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Guide to the William McPherson Papers
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Correspondence, diaries, photographs, account books and journals, land and tax records, manuscripts, scrapbooks, notes, transcripts, reports, newspapers, clippings, promotional materials, and ephemera, relating to the family, life, career, and intellectual pursuits of Orange County, California, avocado rancher and historian William McPherson (1885-1964). Family papers document the McPhersons' settlement in Orange County in the 1870s, and their involvement in local agriculture, first in the raisin grape industry, and then in the avocado industry. Half the collection consists of original Spanish- and English-language correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, printed materials, and ephemera collected by McPherson in the pursuit of his intellectual interests, in particular the history and anthropology of Orange County--and especially Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana and San Juan Capistrano--from the 1770s to the 1920s. The collection includes papers of 19th-century entrepreneur Alfred Henry Wilcox and California State Assemblyman Jeffry Joseph Prendergast, as well as a large number of documents with a focus beyond Orange County and Southern California, including Civil war diaries and letters, a collection of ship logbooks from the 1820s to the 1850s, literary scrapbooks, and McPherson’s collection of autograph letters and documents relating primarily to American, British, and California history, and dating from 1665 to 1932.
22.5 linear feet (53 boxes + 1 map case drawer).
All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.
This collection is open for research.