Guide to the Ames Family Papers MS 9

Finding aid prepared by Samantha Mills
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
August 17, 2016

Title: Ames Family Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MS 9
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1852 April 10 – 1881 February 11
Abstract: This collection contains the correspondence, taxes, and real estate papers of John Judson Ames and Caroline Ames Huston, in the mid-to-late nineteenth century.
creator: Ames, John Judson

Biographical / Historical Notes

John Judson Ames was born in Calais, Maine in 1821. He came to California during the 1849 gold rush. In 1851 he moved to San Diego and founded The Herald newspaper, which he used to support the policies of Senator William Gwin, including his proposal to create a separate state out of Southern California. Poor revenue forced Ames to shut down the paper in April 1860. He re-established The Herald in San Bernardino, where he died on July 28, 1861.
Caroline Ames Huston was John’s second wife. They married after the death of his first wife, Eliza, in 1857. By 1864, Caroline was remarried to D.T. Huston.

Scope and Content

This collection contains the correspondence, taxes, and real estate papers of John Judson Ames and Caroline Ames Huston. Correspondence is primarily from Caroline to E.W. Morse concerning taxes and the sale of property left to her by her late husband.


This collection is arranged into two series:
Series I: John Judson Ames Papers;
Series II: Caroline Ames Huston Papers.

Preferred Citation

Ames Family Papers, MS 9, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Samantha Mills on June 3, 2013.


This appears to be an artificial collection. Some materials bear the stamp of the Pioneer Society, while others bear the identification of the San Diego Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Provenance is unclear. The collection was assembled by the Pioneer Society from a variety of sources. Most correspondence originated from E.W. Morse.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Huston, Caroline Ames
Morse, Ephraim W.
Real property
Receipts (Acknowledgements)
San Diego (Calif.)
Tax assessment


Series I: John Judson Ames Papers

Box-folder 1:1

John Judson Ames Papers, 1852 April 10 - 1871 March and undated


Receipts for stocks and Masonic dues; correspondence to E.W. Morse, Ensworth, and J.C. Bojen; an indictment for carrying challenge to a duel; and the probate for Judson’s estate.

Series II: Caroline Ames Huston Papers

Box-folder 1:2

Correspondence, 1861 December 23 - 1868 November 13

Scope and Content:

Contains letters to E.W. Morse regarding real estate and taxes. Also includes a letter to Morse about the probate of J.J. Ames, a letter to Morse from W.H. Noyes regarding Constitutional amendments, and a letter to Mr. Weed about a sheriff’s certificate.
Box-folder 1:3

Correspondence, 1869 March 4 - 1881 February 11

Scope and Content:

Contains letters to E.W. Morse regarding real estate, taxes, railroad stock, and the administration of the J.J. Ames estate. Also includes several letters about a life-threatening illness.
Box-folder 1:4

Property Lists and Tax Assessments 1864 August 11 - 1871 March 13


Memos by E.W. Morse regarding Caroline’s wishes for her property.