Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid to the McLean Family Papers, 1850-1950
BANC MSS C-B 501  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: McLean family papers
    Date (inclusive): 1850-1950
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 501
    Extent: 12 cartons, 6 volumes, 1 box, 1 oversize box and 1 oversize folder 17.5 linear feet 7 digital objects (7 images)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Papers of the McLean family of California. Includes correspondence and other papers of Edward McLean, his wife Sarah E. McLean, and three of the McLean children: Agnes, Fannie, and Francis. The bulk of the collection consists of Fannie McLean's correspondence, scrapbooks, subject files, and McAlpine Mine records.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], McLean Family Papers, BANC MSS C-B 501, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternate Forms Available

    Digital reproductions of selected items are available.

    Separated Material

    Photographs transferred to the Pictorical Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1905.06348-.06352--PIC, BANC PIC 1905.06380-.06391--PIC and BANC PIC 1953.008).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    McLean, Agnes, 1861-1944
    McLean, Agnes, 1861-1944, correspondent
    McLean, Edward, 1818-1886
    McLean, Edward, 1818-1886,?e correspondent
    McLean, Fannie W., 1863-1951
    McLean, Fannie W., 1863-1951, correspondent
    McLean, Sarah (Chester), b. 1840
    McLean, Sarah (Chester), b. 1840, correspondent
    McLean family--Archives
    Berkeley High School (Berkeley, Calif.)
    California Civic League
    Curry School of Expression
    McAlpine Gold Mining and Milling Co
    McAlpine Quartz Mine and Mill Site
    National College Equal Suffrage League
    San Francisco Settlement Association
    Real estate agents-California--Berkeley
    Real estate agents-California--Los Angeles County
    Real estate agents-California--Oakland
    Real property-California--Berkeley
    Real property-California--Los Angeles County
    Real property-California--Oakland
    Social settlements-California--San Francisco
    Women social reformers--United States

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The McLean family papers were purchased by The Bancroft Library from Roskie and Wallace in 1952-1953.


    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Lara Michels in 2012.

    Biographical Information

    Edward McLean (1818-1886) was the eldest child of Francis McLean and Sarah Childs Berry of Connecticut. In 1843, Edward graduated from Yale University. He moved to San Francisco in 1849 or 1854, partly in search of relief from his chronic asthma, and found work in the insurance business. In 1856, Edward relocated across the bay to Oakland, where he served as one of the original trustees and site selectors of the College of California. He returned to Connecticut briefly in late 1857 to wed Sarah E. Chester. Until 1869, Edward and Sarah resided in Oakland and had five children: Agnes, Edward Jr., Fanny, Francis, and William. Edward continued to work in insurance and also became a real estate broker in the firm McLean and Hardy. He played an active role in organizing and managing a range of East Bay properties, including the Bay View Homestead and the Academy Homestead. Edward was also an original member of the Oakland Board of Education, which was founded in 1868. In 1869, Edward and Sarah McLean moved to Los Angeles, again seeking a more hospitable climate for his chronic illness. He became a senior member of the real estate firm of McLean, Rust and Wilson and later of the firm McLean and Wilson, a prominent real estate agency in nineteenth-century Los Angeles. In Southern California, Edward McLean organized the Santa Gertrudes Company, which had lands in Downey, Fulton, and Norwalk as well as the Mutual Orchard Association, which had lands in Pasadena. Youngest daughter Fannie W. McLean graduated from UC Berkeley in 1885 and was an English teacher and vice-principal at Berkeley High School for over 50 years starting in 1886. She was also director of the San Francisco Settlement Association, vice-president of the National College Equal Suffrage League, and vice-president of the California Civic League. Fannie McLean wrote articles and was an active speaker on a range of progressive issues, including education reform and women's suffrage. Fannie also became one of the directors of the McAlpine Mining and Milling Company in 1902. Eldest daughter Agnes McLean (1861-1944) was a graduate of Samuel Silas Curry's School of Expression in Boston and taught physical education and public speaking at public schools in Berkeley and Los Angeles.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Family correspondence; diaries; subject files; writings and speeches; scrapbooks; family financial records; real estate ledgers; and materials relating to the McAlpine Mining and Milling Company. The correspondence consists of letters exchanged between members of the McLean family as well as general correspondence. Among the family correspondence are letters from the 1850s and early 1860s between Edward and Sarah McLean and family in Connecticut (some of which document the couple's voyage to California in January of 1858). The bulk of the correspondence is that of Sarah, Agnes, and particularly Fannie McLean. Edward McLean's real estate ledgers document his real estate interests in Oakland, Berkeley, and the Los Angeles Area. Subject files, writings and speeches, and scrapbooks in the collection were created by Fannie McLean and document her work at Berkeley High School as well as her activities in the settlement movement, women's suffrage, and other progressive causes. The collection also includes a substantial number of files on the McAlpine Mining and Milling Company, including correspondence, bylaws, property records, legal records, stock certificates and ledgers, and bills and receipts.