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Finding Aid to the Powell and Sparkman Family Papers MS.218
MS.218  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and contents
  • Preferred citation
  • Use
  • Access
  • Biographical note
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Processing history

  • Title: Powell and Sparkman Family Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.218
    Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.3 Linear feet (2 boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1808-1919
    Date (inclusive): 1808-1962
    Abstract: Philip Stedman Sparkman studied and wrote out the vocabulary of the Luiseño people of Southern California, and he corresponded with Charles F. Lummis and Frederick Webb Hodge. This collection includes family, financial, and legal papers of John Sparkman, Philip Stedman, Philip Stedman Sparkman, John Stedman Sparkman, Alice Ann Sparkman Powell, and Rodney W. Powell, spanning mostly from 1808-1919. Photographs in this collection range from 1872-1962.
    creator: Powell, Alice Ann Sparkman
    creator: Powell, Rodney W.
    creator: Sparkman Family
    creator: Sparkman, John Stedman
    creator: Sparkman, John
    creator: Sparkman, Philip Stedman, 1865-1907
    creator: Stedman, Philip

    Scope and contents

    This collection includes family, financial, and legal papers of John Sparkman, Philip Stedman, Philip Stedman Sparkman, John Stedman Sparkman, Alice Ann Sparkman Powell, and Rodney W. Powell, spanning mostly from 1808-1919. Papers include correspondence, family papers, financial records, a ledger, and photographs. Loose photographs and a photo album include photos from 1872-1962. The photo album features mostly Powell family members, with some of Alice Sparkman Powell’s family photos as well. The photo album also includes photographs from R. W. Powell’s military service in Cairo, featuring encampments, landscapes, and Bedouins. The ledger is mostly filled with journal entries from 1880-1901 written by Philip Stedman Sparkman.

    Preferred citation

    Powell and Sparkman Family Papers, 1808-1962, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.218; [folder number] [folder title][date].

    Use

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian 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.

    Access

    Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org.

    Biographical note

    Philip Steadman Sparkman, 1865-1907
    Sparkman was the seventh child in a farming family, born in Herefordshire, England in 1865. He sailed to the United States in 1875 on the immigrant ship SS Idaho. He slowly made his way west, working odd jobs, and opening a series of short-lived stores starting in 1880 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and then in towns along the Santa Fe Trail. He eventually settled in the small town of Rincon, near Valley Center in San Diego County, California where he ran a successful store and prospered as a local businessman. Sparkman had taught himself Spanish while in New Mexico, and upon settling in Rincon, became interested in the local Luiseño Indian culture and language. Sparkman spent years recording all aspects of Luiseño culture, including folklore, religion, and material culture, but his focus was on their language. He published a preliminary sketch of his study of the language in American Anthropologist in 1905. Sparkman was killed at his home on 1907 May 19 at the age of 51. The man suspected of his murder, Francisco Calac, was declared unfit for trial, and spent the next 20 years at the state asylum in San Bernardino, California. Discovered among his papers after his death were a completed, bound and typed manuscript grammar and dictionary of the Luiseño language and a written account of Luiseño culture. Both works were acquired, along with other Sparkman papers, by the University of California and published post-mortem. Sparkman left no heir behind, so his effects were left to his sister Alice Ann Sparkman Powell, wife of Rodney W. Powell, who served in the British army in Cairo during World War I.
    References Crawford, Richard. “Rincon slaying claimed life of respected businessman.” San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 16, 2010, p.CZ.2.

    Related Archival Materials

    Charles Fletcher Lummis Manuscript Collection, 1879-1928, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, MS.1
    Frederick Webb Hodge Manuscript Collection, 1884-1956, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, MS.7
    Philip Stedman Sparkman papers, 1896-1907, Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkley, BANC MSS C-B 1068.

    Processing history

    Biographical note prepared by Eloise Nelson, Braun Research Library intern, 2011 June 20. Initial processing completed by Braun Research Library staff. Processing and finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Processing Archivist, 2012 August 30, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commissions (NHPRC).

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Powell, Alice Ann Sparkman
    Powell, Rodney W.
    Sparkman Family
    Sparkman, John Stedman
    Sparkman, John
    Sparkman, Philip Stedman, 1865-1907
    Stedman, Philip
    Cairo (Egypt)
    Correspondence
    Diaries
    Financial records
    Indian baskets
    Ledgers
    Luiseño Indians
    Luiseño language
    Photograph albums
    Photographs