Finding Aid to the Marsh Family Papers , 1815-1960

Finding Aid written by Bancroft Library staff; revised by Janice Otani
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/
© 2007
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the Marsh Family Papers , 1815-1960

Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 879

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California
Finding Aid Written By:
Bancroft Library staff; revised by Janice Otani
Date Completed:
February 2009
© 2009 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Marsh family papers
Date (inclusive): 1815-1960
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 879
Creators : Marsh family
Extent: Number of containers: 6 boxes, 1 volume Linear feet: 2.5
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 Marsh family papers, 1815-1960, reflect the life of California pioneer John Marsh and his wife, Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh; their daughter, Alice Marsh Cameron; her husband, William Walker Cameron (also referred to as Camron); and their daughter, Amy Gertrude Cameron; as well as other Marsh and Tuck family members. The collection contains correspondence with prominent figures in California history, including John Augustus Sutter, Charles David Maria Weber, and Thomas Oliver Larkin; writings; materials relating to family genealogies; notes on family histories; scrapbooks; diaries; legal documents; and newspaper clippings.
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 Librarys 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, 94720-6000. 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. 
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], Marsh Family Papers , BANC MSS C-B 879, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Alternate Forms Available

There are no alternate forms of this collection.

Related Collections

Marsh family papers : additions, ca. 1829-1874: BANC MSS 72/91c.
John Marsh family papers, 1832-1856: BANC MSS 73/202c.
Material relating to John Marsh: BANC MSS C-R 65.

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library. One carton of Indian baskets have been transferred to the Anthropology museum.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the librarys online public access catalog.
Cameron family
Tuck family
Women--California
California--History
Family papers.
Scrapbooks.
Diaries.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Marsh Family Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Amy Gertrude Cameron on April 1963 and Mrs. Dorothy V. Lyman on June 1965.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

System of Arrangement

Arranged to the folder level.

Processing Information

Processed by Janice Otani in 2008.

Biographical Information

John Marsh

John Marsh was born in South Danvers, Massachusetts in 1799. Following his graduation from Harvard University in 1823, Marsh moved to the Michigan Territory, where he studied medicine with a post doctor at Fort Snelling. He became an avid supporter of the Sioux during tribal difficulties and compiled the first dictionary of the Sioux language in 1831, with the help of his common law wife, Marguerite, who was half French and half Wahpeton. Marsh left her behind with their son, Charles, and eventually moved to Independence, Missouri, where he met Captain John Augustus Sutter, John Bartleson, and other prominent pioneers. Marsh decided to go westward to California. Without much money, he arrived in Los Angeles, where he set up a practice as a doctor, displaying his Harvard B.A. diploma, thus becoming Californias first Anglo American doctor. There was great demand for his services and he collected fees mainly in the form of livestock, which he could sell for gold.
Marsh decided to head north and purchased a ranch in the San Joaquin Valley, at the base of Mt. Diablo (in modern-day Brentwood, Contra Costa County). He wrote numerous letters to family and friends, some of which were published in local newspapers, giving accounts of the future of California and concerns of life on the frontier. He continued his medical practice, became wealthy, and married Abigail Smith Tuck in 1851. When their daughter, Alice, was born Marsh set out to build a great stone house for his family. Abigail died before the house was completed. Marsh moved into the stone house three weeks before he was murdered by vaqueros from his ranch on September 24, 1856.

Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh

Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh was born in Massachusetts in 1818. She taught school in Raleigh, North Carolina before she moved to California, where she also was a teacher in Santa Clara. She and John Marsh were married in 1851 and their daughter, Alice, was born in 1852. After a long illness, Abigail Marsh died in 1855.

Alice Marsh Cameron

Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh was born in Massachusetts in 1818. She taught school in Raleigh, North Carolina before she moved to California, where she also was a teacher in Santa Clara. She and John Marsh were married in 1851 and their daughter, Alice, was born in 1852. After a long illness, Abigail Marsh died in 1855.

William Walker Cameron

William Walker Cameron was born in Iowa in 1843 and was orphaned at the age of eleven. He was raised in California by his uncle and eventually became a real estate dealer, landowner, and politician. He married Alice Frances Marsh in 1871. After their daughter, Amy Gertrude, was born in 1872, Cameron built a mansion, now known as Camron-Stanford House, on Lake Merritt in Oakland. He later married Viola J. Babcock in 1877 and resumed his political career in the State Legislature. William Walker died in Palo Alto in 1912 after a long illness.

Amy Gertrude Cameron

Amy Gertrude Cameron was born in Martinez, California in 1872. Her father and mother were William Walker and Alice Marsh Cameron. Her grandfather was John Marsh. She lived in Oakland for a brief time and when her parents separated, she moved to Santa Barbara with her mother.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Marsh family papers, 1815-1960, reflect the life of California pioneer John Marsh and his wife, Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh; their daughter, Alice Marsh Cameron; her husband, William Walker Cameron (also referred to as Camron); and their daughter, Amy Gertrude Cameron; as well as other Marsh and Tuck family members. The collection contains correspondence with prominent figures in California history, including John Augustus Sutter, Charles David Maria Weber, and Thomas Oliver Larkin; writings; materials relating to family genealogies; notes on family histories; scrapbooks; diaries; legal documents; and newspaper clippings.
John Marshs papers, most significantly his correspondence and writings, provide descriptive accounts of early life in Northern California and such issues as annexation of California to the United States, livestock ranching, railroad and militia projects, and Indian relations. His papers also include family correspondence, Marshs student notebooks from various Massachusetts academies, and information regarding the Stone House he built in Contra Costa County.
Correspondence includes originals, typed transcripts from the California State Library, handwritten transcripts, and Photostat copies. Some of the correspondence was donated by Mrs. David Potter, Mrs. George Lyman, donated correspondence, along with George D. Lymans research materials for his book, John Marsh, Pioneer: The Life Story of a Trail-Blazer on Six Frontiers (1931).
Correspondence of Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh is primarily with Tuck family members.
Alice Marsh Camerons papers contain correspondence with her family, friends, and contacts for research requests concerning family histories. The bulk of materials include various handwritten drafts, including numerous transcriptions of letters and articles written by her father, John Marsh; interviews with people who knew Marsh, and notes on his life in California. There is also a handwritten draft and notes on the Tuck family history in America. Of particular interest is a cookbook/scrapbook, dated 1870, consisting of recipes, newspaper articles, and handwritten notes. Also included in her papers are legal documents, her wedding invitation, a European travel journal, diaries, and scrapbooks of newspaper clippings on various topics.
William Walker Camerons papers contain correspondence with his family, letters regarding the Marsh ranch and pardon of Marshs murderer, and also a brief response from Leland Stanford to a request. Camerons papers also include his will, real estate papers, and a membership certificate to the Free Masons of Oakland.
Amy Gertrude Camerons papers contain correspondence, mainly with the Marsh and Cameron families, her friends, and persons regarding information on her familys history. Her handwritten drafts and transcriptions of Marshs letters and articles, typed transcriptions from The Bancroft Library, and research notes show that she shared her mothers interest in writing about her grandfather, John Marsh. There are also materials regarding the Cameron family history, including a scrapbook consisting of genealogy information, photographs, and notes. Camerons papers also contain legal documents; the will and estate documents of Viola J. Cameron, her step-mother; diaries; information on the family home in Oakland, California, materials relating to a Harvard Club event commemorating John Marsh; book reviews of George D. Lymans book, John Marsh, Pioneer; and miscellany
The other Marsh family members papers include materials relating to James Marsh (brother of John Marsh), George E. Marsh (brother of John Marsh), and James M. Marsh (nephew of John Marsh), and Oliver C. Coffin.

Container List

 

Series 1 John Marsh 1815-1856

Physical Description: Box 1, Folders 1-51

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence; school journals and notebooks; writings, including drafts of articles to be published; materials regarding the Stone House; documents; receipts; and miscellany.
 

Correspondence with family

Box 1, Folder 1

Brown, F. (sister) 1831

Box 1, Folder 2

Marsh, John 1815, 1827, 1847

Box 1, Folder 3

Marsh, Mary (sister) 1838, 1844, 1849

Box 1, Folder 4

Tuck, Samuel (father-in-law) 1855-1856

 

Correspondence with others

Box 1, Folder 5

Barnett, William B. (addressed to Captain Sutter or Mr. Marsh) 1841 May 18

Box 1, Folder 6

Cass, Lewis, 1782-1866 (Governor of Michigan Territory) 1846 January 20

Box 1, Folder 7

Clark, William 1827 May 30

Box 1, Folder 8

Cooper, Juan Bautista Rogers, 1791-1872 1847 March 12

Box 1, Folder 9

Farnham, Thomas J. 1845 July 6, 1847 May 25

Box 1, Folder 10

Fitch, H.D. 1843 October 8

Box 1, Folder 11

Fravel, Ephraim 1844 June 21

Box 1, Folder 12

Gantt, John 1845 March-October, 1847 August 2

Box 1, Folder 13

Hastings, Lansford Warren, 1819- 1846 March 26

Box 1, Folder 14

Jones, Thomas Ap Catesby, 1790-1858 (Commodore) circa 1842

Box 1, Folder 15

Langetroth, J. Alexander 1843 December 4

Box 1, Folder 16

Lataillade, Cesareo, 1818-1849 1842 August 22, 1843 September 29, November 19

Box 1, Folder 17

Larkin, Thomas Oliver, 1802-1856 1845 March-August

Box 1, Folder 18

Luis, Guillermo 1844 November 4

Box 1, Folder 19

McMahan, Samuel G. 1844 June 16

Box 1, Folder 20

MacTavish, Dugald 1846 May 8

Box 1, Folder 21

Majors, J. 1844 June

Box 1, Folder 22

Martinez, Vicente 1845 November 3

Box 1, Folder 23

Mellus, H. 1842 April 23

Box 1, Folder 24

Owens, Sam C. 1846 May 2

Box 1, Folder 25

Pickering, Charles, 1805-1878 1841 October 29

Box 1, Folder 26

Pico, Pio, 1801-1894 1846 April 30

Box 1, Folder 27

Smithsonian Institution 1848 November 1

Box 1, Folder 28

Stearns, A. 1837 March 27

Box 1, Folder 29

Stribling, C.K. 1843 May 3

Box 1, Folder 30

Suñol, Antonio María, 1797-1865 1845 March, June

Box 1, Folder 31

Sutter, John Augustus, 1803-1880 1841 November, 1844-1846

Box 1, Folder 32

Tinslar, Benjamin R. 1841 May 28

Box 1, Folder 33

Weber, Charles David Maria, 1814-1881 1845-1846

Box 1, Folder 34

Wiatt, J.W. 1846 September 13

 

Writings

Box 1, Folder 35

Photostat of Daily Argus newspaper page (1941) with letter from Marsh, regarding frontier life in California 1940 July 3

 

Drafts submitted for publication in California Star

Box 1, Folder 36

Militia project circa 1838

Box 1, Folder 37

Upper California (pen name, Essex) 1846 February

Box 1, Folder 38

Railroad project (pen name, Agricola) 1847 February

Box 1, Folder 39-40

Horse thieves (pen name, Agricola) 1847 March 28

Box 1, Folder 41

In the Valley of San Joaquin (pen name, Agricola) 1847

Box 1, Folder 42

Various topics 1847-1848

 

School course work from Massachusetts

Box 1, Folder 43

Journals from Danvers, Franklin Academy (Andover), and Lancaster Academy 1817 January-1818 December

Box 1, Folder 44

Math notebook from Franklin Academy (Andover) circa 1817

Box 1, Folder 45

Compositions (Boxford, Massachusetts) 1818 June, July, 1821 April

Box 1, Folder 46

John Marsh Stone House, Contra Costa County 1856

Box 1, Folder 47-48

Real estate papers 1852

Box 1, Folder 49

Proclamation, reward for capture of Marshs murderer 1956 October 13

Box 1, Folder 50

Mountain View Memorial Park, Oakland (burial site) undated

Box 1, Folder 51

Receipts for payments of services and supplies 1842, 1852

Box 1, Folder 52

My Little Daughters Shoes, poem by Sprague undated

 

Series 2 Abigail Smith Tuck Marsh 1837-1855

Physical Description: Box 2, Folders 1-5

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence with Tuck family members.
 

Correspondence with family

Box 2, Folder 1

Tuck, Almira (sister) 1846-1847

Box 2, Folder 2

Tuck, Elizabeth A. (sister) 1845, 1848, 1851-1855

Box 2, Folder 3

Tuck, Samuel and Margaret Smith (father and mother) 1847-1855

Box 2, Folder 4

Tuck, Samuel (brother) 1847

Box 2, Folder 5

Wild, Zemas P. and Margaret Tuck (brother-in-law and sister) 1837, 1845-1855

Box 2, Folder 6

Sarah (aunt?) 1846, 1852

 

Series 3 Alice Marsh Cameron 1864-1927

Physical Description: Box 2, Folders 7-26; Box 3, Folders 1-9; Box 7, Folders 1-6; Volume 1

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence; writings, including various manuscript drafts on John Marsh, a draft on the Tuck family, notes; a cookbook; journals; diaries; scrapbooks with newspaper clippings; and miscellany.
Box 2, Folder 7

Correspondence with family 1864, 1881, 1891-1913

 

Correspondence with others

Box 2, Folder 8

Appleton, John N. 1886 June 11

Box 2, Folder 9

The Bancroft Library: Morrison, George H. undated

Box 2, Folder 10

Bidwell, John, 1819-1900 1890 December 7

Box 2, Folder 11

Crow (?), S.E. 1909, 1912

Box 2, Folder 12

De Golia, Nettie G. 1908, 1910

Box 2, Folder 13

Freitas, Ada M. 1916, 1922

Box 2, Folder 14

Smith, William W. 1876 April 13

Box 2, Folder 15

Miscellaneous 1888-1925

 

Written drafts and related materials

Box 2, Folder 16

Life of Dr. John Marsh undated

Box 2, Folder 17

A California Romance in Real Life: One Mans Life on the Frontier undated

Box 2, Folder 18

A Pioneers Life in California undated

Box 2, Folder 19

History of the Life of John Marsh (notebook with draft and notes) undated

Box 2, Folder 20

Dr. John Marsh: The Pioneer Physician undated

Box 2, Folder 21

The Doctor Marsh Story undated

Box 2, Folder 22

Adobe House (sketch and background materials) 1897

Box 2, Folder 23

Interviews and information related to John Marsh 1886

Box 2, Folder 24-26

Notes and newspaper articles related to John Marsh 1892, 1901, 1909, undated

Box 3, Folder 1-2

Tuck Family History in America (draft, background materials, and notes) undated

 

Diaries

Box 3, Folder 3

Travel journal of European trip 1878

Box 6, Folder 1-6

Daily notes 1886, 1890-1897

Volume 1

Cookbook/scrapbook with recipes, newspaper clippings, and handwritten notes 1870

Box 3, Folder 4-5

Legal papers 1898-1899

Box 3, Folder 6-7

Scrapbooks with newspaper articles related to wills and testaments, poultry raising, and miscellaneous topics 1879-1885, 1896

Box 3, Folder 8

Wedding invitation 1871

Box 3, Folder 9

Miscellany 1864, 1880, 1898

 

Series 4 William Walker Cameron 1865-1912

Physical Description: Box 3, Folders 10-22

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence, will, real estate papers, and miscellany.
 

Correspondence with family

Box 3, Folder 10

Brown, Elam C. (cousin) 1890 September

Box 3, Folder 11

Cameron, Amy Gertrude (daughter) 1906, 1910-1912

Box 3, Folder 12

Cameron, Viola J. (second wife) 1897 April 27

Box 3, Folder 13

Emry, David F. (uncle) 1891 January

Box 3, Folder 14

Miscellaneous 1891, 1908

 

Correspondence with others

Box 3, Folder 15

Derry, C.W. 1887-1888

Box 3, Folder 16

Gardner, R. 1865 March 21

Box 3, Folder 17

Ivory, M.B. 1891 December 20

Box 3, Folder 18

Stanford, Leland, 1824-1893 1886 June 22

Box 3, Folder 19

Wittenmeyer, L.C. 1891 December 19

Box 3, Folder 20

Will 1886 April 16

Box 3, Folder 21

Real estate papers 1890, 1895

Box 3, Folder 22

Membership certificate to the Free Masons (Oakland, California) 1894

Box 3, Folder 23

Receipt for diamond ring from Louis Braverman & Co. (San Francisco, California) 1888

 

Series 5 Amy Gertrude Cameron 1817-1960

Physical Description: Box 4, Folders 1-35; Box 5, Folders 1-19; Box 7, Folders 7-8

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence, writings, journals, notes, book reviews, materials related to John Marsh commemorative event, legal documents, and miscellany.
 

Correspondence with family

Box 4, Folder 1

Brown, Caroline Thelan (Cameron) 1913 December 22

Box 4, Folder 2

Brown, Elam C. (cousin) 1897, 1922

Box 4, Folder 3

Cameron, Viola (step-mother) 1947-1948

Box 4, Folder 4

Drake, Julia A. (cousin) 1948, 1956-1957

Box 4, Folder 5

Frazer, W.A. 1926, 1933

Box 4, Folder 6

Marsh, Barbour E.

Box 4, Folder 7

Marsh, Ewing and Adelaide, Larry, and Philip 1946, 1955

Box 4, Folder 8

Marsh, John (father) and Abigail Smith Tuck (mother) 1881-1885, 1908-1912

Box 4, Folder 9

Soberanes, Irene Sewell (cousin) 1941, 1945-1958

Box 4, Folder 10

Wilds, A. Jennie 1912, 1930, 1935, 1940

Box 4, Folder 11

Miscellaneous 1929, 1943, 1960

 

Correspondence with others

Box 4, Folder 12

Appenzeller, Clara B. 1947-1952

Box 4, Folder 13

Appenzeller, Lena M. 1953-1955

Box 4, Folder 14

Armitage, Mabel Violet 1954, 1956-1957

Box 4, Folder 15

Atsatt, Rodney F. 1948, 1957-1958

Box 4, Folder 16

Cullimore, Clarence 1942, 1949

Box 4, Folder 17

Eisner, Milton D. 1942, 1951, 1954-1956

Box 4, Folder 18

Goodwin, J.A. 1901, 1907, 1917

Box 4, Folder 19

Greason, Annie 1952-1957

Box 4, Folder 20

Herbert, F.H. 1907

Box 4, Folder 21-24

Kemper, Willard 1932-1936

Box 4, Folder 25

Landers, Carrie M. 1893

Box 4, Folder 26

Leonard, Anna 1939

Box 4, Folder 27

Lyman, George D., 1882-1949 1927-1948

Box 4, Folder 28

McGowan, Katherine 1933, 1940, 1942

Box 4, Folder 29

Miller, Ernest Lee 1908-1909, 1913

Box 4, Folder 30

Novack, Marilyn 1954-1955

Box 4, Folder 31

Peralta, Marie Louise 1904, 1914

Box 4, Folder 32

Stewart, Curtis H. 1934-1941, 1948, 1959

Box 4, Folder 33

Van Meter, Betty 1952

Box 4, Folder 34-35

Miscellaneous 1894-1956

 

Writings

 

Materials related to John Marsh

Box 5, Folder 1

Handwritten transcripts of letters, articles, and daily diary 1817-1847

Box 5, Folder 2

Typescripts from The Bancroft Library 1939-1945

Box 5, Folder 3

Notes undated

 

Materials related to the Cameron family history

Box 5, Folder 4

Genealogy information and notes undated

Box 5, Folder 5

Scrapbook with biographical information, photographs, genealogy, newspaper clippings and notes circa 1922

Box 5, Folder 6

Handwritten drafts and notes on various topics undated

Box 6, Folder 7-8

Diaries 1886, 1935-1940

Box 5, Folder 7

Book reviews of John Marsh: Pioneer by George D. Lyman 1930

 

The Harvard Club of San Francisco, commemorative ceremony

Box 5, Folder 8

Program and address by George D. Lyman 1934

Box 5, Folder 9

Newspaper clippings related to the Stone House in Contra Costa County, California 1934

Box 5, Folder 10-11

Legal documents, including will and estate papers 1938-1957

Box 5, Folder 12

Materials related to employment 1900

Box 5, Folder 13

Information related to the family home built by William Walker Cameron in Oakland, California 1950

Box 5, Folder 14

Hair salon business cards and advertisements undated

Box 5, Folder 15

Native Daughters of the Golden West, Reina Del Mar Parlor invitations and program 1951-1952, 1956

Box 5, Folder 16

Calling cards undated

Box 5, Folder 17

Dance programs 1892-1893

Box 5, Folder 18-19

Miscellany 1897, 1900, 1921

 

Series 6 Other Marsh family members: Marsh, James; Marsh, George E.; Marsh, James M. 1856-1860, 1912-1913

Physical Description: Box 5, Folders 20-24

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence and newspaper clippings.
Box 5, Folder 20

Marsh, James; correspondence 1856-1860

 

Marsh, George E.

Box 5, Folder 21

Correspondence 1857 January-October

Box 5, Folder 22

Newspaper clippings regarding his murder 1912 April-August

Box 5, Folder 23

Marsh, James M.; newspaper clippings regarding his death 1913 July

Box 5, Folder 24

Coffin, Oliver C.; correspondence 1860 September