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George Clifford letter book
SFH 128  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: George Clifford letter book
    Dates: January 3, 1855 - October 19, 1865
    Collection Number: SFH 128
    Creator/Collector: Clifford, George, 1818-1877
    Extent: 1 folder
    Repository: San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
    San Francisco, California 94102
    Abstract: Letter book kept by a San Francisco commission merchant who sold goods shipped from Jakarta.
    Language of Material: English


    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    George Clifford letter book. San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center

    Acquisition Information


    Biography/Administrative History

    Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Clifford came to California in 1852 and settled in San Francisco, working as a commission merchant. He was an officer of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce (1854) and married Sarah Cavanagh in 1866. He died January 7, 1877 in San Francisco.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The volume includes tissue copies of Clifford’s letters to the firms Maclaine Watson & Co., Fraser Eaton & Co., in Batavia (Jakarta), and George Griswold, N.Y., and to banks such as Baring Bros., Dabney, Morgan & Co. and Duncan, Sherman & Co. It includes remarks about prices for sugar, coffee, rice, rattan and other products, and about insurance for shipped cargoes and losses. Many letters are difficult to read. A letter dated Sept. 28, 1865 and signed by M. S. Latham is included. Volume seems to lack any reference to the September 1859 fire that consumed the clipper ship Mastiff, on which Clifford was a passenger along with Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

    Indexing Terms

    Commission merchants
    Shipping—California—San Francisco
    Maclaine Watson & Co.
    Dabney, Morgan & Co.
    Fraser Eaton & Co.
    Nathaniel L. & George Griswold (New York, N.Y.)
    San Francisco (Calif.)—Commerce.
    Jakarta (Indonesia)—History—19th century.
    Indonesia—Commerce—United States—History—19th century.
    United States—Commerce—Indonesia—History—19th century.
    Letter books