Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Bradley (James A.) Journal
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (54.92 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Access
  • Processing Information
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Davis Library, Dept. of Special Collections
    Title: James A. Bradley Journal
    Creator: Bradley, James A.
    Identifier/Call Number: MC299
    Physical Description: 1 volume 132 pages. Oblong 12mo. Lacking covers, stitched as issued. Minor chipping at edges of outer leaves. Light tanning. In a consistent, legible script.
    Date (inclusive): 1884-1885
    Abstract: A detailed journal that documents the agricultural life of James A. Bradley as he tended to his new fruit farm in Vacaville, California, during 1884 and the beginning of 1885.
    Physical Location: Researchers should contact Archives and Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.


    James A. Bradley was a farmer in Vacaville, California in the late 19th century.

    Scope and Contents

    A detailed journal that documents the agricultural life of James A. Bradley as he tended to his new fruit farm in Vacaville, California, during 1884 and the beginning of 1885. Bradley purchased two smallish plots of twenty and twenty-six acres in a November 1882 auction that broke up the estate of Lewis Pierce for $125 per acre. The daily entries in this log span from January 1, 1884, to October 24, at which point he travels to Bay Area for several weeks. The entries resume in December and run until March 7, 1885. The journal also includes an account of his expenses from 1883 and 1884.
    During much of the late winter and spring of 1884, Bradley and his workers are busy ploughing the fields, and acquiring and planting orchard trees and grape cuttings. His entries often detail the varieties and quantities of plants purchased. In February, Bradley paid a man named E.C. Merwin $94 dollars for building a house on his property, and hired several hands for farm work such a digging holes for apricot trees and ploughing the roads on the property. In March, he purchases fifty Royal Ann cherry trees, plants petite prunes and Foster peaches, and sets about care for 1,500 rooted mascal grape vines. In April, he plants more pear, prune, and cherry trees.
    Bradley's diary also reflects wider aspects of life in California at this this time. By the end of April, Bradley hired two hands he refers to as "Mr. Alex" and "Chinaman" to hoe the orchards. On May 2, he pays "Mr. Alex" $21.50 for 10.75 days of work; "Chinaman," meanwhile, was paid $11.50 for 10.25 days labor. Two other Chinese hands, who are referred to as "Sing 1" and 'Sing 2," are paid $12.60 for twelve days work chopping mustard and hoeing grapes. After returning from his sojourn in the Bay Area, Bradley moves into Vacaville, and purchases a horse by which he can travel to the farm during the day, although town life did not seem to suit him. On February 22, 1885, he noted a "Chinese celebration with fire crackers in the p.m. -- making a great noise and seriously disturbing the quiet of the Sabbath." The next month he is bothered by a loud party at the town hotel.
    [Description provided by McBride Rare Books]


    Collection is open for research.

    Processing Information

    Liz Phillips created this finding aid using information provided by McBride Rare Books.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from McBride Rare Books, 2020.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], James A. Bradley Journal, MC299, Archives and Special Collections, UC Davis Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    All applicable copyrights for the collection are protected under chapter 17 of the U.S. Copyright Code. Requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Agriculture -- California -- Solano County
    Solano County (Calif.) -- History
    Farmers -- California -- Solano County
    Bradley, James A. -- Archives
    Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center