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Guide to the William Edward Petty Hartnell papers, 1815-1852
BANC MSS C-B 665  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: William Edward Petty Hartnell Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1815-1852
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 665
    Creator: Hartnell, W. E. P. (William Edward Petty), 1798-1854
    Extent: Number of containers: 4 volumes
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Mainly correspondence and accounts of John Begg & Co. and McCulloch, Hartnell & Co. Also letterbook, 1822-1824 (photocopy only) of letters from Hartnell, relating to trade with missions, letters to family, and accounts. Miscellaneous letters and papers relating to land and to Hartnell's claim against the Mexican government.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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], William Edward Petty Hartnell papers, BANC MSS C-B 665, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and Content

    The papers in this collection are from various sources, including the T.W. Norris Collection and Susan Myra Gregory. They deal in large part with accounts and correspondence concerning the McCulloch, Hartnell & Co. Firm.


    William Edward Petty Hartnell, born in Lancashire, England in 1798, lived in South America for some years, and came to California aboard the John Begg as a member of McCulloch, Hartnell & Co., agents for John Begg & Co. of Lima and Brotherston's in England. His firm, having contracted to take mission produce for three years, 1823-1826, carried on a profitable business until 1826. In 1825 Hartnell married María Teresa de la Guerra. He suffered financial reverses in 1827 and closed his partnerhsip in 1828 heavily in debt. He was naturalized in 1830 and in 1831 became a ranchero at Alisal with the Soberanes. From this time on he had a multiplicity of jobs, teacher, visitador, general of missions, officer of customs, etc. His gift for languages was such that he was employed as state translator in legal cases, especially in the land claims then being tried. He died in 1854.

    Scope and Content

    Part I: The papers in v.1-2 are arranged chrolologically. Volume 1 contains original items from 1815-1826. Volume 2 contains origianl items from 1827-1852. Volume 3 is a letterbook, containing business corespondence, 1822-1823, accounts, 1820-1821, family corresondence, 1819-1824, and photographs (photocopy only from materials at that time in possession of Susan M. Gregory). Volume 4 is a translation of the business letters in the letterbook (see Volume 3), with some notes by C.E. Chapman.

    Note: Part I rehoused into 2 boxes in May, 1993.
    Box 1: Volume 1

    Box 2: Volume 2-4
    Part II: Microfilm of Susan M. Gregory material in v.1-2.