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Register of the French (Henry M.) Papers, 1873-1941
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: French (Henry M.) Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1873-1941
    Collection number: Mss158
    Creator: Robert B. Bolt
    Extent: 1.5 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], French (Henry M.) Papers, Mss158, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

    Access Points

    personal name

    French, Henry Nelson

    personal name

    French, Henry M. (1851-1916)

    personal name

    French family

    personal name

    Tretheway family

    corporate name

    Prohibition Party (Calif.)


    Merchants -California -San Jose


    Prohibitionists -California


    Great Britain -History, Naval -19th century


    San Jose (Calif.) -Politics and government -1850-1950


    Henry M. French (1851-1916) was born in Cornwall, enlisted in the British Navy (1866) and served aboard the following ships: H.M.S. Cordelia, commanded by Capt. Charles Perry, hero of the Sir John Franklin Rescue Expedition; H.M.S. Aboukir, a Canadian Lake steamer converted to West Indian service; and H.M.S. Northumberland, largest ship in the British Navy. Three diaries describe his naval career, including numerous appearances of the British Royal Family and the coronation exercises of the King of Sweden. In 1874 he resigned and emigrated to California where he married Frances Rebecca Tretheway of Lockeford, San Joaquin County (1876). French then entered the grocery business in San Jose while attending classes in the commercial dept of the University of the Pacific (1879-1880). In 1882 became a naturalized citizen. Prominent in the Prohibition movement, he ran for Mayor of San Jose on a hybrid Prohibitionist-Republican ticket, nominated John Bidwell for Governor at the State Prohibition Party Convention (1888) and served as Chairman of the State Central Committee of the Prohibition Party. French later studied law, became a San Jose attorney and ran for Governor on the Prohibition Party ticket (1896).

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of the diaries (1873-1915), family papers and an account book (1904-1916) of Henry M. French, prominent San Jose (Calif.) merchant, attorney and politician. The collection also includes a diary of French's son Henry Nelson French (1912).