Scope and Content
Title: Milton B. Stevens Correspondence,
Date (inclusive): 1849-1954
Collection number: HM 59471-59532
Acquisition number: 1980
Stevens, Milton B.
Extent: 2 boxes
The Huntington Library
San Marino, California 91108
The collection was purchased at auction from Butterfield & Butterfield, Sale #6959Z, May 1999. The correspondence includes
62 single-item cataloged letters. They are arranged chronologically, and the bulk of correspondence spans the period 1849-1864,
with one letter dated 1954.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information
please go to following
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.
[Identification of item], Milton B. Stevens Correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
Milton B. Stevens, the most prominent figure in this group of letters, left his family and home in Shushan, New York to come
to California on the ship
Morrison, which departed from New York City on February 14, 1849. While in California, Stevens searched for gold at several mining towns
throughout Northern California, including Salmon Falls, Pilot Hill, Oregon Bar, Independence, and Weber Creek. He left California
and returned to New York in 1851. In 1852, he married Ann Maria Lyman of Salem, New York.
Scope and Content
Milton B. Stevens is the most prolific figure in this collection, as he wrote fifteen of the letters in the collection and
was the addressee of twenty. There are, however, twenty-five other authors in these letters, including four women, two of
them writing from California. Other significant authors in this collection are: Abbey Stevens (5 letters), Byron Whitcomb
(7 letters), and C. K. Dixon (9 letters). The letters mention various mining camps throughout Northern California, such as
Fosters Bar, Galena Hill, Murderers Bar, Pilot Hill, Salmon Falls, Weber Creek, and the Klamath River Valley mines. The letters
illustrate several aspects of the Gold Rush experience: the journey to California through South America; life in California
and the gold camps; gold discoveries, or the lack thereof; the techniques and equipment used in mining; loneliness and longing
for home. The letters from Milton B. Stevens' mother tell of the experience of the miners' families back at home in the East.
The letter dated 1954 was written by Stephen C. Lyon, who at one time owned the collection. Eighteen of the letters have handwritten
or typed transcripts.