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Inventory of the Billington Crum Whiting Papers, 1839-1948 (bulk 1849-1869)
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Subject matter
  • Persons represented by 5 pieces or more
  • Important or interesting items

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Billington Crum Whiting Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1839-1948 (bulk 1849-1869)
    Creator: Whiting, Billington Crum
    Extent: 66 items plus 8 photographs
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Provenance

    Purchased from Charles C. Bull, 1961-1962.

    Access

    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Billington Crum Whiting Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Biography

    Billington Crum Whiting (1812-1881), an Owego, N.Y., lawyer, succumbed to the California gold fever, joined the Ithaca and California Mining Company and traveled from Ithaca, N.Y., 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, practiced law, 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).

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains Whiting's letters written to his wife during his overland journey to California in 1849 and his early years in California; some memoirs written by Susan Helen (Colegrove) Whiting about her early years in California; a few military papers of B. C. Whiting from his time in the New York militia (1834-1839); genealogical papers of the Colegrove, Mellus, and Whiting families, and a few photographs.

    Subject matter

    • California - Overland journeys
    • California - Politics & government

    Persons represented by 5 pieces or more

    Whiting, Billington Crum
    (21 letters)
    Whiting, Susan Helen (Colegrove)
    (7 manuscripts)

    Important or interesting items

    Whiting, Billington Crum, letters written while crossing the U.S. in 1849, including a return trip by the still incomplete railroad and stage coach in 1869; Whiting, Susan Helen (Colegrove), My first trip to California [in 1852]: memoir written in 1895.