauncey) Papers

A letter from Flora Stuart Boyd, daughter of Theodore Chauncey Boyd, to the Society of California Pioneers. She remarks about the two paintings her father dontated to the society and his acomplishment of improving the San Francisco city seal, for...

Brickell (John C.) Papers

The folder contains two documents: a handwritten letter from J.R. McClintock (?) at the U.S. Mint in Pittsburgh to the Richard Barnes Mason, Governor of California, requesting advice and counsel from the governor to John C. Brickell, in addition to...

Bridgeford (Jefferson) Letters

The contents of this folder are the photocopies of seven handwritten letters and envelopes written by Jefferson Bridgeford to his wife, Margaret E. Bridgeford, and his child, Eugene, in Paris, Monroe County, Missouri, during the year 1850. Jefferson Bridgeford writes...

Brown (Richard) Obituaries

This folder contains two documents. The first is a small newspaper clipping of the obituary of Richard Brown. The second is a six-page handwritten eulogy for Richard Brown. Both documents provide biographical information on Brown in addition to praising him...

Bryant (Edwin) Letters

This folder contains a brief typed letter dated May 14, 1847 to Edwin Bryant from Peter Cadel asking the former for the grant of a title to Lot No. 413 in San Francisco.

Buelna (Jose Antonio) Petitions

A petition to Spanish Governor Diego de Borica in Monterey, from Jose Antonio Buelna in San Jose, dated July 2, 1797, asking the governor to restore lands owned by Pedro Romero to his widow, whose name is assumed to be...

Burbank (Luther) Correspondence

This folder contains a handwritten notecard on which Burbank quotes Socrates to an unknown addressee. A printed title on the notecard identifies it as having come from Burbank’s Experiment Farms in Santa Rosa, CA.

Burnett (Peter H.) Daybook

The contents of this folder are 35 photocopied pages from a daybook written by Governor Peter H. Burnett, recording property sales in Sacramento. The 35 pages are 3 sets of the same 12-pages. One set consists of black copies made...

Burnett (Wellington C.) Papers

This folder contains 31 items: 16 check receipts dating from 1865 (one dates from 1871) for rent paid by Wellington C. Burnett; Burnett's license to practice law, dated 1862; and 14 handwritten letters by, to, or concerning various members of...

Burruss (Carlos) Papers

A Mexican passport issued on May 3, 1846 to a Don Carlos Burruss, requesting safe passage on his trip to the Port of Mazatlan. The passport is signed by a Pablo de la Pomilla.

Cady (John) Papers

A certificate of citizenship issued on October 1, 1864, by the 4th Judicial District of San Francisco to John Cady, signed by N.M. Loewy (?) and L.J. Lee. The certificate number is 871. The certificate was presented for the voter...

California Counties Ephemera Collection

Comprises a variety of ephemera relating to the history, growth, and development of California's counties between the years 1850 and 2004. Particularly well-documented are efforts to promote individual counties -- and their commercial, industrial, educational, cultural, and recreational prospects --...

California General Subjects Collection

Comprises a wide variety of ephemera documenting the natural, social, political, economic, and cultural life of California -- and particularly San Francisco -- in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Collection materials are organized into hundreds of subjects, representing different places...

Callaghan (John) Papers

Army discharge papers issued to John Callaghan, a private formerly of Monaghan, Ireland, under the command of Captain James van Voast in Company K of the 9th Regiment of Infantry. His enlistment date was November 20th, 1856 and the reason...

Cashman (William F.) Obituary

An obituary of William Francis Cashman written and adopted by the Society of California Pioneers on June 3, 1895. The document is signed by Michael Kane, L. Cunningham, Chairman F.K. Krauth, and Secretary John J. Spear.

Cassell (John F.) Album

An album compiled by Andrew T. Cassell Sr. documenting the history of the Cassell family as far back as the 17th century. It contains original handwritten letters dating from approximately 1840-1951, handwritten transcriptions, and typed letters as well as photographs...

Chiles (Joseph B.) Papers

A group of documents belonging to and/or pertaining to Joseph B. Chiles, the earliest of which is a receipt of purchase from 1855, and the latest a note describing his death, life, and details of funerary plans from June 1885....

Church (H.S.) Papers

In the folder there are many different types of papers from various dates, most of which fall between 1882 and 1893, although there is one empty envelope from 1929. These papers include: nine checks written from H.S. Church, two empty...

Church (T.R.) Passport

Cuban passport, dated January 28, 1852, for T.R. Church, who appears to have been traveling from New Orleans.

Clar (John) Papers

The John Clar Papers are very extensive and detailed about Clar's life. They also include letters and poems written by his children and grandchildren. There are 13 letters, nine notices, one affidavit, one permit, one pamphlet, one envelope, and one...

Clark (Caroline Hubbs) Letters

Letters that were mostly received by Caroline Hubbs Clark from various friends, family members, and correspondents - both women and men.

Clark (Francis) Note

Note with envelope (Stockton, California, June 21, 1855) written from Francis Clark (signed Francis D. Clark) to Nelson Taylor promising to pay Taylor $200 for the "value received."

Coffee (Joseph E.) Letter

A three page, handwritten letter, dated Oct. 11, 1850 from Joseph E. Coffee, agent, in New York, to his brother in California. The letter pertains to monies received from him, and asking for more detailed accounts of his finances -...

Cole (James) Papers

This folder contains three items: one approved application for US citizenship for Cole drafted by Solano County clerk Joseph P. Vaughn on April 8, 1953; one property bill of sale from John H. Pickering to Cole on November 15, 1853;...

Cole (Richard Beverly, Dr.) Papers

The contents of this folder are three handwritten receipts to Dr. Richard Beverly Cole from Frank G. Edwards for professional services rendered. The receipt for July 17, 1860 is for $19.00 for Edwards' mother; for December 18, 1860 is for...

Coleman (William Tell) Papers

This folder contains three newspaper obituaries, a sympathy thanks card from Mrs. Coleman regarding her husband's death, a recollection of an incident between Coleman and Ned McGoward dictated by J. F. Bourke to E. M. Kline on May 2, 1927,...

Colton (David Douty Gen.) Papers

This folder contains ten newspaper obituaries and one undated name card from Mrs. Ellen Colton.

Cook (Eli) Letters

This folder contains two booklets with 21 letters stored in them. The letters are mostly from Eli Cook and addressed to his wife Sarah and their children. These letters have no specific subject matter and simply detail his daily life....

Cook (Seth) Letters

This folder contains 3 letters containing legal information addressed from various law firms in San Francisco to Seth Cook in Virginia City, NV in 1863. It also contains the envelope they were donated in.

Coolbrith (Ina) Papers

This folder contains one folder of correspondence and newspaper clippings from Ina Coolbrith to Lorenzo Sosso; one folder of correspondence, newspaper clippings, and a photograph from Charles B. Turrill to Ina Coolbrith; and two letters from Ina Coolbrith to Zoeth...

Cooper (John Rogers) Papers

This folder contains one folder of items in Spanish from 1844 regarding the Rancho Rincon de las Salinas in Monterey, CA; two letters regarding property leases; and one defendant's brief.

Cowden(James S.) Papers

An overland diary, our copy is a transcript of the original, relating events which took place between April 7, 1853 to October 12, 1853 during a wagon train journey from Keosaqua, Iowa to Yreka, California - with additional observations and...

Crabb Expedition Papers

This folder contains three letters written by H. Hine to his brother C.B. Phelps in Stockton, CA: the first sent from “Sonorita”, probably near Caborca, Sonora, Mexico), and the remaining two sent from the What Cheer House in San Francisco....

Crittenden (Alexander Parker) Papers

This folder contains 5 letters of correspondence regarding Crittenden and his murder, and a copy of his military history from West Point Military Academy.

Crosett (Lucia R.) Papers

This folder contains one certificate of graduation from Horace Mann Grammar School, San Francisco, dated May 26, 1893.

Crossett (James L.) Papers

This folder contains 1 letter of acceptance for the Society of California Pioneers, dated August 2, 1881.

Crossett (Julia H.) Papers

This folder contains 1 Certificate of Award of the Bronze Medal for Hand Painted Porcelain from the Mechanics’ Institute in San Francisco, CA, dated 1887; it was given during the 22nd Industrial Exhibition.

Daegener (William) Papers

This folder contains 1 receipt of payment of $154.82 worth of gold bullion deposited by an unknown person (the name is scribbled out) in 1865 to Daegener’s assay’s office.

Dagget (John R.) Papers

This folder contains 1 letter of correspondence, 2 pages from a scrapbook, an 1881 receipt, an 1893 bond for $100,000 for his appointment as the Superintendent of the U.S. Mint in San Francisco, and several documents relating to the murder...

Dagget (Rollin Mallory) Papers

This folder contains a poem from 1881 written by Daggett entitled “My New Year’s Guests.”

De Merritt (David A.) Papers

This folder contains several dance cards and invitations to balls from 1849-1867 and undated, envelopes from real estate offices and the pension office of the U.S. Department of the Interior, letters of correspondence regarding pension matters, an Aetna insurance policy,...

De Witt (Alfred) Papers

This folder contains 1 1890 letter of description from De Witt to an unknown person regarding the history and provenance of a watercolor sketch of the “San Francisco After the Fire” done by John Pendergrast in 1851.

Dewell (Benjamin) Papers

This folder contains 1 1885 letter of correspondence from Dewell to the Society of California Pioneers regarding the veracity of his claim that he helped construct the original Bear Flag.

Doud (Francis) Papers

This folder contains several documents from 1847-1919, many of which have typewritten duplicates accompanying them. There are 2 letters of correspondence to Doud, 1 letter of correspondence to Francis Doud, Jr. regarding his father’s death, 2 letters dealing with property...

Dubs (Michel) Papers

This folder contains 1 damaged and fragmented letter of correspondence from 1853 written to Dubs by Richard R. Monis or Morris (?).

Dugan (Emma Frances) Memoirs

The memoir is a twenty-one page typewritten account of a wagon train journey taken by Emma Frances Dugan - including 3 photographs (most likely herself and her husband), along with her husband and three small children. They travelled from Corydon,...

Dutch Flat Hotel Guestbook

Dutch Flat Hotel of Placer County, CA, guest registry from August 31, 1899 to April 24, 1921. Contains signatures of guests and check in dates.

Duvall (Marius) Papers

This folder contains a photocopy of forty-eight pages of Marius Duvall’s diary and a photocopy of an 1846 letter of correspondence. The diary spans April 1846-May 15, 1847 and details his life aboard the ship Portsmouth, including landing in Monterey,...

Dwinelle (John Whipple) Papers

These two folders contain letters of correspondence, notes, newspaper articles, and other papers written to/by/about Dwinelle covering his time on the San Francisco City Counsel and as Regent of the University of California. They also contain his diary (and transcripts)...

Eagle (Schooner?) Papers

This folder contains one mortgage of the schooner Eagle on 04/11/1859 from mariner Peter Caughill to glove cutter Charles B. Grant for $1.

Easterby Family Papers

Includes documents spanning from the years 1803-1892; mostly made up of financial and legal information, including receipts, accounts, and inventories. Also includes several letters to/from the Easterby family, many of which are only addressed to/from a Mr./Mrs. Easterby and include...

Edgar Spalsbury Portrait Album

This album contains a collection of portraits of famous figures, including actors and actresses, Civil War generals, and politicians.

Egerton (Henry C.) Papers

This folder contains one letter of correspondence from Egerton to John Mackay dated 01/16/1871 regarding Mackay’s missing checks supposedly at the Bank of California.

Elliot (Bradford W.) Papers

This folder contains two copies of a letter from John M. Bailhache regarding a his donation of a copy of a letter by Elliot to Mason Brayman on 03/10/1850, as well as a typed transcript of said letter. The letter...

Elliot (Stephen F.) Papers

This folder contains four sub-folders. Folder 1: Misc. Personal Items Folder 2: Letters to and from Elliot Folder 3: Fourteen letters (six of which are copies) regarding Elliot’s time as surgeon during the Civil War and the letters detail his...

Escobar Family Papers

This folder contains a list of the heirs of Mussilino (?) Escobar. It also mentions two leagues of land in "the Rancho known as San Jose".

Estee (Morris M. and Heacock, E. H.) Papers

This folder contains a 06/01/1869 business partnership agreement between E. H. Heacock and Morris M. Estee to start a law firm together.

Ezekiel (Jacob) Papers

Contains 2 undated newspaper clippings concerning Jacob Ezekiel, his part in the Nuttman Libel case and a fire in which 2 children were burned to death, and one commission certificate certifying that he has been elected first lieutenant of Company...

Ezekiel (Rebecca) Papers

Contains 2 envelopes addressed to Rebecca Ezekiel; 2 letters addressed to Rebecca Ezekiel dated October of 1860; and 3 cetificates regarding her widow pension from her husbands, Jacob Ezekiel, service, all dated 1897.

Fairchild (John A.) Papers

Five documents relating to John A. Fairchild's purchase of the "Lone Star" or "Star" Ranch in Yreka, Siskiyou County, California, including deeds and correspondence.

Fairchild (Mahlon Dickerson) Memoirs

Mahlon Dickerson Fairchild's "Pioneer Reminiscences" is a 175-page, typed, manuscript describing, in rich and interesting detail, his journey from New York to California via Panama in 1848. He also describes his prospecting and mining adventures in California, Nevada, and Arizona...

Fay (Logan) Letters

Letters to and from Logan Fay, dated 1849-1853. All deal with his travel to, and subsequent life in, San Francisco. He talks about his soap business, the conditions in the city and a small robbery that occurred at his house.

Ferral (Robert) Letter

One letter from former judge, Robert Ferral, to B.G. Haskell Esquire, dated 01/23/1885. Judge Ferral gives his regrets at being unable to be an active member of the Central Committee of the International Workingmen's Association due to the time he...

Figueroa (José) Letter

A letter dated 06/24/1835 from José Figueroa, then Governor of Alto California, to the Military Commander and Director of Colonization of the Frontier of the North. The letter is handwritten in Spanish, with official government seals on the first page....

First California Guard Papers

The Papers of the First California Guard comprises 8 folders of original documents dating from the first formation of the Guard under Military Governor Bennett S. Riley in 1849. The collection contains meeting minutes, constitution and by-laws of the Guard,...

Flagg (Hiram B.) Diaries

Diary of Hiram Flagg's voyage on the bark "Edward Everett" from Boston to San Francisco, beginning on January 11, 1849 and ending on July 6, 1849. Contains a record of the names, occupations, residence, and age of the ships 150...

Flood & O'Brien Letter

Letter from James Clair Flood and William Shoney O'Brien to James Graham Fair, dated 12/23/1870, regarding the deposit of five thousand dollars into the account of W.S. Hobart.

Ford (Henry Lewis) Papers

Contains two letters, one newspaper clipping and a genealogy of the descendants of William Ford. The first letter is addressed to Sam Brannan and is a recounting of his memories of the Bear Flag Revolt. The second is an undated,...

Forty Niner's Hope Milling and Mining Supply Company Certificate

Original certificate, dated 05/24/1887, certifying that the articles of incorporation for the Forty Niner's Hope Milling and Mining Company were received and certified by the City and County of San Francisco. The certificate is signed by William C. Hendricks, Secretary...

Fowler (Stephen L. & James E.) Diary

A handwritten daily diary comprising 211 pages written by Stephen L. Fowler, covering the period from Jan 12, 1849 to March 19 1852. It records the life and experiences of the author and his brother, James E. Fowler, beginning with...

Fraser (John N.) Letter.

Letter, Handwritten, 1page, both sides, on Feb 6, 1913, by John N. Fraser (Lincoln, CA)in response to a request by Mr. H. L. Boyne of the Society of California Pioneers. The subject is his arrival in San Francisco on August...

Freelon (Thomas W.) Papers

These are three printed certificates from the State of California all given to Thomas W. Freelon. The first certificate was given in 1853 for his appointment to County Judge of San Francisco. The 1878 Certificate was for his promotion to...

Freeman (Martha Ann) Papers

15 handwritten pages. Written in 1905, Martha Ann Freeman's recollection of her family's five month journey in 1854 to California from Missouri crossing Platte River and Sierra Mountains. Papers contain geographic information on the journey and lists of provisions and...

Fremont (Jessie Benton) Papers

Contains 13 handwritten letters from Mrs. Jessie Benton Frémont to Mr. Thomas Starr King, all dating from around 1861.

Gallagher (John) Papers

Personal reminiscences of the War in Upper and Lower California between Americans and Mexican in 1847 to 1849. The bulk of the narrative takes place in Lower California. Includes colorful description of battles and actions. John Gallagher's personal story of...

Gaver, Edward Shea Memorial

Memorial on the death of Edward Shea Gaver, a life member of the Society of California Pioneers. Born January 5, 1831 in Columbus, Ohio. Joined a company from Columbus and set out overland from St. Joseph, Mo in May of...

Gaylord (Horace O.) Papers

Memorial addressed to San Francisco Town Council dated December 25, 1849 requesting compensation to the owner of a building, Horace O Gaylord, that was demolished to prevent the spread of a fire.

Ghiradelli (Domenico) Papers

Two handwritten copies of legal responses in a case before the 12th Circuit Court of San Francisco in the case "Domenico Granoni, Plantiff vs Domenico Ghiradelli, Defendant" over a claim for payment of $308. Also 2 ledger pages, handwritten. One...

Goss (Alfred Furbush vs. Society of California Pioneers) Case Files

Records of investigation and hearings held by the Society of California Pioneers on the membership of Alfred Furbush Goss based on his representation of having arrived in San Francisco on October 11, 1849. He was admitted to the Vermont Chapter...

Hagar, (George, Col.) Memoriam

This hand-illuminated memoriam covers the main events in George Hagar’s life from his birth to his death, including his education, his arrival in California during the Gold Rush, his business, his marriage, and his appointment to the Vice-Presidency of the...

Hale (Israel and Titus) Diary

Written by Israel Hale, who travelled with his son Titus Hale, this daily diary chronicles the challenges and hardship of an overland journey by wagon train from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento that took from May 5, 1849 to October...

Hawks, Jabez D. Diary

This diary is a daily account, written by Jabez Davis Hawks, of the trials his party endured when they left the schooner “San Juan” at San Domingo on August 11, 1849, and set out on foot for San Diego. The...

Heald (Samuel and George) Letters

The contents include letters to family, which include Samuel’s brother and sister-in-law updating them with his whereabouts. Samuel’s sister-in-law also replies with local news and gossip in a letter addressed both to her sister (Martha) and Samuel. There are a...

Heald (Samuel) Diaries

Four diaries of Samuel Healds travels to and from California, mostly by ship; also includes personal papers and receipts.

Hewston Jr. (John) Letters

Correspondence from John Hewston Jr to Professor J.C. Booth, the Melter Refiner of the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia. The letters discuss the construction of the mint, supplies required to cast the gold, and the chemical and geological concerns of the...

Jennings Family Papers

Personal and legal papers including tax forms, wills, marriage certificates, photographs, and an oral history interview. There is an interview with Thomas Jennings wherein he outlines the family history, details his first-hand experience of the 1906 earthquake, and discusses the...

Kimball, (Charles P.) Papers, 1840-1920

This collection of Kimball documents includes: house papers from residences on Howard Street, a journal of daily life from 1840, a journal of daily life from 1851-1873, citizenship paperwork, a tenant’s agreement form, a deed from Harvey T.(?) Brown and...

Kimball (Charles P.) Papers, 1876-1908

This collection contains material both from and related to Charles P. Kimball. Correspondence, receipts and a memorial are included.

Knoche (Johann Edward) Memoirs, 1819 -- 1901

The memoir of Johann Edward Knoche, an early member of the Society of California Pioneers, describes his trip by ship to San Francisco in 1849, his early work in the city, and his journey on foot to mine for gold....

Latham (William Boyd Jr.) Diary, 1851-1851

This collection consists of the daily diary kept by William Boyd Latham, Jr. during the year of 1851. Entries were made inconsistently and pertain primarily to Latham's work for the Freeman and Company Western Express located in Sacramento, California. Latham...

Laurel Hill Cemetery Index No. 1A

Index 1a serves as an alphabetical index for records of where the deceased were buried. It is not clear which book the index pertains to, and the cover is missing. Date range is 1868 -1873. There are 11 pages at...

Lawrence & Houseworth Photography Albums: California Views

The Lawrence & Houseworth albums contain photographic prints published in the 1860s that document the many aspects of gold, silver (Comstock Lode), and quicksilver mining; the building of the Sutro Tunnel; the growth of northern California industries; mining towns including...

Laws (Robert C.) Diary, 1852 - 1852

The collection consists of the diary of Robert C. Laws who traveled overland from Ohio to California in 1852. Laws joins a company in Missouri after his original party, the Buckey Emigrating Company, disbands. His diary provides details of the...

Lewis (George H.) Diary, 1863-1866

A diary kept by George H. Lewis while a member of the crew of the sailing ships 'Susan Jane' and 'Sunrise' during the years 1863-1866.

Libbey (Elliott, Captain) Depositions

Handwritten depositions taken by "Her Britannic Majesty Vice Consul California" James Alexander Forbes in October of 1845, realting to the attack of Captain Elliott Libbey on 10/11/1845 by Californios. This bopund set of documents is entitled: “Documents relative to the...

Lick, (John H.) Diary

Diary of daily activities and weather, January 22, 1856 – September 12, 1856.

Lipp (Wesley Powell) Diary, 1887-1889

Daily diary kept by Wesley Powell Lipp from January 1887 until November 1889 which notes his activities working as a miner, farm laborer and store clerk in the areas of Placerville, Wheatland, and Marysville, California.

Lynch (Alice Kennedy) Diary

Photostatic copy of the Diary of Alice Kennedy Lynch, which covered July 19, 1857 to January 1, 1865, and was written in French. There is also a typescript of the diary, translated to English by Alice's son, Francis William Lynch,...

Murray (Walter) Reminiscences

"Narrative of a California Volunteer" is a memoir by Judge Walter Murray that details his experiences as a member of Colonel Stevenson's 1st Regiment of New York Volunteers. The Regiment was formed in New York in 1846 to serve in...

Oliver, Dave, Memoir

This typed transcription is a memoir of a young office boy entitled, "Bonanza Days: Tales of the Stockbrokers of the Big Board Half Decade - 1875-1880, by an office boy and messenger of that period. Dave Oliver", at the Pacific...

Patterson (George Washington) Papers

These 7 folders contain correspondence to George W Patterson from family and business associates in the time period from 1849 to 1859. The subject matter of the letters is either family,local news or business matters. George Patterson received these letters...

Patterson Mining Collection- Maps, 1848-1936

: The collection, spanning 1848-1936, consists of manuscript mine maps including; surveys, claims, assays, with annotated manuscript annotations. The collection is housed in 1 box containing 153 m.s. maps. The bulk of the collection covers the period after the California...

Pitcher (John Emmanuel) Papers

John Emmanuel Pitcher came to California in 1849, briefly tried his hand a gold mining and then moved to Half Moon Bay, where he settled on a 200 acre farm. The first 3 folders of his papers contain "account books"...

Reading (Pierson Barton) Diaries

This folder contains: 1) a bound photostatic copy of the original diary kept by Pierson Barton Reading on his overland journey from St Louis, Mo to Monterey, CA from May 15, 1843 to December 20, 1843. The original of that...

Redman of the World Ledger

Ledger contains records of Wigwam of Wyoming Tribe No. 49. Included are minutes, membership and dues and receipts.

Shattuck (Jennie H.) Album

This is a personal autograph album which Jennie Shattuck received upon granduation from school. The entries are from friends in San Francisco, Oakland (California) and Boston (Massachusetts).

The Society of California Pioneers Collection of Autobiographies and Reminiscences of Early Pioneers

The Autobiographies and Reminiscences are made up of 153 documents varying in length from one page to over sixty pages, the average being around five pages in length. Most include details from the writer's early life, but the bulk of...

Southern Hotel Register

Southern Hotel Register from January 25, 1905 - October 1910. Contains signatures of guests and check in dates.

St. James Hotel Register

Guest Registry for St James Hotel of San Francisco, CA 1918 July 1 - 1919 May 8.

Sutter (John A.) Diary

"A record of events kept by John A. Sutter and his clerks at New Helvetia, California from September 9th 1845 till May 25th 1848". The entries, made by John Bidwell, W.F. Swasey, William N. Loker, and Sutter are concerned with...

Thomas Denigan, Sons & Co.

The two folders contain a total of 63 letters of business correspondence regarding the Thomas Denigan, Son & Co. shipping company.

Twain (Mark) Letter

Letter (Elmira, New York, August 20, 1877): from Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) to Francis D. Clark sending his regrets that he cannot accept the invitation from the Society of California Pioneers (in New York), due to other engagements.

Van Wyck (Crittenden) Diary (Vol.1)

This diary was written in 1890 when the author was twenty and focuses on Crittenden’s daily life, in particular his social outings, relationships and friendships, and his position at the Pacific Insurance Union. Photographs, drawings, sketches are included as are...

Van Wyck (Crittenden) Diary (Vol.2)

Crittenden Van Wyck wrote this journal between the ages of 20 and 23, while he was working as a clerk for the Pacifc Insurance Union and living with his family at 1600 Taylor St. in San Francisco. Among the daily...

Ward Jr. (Charles T.) Reminiscences

These reminiscences were written by Charles Ward himself and first published in an annual newsletter of Society of California Pioneers in 1941. They begin with his journey to California from his home in Boston aboard the English Steamer “Unicorn.” He...

West (Isabel Percy) Reminiscences

This manuscript was written by Isabel West and covers San Francisco history from the years 1853 to 1915. She combines personal experiences and memories with discussions of the development and changes in San Francisco, particularly the area around one particular...

Weston (Francis E.) Diaries

These four diaries provide interesting daily journal entries regarding Francis Weston’s preparation and passage from St. Louis, Missouri to California, shortly after the discovery of gold. The diaries span from April 7 to December 1, 1849. Weston recounts details of...

Wiley (Austin) Diaries

Handwritten daily diaries kept by Austin Wiley covering the years 1846, 1858, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877 and 1878. The first, written in 1846, is titled “Life and Adventures of the Author with a Sketch of the Mexican...

Wood (E.F.) Diary

This diary focuses on Woods time in the San Francisco area and San Joaquin Valley. Much of the diary is devoted to his surveying journals and anecdotes about Civil Engineering. It begins on July 11, 1881 with a newspaper article...

Woodworth (Family) Genealogy

These four books are all copies of the same content and trace the ancestry of the Woodworth family from Walter Woodworth who emigrated with the first settlers of Plymouth to Selim Woodworth. The ancestry begins in 1633 and ends in...

Wrecking Car Company No. 1, Sacramento, Log Book

This log book is an overview of the “wrecking” calls that Douglas and his crew answered. Whenever a railway car would topple off the track or otherwise have an accident, the wrecking car would arrive to remove debris, right the...

Wyoming Tribe Redman of the World Ledger

Ledger contains records of Wigwam of Wyoming Tribe No. 49. Included are minutes, membership and dues and receipts. Enclosed is a certificate granting George G. Gildersleeve District Deputy Great Sachem for District No. 33.