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Hamilton (Gideon Anthony) Papers
mssHM 26463-26512, mssHM 50923-50975  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Custodial History
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Gideon Anthony Hamilton papers
    Identifier/Call Number: mssHM 26463-26512, mssHM 50923-50975
    Physical Description: 2.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
    Physical Description: 105 Items
    Date (inclusive): 1874-1925
    Abstract: The collection consists primarily of letters from Gideon Anthony Hamilton to his friend Samuel Frank Dexter in Pawtucket, Rhode Island from 1874-1922.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    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]. Gideon Anthony Hamilton papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from Maxwell Hunley, April 21, 1961.
    Gift of William Burger and Mrs. John C. Adams, December 12, 1968.
    Acquired from William Burger, May 30, 1978.
    Gift of Donna Adams, January 20, 1983 and 1987.

    Custodial History

    The entire collection was originally owned by William Burger, who sold half of it to Maxwell Hunley, who in turn sold his half to the Huntington Library. Mr. Burger's portion later came to the Huntington Library to complete the collection. The two parts can be identified through their separate HM numbers (HM 26463-26512 and HM 50923-50975), but they have been combined into one collection to aid scholars.

    Biographical / Historical

    In 1864, Gideon Anthony Hamilton began working in the Comstock mines in Virginia City, Nevada. He traveled to South America working on Henry Meiggs' railroad project in Peru and crossed Costa Rica on horseback in 1872. He returned to Virginia City until 1878 when he invested in property in Mason Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada. He sold his interest in the property in 1880 and went to San Francisco, California, and later to Oakland and finally Visalia, where he passed away in 1924.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection consists primarily of letters from Gideon Anthony Hamilton to his friend Samuel Frank Dexter in Pawtucket, Rhode Island from 1874-1922. In these letters he discusses life in Virginia City and Esmeralda County, the growing development of Mason Valley, and Hamilton's interest in ornithology. There are also some comments on life in San Francisco, California, and reminiscences of his overland journeys in 1863 and across Costa Rica in 1872. At the end of the collection are lyrics of songs copied by Gideon Anthony Hamilton, a photograph of Gideon Anthony Hamilton (1893), and some ephemera.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Virginia Rust, 1985. In 2019, Gina C Giang created the finding aid derived from legacy summary report.


    Arranged chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Mines and mineral resources -- Nevada
    Overland journeys to the Pacific
    Silver mines and mining -- Nevada -- Virginia City
    Costa Rica -- Description and travel
    Comstock Lode (Nev.) -- History -- Sources
    Esmeralda County (Nev.) -- History -- Sources
    Mason Valley (Nev.) -- History -- Sources
    San Francisco (Calif.) -- History -- Sources
    Virginia City (Nev.) -- History -- Sources
    Letters (correspondence) -- California -- 19th century
    Letters (correspondence) -- Nevada -- 19th century
    Dexter, Samuel Frank