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Inventory of the Halleck, Peachy & Billings Collection, 1837-1861
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The major part of the collection consists of legal documents written chiefly by Henry W. Halleck relating to the California Land Cases-copies of land titles, drafts of briefs, and opinions used in establishing the legal titles of some 36 different land grants. There are also notes on Spanish land laws and a few papers relating to other legal cases in California.
Halleck, Peachy & Billings was one of the most prestigious law firms on the Pacific Coast, headquartered in San Francisco and specializing in land cases. It was organized by Frederick Billings and Alexander Carey Peachy in 1849, who were joined soon after by Henry Wager Halleck. In 1853 Halleck built the Montgomery Black in San Francisco, and the partnership became permanently located there. The firm handled over half of the land claim cases in California immediately following the enaction of the Land Act of 1851. Although Halleck wrote the land title report that helped draft the Land Act of 1851, he did not support the Land Commission, and the firm of Halleck, Peachy & Billings defended many land titles against the Commission. It has been said that Halleck handled the preparation of the briefs for the cases, Peachy the oratory, and that Billings brought in the business. The firm was dissolved in 1861.
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.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL.