The James D. Phelan Papers, 1855-1941 (bulk 1906-1930), contain materials documenting Phelan's political career as San Francisco's
Mayor and a U. S. Senator, his involvement in relief efforts following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, his business and
financial activities, and his philanthropic efforts. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence. Other types
of records include financial statements, insurance and tax forms, newspaper and magazine clippings, agreements, reports,
notes, and published and unpublished writings by Phelan and others. Although the collection contains materials dating from
1855-1941, the bulk of the materials range from 1906-1930.
James Duval Phelan, businessman, political leader, patron of the arts, and philanthropist, was born in San Francisco on April
20, 1861. He graduated from St. Ignatius University, San Francisco, in 1881 and studied law at the University of California,
Berkeley. After college he traveled abroad for a year and a half, studying municipal governments and writing articles on his
observations for various magazines and San Francisco newspapers. Influenced by his father, he gave up his early aspirations
to become a lawyer or a writer and turned to a business career, first as his father's partner, and then as his successor in
the banking business and as manager of the considerable estate which he had inherited.
Number of containers: 131 boxes, 34 cartons, 84 volumes, 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder
Linear feet: 111.7 linear ft.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which
must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.