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Spear family papers and addenda
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Spear family papers and addenda
    Dates: 1845-1978
    Collection Number: mss48734-48771
    Creator: Spear (Family)
    Extent: 123 items in 5 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
    The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2203
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The collection consists of the papers of three generations of the Spear family: Alexander Fulton Spear (1800-1853), Alexander Fulton Spear (1827-1900), and Lewis Eugene Spear (1867-1953).
    Language of Material: The records are in English.

    Administration Information


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following web site .

    Publication Rights

    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

    HM 48734-48771, Spear family papers and addenda. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Spear, 1980 and 1988.


    Alexander Fulton Spear (1800-1853) came to California from Maine in 1849. His son, Alexander Fulton Spear (1827-1900), a ship captain, settled in San Francisco in 1872. His grandson, Lewis Eugene Spear (1867-1953), organized the Pacific Steel & Wire Co. in San Francisco and later moved to Los Angeles and established the Pacific Wire Rope Co. in 1909.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of the papers of three generations of the Spear family: Alexander Fulton Spear (1800-1853), Alexander Fulton Spear (1827-1900), and Lewis Eugene Spear (1867-1953). It includes the Gold Rush journal of Alexander Fulton Spear (1800-1853), which documents his ocean journey from Maine to California aboard the ship "Perfect" and mining near Coloma, California. There are also papers regarding the marine service of Alexander Fulton Spear (1827-1900) and a few business papers pertaining to Lewis Eugene Spear (1867-1953), the Pacific Steel & Wire Co., and the Pacific Wire Rope Co.
    Two noteworthy items in the collection are a photograph album showing Southern California, Monterey, and a trip to Alaska (1900-02) and a diary of a trip from San Francisco to Coquille, Oregon, on the steam schooner "Chico" which includes 25 photographs (1903).
    The addenda consists of ephemera, genealogy material, and photographs related to the Spear and Whitney family.


    The family papers is arranged in chronological order.
    The addenda is arranged according to genre.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Spear, Alexander Fulton, 1800-1853
    Spear, Alexander Fulton, 1827-1900
    Spear, Clara Whitney
    Spear, Lewis Eugene, 1867-1953

    Corporate Names

    Pacific Steel & Wire Rope Co. (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Pacific Wire Rope Co. (Los Angeles, Calif.)


    Mines and mineral resources--Californai--Coloma
    Ocean travel
    San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Calif., 1906--Photographs
    Ship captains--California--San Francisco
    Voyages to the Pacific coast

    Geographic Areas

    California--Gold discoveries
    California--History--19th century--Sources
    California--History--20th century--Sources
    California, Southern--Photographs


    Business records--California
    Daguerreotypes (photographs)
    Family papers--California
    Genealogies (histories)
    Photograph albums--West (U.S.)
    Photographs--West (U.S.)