Charles Dana Papers: Finding Aid mssDana

Kelly Kress
The Huntington Library
November 2022
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Business Number: (626) 405-2191

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Charles Dana papers
Identifier/Call Number: mssDana
Physical Description: 0.21 Linear Feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1849-1874
Abstract: Correspondence, documents, and ephemera related to business executive Charles Dana, particularly his activities in Hawai'i.
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 Dana papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased by William Reese Company on behalf of The Huntington at Swann Auction Galleries, Sale 2615, Lot 152, September 29, 2022.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Dana (1824-1906) graduated from the University of Vermont and was a merchant in New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco, serving as an officer of several companies including the North American Steamship Company. He resided in Hawai'i from 1854 to 1856, where as an agent of Page, Bacon & Co., he helped to establish the Hawaiian Kingdom's first bank. He and his wife Laura Parkin Dana had one son, the philanthropist Charles A. Dana.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes materials related to Charles Dana's time in Hawai'i, including a copy of Page, Bacon & Co.'s petition to establish a bank; correspondence describing scandals within the Hawaiian royal family and efforts to appoint Dana as American Commissioner to Hawaii; and 3 pages of notes from a lecture, evidently written by Dana, describing his attendance at a traditional Hawaiian lūʹau given by Prince Lot Kapuāiwa, later King Kamehameha V. Business correspondence is primarily from Dana's tenure as Vice President of the North American Steamship Company, with letters from New York shipbuilder William Henry Webb and other business contacts. There is also some personal correspondence from Dana's family and friends, including letters from Dana's father and brother discussing Abraham Lincoln's election and the political climate in the United States. Some family cartes-de-visite, checks and bonds, and a broadside advertising one of Dana's lectures are also included.

Processing Information

Processed at the time of accessioning by Kelly Kress in November 2022.


Arranged by type of material.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Banks and banking -- Hawaii
Hawaii -- History -- 19th century
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1860
Shipping -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Business correspondence -- United States -- 19th century
Correspondence -- United States -- 19th century
Kamehameha V, King of the Hawaiian Islands, 1830-1872
Webb, William Henry, 1816-1899

Box 1, Folder 1

Hawai'i correspondence and documents 1857-1861

Box 1, Folder 2

Business correspondence 1854-1872

Box 1, Folder 3

Personal correspondence 1849-1860

Box 1, Folder 4

Photographs and ephemera 1851-1874