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Guide to the Richard Stephens Diary Collection MS 238
MS 238  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains five volumes of diaries by surveyor Richard Stephens dated between 1885 and 1917.
Background
Richard Stephens was born on July 24, 1830 in Devonshire, England to Thomas and Susan Stephens. Stephens had two siblings younger than himself; a brother who died in infancy and a sister who died at sea in 1842 as the family was making the passage to Canada from England. In Canada, Stephens lived in Port Dover, Ontario and worked as a farmer with his father, even though his dad had studied engineering. After his mother died (date unknown; father had passed away previously on an unknown date), Stephens made the decision to leave Canada because he could no longer take the extremes of Canadian weather. Stephens decided to visit San Diego in June 1885, and by June 29, 1885, the city became his home base. Stephens still held on to the property he had in Port Dover (Silver Lake), and visited Canada on many occasions, but he never moved back to Canada. In November 1885 Stephens was offered the position of civil engineer with the Mexican Land and Colonization Company. He accepted the position; thereafter the diaries reflected a life being lived between San Diego and the unpopulated regions of Baja California.
Extent
0.75 Linear feet (2 boxes)
Restrictions
The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.
Availability
This collection is open for research.