This collection consists of letters written on the overland journey of New York lawyer
Billington Whiting (1812-1881) to California in 1849 and life after his arrival. There are also memoirs written by his wife,
Susan Whiting (1826-1913), who came to California via Panama in 1852. The collection also contains military papers related
Whiting's service in the New York militia (1834-39) as well as genealogical records and 8 photographs.
Billington Crum Whiting (1812-1881), an Owego, New York, lawyer, joined the Ithaca and California Mining Company and traveled
from Ithaca, New York,
to the southern mines of California in 1849. He went by way of the Arkansas River, Pueblo (Colorado), Salt Lake City (where
he stayed and worked for a time) and the
Old Spanish Trail through Cajon Pass to Los Angeles. After going to Mariposa County, he was one of a group who organized a
freight line from Stockton and ran a grocery store and restaurant.
A short time later he left for San Francisco to practice law. In July 1852, his wife, Susan Helen (Colegrove) Whiting (1826-1913)
sailed for California,
coming by way of Panama. She arrived in San Francisco and soon the couple moved to Santa Cruz where Whiting owned a ranch,
and became State Senator for Monterey and Santa Cruz (1854-1855). For a time he had a law office in Sacramento with his brother-in-law,
Cornelius Cole. From 1861 to 1867 he was U. S. District Attorney for the Southern District of California and from 1867 to
1873 he served as
Superintendent of Indian Affairs in California. In 1873 he moved to Los Angeles, buying a small orchard and ranch on West
Adams St. The couple had two daughters:
Katharine Lucretia born in Santa Cruz in 1853 (later married to Albert James Howard, son of Volney Erskine Howard) and Lalla,
born in Sacramento in 1856
(married James Johnson Mellus, son of Francis Mellus and grandson of Santiago Johnson).
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