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Augustin W. Hale Papers: Finding Aid
mssHale papers.  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains the papers of Augustin Ward Hale (1814-1902), as well as family members in New York, New Jersey, California, and Nevada, with the bulk dating from 1830 to 1859. Manuscripts chiefly reflect Hale's business ventures in California, including the business and financial records of the following companies: Magnetic Mining Company, New England Mining and Trading Company, San Joaquin Diving Bell Company, San Joaquin Railroad Company, Saucelito Water Company, Sierra Nevada Flour Mills, Stanislaus Central Bridge Company, and the Tuolumne Hydraulic Association. Correspondence and documents also relate to Hale's father, businessman and inventor Elisha Hale. Correspondence also relates to Augustin and his life in California and Nevada mining towns from 1849 to 1894.
Background
Augustin Ward Hale (1814-1902), born January 13, 1814, grew up in New Jersey and New York. In his early life Augustin worked with his father Elisha Hale, a businessman and inventor. In 1841, Augustin married Jennette Van Kleeck; they had one daughter, Agness. In the summer of 1846, Augustin traveled to Trinidad to sell his father’s patents. In 1848, before departing for California, Augustin had his wife committed to the New Jersey Lunatic Asylum and his young daughter, who showed signs of physical and mental disabilities, put in a foster home. In January 1849 Augustin sailed for California on the brig Pacific. He was a member of a joint venture called the New England Mining and Trading Company (Mark Hopkins was also a member of the company, which was disbanded shortly after its arrival in California). After stops in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Callao, Peru, the ship reached San Francisco in August; Augustin immediately traveled to Sacramento City and then to the mining camp Mormon Island. Along with mining, Augustin spent the 1850s investing in various business ventures, most of which failed. In 1851, Augustin created the Saucelito Water Company, one of his more successful businesses. After a profitable year he sold the company and invested in other businesses including the San Joaquin Railroad Company, Magnetic Mining Company (also called the Tuolumne Quartz Mining Company), San Joaquin Diving Bell Company, Sierra Nevada Flour Mills, and the Tuolumne Hydraulic Association. Most notable of these companies is the Stanislaus Central Bridge Company, which was established in 1852 to build an iron suspension bridge above the Stanislaus River. The company directors had not yet approved the completion of the bridge and were insisting that additional cables were needed, when, on November 19, 1853, the bridge collapsed as a wagon and team of horses were crossing it. Augustin and his partners had to pay the company’s debts with their own money.Elisha Hale (1778-1851) was born in 1778. He and his wife Chloe had five children: Henry, Julius, Evelina, Augustin and Eliza. Elisha held patents for a collapsible umbrella, a rotary machine and a steam engine. In 1839 he traveled to Europe in an attempt to sell his patents. He returned home in 1841 after some success. He died in 1851.Elisha Hale (1779?-1851) m. Chloe Ward Hale (1779-1863)
  • 1. Henry Hale (d.1835) m. Deidamia Belinda Hale (d.1890)
    • a. Albert Ward Hale (b. ca. 1834)
  • 2. Julius Hale (1810?-1845) m. Caroline Hale Harding
    • a. Julius Henry Hale (b. 1840)
    • b. Nelly Hale
  • 3. Evelina Hale Jones (1813?-1864) m. William P. Jones
    • a. Henry? (b. before 1849)
    • b. Aline (b. before 1849)
  • 4. Augustin Ward Hale (1814-c.1901) m. Jennett Van Kleeck (d. 1858)
    • a. Agness Hale (b. 1842)
  • 5. Eliza Hale Paine (1816-1855) m. Henry D. Paine
    • a. Freddy Paine
    • b. Evelina Paine (b.1846)
  • Extent
    5,256 items in 29 boxes.
    Restrictions
    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
    Availability
    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.