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Guide to the Guassac Family Papers MS 186
MS 186  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Arrangement
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Separated Materials
  • Scope and Content
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Title: Guassac Family Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 186
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1895-1936
    Abstract: This collection contains papers from the Guassac family between 1895 and 1936, specifically related to Jose Dolores Guassac, his children, grandchildren, and other relatives. This includes family birth records, personal and business correspondence, legal and financial papers, documents related to tribal administration, and personal journals. The majority of the documents are related to either Dolores Guassac or his sons Luciano and Sebastian Guassac.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English and Spanish.
    creator: Guassac family

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Jose Dolores Guassac was born in 1857 in Mesa Grande, California, according to the online International Genealogical Index. He was often called Dolores as a first name instead of Jose. Guassac had at least one brother, Pablo Guassac. Jose married his spouse, Madelina, in 1891. The family name was alternatively spelled Wassac in addition to other variants. Guassac was elected Captain of the San Jose tribe in 1898. He was also affiliated with the Mesa Grande Band, which along with many other tribes has historically been grouped under the more general heading of Diegueño Mission Indians. Relatively few biographical details about Guassac are available. The collection also includes papers concerning his sons, Sebastian and Luciano Guassac, as well as other members of the family about whom even less is known. It appears that some, if not all, of Dolores’ sons were sent away to boarding school to learn English and receive a higher level of education. Sebastian Guassac followed in his father’s footsteps by serving as Captain of the Mission tribe in the 1930s.


    Items in this collection are arranged by subject.

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    Guassac Family Papers, MS 186, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Katrina White on August 1, 2011.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Separated Materials

    Original photographs separated to the SDHC Photographic Department (5/21/1987), OP 13079 to OP 13079-25, and OP 13080.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of the papers of Jose Dolores Guassac and his family, including his sons Sebastian and Luciano Guassac. The documents are dated between 1895 and 1936, and pertain to personal, legal and tribal issues. Several documents are in Spanish. The papers include family correspondence and birth records, personal journals, legal and financial documents, and documents related to tribal administration, as well as several miscellaneous items including a local newsletter called the “Carlisle Arrow,” a handwritten recipe for soap and a pro-prohibition propaganda poem. The collection includes many of Luciano Guassac’s personal correspondence as well as his personal journal. The legal documents include court summons and legal complaints against several male members of the Guassac family for issues such as driving off a steer and allowing a horse to run free. Tribal administration papers include numerous governmental documents and letters from the United States Indian Service, including a certification of Dolores Guassac’s appointment as Captain of the San Jose Tribe. The documents in this collection provide a unique perspective into Indian and Caucasian relations during the turn of the century, and clearly document the role of the U.S. government in tribal issues during that period.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number 830505A.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Albanes, Jose
    Albanes, Vicente
    Castillo, Adam
    Chowa, Adolph
    Dady, John W.
    Guassac family
    Guassac, Amado
    Guassac, Eusavio
    Guassac, Luciano
    Guassac, Pablo
    Guassac, Sebastian
    Guassas, Jose Dolores
    Guassas, Madelina
    Hernsby, Alice
    Indian Tribal Organization.
    McCormick, T.F.
    Mission Indian Federation.
    Mission Tule River Cons. Agency.
    O'Keefe, James
    Pacific Supply Co..
    United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
    West Coast Mercantile Agency.
    Carlisle Arrow
    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Mesa Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Mesa Grande Reservation, California
    Pechanga Reservation (Calif.)
    Riverside (Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    San Jacinto (Calif.)
    San Jose Tribe