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Jayhawker Party Collection of Materials: Finding Aid
mssJA 1-1105  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Jayhawker Party Collection of Materials
    Dates (inclusive): 1849-1938.
    Bulk dates: 1850-1887.
    Collection Number: mssJA 1-1105
    Creator: Jayhawker Party
    Extent: 1,105 pieces in 10 boxes, 8 volumes, and 4 oversize folders
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
    The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2203
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains letters, narratives, and eight large volumes of clippings related to the members of the Jayhawkers, their overland trip to the California gold fields through Death Valley in 1849-1850, and their annual reunions held between 1872-1918. It also contains diaries by Asa Haines and Sheldon Young and a map of Death Valley by William Lewis Manly (c. 1889). The collection was assembled by John B. Colton (1831-91), a member of the Jayhawker party.
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Jayhawker Party Collection of Materials, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Sources of acquisition: Edward T. Colton, April 1930 and June 1931.
    The Asa Haines diary (JA 1051) was a gift from G. Wm. Hume, September 11, 1957.

    Processing/Project Information

    Some materials were separated from the collection because of their fragility. Photostat or microfilm copies have been substituted in order to preserve the originals.

    Historical Note

    The Jayhawker party (originally composed of 36 single young men) left Illinois in April 1849 to cross the plains in search of gold in California. After joining several other wagon trains and hiring Capt. Jefferson Hunt, a Mormon guide, to lead them over the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, the Jayhawkers and some of the other wagon owners separated themselves to try a shortcut by way of Walker Pass and got lost in what is now known as Death Valley. After a struggle with hunger and thirst, in addition to the loss of 3 lives, the party safely arrived at the San Francsiquito Ranch north of Los Angeles, California, on February 4, 1850.
    Beginning in 1872, John Burt Colton, a member of the Jayhawker Party, organized reunions held annually on February 4th until 1918. At the time of the reunions, the Jayhawkers recalled details about their journey in 1849 and shared news about surviving members.

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains letters, narratives, and eight scrapbooks containing clippings related to the members of the Jayhawkers, the group's overland trip to the California gold fields through Death Valley, and their annual reunions held between 1872-1918. It also contains diaries by Asa Haines and Sheldon Young of the Jayhawker's route and a map of Death Valley by William Lewis Manly (approximately 1889). The collection was assembled by John Burt Colton, a member of the Jayhawker party.

    Related Materials in the Huntington Library

    Arrangement

    All manuscript material has been arranged in boxes chronologically, followed by the ephemera.
    There are four oversize folders not stored in boxes: JA 332, JA 1050, and FAC 704. The fourth oversize folder (no call number) contains a Photostat of the San Francsico Call from Sunday, Dec. 25, 1898.
    • Box 1: 1849-1880 (with some material dating up to 1896)
    • Box 2: 1881-1890 (with some material dating up to 1893)
    • Box 3: 1891-1895 (Aug.)
    • Box 4: 1895 (Sept)-1897 (with some material dating up to 1910)
    • Box 5: 1898-1900 (with some material dating up to 1906)
    • Box 6: 1901-1904 (with some material dating up to 1908)
    • Box 7: 1905-1909 (with some material dating up to 1917)
    • Box 8: 1910-1913 (with some material dating up to 1919)
    • Box 9: 1914-1952 & ephemera

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Brier, John Wells, 1842-1914.
    Colton, John B. (John Burt), 1831-1891.
    Doty, Edward.
    Fremont, Jessie Benton, 1824-1902.
    Groscup, John.
    Houghton, Eliza Poor Donner.
    Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928.
    Manly, William Lewis, 1820-1903.
    Mecum, Charles B.
    Stephens, Lorenzo Dow, 1827-.
    Jayhawker Party.
    Overland journeys to the Pacific -- History -- Sources.
    California -- Gold discoveries -- Personal narratives.
    Death Valley (Calif. and Nev.) -- History.
    Death Valley (Calif. and Nev.) -- Description and travel.

    Forms/Genres

    Diaries -- United States.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
    Scrapbooks -- United States.

    Alternate Authors

    Colton, John B. (John Burt), 1831-1891.
    Brier, John Wells, 1842-1914.
    Manly, William Lewis, 1820-1903.