George Clifford letter book

Finding aid created by San Francisco History Center staff using RecordEXPRESS
San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 557-4567

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


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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