Finding aid to the William D. M. Howard papers, 1823-1878, undated, Vault MS 30

Finding aid prepared by Tierney Haupt
California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105-4014
(415) 357-1848
reference@calhist.org
2011


Title: William D. M. Howard papers
Date: 1823-1878
Collection Identifier: Vault MS 30
Creator: Howard, William D. M. (William Davis Merry), 1818-1856.
Extent: 4 boxes, 1 oversize box (2.75 linear feet)
Repository: California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
415-357-1848
reference@calhist.org
URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
Location of Materials: Collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Most items are in English, with a few in Spanish.
Abstract: Collection consists of San Francisco merchant and financier William D. M. Howard’s correspondence and business papers. Also includes business papers of William R. Warren, a Honolulu merchant; Howard’s brother George; Henry F. Teschemacher, tenth mayor of San Francisco; and William A. Liedesdorff. Collection contains correspondence relating to an 1852 plan to light San Francisco with gas. A small number of papers relating to the outfitting of the expedition to rescue the Donner Party are also part of the collection. Two volumes are included: a log from the schooner Julia Ann, and court records relating to the Lup-Yomi Rancho case.

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 Director of the Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society 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. 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], William D. M. Howard papers, Vault MS 30, California Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

The William D. M. Howard papers were given to the California Historical Society by Mr. and Mrs. K. K. Bechtel in 1955.

System of Arrangement

Items are arranged in chronological order. Folder headings were added to facilitate access.

Biographical Information

William Davis Merry Howard was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1818 and became a sailor, eventually working on trading ships along the Pacific Coast. He settled in San Francisco and dealt in hides before partnering with Henry Mellus in 1845. Mellus and Howard were successful in the general merchandise business, especially as business boomed during the Gold Rush. Howard assisted in the financial organization and support of the expedition to rescue the Donner Party in 1847. His first wife, Mary Warren, died in 1849 and he soon married Agnes Poett, with whom he had one son, William. Howard became a community leader, serving on the first city council, and was a well-known philanthropist in San Francisco. He also owned a rancho on land near San Mateo. He died in 1856 and, after his death, his widow Agnes married his brother George. Howard Street in San Francisco is named after him.

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of correspondence, invoices, and receipts from pioneer California residents, merchants, and companies, reflecting William D. M. Howard's extensive commercial activities through his firm, Mellus & Howard; business and personal papers (1823-1863) of Henry F. Teschemacher, mayor of San Francisco from 1859-1863; business papers (1823-1849) of William R. Warren, a merchant in Honolulu; Howard estate papers; business papers of Howard's brother, George; a small amount of papers relating to Howard's involvement in the Donner Party rescue; papers relating to William A. Leidesdorff, including estate papers while Howard was the executor, and records of Leidesdorff's schooner, Julia Ann; papers relating to the Lup-Yomi Rancho case and other land settlement cases; and to an abortive plan for lighting San Francisco by gas in 1852, involving Howard and Frederick A. Woodworth. Other persons represented include William Heath Davis, Henry D. Fitch, Thomas O. Larkin, and Jacob P. Leese. Also included are family letters from Howard’s mother, sister, and nephew in Boston, and from his second wife, Agnes, who married his brother George after Howard’s death.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Howard, George H.
Howard, William D. M. (William Davis Merry), 1818-1856--Archives.
Julia Ann (Schooner).
Leidesdorff, William A. (William Alexander), 1810-1848.
Mellus & Howard Company.
Teschemacher, Henry F.
Warren, William R.
Donner Party
Rancho Lup-Yomi (Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)--Commerce.

Bibliography

Biograpical information from:
Block, E. The Immortal San Franciscans for Whom the Streets Were Named. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1971.

Box 1, Folder 1

William R. Warren correspondence and business records 1823-1829

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 1, Folders 2-3

William R. Warren correspondence and business records 1830-1839

Physical Description: 2.0 folders
Box 1, Folder 4

Correspondence and business records 1840-1842

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 1, Folder 5

Correpondence 1843 January - August

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 1, Folders 6-7

Correspondence and business records 1843 September - December

Physical Description: 2.0 folders
Box 1, Folder 8

Correspondence 1844 January - September

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 1, Folders 9-10

Correspondence and business records 1844 October - December

Physical Description: 2.0 folders
Box 2, Folder 1

Henry Teschemacher and William D. M. Howard correspondence 1845 January - July

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 2, Folder 2

Correspondence and business records 1845 August - December

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 2, Folder 3

Correspondence and business records 1846

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 2, Folder 4

Henry Teschemacher and William D. M. Howard correspondence and business records 1847

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 2, Folder 5

Records for the relief expedition to the mountains to rescue the Donner Party 1847

Physical Description: 1.0 folder

Scope and Contents

Collection includes receipts for supplies to outfit those heading to rescue the Donner Party and lists of donors to the relief effort. Howard was treasurer of the expedition for the relief of sufferers in the mountains.
Box 1, Folder 6

Correspondence and business records 1848

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 2, Folders 7-8

Correspondence and business records 1849

Physical Description: 2.0 folders
Box 2, Folders 9-10

Correspondence and business records 1850

Physical Description: 2.0 folders
Box 3, Folders 1-2

Correspondence and business records 1851

Physical Description: 2.0 folder
Box 3, Folders 3-4

Correspondence and business records 1852 January - June

Physical Description: 2.0 folders
Box 3, Folder 5

Gas lighting plan for San Francisco correspondence 1852

Physical Description: 1.0 folder

Scope and Contents

Collection includes letters from Frank A. Woodworth to George H. Howard and George N. Shaw regarding a plan to bring gas lighting to San Francisco. Woodworth traveled around the northeastern United States investigating gasworks and reporting to Howard and Shaw. Their plan was abandoned due to competitors with lower prices.
Box 3, Folder 6

Correspondence and business records 1852 July - December

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 3, Folder 7

Correspondence and business records 1853 January - June

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 3, Folder 8

Correspondence and business records 1853 July - December

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 3, Folder 9

Correspondence and business records 1854 January - June

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 3, Folder 10

Correspondence and business records 1854 July - December

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 3, Folder 11

Family papers 1854

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 4, Folder 1

Correspondence and business records 1855

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 4, Folder 2

Family papers 1855

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 4, Folder 3

Correspondence and business records 1856

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 4, Folder 4

Agreement regarding construction of a lane on rancho San Mateo 30 September 1858

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 4, Folder 5

George Howard correspondence and business records 1859

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 4, Folder 6

George Howard correspondence and business records 1860s-1870s

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box 4, Folder 7

Correspondence and business records undated

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Oversize Box 1

Account book for the schooner Julia Ann 1840-1842

Physical Description: 1.0 volume

Scope and Contents

Log from the schooner Julia Ann listing the names of the crew and tracking deductions from sailors’ wages for cash advances and the purchase of clothing and other goods. Also lists the ship’s expenses for purchases of food and other goods in New York, Panama, Taboga, and along the coast of California.
Oversize Box 1

Transcript of the proceedings in case no. 507, H. S. Teschemacher, et al: claimants vs. United States, defendant for the place named Lup-Yomi 29 April 1854

Physical Description: 1.0 volume