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Ranch Correspondence and Files (selective)
A. H. Stout, 10/22/50, explaining his difficulty establishing himself in ranching. A local rancher who was forced to work in the mines to try to pay his debts.
Elias Bidwell, November, 1854. Shows the latest news of births, deaths and movements of the Bidwell family in the Midwest.
John E. Stocton, 1/16/57. From an experienced farmer who discusses the possibilities and problems of growing hedge plants in the local area. A detailed description of agricultural methods.
Account book 1861-1863.
Business letters from customers, some of whom complain about rise in flour prices.
D. D. Harris, 10/23/61, describes problems of shipping goods over wet roads during the winter months.
Thomas Buckley, 4/14/62, on a military expedition in Southern California. Calls Mexicans in the area "lazy," and their style of life and agricultural methods are termed "primitive."
D. D. Harris, 6/20/62 inquires about road conditions.
William Magee, 6/26/62, tells of the founding of Redding, California.
N. B. Jacobs, 7/16/62, praising the quality of Bidwell's wine.
J. M. Cunnard, 7/26/62, a sharp attack on two of the local politicians. In another letter dated 8/18/62, Cummard again discusses politics and asks Bidwell's support for friend's election to office.
Thomas Buckley, 9/10/62, from a member of a regiment of California volunteers who went away to Ft. Yuma.
G. M. Hanson, 10/28/62, asks permission to locate a of Indians on Bidwell's land and provide them with some food. Shows one of the problems Indians encountered as a result of the Civil War.
J. H. Voorhess, 12/3/62, asks the possibility of establishing a school in Chico. However, in a later correspondence, 12/28/62, she decides against the project because there are too few students to justify the expense.
Dow Vincent, 12/27/62, inquires as to the route of a new road Bidwell plans to construct. He is also considering planting fruit trees in the Susanville area.
A. G. Toomes, 1/5/63, tells of possible corruption in California politics as reported in a local newspaper.
Faulkner and Son, 1/2/63, and 1/19/63. Business transaction and the establishment of a newspaper in Chico.
William Gouveneur Morris, 1/31/63, asks Bidwell's assistance in locating an escaped criminal thought to be in the Chico area. Mentions the use of Alcatraz Island as a prison.
T. G. Phelps, 2/23/63, the U.S. Congressman advises Bidwell of the legal status of the Chico-Humbolt Road.
Miscellaneous Correspondence, March 1863.
P. A. McRae, 4/3/63, suggests Bidwell go to Oroville to discuss undefined Indian trouble with Judge Beatty.
J. H. Voorhess, 4/25/63, further negotiations in the establishment of a public school in Chico.
P. A. McRae, 4/30/63, asks Bidwell to run for Congress as a member of the Union Party.
J. F. Eddy, 5/63, a list of Indian boys sent to work for Bidwell. Many of them need clothing.
Henry Landit, 5/22/63, more on Indian labor and some of the underhanded tactics that are used to hire them.
A. M. Heslep, 5/29/63, he has given Bidwell's name, among others, as a possible gubernatorial candidate.
G. M. Hanson, 6/3/63, requests a shipment of flour to Round Valley; half is to be of good quality for the Whites, the other half a low-grade flour for the Indians.
July 1863-September 1864
Includes a series of letters written between 7/26/63 and 7/31/63 expressing concern over a possible Indian uprising which according to P. A. McRae, 7/31/63, ultimately led to soldiers being sent to the Chico area for protection.
Irvin Ames and James Luce, 8/15/63, offer Bidwell the post of Brigadier-General in the California Militia. Irvin Ames, 8/24/63, has sent a petition to Governor Stanford asking that Bidwell be appointed Brigadier-General. He assures Bidwell that there will be little opposition to the move. A copy of the petition is enclosed. R. W. Durham, 8/28/63, is upset because his Indians want to leave and go to the reservation. He asks Bidwell to intercede on his behalf.
G. M. Hanson, 8/29/63, the Indian agent asks Bidwell to remove his Indians from the county because of the danger of irate citizens.
S. M. Sproul, 9/2/63, a physician who wants to accompany the Indians being removed so he can care for the sick.
G. M. Hanson, 9/3/63, does not like the attitude of Butte County citizens on Indians. In his next letter, 9/9/63, he talks of his problems in supervising the Indian removal and thanks Bidwell for his help.
John Hatch, 9/18/63, congratulates Bidwell on his new rank of General.
G. M. Hanson, 9/28/63, suggests a method whereby Bidwell may acquire Indian labor.
Miscellaneous Correspondence. Mainly business letters.
Thomas Buckley, 11/11/63, an interesting comment on military life in the California militia, especially the pay system for officers.
J. M. Cunnard, 1/5/64, gives his opinion of the proposed statehood of Nevada and its possible effect on mining operations there.
F. F. Low, 1/31/64, a brief note from the Governor of California in response to a letter from Bidwell. He has turned the matter over to the legislature.
B. B. Brown, 2/26/64 and 2/29/64, is chasing a group of Indians who have apparently been causing problems in his area. Thanks Bidwell for his assistance in the matter.
T. Buckley, 3/15/64, a report of a military exercise in Humboldt County which is an area of recent Indian hostilities. A good description of Humboldt Bay and the difficulty in landing there. Captain Buckley's company was sent to find a group of Indians who raided and burned a farmhouse at Arcata. Bad weather forced him to call off his search.
G. F. Price, 4/3/64, Bidwell has been selected as a delegate to the National Convention of the Union Party in Baltimore. Price hopes unanimous support will be given to Lincoln.
Miscellaneous business letters.
George C. Perkins, 6/9/64, is having trouble selling Bidwell's flour to his customers because of its poor quality. He is being forced to use flour from Oroville.
Bidwell to D. D. Harris, 12/3/64, written while a member of Congress. Includes instructions for work to be done on the mansion at Chico, and for the planting of vines on the ranch.
October 1965-July 1876
A series of five letters from Bidwell to D. D. Harris, 10/10/65. While on ship off the coast of Acapulco, he acknowledges the failure of the Idaho Stage Line, and inquires as to the status of the Mansion. In a letter on 11/27/65, Bidwell tries to see some good results from the Idaho Stage Line operation and outlines plans for entering into another company.
A. E. Hooker, 1/20/66, on a military expedition along road to Idaho. Plans to attack the Indians during the winter so they can be more easily "exterminated." Forty have already been killed with women and children taken prisoner. This folder contains a great deal of correspondence from constituents asking for political favors from Bidwell in his role as U.S. Congressman.
John Mullan, 2/4/66, calls for a telegraph line between Chico and the Idaho mining district. Outlines the scope of the mining operations there. On 2/5/66, Mullan writes another letter on the same subject.
A series of letters from Bidwell to D. D. Harris.
P. J. Mervin, 5/27/67, run for Governer
Two letters from Anne Bidwell to her mother, 11/9/68 and 11/16/68, describing her new life as Bidwell's wife, and her trip to San Francisco.
John Kennedy, 1/1/69, Annie's brother has come to California and writes his mother the life at Chico. He has been employed on Bidwell's ranch.
Business letters, many of which pertain to the sale and shipment of flour.
Payments and business transactions.
Business letters. Market for flour is good. Prices are climbing.
A letter written anonymously from a man Bidwell identifies as W. Agate, 8/12/70, chastizes Bidwell for selling flour to a democratic Catholic Irishman.
Business letters. Continuing a strong flour market
Chart dated July, 1876, shows the monthly wheat in San Francisco. For a ten year period.
March 1877-December 1878
Albert Williams, 3/2/77, asks Bidwell for his opinion on the possibility of silk manufacture in California.
J. H. Stinson, 4/25/77, advocates the use of science in agriculture.
E. C. Spencer, 4/30/77, asks Bidwell's advice and support in an upcoming state election.
William J. Daly, 5/22/77, complains that the irrigation of Bidwell's trees is causing sickness among his family. He asks Bidwell to reduce the amount of irrigation.
R. B. Blowers, 5/28/77, explains the method and economics of drying fruit used on his farm.
Contains three letters from the Pacific Detective Bureau which is investigating a murder in Chico. Most of the comment is a complaint about the poor treatment the firm is receiving from the Chico.Record.
William LeDuc of the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., 8/30/77. Wants information on the possiblity of introducing tropical plants in California. He asks if Bidwell is interested in experimenting with tea. Later, 12/22, LeDuc informs Bidwell that he has sent some sugar cane to Chico experimental purposes.
A document read to the U.S. Senate in 1878 by Joseph C. G. Kennedy, Bidwell's father-in-law, as an argument against bills which would restrict the immigration of Chinese into the U.S. A long and interesting insight into racial problems in California. It also shows the economic importance of Chinese labor.
Several references to Egyptian corn.
W. B. West, 3/11/78, is disappointed with his experiment with Muscatelle Gordo Blanco grapes.
Several people request employment.
J. W. Ellis, 5/18/78, asks Bidwell to make an additional sacrifice and become an Elder in the Presbyterian Church for the good of its members in Northern California.
W. G. LeDuc, 6/5/78, from the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture on experimental agriculture. Among other projects, he wants to grow coffee seeds in the Gulf Coast States.
W. G. LeDuc, 7/16/78, thanks Bidwell for his cooperation in experimental agriculture. His next project will be to introduce plants from Japan into California.
W. H. Muny. A series of letters from Muny on the subject of Bidwell's sending fruit samples for competition in the Mechanics Fair in San Francisco.
Haley, an Indian in prison at San Quentin in a letter to his brother, 9/1/78, describes Bidwell as his friend, and hopes he can do something to get him a pardon.
P. A. McRae, 10/30/78, advises Bidwell to speculate in wheat due to the possibility of war in Europe. Makes note of the fact that Bidwell's wheat has recently won the gold medal at the Paris Exposition.
J. C. G. Kennedy, 12/5/78, is trying to secure Bidwell a loan of $100,000.
J. B. Townsend, 12/22/78. Asks for information on a ship captain Bidwell may have known thirty years before.
February 1879-October 1880
Personal and business letters.
J. W. Campbell, 2/10/79, asks Bidwell to experiment with Australian wheat he has sent, and to send him a report of the results.
Robert Williamson, 3/31/79, tries to interest Bidwell in planting some of his orange trees in Chico.
C. H. Dwinelle of the University of California, 4/3/79, thanks Bidwell for helping their agricultural program, and asks his further assistance in the classification of different types of grain. The Merchant's Protective Association sends a bulletin stating their unanimous opposition to the proposed new constitution of 1879.
J. S. Harbison, 5/20/79, his experiment with honey production
H. W. Cleaveland, 6/2/79, notes that the new constitution has passed.
W. M. Butts sends an interesting advertisment for a fruit, vegetable, and hop dryer.
E. A. Carman, 7/21/79. From the Department of Agriculture inquiring about Bidwell's experiments with Peruvian potatoes that he is conducting for them.
J. W. Campbell, 8/1/79, asks for a report on the Australian wheat experiments.
W. G. LeDuc, 8/9/79. From the Department of Agriculture asking for a sample of wheat rust to be submitted for analysis.
Includes several requests for muskmelon or casaba seeds from Bidwell after articles had been written about them in several Northern California newspapers.
G. C. Pearson, 11/18/79, has recently seen John Sutter in Pennsylvania and talked with him about his early days in California. This is shortly before Sutter's death.
A. Woodhull, 12/29/79, he is sending some samples of Eastern sorghum to Bidwell for experimental purposes.
This folder contains letters written by J. S. Sherman from March 1878 to November 1879
H. W. Cleaveland, 1/31/80, says the new State Constitution has brought confusion and distress to labor and industry.
B. S. Brooks, 3/31/80, talks of the problems of the Chinese in California.
Miscellaneous letters, requests for seeds etc.
C. H. Dwinelle, 10/18/80, a thorough report on plant diseases and possible ways to prevent them. From the University of California at Berkeley. Includes sketches of various plant pests. A good description of agriculture
January 1881-March 1885
Contains three letters from George Burchard who served along with Bidwell in the Mexican War, and now wants his back pay from the U.S. Government. Gives details of his participation in the War.
November 28, 1881 one of Bidwell's ranch workers writes an anonymous letter complaining of poor working conditions. He says men are forced to sleep in the barn
John A. Turner, 10/8/78, sends some samples of Australian Eucalyptus seeds.
C. H. Dwinelle, 12/26/78, University of California sends acorns and carob beans.
C. H. Dwinelle, 10/13/79, invites Bidwell to spend a day with him at the University of California, the next time he is in the San Francisco area. He is sure Bidwell can give some sound agricultural advice.
A series of letters from F. K. Simonds who has had a disagreement with Bidwell over his employment. In reply 7/18/81, Bidwell denies that he is as wealthy as most people believe him to be.
Edgar B. Carroll, 10/7/81, informs Bidwell of the prizes won for his farm products at the California State Fair.
A single item from C. Faulkner, 6/27/81, regarding interest rates.
I. N. Hoag, 1/2/83, the leader of the Anti-Debris Association describes poor river conditions between Marysville and Sacramento. Ships drawing 16 inches of water find navigation difficult. Bidwell has given money to the Association.
J. Protheroe, 2/2/83, plans to introduce ostriches into California and wants Bidwell to subscribe to the project. Also wants Bidwell to make some of his land available.
W.B. Alwood, 3/17/83, Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station asks for samples of Bidwell's corn
Business and personal letters.
A. Abbott, 8/25/83, a note on the conflict between agricultural and mining interests in Northern California. The controversy is whether or not rivers should be dammed, and hydraulic mining continued.
C. H. Dwinelle, 11/12/83, the University of California sends acorn samples from the English Oak for Bidwell to try.
S. S. Tuttle, 12/20/83, a former employee complains about his treatment. He also says there is a great difference between rich and poor in the discharge of debts.
Ah Kun, 1/19/84, a former employee says that Bidwell has always been kind to her and her countrymen, but that one of his foremen has consistently cheated them.
W. E. Read, 1/24/84, from the U.S. Indian Service. Read knows of Bidwell's interest in Indian matters, and asks his opinion on establishing an Indian Training School.
Henry L. Oak of the Bancroft Library, 2/5/84, asks for information about some early Californians.
W. E. Read, 5/17/84, asks if Bidwell would like to send any Indians from his ranch to training school. On 6/23/84, Read gives Mrs. Bidwell his observations on the Indians' response to religious instruction. On 6/30/84, Read says Bidwell's ranch Indians compare favorably at school with those from the reservation. He also further states his policy regarding their suitability for employment, and his desire to keep Indians away from evil influences.
Miscellaneous Correspondence. Two letters asking for political support.
W. E. Read, 12/5/84, reports the progress being made in school by the Indians from Bidwell's ranch and describes general conditions at the school.
Reverend Rice, 1/22/85 and 1/30/85, asks Bidwell's support in banning horseracing from the California State Fair.
April 1885-December 1887
Includes several requests for employment. There is evidence of racial tension, Afro-Americans write Bidwell about problems
D. Madigan, 5/23/85, claims to have killed 197 rabbits on Bidwell's property by hunting with dogs. Asks permission to continue the practice.
W. E. Read, 6/5/85, further reports on the Indian school.
T. F. Willsey of the U.S. Indian Service, 8/10/85, complains of lack of government support for the Round Valley Indian Reservation
W. E. Read, 12/28/85, wants to move the Indian School to a more suitable location at Banning. Asks Bidwell for his help in doing this. He believes the children will have better opportunities in another area.
F. A. Bee, the Chinese Consulate, 2/27/86, is being harassed by anti-Chinese agitation which he calls an outrage. Also mentions a boycott. He asks Bidwell for samples of his flour.
F. A. Bee, Chinese Consulate, 5/3/86, promises to take strong action against those responsible for the anti-Chinese boycott. One case is already pending before the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
E. N. Blake, 5/25/86, argues against the eight-hour day for workers. He says it would make prices go up and give workers two hours of idle time in which to fall into temptation.
O. B. Bidwell, 5/25/86, John Bidwell's opinions on the Chinese questions have been well received in Freeport, Illinois, and his views have been published in the local newspaper.
M. Cooke, 7/30/86, talks of the damage done to northern California agriculture by the Hessian Fly.
G. W. Clements, 8/28/86, an Indian youth complains of his treatment at the Indian school. He says the children are ill-clothed and living worse than camp Indians. He wants to learn a trade and be allowed to work, but he is being denied this opportunity at the school. He asks Bidwell to intercede on his behalf.
C. Hartson, 9/15/86 and 9/25/86, bitterly denounces the powerful railroad lobby led by Stephen Gage.
The publishers of the Sacramento Record Union, 10/16/86, ask Bidwell's help in promoting Northern and Central California so that more people from the East will settle there. They also want Bidwell to subscribe to their newspaper.
Miscellaneous letters written while Bidwell is spending the winter in Washington, D.C.
A ledger of nursery sales for 1886-1887.
W. E. Read, 5/2/87, the Indian school has been closed
Personal and business letters.
Two letters from R. W. Waterman, Governor of California,
January-June 1888, and earlier correspondence
J. L. Bowens, 1/5/88. A former Chico resident of Chico now farming in Virginia, offers to exchange some seeds and plants with Bidwell.
H. K. Pettygrove, 2/14/88, sends samples of his fig trees, free of charge, for Bidwell's experimentation.
A. A. Hibbard, 3/10/88, tells of an epidemic of spinal meningitis in the Chico area, at least one man has died.
B. N. Rowley, 4/24/88, asks Bidwell's opinion on the employment of Chinese laborers. Wants to get an amendment of the Restriction Act if he can gain enough support.
L. H. Voorheys, 3/7/63, wants to start a school in Chico if a suitable building can be found. This folder contains several letters on road construction and staging operations.
B. B. Brown, 2/27/64, on an Indian hunting expedition, but has not found any yet. Asks for more guns and ammunition.
C. Baltby, 12/12/65, a lengthy report on Indian affairs in California written to Bidwell in Washington. Maltby believes the reservation system is the best policy if it is administered wisely. He is the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California.
W. G. Morris, 11/26/66, wants to know Bidwell's plans for the upcoming gubernatorial contest.
A list of correspondents during 1865-66.
J. C. Burch, 9/16/76, hopes Bidwell supports Tilden in the presidential election. An enclosed newspaper clipping indicates that he does support Tilden.
Diaries of John Bidwell (1864-1900)
1864 Accounts of visit to New York and Washington, D.C., around Panama aboard to Constitution and Champion; republican convention nominating Abraham Lincoln; visited U. S. Grant and John Houston; obtained pass to visit the front of the Civil War (place unknown); returned to Chico via Salt Lake City and saw Brigham Young.
1865 (Bidwell was elected to Congress in 1865; this portion of the Diary chronicles 1865-1866). Mentions arrival and efforts to find accommodations in Washington; several bills worked upon--those of the California and Oregon Railroad bill--the P.R.R. (Railroad), (introduced by Bidwell), bill--the "San Francisco" bill--Civil Rights bill passed introduced bill to establish mail routes and reforced to a land bill (?); visited U. S. Grant; Bancroft's Eulogy on Abraham Lincoln; mentions Frederick Douglas lecture.
1886 August 22-September 1866--brief notes on Ireland with Senator Conness (?)--embound from Jersey City on Java Conard line to Queenstown, Ireland--describes agriculture and livestock, trees and shrubs of visit. A reminiscence of John Bidwell written by Annie E. K. Bidwell is written in mind of the diary for 1866.
1868 John Bidwell married Annie E. Kennedy in April of 1868. This diary mentions his journey to Washington, D.C. and wedding plans plus their return to Chico via New York to San Francisco. Ranch concerns--especially lumber. Ned Buntline mentioned; "burning" at the rancheria.
1869 Lunar and solar eclipse mentioned, Bidwell hires more labor--meeting of Humboldt Wagon Road Commission.
1870 Black men hired on the ranch, several "hundred" Chinamen came to work on the railroad, six Chinamen came to work on rancho for Jon Tim (employed by Bidwell)--mentions first railroad train to come into Chico and that Charles Crocker was on board--names recorded included Rev. Buchanan, John R. Preston (trial) George F. Jones (in regard to "Chinatown Business")--General Sherman in Sacramento--Foundation of Bidwell Presbterian Church laid--Railroad Commission in Chico--bricks laid for church--Sacramento Agricultural Society Annual Fair.
Agricultural Pavillion Block; labor problems.
1871 Mentions murder of Dr. J.C. Cory; Chico's Chinatown; U.S. Marshall attempting to get Farwell Grant?; Cherokee murder of Suzie McDaniels; gas lighting or home and mill fire "views" of Chico received; trip to San Francisco and Yosemite; visit of Japanese princes to Chico Hotel; mentions Susan B. Anthony, Mr. Cleveland, Chester Robinson, and Ah Sun; new Chinatown area to be built; Chicago Relief Fund; the Good Templars Orphan Asylum.
1872 New Chinatown built; earthquake (March 26); Indian "ground burn" at Butte Creek, Sacramento-San Francisco Trips.
1873 Dome Indian and Chinese workers on the ranch; fire in Chico Store (Weed's); new Chinatown burned; Indian "Sam" death in Sandy Gulch and trial of Huduse and Boots (guilty); some of the people mentioned are Judge Hallet, Indian "Daniel Webster," Mr. Sawyer, Reverend Jabez Walker of Scotland," Robert E. Warren.
1874 Hired several laborers mostly Chinese and American Indians (and describes work being done--digging up trees); celebration of Fifteenth Amendment by "colored people" of the state, tore down old adobe house; trespassing on the rancho; some of the people mentioned: one, Ah Cue, Reverend W. C. McDougall, Ah Tone, Francisco (Indian), Mr. Wilson, Captain Gose Jones, Wenocuh (Indian Chief, died July 4), Colonel Lewis (surveyor), R. Rice, Chinaman Jack, Ah Hooey; fire in Shearer's stable (destroyed one-and-a-half blocks); "Colusa" Indians called
1875 Marysville flood; earthquake in Chico; trip to Washington, D.C.; writes concerning his Chinese help; labor problems and hiring; with help of surveyor and Indian help, surveyed the northern line of the grant with solar compass; fire in Chinatown; mentions the annual meeting of stockholders of Chico and Humboldt Wagon Road and named elected officers--John E. Carter to take charge of road for one year; two Chinese men Yee Kee and Charles Ah Woh visit bringing gifts? Annie's class with the rancheria Indians mentioned, they are given a feast and presents at Christmas.
1876 Mentions the bringing of many Chinese workers, and then jobs on the rancho; visitation of many Indians to the house; fire in Chico at saloon next to Wards and Fordham's store; eclipse of the sun (March 25); temperance lecture at the Methodist Episcopal Church; Indian dance observed; missionaries preaching to Indians; Chinamen used to dig up trees (problems with breach of contract); Eighth Street in Chico being extended; rancho problems with Chinamen eating food; mentions trip to the east by train and "Northfield robbers--(Northfield, Minnesota--one dead, three alive but wounded on the same train); Chinese threatened by blackmail.
1877 Anti-Chinese movement strong--both Chinatowns set on fire; lawsuit against Yee Kee and Ah Hong; first issue of Daily Evening Record published; six Chinamen shot, three killed and two wounded at Lemm ranch; Citizens' Committee formed to quell Chinese violence; Bidwell blackmailed again publishes exposition of anti-Chinese in newspaper; arrest made in Chinese murder, not indicted; Bidwell's carpenter shop set on fire--arson trial of W. G. Roberts; fire in Chico, east side of Main between Second and Third Streets; soap factory burned down; Yee Kee house burned; Albert G. Gatschert canes, letter about Indians from John Sutter; went to Mt. Shasta with John Muir and Sir Joseph Hooker-camp Grey Bear Spring--Sisson, McCloud, Cinder Cone, visited; hay barn burned; west side surveying being dome river wad, Meridian; two threatening anti-Chinese letters; labor problems-mentions Chinese workers, women, Indians.
1878 More description of Chinese in the county, especially the Oroville flood in January, mention of Chico and Humboldt Wagon Road; Sierra Flume and Lumber Company Dump and Factory burned.
1879 Comments on California's new constitution; Chinese laborers and cemetery, Indian names mentioned; James Keefer, Jr. and Edward Chapman killed Chinese men--Bidwell and Indians pursue--visited by Keefer.
1880 Inauguration and reception for Governor Perkins; John Muir's visit to Chico; large part of Flume collapsed; Indians drunk; President Hays visit; more accounts of Chinese laborers and life in Chico.
1881 Floods in Butte Creek and Deer Creek, bridges gone; Indians receiving illegal alcohol; Henry Swearingen Murcher, more Chinese accounts.
1882 Cyclone near Chico--damage to H.G. Silver's home and "Bryants" born; legal holiday for anti-Chinese purpose; Indian and Chinese laborers; Chico Hotel and Armory Hall burned; John Muir buying trees; Indian Chapel dedicated.
1883 Chico and Humboldt Wagon Roads; incorporation papers--board of supervisors asked for franchise; Thomes Estate (Catler's decree); railroad wreck in Tehachapis' Hugh Glenn shot and killed; made North Vallombrosa road; Barnnard's Livery Stable burned--Syvan's Mickey arrested; new mill demy built. Sandy Gulch bridge built; laid out Front Street; H. W. Cleaveland plans for parsonage; Big Chico Creek Bridge built; new road to Magalia granted for by board of supervisors; anti-debris business; Indian breakfast in honor of the dead also a burning Indian labor Ladies Christian Temperance Union organized by Mary Clement Leavitt, clearing mud and Chico Creek.
1884 Emily Pit Stevens temperance lectures; clearing mud and Chico Creeks; improvements in land and irrigation; form elections; Indian deaths; Band of Hope organized; Horticultural Society organized by Dr. Chapin (State Horticultural Office); Indian band; W. E. Read and Indian students; prohibition meetings, flour mill burned and other evidence of foul play; flood at Ranch; washout of railroad bridge between Marysville and Feather River.
1885 Built new mill, open horse racing; James Keefer acquitted of murder; Leland Stanford was elected U.S. Senator; Chico Foundry burned; Indian labor; extension of railway; grasshoppers bad; "Proclamation" to the Indians; temperance movement increasing in county; flume broke flooded some of the town; lot of rain--bridges settling and falling; Daniel Bidwell purchased land north of Sandy Gulch; ranch business.
1886 Heavy wind and rains; much in the way of anti-Chinese problems; prohibition; Children's Missionary Society formed; Old Chinatown burned; Indian responsibilities; Junction Hotel burned; black man connected with burglary. Annie visited in jail; laid out house for Indian Church; Indians arrived home from Middletown.
1887 Journey to East--President Cleveland to Liverpool, London, England; Normal School ground surveyed and cleared and executed; ranch and farm business; fire at Mazy Grove, Hong Di lynched at Colusa; Joseph Kennedy assassinated in Washington; to Red Bluff to pick brick for Normal School; Reverend Albert Williams called to get information about Fremont's connection with Bear Flag movement in 1846; Normal School let; Oregon Overland train collision in Chico; new Chinatown planned; Daniel Bidwell died; placing for Chico Vecino; roads made in Chico Vecino; fire on East side of Broadway between First and Second Streets.
1888 Sale of Chico Vecino lots; Daniel Bidwell's estate; more work on Normal School; Overland Monthly photographs taken; prohibition state convention nominates Bidwell for prohibition ticket; small pox in the area; canning accident Madge Clark hurt; anti-Chinese problems; Anne Bidwell reported to have consumption; Anne in Auburn for health, then to Aurora Mine, still ill.
1889 Solar eclipse; Vecino map finished; trip east; reception for Leland Stanford and party; surveyed Rancheria Lane; Sacramento flood stage.
1890 Chinese New Year; laid out Normal School grounds; many Prohibition meetings; trip to Alaska; trip to Northwest Coast; trip to Yellowstone; campaign trip in California; Indian laborers.
1891 Petition drives and discussions against houses of prostitution in Chico; Indian laborers.
1892 Indian laborers; Indian ceremonies at Princeton; closing channel discussed; electric light plant in the canyon; Normal School faculty went to rancheria to hold services; Annie's brother Joseph M. Kennedy found dead in Patapsco River; accepted nomination for presidency; under doctor's care for neuralgia.
1893 Annie distributed clothes at rancheria; scarlet fever at the Normal School; physiculture exercises; fire at the Glenn Ranch; Chinese workers; Indians on rancheria; trip east to Washington.
1894 Building Lindo Way with Chinese and Indian labor; Women's Christian Temperance Union convention in county; made levee's on the channel; meeting of Normal School Trustees in Los Angeles; Lee Man murder trial (killed "mulato" man)--acquitted; Prohibition State Convention; Indian women and relations with Annie; Anti-Chinese meetings and processions--Women's Anti-Chinese League; hobo Anti-Chinese Committee threats--leave or else; letter to Governor Markham about expulsion of Chinese on September 1.
1895 Anti-Liquor League at town hall; petition against uniform license law; suffrage bill passed at Sacramento; Indian chapel moved--built new one, bell, Nopanny--Bidwell's Indian wife?; Indian laborers; Edward Mahuka Tonaka died; gas house in Chico burned; county division bill defeated; women's congress? in San Francisco; anti-Chinese problems; alcohol to Indians for Chinese; dinner in San Francisco for Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw; July 4-5 Indian celebration and "dance" at the Rancheria; Women's National Indian Association organized locally; Normal School Annex built; Halala killed by Oregon train; Chinese and Indian labor; Anna H. Shaw spoke at Armory Hall
1896 Black man sang in Indian chapel; much about Indian children and laborers; Chinese and Indians building road and dome in canyon; Washington Harding (Indian) arrested for striking another; 21 anniversary of the organization of Indian mission (January 28); Annie's work with the Indian Village; George Harding fractured leg; Washington Harding in county hospital; suffrage convention in armory-Anna Shaw here; visit to Big Meadows-many Indian friends there; visited other parts of valley; Air ship in Chico (6:30 pm. November 24, 1896); much about Pulisse (Indian laborer); stone wall in canyon built
1897 More building in canyon; Pulisse; visit of missionary Kim Eca Da Silva; Annie Bidwell's mother died; many visiters at Butte Meadows; measured for road in Little Chico canyon-steep and rocky; work on Chico-Humboldt Road; spoke in Pioneer Hall about early times
Indian vistors; Womens Christian Temperance Union met at 1898 mansion; attended California Golden Jubilee Celebration in San Francisco; attended Chinese New year Celebration; Traveled Humboldt Road-Berdon's estate many times; Sprague Photographer took photo; Indian laborers
Visited by E. H. Allison, Indian interpreter; lecture 1899 E. H. Allison at Normal School and Methodist Episcopal; Indian visitors; Indian laborers; Annie getting children ready for school at Greenville; continued work in the Salt Spring Canyon; Mrs. Ament with Indian children visited
1900 Russian Dookhabors in Chico; much about Indian visitors and labor, Billy Simpson murdered; Steve Thompson and Johnny Richards to San Quentin; John Bidwell's death--April 4--entered by Annie; rest of diary in Annie's handwriting; much about Annie's work with Indians; Lily B. Collins, Bidwell's niece about inheritance; Normal School Memorial Services, May 2 entry of supplying Indians at rancheria with furnishings, clothing, and food; evils of narcotics Indian visitors and business; Women's Christian Temperance Movement continues; one hundred Japanese workers; Greenville matron Emma Truebody visited; James Nockil driven to Greenville to see children; journey east for prohibition convention only woman delegate; traveling in east speaking engagements; Philadelphia for Women's National Indian Association, 21st anniversary.
Placed with Manuscript 3, Papers of Annie E. K. Bidwell.
A temporary passport issued to Bidwell by Mariano Vallejo shortly after Bidwell's arrival in California in 1841. The names of two books used as navigational aids on the journey to California.
Proof of land purchased from John Sutter, July 1848.
Account books for Chico Farm, October 1849.
A letter from Bidwell, 4/5/49, to John Townsend indicates that Bidwell is not suited to the life of a gold miner. He does not like the weather or the type of people engaged in this business.
In a letter to John Sutter, 4/2/51, Bidwell politely refuses to marry Sutter's daughter, but pledges his friend ship and offers to help Sutter in any way possible. He also notes Sutter's contribution to California history and his world-wide fame. Bidwell describes life in California in a letter to a Miss Boyd, 7/15/51.
Account Book, 1853.
Short note on flour transaction, 9/12/54.
A newspaper article describing Bidwell's ranch, 5/29/57.
The official appointment of Bidwell as Brigadier General in the California Militia, 9/3/63.
Letters from Bidwell to Merrill and Company about the shipment of lumber and bridge construction.
An official letter with the State Seal announcing that Bidwell has been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. 1/9/65.
A letter from Bidwell to Annie Kennedy asking her to marry him. 12/31/66.
Letters to Annie Kennedy. On 1/4/67, he tells of his determination to become a Christian and "turn over a new leaf." On 5/8/67 Bidwell has returned to Chico and is despondent. Because he is separated from Annie. Bidwell makes an attempt at poetry to express his feelings, 5/26/67
In a long letter to Annie, 7/5/67, Bidwell talks about his activities. After some very flattering remarks, Bidwell asks Joseph Kennedy (in a letter) if he can marry his daughter.
Letters to Annie and one response from her on 11/28/67. She asks Bidwell to take care of her brother, John, who is coming to California. She suggests that the two men drink a glass of water or milk to the health of the Kennedy family on Christmas Day.
Marriage license and marriage certificate, 4/16/68.
Letters to Annie. On 2/13/68, Bidwell answers that he is in good health despite having a hernia. Obviously Annie has asked about this in a previous letter.
On 6/13/68 Bidwell writes to Annie from Marysville. This is the first correspondence after their marriage and arrival in California.
Correspondence to Annie. Also two letters from John Kennedy who has returned to Washington and says California has improved his health. 10/6/68.
Correspondence to Annie addressed to her in Washington where she is visiting her family for the summer. On 8/23/69 Bidwell gives the status of the domestic workers at their Chico home. Contains some interesting comments on Chinese labor.
Contains a letter to Annie dated 1/14/70. He has caught one of the employees stealing money.
Letters to Annie, 1871.
Letters to Annie, 1872. On April 18, Bidwell describes the trip East on the railroad while near Pittsburgh.
An excerpt from a book titled New Life in New Lands: Notes of Travel by Grace Greenwood. This was published in 1873 and includes an interesting account of her visit to Chico. She says Bidwell lives an "almost feudal" life on his ranch.
An executive order from the governor of California appointing Bidwell a Regent of the University of California. Also some letters to Annie written in 1880.
Letters to Annie, 1883.
Letters to Annie, 1885.
A letter to Annie, 3/12/86, in which Bidwell indicates his displeasure at a speech given in San Francisco. It was given by a woman who does not like the rise of Chinese domestic help.
On 3/11/86, Bidwell wrote to Annie from Sacramento where anti-Chinese sentiment was expressed at a convention.
The Society of California Pioneers, 7/15/86, thanks Bidwell for his donation of John Sutter's diary to that group.
In a letter to Annie who is visiting relatives in Washington, Bidwell says that the household servants are doing fine except that one of them is "too familiar." 1/25/87.
October 21, 1887, Bidwell writes that he has laid out the foundation for the Normal School.
On 12/26/87 Bidwell acknowledges that he has bad knees and other problems when he takes long walks.
July 30, 1888, Bidwell tells Annie of an event that happened several years previously in which a man tried to shoot him, but missed. He encourages Annie to eat a lot of meat to help her regain her strength. Both of the Bidwells have medical problems at this time.
On 9/22/89, Bidwell writes to Annie in Washington. Tells her he hates long, dull sermons and that these make churches unpopular.
Letters of May, 1890. The Bidwells are planning a vacation to Alaska.
One letter to Annie, 10/17/91.
Letter of acceptance for the nomination of the Prohibitionist Party for the campaigned of 1892.
A typed letter to John Sutter, Jr., 4/29/93, asking his consent to allow a hotel to be built on some property in Sacramento that he may have some claim to.
Two 1895 letters from Bidwell to Professor R. D. Hunt. He briefly gives his impressions of early California life. Interesting comments on law and order during the military government and gold rush period.
One letter to Annie, 10/13/96.
Two letters to Annie, 1897.
Two letters to Professor R. D. Hunt
Two more letters to Hunt, 1899, Bidwell has been injured in a wagon accident.
A letter to John Spear telling him about the early life of John Sutter
Itemized expenses of Bidwell's funeral, 1900.
Notes on Bidwell's life copied by his wife. Poor quality, difficult to read.
A magazine article on the early history of California with emphasis on cattle brands. Illustrated.
An article about Bidwell in National Republic Magazine written in 1918. It deals mainly with the 1841 trip to California.
An article by George M. Gray who was Bidwell's ranch foreman for ten years.
Many newspaper articles from the Chico Enterprise-Record.
The biography of John Bidwell as written for elementary school children.
A bibliography of books about John Bidwell.
Souvenir of Chico Horticultural Society.