Inventory of the John S. Harbison Papers

Sara Gunasekara
Department of Special Collections
General Library
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616-5292
Phone: (530) 752-1621
Fax: (530) 754-5758
Email: speccoll@ucdavis.edu
© 2008
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Creator: Harbison, J. S. (John S.)
Title: John S. Harbison Papers
Date (inclusive): 1857-1920
Extent: 1.3 linear feet
Abstract: John S. Harbison (1826-1912) was one of the first beekeepers to import bees into California and was an inventor of innovative beehives and new methods of rearing queen bees. He authored An Improved System of Propagating the Honey Bee (1860) and The Beekeeper's Directory (1861). His papers contain daybooks documenting Harbison's beekeeping activities; correspondence to and from his brothers, his patent representatives, and business partners; and deeds, business receipts and patent grants.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
Davis, California 95616-5292
Collection number: D-080
Language of Material: Collection materials in English.

Biography

John Stewart Harbison was born to William and Margaret (Curry) Harbison in Beaver County, Pennsylvania on September 28, 1826. Harbison followed in his father's footsteps and became interested in beekeeping and the nursery trade.
In 1854, he settled in Calaveras County, California where he began searching for gold. His quest for gold did not last long and in early 1855 he relocated to Sutterville, near Sacramento, where he started the first nursery of fruit and shade trees in the Sacramento Valley.
Harbison returned to Pennsylvania in 1857 with the intention of shipping bees back to California. His first shipment of bees arrived in San Francisco on November 30, 1857 aboard the Sonora. Since this endeavor was successful, he obtained a second supply of bees from Pennsylvania the following year.
During 1857-1858, Harbison created a bee hive with a section honey box. The hive, which was patented by Harbison, is described and illustrated in his book, The Beekeeper's Directory (1861).
Harbison formed a four year partnership with R.G. Clark in 1869 for the purpose of introducing and keeping bees in San Diego County. Harbison agreed to furnish one hundred and ten colonies of bees, bee supplies, and the necessary financing to transport and keep the bees in San Diego County, while Clark had complete charge of the apiaries. The partners equally divided the surplus honey and any increase in the colonies.
By 1873, Clark & Harbison had sold three hundred colonies of bees to the residents of San Diego County. When their four year contract expired in November 1873, they split the bees and apiary sites evenly and operated their apiaries separately.
Harbison continued his nursery and apiary business near Sacramento until February 1874 when he moved to San Diego.
He passed away on October 12, 1912.
Source:
Watkins, Lee H. "John S. Harbison: Pioneer San Diego Beekeeper." The Journal of San Diego History. 15.4 (1969): 17-26.

Scope and Content

The John S. Harbison Papers contain daybooks documenting Harbison's beekeeping activities; correspondence to and from his brothers, his patent representatives, and business partners; and deeds, business receipts and patent grants. Also included are manuscripts of his book The Beekeepers' Directory.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is arranged in six series: 1. Writings by Harbison, 2. Correspondence, 3. Legal and Financial Materials, 4. Works by Others, 5. Ephemera, 6. Photographic Materials.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Harbison, J. S. (John S.)--Archives
Beekeepers--California
Bee culture--California
Bees--California

Access

Collection is open for research.

Processing Information

Sara Gunasekara processed this collection and created and encoded this finding aid.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John S. Harbison Papers, D-080, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

Publication Rights

Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Writings by Harbison 1857-1911

Physical Description: 19 folders

Scope and Content Note

Contains daybooks documenting Harbison's beekeeping activities as well as manuscripts of his book, The Beekeeper's Directory.
Arranged alphabetically by title.
Box 2:1

The Beekeeper's Directory, Advertisement and List of plates circa 1860

Box 2:2

The Beekeeper's Directory, Explanation of plates and Preface circa 1860

Box 2:3

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 1-89 circa 1860

Box 2:4

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 90-158 circa 1860

Box 2:5

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 159-254 circa 1860

Box 2:6

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 255-320 circa 1860

Box 2:7

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 321-358 circa 1860

Box 3:1

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 359-414 circa 1860

Box 3:2

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 415-447 circa 1860

Box 3:3

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 486-499 circa 1860

Box 3:4

The Beekeeper's Directory, p. 505-508; Index circa 1860

Box 1:1

Daybook 1857 June 12-1858 February 3

Physical Description: 1 volume
Box 1:2

Daybook 1866 January 4-1866 December 3

Physical Description: 1 volume
Box 1:3

Daybook 1876 April 20-1876 August 11

Physical Description: 1 volume
Box 1:4

Daybook 1876 September 4-1876 October 31

Physical Description: 1 volume
Box 1:5

Instructions for care of bees while enroute to Japan undated

Box 1:6

Explanation of parts undated

Box 1:7

Notes of bee book titles? undated

Box 1:8

Outline Suggestion for an Aparian Experiment Station 1911 November 8

 

Series 2. Correspondence 1858-1920

Physical Description: 52 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series contains correspondence to and from Harbison's brothers, his patent representatives, and business partners.
Arranged in three subseries: Outgoing, Incoming, and Third Party.
 

Subseries 2.1 Outgoing 1865-1912

Physical Description: 12 folders

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
Box 1:9

Benton, Frank 1912 September 16

Box 1:10

Clark, R.C. 1865 March 25

Box 1:11

Daly, John C. 1875 June 30

Box 1:12

Harbison, J.H. 1876 September 9

Box 1:13

Harbison, J.H. 1876 October 30

Box 1:14

Harbison, J.H. 1876 November 1

Box 1:15

Harbison, J.H. 1876 November 4

Box 1:16

Harbison, J.H.? 1876?

Box 1:17

Harbison, Mary H. 1876 September 26

Box 1:18

Harbison, Mary H. 1876 October 7

Box 1:19

Harbison, Mary H. 1876 October 21

Box 1:20

Munn & Co. 1875 September 29

 

Subseries 2.2 Incoming 1858-1885

Physical Description: 34 folders

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
Box 1:21

Boston Journal of Commerce 1877 February 15

Box 1:22

Bowron, J. 1875 June 12

Box 1:23

Cave, D. 1875 June 24

Box 1:24

Central Pacific Railroad Company 1880 July 12

Box 1:25

Central Pacific Railroad Company 1880 August 6

Box 1:26

Clark, R.G. 1873 September 26

Box 1:27

Curtis, Willie J. 1875 June 11

Box 1:28

Daly, John C. 1875 June 9

Box 1:29

Dann, E. 1875 June 7

Box 1:30

Dewey & Co. 1872 August 23

Box 1:31

Dewey & Co. 1872 August 28

Box 1:32

Dewey & Co. 1872 September 19

Box 1:33

Garduer, Robert 1875 June 16

Box 1:34

Gaskill Bros. 1881 July 28

Box 1:35

Gerber & Lorenz 1875 June 3

Box 1:36

Harbison, Andrew 1875 December

Box 1:37

Harbison, W.C. 1876 August 10

Box 1:38

Harbison, W.C. 1876 September 14

Box 1:39

Hellman, Samuel 1875 June 17

Box 1:40

Lohman, Coghill, & Rountree 1875 December 15

Box 1:41

Nagura, Asam 1876 December 20

Box 1:42

Perrine, C.O. 1875 June 25

Box 1:43

Pleasants, J.E. 1884 December 20

Box 1:44

Pleasants, J.E. 1885 January 8

Box 1:45

Pleasants, J.E. 1885 January 13

Box 1:46

Pleasants, J.E. 1885 April 15

Box 1:47

Putnam, Seth H. and Dinwoody, Henry 1872 May 30

Box 1:48

Reed, Joe 1875 June 23

Box 1:49

Roberts, George H. 1875 June 26

Box 1:50

Scientific American 1875 June 15

Box 1:51

Scientific American 1875 September 6

Box 1:52

Scientific American undated

Box 1:53

Sweetser & Alsip 1875 June 9

Box 1:54

Umpleby, John H. 1875 June 18

Box 1:55

United States Patent Office 1858 February 16

Box 1:56

United States Patent Office 1876 November 1

Box 1:57

United States Patent Office 1876 November 8

 

Subseries 2.3 Third Party 1875-1920

Physical Description: 6 folders

Scope and Content Note

Letters that are to or between individuals other than Harbison. Arranged alphabetically by author
Box 1:58

National Gold Bank to Gentlemen 1876 September 9

Box 1:59

Phillips, E.F. to Mary Harbison 1920 March 4

Box 1:60

Scientific American to Andrew Harbison 1875 December 20

Box 1:61

United States Patent Office to Andrew Harbison 1875 November 18

Box 1:62

United States Patent Office to Andrew Harbison 1875 December 2

Box 1:63

United States Patent Office to Andrew Harbison 1875 December 17

 

Series 3. Legal and Financial Materials 1857-1892

Physical Description: 10 folders

Scope and Content Note

Contains deeds, patent grants, and receipts. Arranged alphabetically.
Box 1:64

Articles of agreement between Guy S. Hamilton, John S. Harbison, and S.M. Lincoln 1859 October 21

Box 1:65

Assignment of patent, A. Harbison to J. Harbison 1875 October 22

Box 1:66

Deed from United States General Land Office to Peter Nelson 1892 February 23

Box 1:67

Deed of J.S. Harbison to Odd Fellows Bank as mortgage 1870 September 17

Box 1:68

Deed of real estate from S.M. Lincoln to John S. Harbison 1859 October 21

Box 1:69

Deed of real estate from V.N. Leonard to John S. Harbison 1858 January 29

Box 1:70

Deed of trust from J.S. Harbison to C.H. Swift and William P. Coleman 1868 August 28

Box 1:71

Deed or farm right of Kidder hive from S.H. Putnam to J.S. Harbison 1879 May 26

Box 3:5

Grant of letters patent to Harbison for improvement in grated entrances to bee hives 1876 January 11

Box 1:72

Receipts 1857-1880

Physical Description: 9 receipts

Scope and Content Note

Contains receipts, mostly for freight shipped via the railroad.
 

Series 4. Works by Others circa 1860

Physical Description: 3 folders

Scope and Content Note

Contains writings by individuals other than Harbison. Arranged alphabetically by author.
Box 3:6

Cleveland, Daniel. Bee pasturage plants of San Diego County, California undated

Box 3:7

Sherman, E.A. Wax, Transportation of bees, Untitled manuscript. undated

Box 3:8

Wheeler, O.C. Introductory Essay to Harbison's Beekeeper's Directory circa 1860

 

Series 5. Ephemera 1859-1877

Physical Description: 10 folders
Box 1:73

Advertisement about centennial diploma reproductions by Theo Leonhardt & Sons 1877 October 20

Box D Folio 6

Article about Harbison in Boston Journal of Commerce 1876 December 16

Box D Folio 6

Article about Harbison in San Diego News, extra edition undated

Box 1:74

Certificate to Harbison from the California State Agricultural Society 1859 December 19

Box 1:75

Clipping: The Uses of Honey undated

Box 1:76

Description of Charles Foulk improvement in bee hives 1874 June 19?

Box 1:77

Description of John Harbison improvement in grated entrance to bee hives 1876 January 11

Box 1:78

Flyer from Thurber & Co. announcing partnership with Harbison 1877?

Box 1:79

Flyer from Thurber & Co. announcing produce prices 1877?

Box 1:80

Fragment from United States Government circular regarding patents undated

Box 1:81

Harbison & Dowling labels for honey comb cases, (in pieces) undated

 

Series 6. Photographic Materials circa 1905-1919

Physical Description: 10 folders

Scope and Content Note

Contains prints and lantern slides of Harbison and his apiary.
Box 1:82

Harbison and one of his hives circa 1905

Physical Description: 1 lantern slide
Box 1:83

Harbison apiary, San Diego County 1919

Physical Description: 9 prints
Box 1:84

Harbison examining one of his colonies circa 1905

Physical Description: 1 lantern slide
Box 1:85

Harbison, John [poor quality copy photograph] undated

Physical Description: 1 print
Box 1:86

Harbison, John undated

Physical Description: 1 print
Box 1:87

Harbison section of comb honey undated

Physical Description: 1 print
Box 1:88

Harbison's Sweetwater apiary circa 1905

Physical Description: 1 lantern slide
Box 1:89

Harbison's two pound honey sections circa 1905

Physical Description: 1 lantern slide
Box 1:90

Hive at Harbison's apiary, San Diego County 1919

Physical Description: 1 print
Box 1:91

Hives at Harbison's apiary, San Diego County 1919

Physical Description: 1 print