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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Samuel P. Gummer Letters
    Dates: 1852-1865
    Collection Number: 1980-52
    Extent: .25 linear feet
    Online items available
    Repository: History San Jose Research Library
    San Jose, California 95112
    Abstract: Collection of 35 letters from Samuel Gummer of Santa Clara (Calif.) to his brother, James Gummer, of Brunswick (Maine).
    Language of Material: English


    Open to the public for research by appointment.

    Publication Rights

    Contact the Research Library & Archives for information on publication and reproduction.

    Preferred Citation

    Samuel P. Gummer Letters. History San Jose Research Library

    Acquisition Information

    Donated to the San Jose Historical Museum in 1980 by James Gummer.

    Biography/Administrative History

    According to biographies in the San Jose Evening News and San Francisco Call, Samuel P. Gummer (1831-1891) was born in Brunswick, Maine, and came to California in 1849 by way of Nicaragua, taking up mining in Placer County. He settled in San Jose in 1856, later moving to San Francisco around 1880. According to the Call, he helped to organize the San Jose fire department, and held several offices of public trust. In San Francisco, he was a member of the firm of Nathaniel Gray & Co., undertakers; was the first sexton of Laurel Hill Cemetery, and later was in charge of the removal of the remains from Yerba Buena to the City Cemetery. He served under Coroner Dr. C. C. O'Connell as Superintendent of the Morgue. He died in San Francisco on September 11, 1891, of heart disease and dropsy.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Collection of 35 letters from Samuel Gummer of Santa Clara (Calif.) to his brother, James Gummer, of Brunswick (Maine) circa 1852-1865. The letters chronicle Samuel's farming activities, including land prices, crops grown, and produce prices; activities with the Methodist Church; and his attempt to persuade James to move to Santa Clara. Other correspondents include John Wilson, Free Will Baptist Church of Brunswick; Joseph N. Dunning; M. Jameson; and cousin Emma G.