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Finding aid to the R. W. Waterman papers, 1886-1924, undated, MS 4128
MS 4128  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Collections
  • System of Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Bibliography

  • Title: R. W. Waterman papers
    Date: 1886-1924, undated
    Collection Identifier: MS 4128
    Creator: Waterman, R. W. (Robert Whitney), 1826-1891.
    Extent: 5 boxes (2.7 linear feet)
    Contributing Institution: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105-4014
    (415) 357-1848
    URL: http://californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Location of Materials: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
    Abstract: Consists of the papers of R. W. Waterman, including ephemera and women’s suffrage newspapers. Materials date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Includes ephemera related to fraternal organizations and clubs within California. The types of ephemera in the collection include: invitations, programs, tickets, dance cards, menus, business cards, and newspaper clippings. Also includes women's suffrage newspapers collected after Waterman's death.


    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], R. W. Waterman papers, MS 4128, California Historical Society.

    Related Collections

    Waterman, Robert Whitney, MS 2263
    Waterman scrapbook, MS 5005

    System of Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in four series: 1) Correspondence and real estate records; 2) Ephemera; 3) Newspapers and newspaper clippings; and 4) Official proclamations.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Tierney Haupt in 2011.

    Biographical Information

    Robert Whitney Waterman was born in Fairfield, New York, on December 15, 1826, and, as a boy, moved to Illinois with his older brothers after their father’s death. He worked as a storekeeper and farmer there. After hearing of gold, Waterman traveled to California in 1850 to try mining but was unsuccessful and returned to Illinois two years later. In Wilmington, Illinois, he became highly involved in the Republican Party and, in 1856, he was one of the state’s two delegates to the Republican National Convention. The other was Abraham Lincoln. In 1873, Waterman moved to California with his family, eventually settling in San Bernardino. Waterman became extremely successful in the mining industry and also owned large tracts of land. In 1886 he ran on the Republican ticket for the office of lieutenant governor and was elected along with a Democratic governor. Upon the governor’s death in September 1887, Waterman assumed the office and held it until January of 1891. In failing health, he died of pneumonia on April 12, 1891.

    Scope and Contents

    Consists of papers from R. W. Waterman, including ephemera, newspapers and clippings, correspondence, and real estate records. Types of ephemera include business cards, invitations, dance cards, menus, programs, tickets, and brochures. Some of these pertain to clubs and fraternal organizations in California, including the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Elks. Much of the ephemera dates from Waterman’s time as lieutenant governor and governor of California (1886-1891).
    The R. W. Waterman papers also include a significant collection of women’s suffrage newspapers, dated from 1911-1913, primarily consisting of The Woman’s Journal and Suffrage News, but also including The Woman Citizen and the In Woman’s World section of the San Francisco Call. These newspapers were collected after Waterman's death.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Business cards.
    Dance cards.
    Fraternal organizations--California.
    Waterman, R. W. (Robert Whitney), 1826-1891.


    Sources consulted for biographical note:
    "Ex-Gov. Waterman," The Morning Call, 13 April 1891.
    "Governor's Gallery," State of California, http://governors.library.ca.gov/17-Waterman.html, retrieved 27 June 2011.
    "Waterman Dead," San Francisco Chronicle, 13 April 1891.