Henry Huntley Haight Papers mssHT

Gayle Richardson
The Huntington Library
November 2020
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Henry Huntley Haight papers
Creator: Haight, Henry H., 1825-1878
Identifier/Call Number: mssHT
Physical Description: 7.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1846-1885
Abstract: A collection of material related to the personal and professional life of Henry Huntley Haight, lawyer, businessman and governor of California.
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]. Henry Huntley Haight papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased for the Huntington from Edwin Grabhorn, by the Friends of the Huntington Library, April 1941 and January 1945.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Huntley Haight (1825-1878) was born in New York, the eldest son of Fletcher Matthews Haight, a prominent lawyer. Henry Haight graduated from Yale University in 1844 and two years later was admitted to the bar in St. Louis, Missouri. Haight practiced law there with his father until 1850, when he traveled to California and settled in San Francisco; he married Anna E. Bissell of St. Louis in 1855. Haight practiced law in San Francisco until 1867, when, as a candidate of the Democratic party he was elected governor of California. As governor, he was a leader in the fight against railroad subsidies and during his term Haight established the University of California in 1868. After losing his bid for reelection in 1871, Haight returned to private practice until his death in Alameda, California, in 1878.

Scope and Contents

A collection of 508 items from 1846 to 1885, which consists of letters, documents and manuscripts related to the life and interests of Henry Huntley Haight. Subject matter includes the political history of California; the development of San Francisco; railroad subsidies; and anti-slavery and secession questions in California. The collection also includes the business papers of Joseph B. Wells and the legal firm of Wells, Haight and Gary. Correspondents frequently represented in the collection include: James S. Bush, Eugene Casserly, Joseph E. Gary, Fletcher Matthews Haight, Samuel Haight, Bayard Taylor and Joseph B. Wells.

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library Staff, circa 1950. In 2020, Gayle Richardson created the finding aid derived from a legacy summary report.


Arranged chronologically.


Individual call numbers included in the collection: mssHT 1-457.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Lawyers -- California
Railroads -- California
Slavery -- United States -- Extension to the territories
Governors -- California
California -- History -- 19th century
California -- Politics and Government -- 1850-1950
San Francisco (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century
Letters (correspondence) -- California -- 19th century
Professional papers -- California -- 19th century
Bush, James S., active 1850-1877
Casserly, Eugene, 1820-1883
Gary, Joseph E. (Joseph Easton), 1821-1906
Haight, Fletcher M. (Fletcher Mathews), 1799-1866
Haight, Samuel S., 1778-1863
Taylor, Bayard, 1825-1878
Wells, Joseph B.
Wells, Haight and Gary

Box 1, Folder 1-83


Box 2, Folder 1-85

1852-1854 April 29

Box 3, Folder 1-80

1854 May 4-1855

Box 4, Folder 1-72


Box 5, Folder 1-88


Box 6, Folder 1-43