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Finding Aid to the William Alexander Carter Papers, 1837-1975, bulk 1860-1869
BANC MSS 99/75 p  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: William Alexander Carter papers
    Date (inclusive): 1837-1975,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1860-1869
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 99/75 p
    Creators : Carter, William Alexander, 1820-1881.
    Extent: Number of containers: 5 boxes and 2 oversize folders Linear feet: 2.3
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The William Alexander Carter papers, 1837-1975 (bulk 1860-1869) contains Carter's business and personal papers as a sutler at Fort Bridger, Utah Territory. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, mainly to Carter, along with legal papers, financial records, and items relating to Carter and to his family. The papers give a detailed view of a busy period during the history of Fort Bridger as a center of regional business and government, and likewise reflect the business, political, and personal aspects of Carter's career during an active and successful period. Carter's business involved people from all over the United States, but regional centers like Salt Lake City and St. Louis are particularly well represented, as is New York City.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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, 94720186000. 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 .
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Alexander Carter Papers, BANC MSS 99/75 p, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Related Collections

    William Alexander Carter Letterbooks, 1860-1884, BANC MSS P-M 200
    William A. Carter Accounts, 1859-1888, BANC MSS P-M 201
    William A. Carter Papers (unbound), BANC MSS P-M 202
    Edgar N. Carter Papers, [circa 1910-1957], BANC MSS P-M 216
    Views relating to Fort Bridger, Wyoming and the family of William Alexander Carter, BANC PIC 1905.07978-.07995--PIC and BANC PIC 1905.13063-.13064--PIC.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Carter, William Alexander, 1820-1881--Archives
    Carter, William Alexander, 1820-1881--Pictorial works
    Carter, James Van Allen, 1838-1896
    Bridger, Jim, 1804-1881--Pictorial works
    Auerbach, Herbert S. (Herbert Samuel), 1882-1945
    United States Army
    Frontier and pioneer life--Utah
    Sutlers--West (U.S.)
    Judges--Wyoming
    Fur traders--West (U.S.)
    Military supplies
    Mines and mineral resources--Wyoming
    Mines and mineral resources--Utah
    Indians of North America--Wyoming
    Real property--Wyoming--Uinta County
    Land tenure--Wyoming--Uinta County
    Seminole War, 2nd, 1835-1842
    Fort Bridger (Wyo.)--History
    Fort Bridger (Wyo.)--Pictorial works
    United States--Politics and government--1849-1877
    Wyoming--History--19th century
    Utah--History--19th century
    Wyoming--Politics and government
    West (U.S.)--Commerce
    Uinta County (Wyo.)--History--19th century
    Business records
    Contracts
    Receipts
    Notes
    Photographs

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The William Alexander Carter Papers, 1837-1975 (bulk 1860-1869) were purchased by The Bancroft Library from Ken Lopez on January 7, 1993.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Charis Anne Baz Takaro and Lisa de Larios in October 1998.

    Biography

    William A. Carter of Virginia began his army service in the Seminole War and became a sutler or purveyor after his discharge. Later, as a Missouri settler and an 1850 overland emigrant to California, Carter came to Fort Bridger with Albert Johnston's Utah Expedition in 1857 and spent the rest of his life there as a sutler and post trader. In addition to his business provisioning emigrants traveling overland, Carter was active in mining, lumbering, and ranching. He was his own bookkeeper, a custodian of government funds, and served in a number of public offices, including those of probate judge, justice of the peace, and notary public. He was known as a friend of the Shoshone and Ute Indians. Carter unsuccessfully solicited an appointment as Wyoming Territory's first governor, and was a public relations man for Fort Bridger and the area, giving enthusiastic accounts during his regular trips to Virginia and Washington D.C. After his death in 1881 until 1890, his widow, Mary E. Carter, and their children carried on business at Fort Bridger.
    Fort Bridger was a trading post in Utah Territory at Black's Fork on the Green River, in what is now Uinta County, Wyoming. It was established by mountain man, Jim Bridger, with Louis Vasquez, as an emigrant supply stop on the Oregon Trail in 1843, and was purchased by the Mormons in 1853. Burned during the Mormon conflicts in 1857, the fort was rebuilt in 1858 for use by the army and was run by Carter. Although the army leased the fort from Bridger, both Bridger and Brigham Young believed they owned the fort. Fort Bridger was an important supply station for emigrants traveling overland, and served as one of the main hubs of westward expansion used by mountain men, Indians, emigrants, Mormon pioneers, the U.S. Army, and the Pony Express. As Carter's residence, it also served as a social, cultural, and political center in the region, drawing guests from the East and those with business in the area. Carter's family continued to live at the fort until 1928, when it was sold to the Wyoming Historical Landmark Commission for preservation. Today Fort Bridger is a Wyoming State Park.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The William Alexander Carter papers, 1837-1975 (bulk 1860s) contains Carter's business and personal papers as a sutler at Fort Bridger, Utah Territory. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, mainly to Carter, along with legal papers, financial records, and items relating to Carter and to his family. The papers give a detailed view of a busy period during the history of Fort Bridger as a center of regional business and government, and likewise reflect the business, political, and personal aspects of Carter's career during an active and successful period. Carter's business involved people from all over the United States, but regional centers like Salt Lake City and St. Louis are particularly well represented, as is New York City.
    Correspondence includes letters to Carter from high-level U.S. government and army officials, army personnel at regional forts, merchants, financial institutions and others involved in business affairs in the Rocky Mountains and in Utah Territory, along with a small number of letters from Carter. Also includes letters to J. Van Allen Carter and other Carter family members. Financial records of daily business operations at Fort Bridger reflect its role as a trading post and government supplier, while legal records relate to the Fort Bridger land ownership controversy between Jim Bridger, Brigham Young, and the U.S. government. Includes Carter's governmental appointments, contracts for army supplies between Carter and the government or other individuals, material relating to mining and petroleum claims and real estate, as well as documents generated by Carter as Probate Judge and by David A. Burr as Justice of the Peace at Fort Bridger. Writings by and about Carter include his brief notes on the Seminole War and on Indian activity at Fort Bridger, a "diary" probably compiled from letters he wrote to his wife, and other miscellaneous items.
    Also included with the collection are the research materials gathered by Herbert Auerbach for a book or article on Fort Bridger. These include Auerbach's notes, documents copied from various institutions and publications, reminiscences collected about Jim Bridger, Louis Vasquez, William Alexander Carter, mountain men and trappers, and life at Fort Bridger, as well as photographs of Jim Bridger, William A. Carter, and the Fort Bridger area.