Finding aid of the Alfred De Witt Papers C058831
Finding aid prepared by Alexandria Brown
Society of California Pioneers11/22/2011
300 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107-1272
Title: De Witt, Alfred Papers
Identifier/Call Number: C058831
Contributing Institution: Society of California Pioneers
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 folder (1 item)
Abstract: This folder contains 1 1890 letter of description from De Witt to an unknown person regarding the history and provenance of a watercolor sketch of the “San Francisco After the Fire” done by John Pendergrast in 1851.
creator: De Witt, Alfred, 1818-1899
Collection open for research.
There are no restrictions on access.
Alfred De Witt Papers. The Society of California Pioneers.
Donor and date of acquisition unknown.
De Witt was born in New York City, NY in 1818 to Peter De Witt, a lawyer on Nassau Street. He was the clerk at Eli Hart & Co., a flour merchant, in 1837. During the Bread Riot of February 1837, De Witt single-handedly saved the firm’s records by carrying them to his father’s office (from Washington Street to Nassau Street, a journey of approximately 1 mile). In the 1840s he held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, but in 1848 he sailed for San Francisco on the steamer The Panama with a cargo of merchandise, arriving on September 23, 1848. He established the commission house De Witt & Harrison at 187 Sansome Street. He maintained several storefronts which sold, among other things, cement. He joined the Society of California Pioneers in 1853. Their store at California and Front Streets suffered nearly $3100 in damage after the October 21, 1868 earthquake. In 1854 he opened a branch in New York City which was later renamed De Witt, Kittle & Co. (After his retirement the firm changed to Kittle & Co., with offices located at 88 Wall St.) He died at his country estate in Staatsburg, NY in October 1899.
This folder contains 1 1890 letter of description from De Witt to an unknown person regarding the history and provenance of a watercolor sketch of the “San Francisco After the Fire” done by John Pendergrast in 1851.
The Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA, 94107
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Art, American--California--San Francisco Bay Area--19th century.
Fires in art