Cornelius Cole (1822-1924) practiced law in San Francisco (1850) before relocating to Sacramento in 1851 where he served as
the district attorney of Sacramento City and County (1859-62). He was later elected as a Union Republican to the thirty-eighth
Congress (1863-65), and as a Republican to the U.S. Senate (1867-73) where he served as the chairman for the Committee on
Appropriations (Forty-second Congress). The collection consists of correspondence, business papers, clippings, photographs,
scrap books, diaries, various writings by Cornelius and Olive Cole, and family memorabilia concerning the public and private
career of Cornelius Cole and his family. The papers cover more than a century of American history including California politics,
government and history, life in the Southwest, Civil War campaigns, railroads, and the crystallization of the new Republican
party in Northern California.
Cornelius Cole was born in Lodi, Seneca County, New York, September 17, 1822; graduated Wesleyan University, 1847; studied
law and was admitted to the bar in Auburn, New York, 1848; moved to California, 1849; after working a year in the gold mines,
began the practice of law in San Francisco, 1850; moved to Sacramento, 1851; served as district attorney of Sacramento City
and County, 1859-62; moved to Santa Cruz in 1862; commissioned as a captain in the Union Army during the Civil War, 1863;
elected Union Republican to the thirty-eighth Congress (1863-65); elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate (1867-73); chairman,
Committee on Appropriations (Forty-second Congress); resumed his law practice; moved to Colegrove, Los Angeles County, California,
and retired from active practice, 1880; member Pioneer Society of California; died in Hollywood, California, November 3, 1924.It is not unusual for the papers of a man in public life to stand as a substantial piece of the history of his nation. But
it is a rare thing for a collection of such papers to sweep across more than a century of that history and to illustrate and
elucidate the varied events and personalities which come to life in the papers of Cornelius Cole and his family. They begin
with the noise and emotions of political battles in New York State in the 1840s, and the clashing ambitions at the diggings
in California. For Cole, the papers close with the anxiety and despair of the years just after the first World War; but the
family papers continue the story into the midst of the world struggle that arose out of those years. During the greater part
of this span of time, Cole was busily participating in, and for a decade, helping to mold the history of the United States.
76 boxes (38.0 linear ft.)
4 oversize boxes
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