Charles Crocker Correspondence mssCrocker

Gayle Richardson
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Charles Crocker correspondence
Creator: Crocker, Charles, 1822-1888
Identifier/Call Number: mssCrocker
Physical Description: 1.26 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1881-1883
Abstract: A collection of business letters between railroad magnates Charles Crocker and Collis P. Huntington covering the years August 1881 and December 1883.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Charles Crocker correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased for the Huntington by the Library Collectors' Council from the Mariner's Museum, Newport News, Virginia, January 2006.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Crocker (1822-1888) was a prominent store-owner in Sacramento when, in 1860, he joined Collis Huntington, Huntington's business partner Mark Hopkins, then-Governor Leland Stanford, and other smaller investors in financing Theodore Judah's Central Pacific Railroad plan. Crocker's role in the Central Pacific was to oversee the construction. Crocker solved the problem of manpower by hiring Chinese workers and succeeded in finishing track construction many years ahead of the federal deadline. During the time of these letters, Crocker was the second vice president of the Central Pacific Railroad.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains 675 letters from Charles Crocker to Collis Huntington and Huntington's secretary Isaac Gates written between August 1881 and December 1883. The letters were dictated by Crocker to private secretaries in San Francisco and sent to Huntington in New York City. The letters sent to Isaac Gates are adminstrative in nature. The letters explore Crocker's interests in banking, real estate, agricultural development, and mining. Most of the letters sent to Huntington are business-related, including Crocker and Huntington's interests in the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Central Pacific Railroad, the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company, and other railroads and mines scattered through the Southwest, Oregon, and Mexico.

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library Staff, circa 2006. In 2020, Gayle Richardson created the finding aid derived from legacy in-house summary report.


Arranged chronologically.


Former call number: mssCrocker-Huntington correspondence

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Letters (correspondence) -- California -- 19th century
Colton, David Douty, 1832-1878
Gates, Isaac
Huntington, Collis Potter, 1821-1900
Central Pacific Railway Company
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company
Southern Pacific Railway Company
Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company

Box 1, Folder 1-24

Correspondence August 1881 - May 1882

Box 2, Folder 1-20

Correspondence June 1882 - June 1883

Box 3, Folder 1-15

Correspondence July 1883 - December 1883