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Finding Aid to the George Henry Cabaniss Papers, 1849-1967 MS 282
MS 282  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Separated Materials
  • Indexing Terms
  • Donor
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: George Henry Cabaniss papers
    Date (inclusive): 1849-1967
    Collection Number: MS 282
    Creator: Cabaniss, George H. (George Henry), 1861-1934
    Extent: 7 boxes and 1 volume (4.0 Linear feet)
    Contributing Institution: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
    Abstract: Consists of papers pertaining to Cabaniss's naval career during World War II and to his law practice. The bulk of the papers pertain to execution of the estates of Sarah Elizabeth Chandler, Katherine M. Ball, Louise A. Sorbier and her daughters, Cecile and Marie, and Sara M. Boyd. Includes family papers of his uncle, Archibald A. Cabaniss, and his second cousin, Raymond Duncan. Among these are newspaper and passport photographs, and a sketch of Isadora Duncan. With these is a scrapbook in remembrance of Cabaniss's father, George Henry Cabaniss, Sr., containing letters of sympathy, newspaper clippings, obituaries, and a letter of sympathy and poem by Ina Coolbrith.
    Language of Materials: Collection material is mostly in English. Some material relating to Raymond Duncan is in French.


    CHS is not taking appointments for research at this time. Please check the Library's website updates: https://californiahistoricalsociety.org/collections/north-baker-research-library/ 

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the California Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George Henry Cabaniss Papers, MS 282, California Historical Society.

    Separated Materials

    Photographs have been transferred to the California Historical Society's Photograph Collection, shelved as MSP 282. Oversize certificates have been transferred to Certificates Collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Ball, Katherine M., 1858?-1952
    Boyd, Sara Megilligan
    Cabaniss, Archibald A. ( Archibald Atkinson)
    Cabaniss, George H. (George Henry), 1861-1934
    Chandler, Sarah Elizabeth, 1863-1947
    Coolbrith, Ina D. (Ina Donna), 1842?-1928
    Duncan, Raymond, 1874-1966
    Sorbier, Cecile Marie, 1875-1952
    Sorbier, Louise, 1847-1929
    Sorbier, Marie, 1873-1947
    Lawyers--California--San Francisco.


    Gift of George Henry Cabaniss, Jr., circa 1952.

    Biographical Information

    Attorney George Henry Cabaniss was born in 1900 to a prominent San Francisco family. He earned bachelor's and juris doctor degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1922 and 1924, respectively. In the 1940s, Cabaniss served as a legal specialist with the rank of lieutenant commander in the United States Naval Reserve. He also served as a San Francisco appeals agent for the Selective Service System from 1940 to 1942. As a private attorney in San Francisco, Cabaniss administered the estates of Sarah E. Chandler, Katherine M. Ball, Louise A. Sorbier, Marie Sorbier, Cecile M. Sorbier, and Sara M. Boyd.
    Other notable members of the Cabaniss family include George Henry Cabaniss's father, George Cabaniss, Sr.; uncle, Archibald Cabaniss; and second cousin, Raymond Duncan. Cabaniss, Sr., served as a San Francisco Superior Court judge from 1908 until his death in 1934. Archibald Duncan was a United States Army officer and friend of San Francisco poet and librarian Ina Coolbrith. Raymond Duncan (1874-1966) was an artist, dramatist, poet, and journalist. He was also Isadora Duncan's brother. In 1912, he moved to Paris, where he opened the Akademia Raymond Duncan and edited the bilingual journal Exangelos.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection comprises correspondence, certificates, legal records, newspaper clippings, and other papers and ephemera documenting the history of the Cabaniss family. The bulk of the material pertains to George H. Cabaniss in his roles as legal specialist for the United States naval reserve (circa 1941-1949); San Francisco appeals agent (1940-1942); attorney for various federal work agencies (circa 1938-1942); and private attorney in San Francisco. These papers include extensive legal records concerning the estates of Sarah E. Chandler, Katherine M. Ball, Louise A. Sorbier, Marie Sorbier, Cecile M. Sorbier, and Sara M. Boyd, all of which Cabaniss administered.
    The collection also contains scattered papers of or about other members of the Cabaniss family, notably George Cabaniss Sr., Archibald Cabaniss, and Raymond Duncan. These include records of San Francisco superior court proceedings that Cabaniss, Sr., adjudicated (1933-1934); a scrapbook of obituaries and condolences commemorating Cabaniss, Sr., on his death (1934); military certificates awarded to Archibald Cabaniss by the United States Army (circa 1849-1911); a poem and letter written by Ina Coolbrith on the death of the infant Lucile (1899); and miscellaneous papers documenting the literary and dramatic career of Raymond Duncan.


    This collection has not been arranged into series. In general, materials have been arranged topically as follows: Box I: Miscellany and family papers; Box 2: Correspondence and district legal office logs; Box 3: Military, civil service, and legal papers, particularly for the Chandler estate; Boxes 4-6: Legal papers for the Ball, Sorbier, and Boyd estates. Box 7: Boyd estate papers and miscellany.