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Finding aid of the William Boyd Latham Jr. Diary, 1851-1851
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William Boyd Latham Jr. Diary, 1851-1851
    Dates: 1851-1851
    Collection Size: 1 folder
    Repository: The Society of California Pioneers.
    San Francisco, California 94107-1272
    Abstract: This collection consists of the daily diary kept by William Boyd Latham, Jr. during the year of 1851. Entries were made inconsistently and pertain primarily to Latham's work for the Freeman and Company Western Express located in Sacramento, California. Latham frequently traveled between the company's offices in Sacramento and San Francisco on company business by way of steamships.
    Physical location: Stored on-site at the Society of California Pioneers.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open by appointment for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with The Society of California Pioneers. All requests for permission to reproduce or publish must be submitted in writing to the Librarian.

    Preferred Citation

    William Boyd Latham Jr. Diary, 1851-1851. The Society of California Pioneers.

    Biography / Administrative History

    William Boyd Latham Jr. was born November 12, 1822 in Orange County, New York. He arrived in California, August 20, 1849 aboard the vessel "Strafford". Latham was an attorney and founding citizen in Marysville, CA. His other business ventures included notary public, insurance agent and real estate. He died December 7, 1910 in San Francisco.


    1851/1851 William Boyd Latham Junior Diary

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The diary contains notations by William B. Latham Jr. concerning daily events he felt worth recording during the year 1851 from January 1 to December 31. His diary was kept while working for Freeman and Company Western Express located in Sacramento at number 42 Second Street. Inside the front cover there is a clipping pasted that provides the postage rates for that year. Most of the notations detail the arrivals and departures of steamers to and from Sacramento and San Francisco that carried mail packets to be distributed by Freeman and Co. Approximate transit times are given for trips carrying packages to and from the Express office in Sacramento. Latham also notes many names of steamers that made the journey between San Francisco and Sacramento. Sometimes he notes the names of the steamer captains and sometimes he notes the express rider/driver�s name. Latham also gives brief weather details and sometimes notes events such as hangings, assaults on his person by customers, and dollar amounts that were moved by Freeman and Company by way of steamship or express. Of interest is a small newspaper clipping located between the pages with dates of September 22 an 27, 1851. On one side of the clipping is a poem entitled WOMAN and on the other side is a bit of an article about a woman named Sarah Chesham convicted of poisoning her own children, and attempting to poison other children as well, before being caught and convicted in 1851.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Pioneers -- California
    Steamship mail
    Steamship lines
    Pony express stations -- California -- Sacramento
    Latham Jr., William Boyd, 1822 -- 1910

    Related Material

    Biographical File; Manuscripts included