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Guide to the James Otey Bradford Papers, 1869-1919
Special Collections M046  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: James Otey Bradford Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1869-1919
    Collection number: Special Collections M046
    Creator: James Otey Bradford
    Extent: 2 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions:


    Publication Rights:

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Gift of Harriet Bradford, 1919.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] James Otey Bradford Papers, M046, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    James Otey Bradford (d 1919?] was born in Virginia and served as a lieutenant in the Confederate Navy. After the war he worked for various English shipping lines. He began his employ with Wells, Fargo in New York City. In this position he was in charge of freight and travel requests for tourists. He left Wells, Fargo and moved to San Francisco where he was employed by the Palace Hotel. He shortly returned to the employ of Wells, Fargo and remained with them until retirement. In his later years he served as the director of the Wells, Fargo historical exhibit at the Columbian Exhibition of 1893. Later he was placed in charge of all Wells, Fargo historical exhibits. He retired after forty years service with the company. Much of the present collection represents Mr. Bradford's interest in the history of Wells, Fargo.


    The Bradford papers contain James Otey Bradford's correspondence from 1888-1919. Much of it is correspondence pertaining to his duties with the Wells, Fargo & Co. There are also typescripts of historical writings (possibly copied from printed sources) and copies of newspaper articles pertaining to the early days of stage coaching, the men involved and the crimes committed against stages. Biographical material pertaining to stage robbers, as well as drivers are in the collection.
    An important part of the collection are the numerous pictures of employees of Wells, Fargo and the coaches, as well as pictures of sailing vessels and related transportation media.
    The papers of Henry Chester Ward, an early employee of the company are included in the collection. Among Ward's papers are his diary for a short period of 1869-1870.


    Oversize glass negative of a print showing stage coach in Cal. mountains.
    One scrap-book of newspaper clippings. Some are articles written by Bradford.