This collection consists of letters and documents belonging to John and Mary Sills Stephens, who settled in San Bernardino
in 1874-1875. Mrs. Stephens preceded her husband by one year in coming to California from Wisconsin and her letters to her
husband during her cross-country journey by train contain vivid descriptions, including a stopover in Salt Lake City to inspect
the Mormon settlement and talk with Ann Eliza, Brigham Young's wife. Two letters by John Stephens in 1883 (one of them 82
pages in length) chronicle his early life in Wisconsin and the hardships encountered during the depression of 1873, as well
as his later life in San Bernardino, where he witnessed the founding of Redlands and Riverside. Of particular interest is
a letter to the Democratic Free Press of Appleton, Wisconsin (October 16, 1856) expressing Stephens' views on slavery.