Scope and Content
Title: Rhodes Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1838-1942
Collection number: Mss30
E.L. Pister, Richard Rhodes & Robert Chandler
Extent: 1 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Rhodes Family Papers, Mss30, Holt-Atherton Department of
Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
Rhodes, William Henry (1822-1876)
Rhodes, Elisha (1791-1858)
Rhodes, Mary W. Kimball (1808-1893)
Rhodes, Robert H.
Voyages to the Pacific coast
Ranch life -California -San Joaquin County
Women -California -San Joaquin County
Medicine -New York -History
Economic conditions -California -San Joaquin County
San Joaquin County (Calif.) -History -Sources
Texas -History -Sources
United States -History -Mexican War, 1846-1848
United States -History -Civil War, 1861-1865
Dr. Robert H. Rhodes, a physician from New York City, came to California in 1849. His
cousin, Col. Elisha A. Rhodes (1791-1858), a widower, had earlier gone to Texas where he
was appointed U.S. Consul(1838). There Elisha married a widow, Mary Kimball (1808-1893)
of Houston, and they had two sons, Cullen C. (b. 1839) and Edward A. (b. 1841). Both
Elisha and Mary Rhodes also had children by their previous marriages. One of Col. Rhodes'
sons, William Henry Rhodes (1822-1876), later achieved fame in California as author
"Caxton" Rhodes. Elisha Rhodes was incapacitated by a stroke during the late 1840s and
his wife, Mary, went to California with William H. (1850), leaving her husband behind. In
1852 she returned to Texas and brought the entire Rhodes family to California, settling
them on Windsor Ranch about five miles from Stockton. After Col. Rhodes' death Mary
Rhodes continued to operate their ranch for many years. She was also active in prisoner
relief work during the Civil War.
William Henry Rhodes studied at Harvard Law School (1844). Upon his arrival in San
Francisco, Rhodes practised law and dabbled in politics. When his Southern sympathies
caused difficulties for him in California during the Civil War, Rhodes withdrew to
Virginia City, Nev. (1863-1865). At war's end, he returned to California where he
launched a literary career, publishing poetry and science fiction under the nom de plume
"Caxton." While holding a judgeship in the 12th Circuit Court, Rhodes also became
well-known for public readings of his works, the most noteworthy of which was probably
the anthology, Caxton's Book, published in the year of his death (1876).
Scope and Content
The Rhodes Family Papers consist of correspondence (1838-1877), Robert H. Rhodes diary
(1848-1849), California ranch business records(1858-1898), and miscellaneous biographical
and genealogical materials pertaining to the Rhodes, Smith, Pister and McDermott