Scope and Content
Title: John B. Goodman Collection
Collection Number: mssGoodmanpapers
Goodman, John B. (John Bartlett), 1901-1991
1976 items in 29 boxes and 2 oversize folders
The Huntington Library,
Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Abstract: This collection
consists of twenty-nine boxes and two oversize folders concerning the California
Gold Rush vessels, California county histories, and miscellaneous ephemera and
Language of Material: The records are in English.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader
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
[Identification of item], John B. Goodman Collection, The Huntington Library, San
Gift from John B. Goodman, October 1991.
John Bartlett Goodman III, (1901-1991) was born in Denver, Colorado and moved to
California by the age of three, first to San Diego and then to Los Angeles in 1916.
After high school he worked in an architect's office, but left in 1920 after a short
time to join the art department of the Famous Players Lasky Company, an early motion
picture company. Shortly after joining, Goodman became interested in maritime
history and sailing ships. Goodman's forty-seven year professional career in the
motion picture industry included work on 252 movies. He spent seventeen years with
Paramount Studios, worked for Warner Brothers Studios, and served as supervising art
director (1942-1945) for Universal Studios, after which, he pursued a freelance
career as an independent art director. Goodman retired from film work in 1967. He
died on June 30, 1991 in Los Angeles County, California.
Scope and Content
The "California Gold Rush Fleet Encyclopedia of Vessels Sailing from the East Coast
of the United States and Canada for San Francisco, December 7-1848-December 31,
1849" comprises individual histories of 762 ships as well as various subject files,
arranged in alphabetical order. Goodman records a broad spectrum of information
derived from a variety of sources about the multitude of Gold Rush vessels. The bulk
of the manuscripts are photocopies and some are heavily annotated in the author's
hand. Some histories include hand colored illustrations of maps and ships. They were
written and edited between 1970-1991.
Note: This collection of factual data is also made available in tabular form for
"instant recall" in The Key to the Goodman Encyclopedia of the California Gold Rush
Fleet as published by the Zamarano Club in 1992.
The addenda box includes various illustrations, lists, and statistics regarding the
California Gold Rush vessels. The contents are arranged alphabetically by
Boxes 13-18 contain the original typescripts to "Goodman's Encyclopedia of the
California Gold Rush Fleet." The contents are arranged alphabetically by ship
Boxes 19-23 consist of manuscripts and related matter regarding the California Gold
Rush. Box 19 contains another version of Goodman's Gold Rush encyclopedia with very
few corrections. Folders 5 and 6 are Goodman's draft of factual data in tabular form
entitled "The John B. Goodman III Cellular Computer for the 1849 Gold Rush Fleet."
Also included is a manuscript of "For California: Direct in 1849-List of Mining
Companies Formed in Various States & Sailed from Various Atlantic Seaports." The
third binder consisted of "The 1849 'California Fleet' Excerpts from original
Diaries and Journals consulted by John B. Goodman 3rd." The last two items are
photocopies and miscellaneous notes from the San Jose Pioneer.
Boxes 20-21 consist of manuscripts and notes removed from three binders. The first
binder housed miscellaneous materials accumulated by Goodman pertaining to the
California Gold Rush vessels. Subjects found in this binder included a tally of Gold
Rush vessels built, a list of ship and map illustrations, a list of arrival and
departures, bibliography of works consulted, list of mining companies sailing for
California, names of captains and their vessels, list of store ships, and other
assorted lists. The second binder consisted of "Boats Arriving in San Francisco
Bay," which are notes and excerpts extracted from the San Francisco Weekly,
Tri-Weekly, and Daily Alta California. Also removed from this binder is an orange
folder with a chronological list of vessels sailing from New York for California and
Way Ports from December 7, 1848-December 31, 1849. The last two items in Box 21 are
two books: "Index to the Argonauts of California" by Charles Warren Haskins and "A
Reminiscence of Parker H. French Expedition through Texas & Mexico to California
in the Spring of 1850."
Boxes 22-23 consist of clippings, notes, journals, photographs, printed matter, and
other materials related to the California Gold Rush. The excerpts and notes are from
various publications, which include the Boston Daily Evening Transcript, New York
Daily Herald, and New York Tribune. The photographs consist of images of the West
from Goodman's personal collection and reproductions of San Francisco photographs
from the San Francisco Public Library. The manuscripts and printed matter includes
personal stories, autobiographies, and journeys of individuals such as Meredith
Tarlton Moore, a soldier in the Mexican War and a trader on the California Trail,
and Jacob Marhoffer, a prominent citizen of Crescent City, California.
Boxes 24-27 include materials related to Goodman's unpublished manuscript "An
Annotated Bibliography of California County Histories." Boxes 24-25 are photocopies
of the typescript. Box 26 contains another version of Goodman's California county
histories. These were once contained in a binder and appear to be an earlier version
of the photocopies in Boxes 24 and 25. Box 27 includes additional pages from
Goodman's bibliography. The bulk of these pages are fragments and duplicates. Other
contents in Box 27 include correspondence, maps, notes, negatives and prints related
to California counties.
Illustrations are found in Boxes 28-29 and two oversize folders. Box 28 includes pen
and ink and rough sketches for John W. Wood, an unknown manuscript, in Goodman's
hand. The bulk of these illustrations depict life on the Overland Trails and in the
mines. The first folder consists of miscellaneous notes and maps regarding these
illustrations. The contents are arranged alphabetically by the caption or title of
the illustration. Some of these illustrations include preliminary sketches and
prints. Box 29 includes 33 folders of miscellaneous illustrations and ephemera. The
bulk of these illustrations are in the hand of Goodman while others are prints. They
were possibly done in relation to his work as an art director for Paramount and
Universal Studios from 1932-1946. The first oversize folder contains thirty-three
printed illustrations for the Thompson and West publication of "History of Santa
Barbara County, California." The second oversize folder consists of four
miscellaneous sketches and ephemera.
Goodman's autograph notes and corrections appear throughout the collection.
Some of the ship histories include an empty envelope with notes; in some instances,
the envelope does not bear any writing.
Goodman also commonly used the back and front of letters for his notes and
manuscripts. This is seen throughout the collection.
There are duplicates and variations of Goodman’s manuscripts and notes in parts of
the collection. For instance, certain lists found in Box 12: Addenda could also be
found in the manuscripts and notes removed from a binder in Box 20.
The John B. Goodman collection consists of twenty-nine boxes and two oversize
folders arranged in three sections:
Boxes 1-23: Goodman’s Gold Rush encyclopedia and related matter
Boxes 24-27: California county histories and related matter
Boxes 28-29 and oversize folders: Ephemera and illustrations
Goodman, John B. (John
Art direction--Designs and
Barks (Sailing ships)
Overland journeys to the
Overland journeys to the
Voyages and travels
Voyages to the Pacific Coast--Personal narratives
California--Gold discoveries--Personal narratives
California--Gold discoveries--Pictorial works
Preliminary sketches (sketches)--United
Printed ephemera--United States--20th