Guide to the Richard Barnes Mason Papers, 1847-1848

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History --History, California --General Engineering and Technology --Mining and Metallurgy Social Sciences --Sociology and Social Welfare History --History, North America (excluding USA) --History, Mexico Social Sciences --Political Science --State Government

Guide to the Richard Barnes Mason Papers, 1847-1848

Collection number: BANC MSS C-A 107

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Richard Barnes Mason Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1847-1848
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-A 107
Origination: Mason, Richard Barnes, 1797-1850
Extent: Number of containers: 1 portfolio Number of microfilm reels: 1 partial reel (29 exposures)
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Contents: Circulars and documents as Military Governor of California; letters from Mason describing discovery of gold; methods of mining, effect of mines on California, and problems of government arising after end of war with Mexico; and a few letters to Mason. See also National Archives Microfilm Collection, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, RG 94.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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 reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Richard Barnes Mason papers, BANC MSS C-A 107, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Scope and Content

Richard Barnes Mason, born in Virginia in 1797, was a Colonel in the United States Army when he arrived in 1847 in California to succeed Kearny as military governor. He was made a Brigadier General in 1848, and retained his position as governor until February 1849. He died of cholera in St. Louis in 1850.
The papers in this collection pertain mainly to Mason's governorship, and consist of circulars, regulations, orders and letters from Mason, with a few letters and documents to Mason.
The original documents come, for the most part, from the T. W. Norris Collection. The Proclamation of Dec. 27, 1847, came from the Honeyman Collection. Photocopy of Mason's letters to Roger Jones is from original items in the U. S. National Archives.
The papers have been arranged chronologically. A partial list of items contained in this collection follows.

List of Items and Correspondents


Boggs, Lilburn W., 1792-1860


To James F. Reed. Written as Alcalde of Sonoma. With order by Mason to Folsom to pay the account. June 24, 1847


Statement of allowances made by special court appointed by Mason. Oct. 30, 1847


Marcy, William George, d. 1896


To Mason re provisions in California. Oct. 10, 1847


Marcy, William Learned, 1786-1857


To Mason, Oct. 13, 1847 (copy)


Mason, Richard Barnes, 1797-1850


4 letters to José Mariano Bonilla, Alcalde of San Luis Obispo, 1847-1848. Include appointment of John Miguel Price as Alcalde of San Luis Obispo.


Letter to George Gibson, Aug. 29, 1848


Letter to Governor of New York, Mar. 10, 1848


Letters (4) to Roger Jones, 1848 (photocopy only). Contain descriptions of California gold mines, etc., and problems of government in Alta California.


Letter to John Price, Mar. 21, 1848, containing instructions for dealing with Indian depredations around San Luis Obispo.


Circulars, 1847-1848: re customs' collection, civil marriages, civil fund


Appointment of Jacob R. Snyder and Timothy Murphy, commissioners, to examine records of John H. Nash, Alcalde of Sonoma, Aug. 26, 1847


Orders no. 37, re martial law


Custom House and Port regulations for harbors of California, July 26, 1848 (copy)


Proclamation, Nov. 29, 1847, prohibiting sale of liquor to Indians.


Proclamation, Dec. 27, 1847, concerning Sonorenians, in English and Spanish


Proclamation, July 24, 1848, re military deserters


Proclamation, Aug. 7, 1848, re treaty with Mexico


Reward for apprehension of deserters, May 1847 (in Spanish)