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Guide to the Gustavus C. Pearson Family Papers, 1824-1983
BANC MSS 92/840 c  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Gustavus C. Pearson Family Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1824-1983
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 92/840 c
    Creator: Pearson, Gustavus C.
    Extent: Number of containers: 1 carton (also containing 2 shoe boxes) Linear feet: 1.25
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: The collection consists primarily of diaries, and letters between the members of Gustavus Pearson's immediate family -- his wife Hattie and three children, John A., Francis, and Norman. Included in the correspondence are also a few letters from Gustavus and his brother George T., to their father, Judge John Pearson; a series of letters from Gustavus's daughter, Frances, written to her husband, James A. Meeks, while on a trip to Europe with her father in 1900; and miscellaneous letters to and from other family members. The diaries provide a more or less daily account (with a number of gaps) of the life of Gustavus Pearson from 1845 to 1905. Also included are a diary by Mrs. A.C. Brown, Frances Pearson's travel diary, and a small book of notes by Judge John Pearson.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Gustavus C. Pearson Family Papers, BANC MSS 92/840 c, The Bancroft Library, Universtity of California, Berkeley

    Related Collections

    Recollections of Gustavus C. Pearson a California 49'er, BANC MSS C-D 136.
    G. C. Pearson California experiences and recollections, 1894-1898, BANC MSS FILM C-D 5153

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    • Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Gustavus C. Pearson Family Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Frances McReynolds Smith on June 30, 1992.

    Biography

    Gustavus C. Pearson was born at Ravenna, Ohio on July 17, 1827. He and his father, Judge John Pearson, came separately to California from Illinois in 1849 for the Gold Rush. Gustavus travelled overland through Salt Lake City, and, on Brigham Young's recommendation, created with his companions the first wagon road from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles via San Bernadino. After his involvement in the Gold Rush, Gustavus returned to Chicago, where he remained until 1867. On his return to California, Gustavus located at Vallejo and entered into partnership with A.D. Starr, to operate a milling and grain-shipping business under the name of Pearson & Starr. The Starr Mills, which they built in Vallejo, was one of the largest mills of its day. Gustavus eventually returned East, settling in Danville, Illinois in 1879.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists primarily of diaries and letters between the members of Gustavus Pearson's immediate family -his wife, Hattie, and their children, John A., Francis, and Norman. Included in the correspondence are also a few letters from Gustavus and his brother, George T., to their father, Judge John Pearson; a series of letters from Gustavus' daughter, Frances, written to her husband, James A. Meeks, while on a trip to Europe with her father in 1900; and miscellaneous letters to and from other family members.
    Gustavus began his diaries in April 1845 and kept them almost continually until 1905. Although there are several gaps --either lost diaries or cessation in writing --the diaries provide a more or less daily account of Gustavus' life throughout these years. Also included are a diary by Mrs. A.C. Brown, Frances' travel diary, and a small book of notes by Judge John Pearson, as well as Gustavus' and Hattie's accounts journals and miscellaneous other personal and property records.