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Guide to the George Kenyon Fitch Papers, 1826-1906
BANC MSS C-B 761  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • Biography

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: George Kenyon Fitch papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1826-1906
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 761
    Origination: Fitch, George Kenyon, 1826-1906
    Extent: Number of containers: 2 boxes, 2 cartons, 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: Correspondence and newspaper clippings relating mainly to the San Francisco Call and the Bulletin, and to California politics and railroads; legal and financial papers concerning the Sacramento Times and Transcript; reports on San Frncisco water supply; biographical sketchs of Fitch; invitations and programs. Correspondents include William Jennings Bryon, James Duval Phelan, and Stephen Mallory White.
    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], George Kenyon Fitch papers, BANC MSS C-B 761, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Two photographs of Fitch, have been placed in the portrait drawer with the call numbers 4453 -4454.
    • Printed items which have been catalogued separately in the book catalog. They are as follows:
    • Pamphlets. [Each catalogued separately in the Bancroft Library]
    • Report of Harry N. Morse on Dupont Street frauds, etc., San Francisco, May, 1879.
    • Report of Professor George Davidson upon a system of sewerage for the city of San Francisco. San Francisco, 1886.
    • All about Alaska. Issued by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company. 1888.
    • Republican speech of Hon. Morris M. Estee, delivered at Odd Fellows Hall, San Francisco, September 24, 1898.
    • Memorial of the life and services of Washington Bartlett ... adopted by the Society of California Pioneers ... May 7, 1887.
    • The New San Francisco. An address by James D. Phelan ... Sept. 1, 1896.
    • Appeal to the People, by Horace W. Philbrook. Sept., 1898.
    • In the Supreme Court of the State of California. The People of the State of California vs. The City and County of San Francisco. 1887.
    • The law and the facts in relation to the fixing of water rates for the city and county of San Francisco, by Charles Wesley Reed ...
    • Constitution, by-laws and list of members of the Society of California Pioneers, since its organization, as revised August, 1874. Organized August, 1850. San Francisco, 1874.
    • Message of the President of the United States and the majority and minority reports of the commission appointed to investigate the Pacific Railways ... Washington, 1890. 50th Cong., 1st sess., Ex. doc. 51.
    • Governmental debt of the Pacific Railroads. 54th Cong., 1st sess., Report 778 pt. 2.
    • In the Supreme Court of the State of California. Dept. 2. George K. Fitch, Appellant vs. M. H. De Young, Respondent. 1885.
    • Giant Gap water supply proposed for city and county of San Francisco, Cal. Proposition to Board of Supervisors, February, 1901.
    • Estimate of the value of the Spring Valley water works ... by H. Schussler. San Francisco, Feb. 5, 1901.
    • A lecture about the water supply and sewerage of San Francisco, delivered before the Cooper Medical College and Lane hospital, Feb. 16, 1900, by Dr. Chas. W. Ellinwood.
    • Reconnaissance soil survey of the San Francisco Bay region, California, by L. C. Holmes and J. W. Nelson. U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Soils, Washington, 1917.
    • Pioneers of Prosperity, by David H. Walker. San Francisco, 1895. Testimony taken by the U. S. Pacific Railway Commission, 1887. 7 vols. U.S. Senate, ex. doc. 51, pts. 2-8, 50th Cong., 1st sess.
    • Report of the commissioner and of the minority commissioner of the U.S. Pacific Railway Commission, 1887.
    • The Age Annual. Political and Statistical Register of the Colony of Victoria, 1890. Melbourne, 1890.
    • Report of the Union Pacific Railway and its branches, the Central Pacific Railway and its branches, the central branch of the Union Pacific Railroad, the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad; also on auxiliary and leased lines, by Richard Price Morgan, 1887.
    • The Canadian Railroad Question. Arguments and facts submitted to a committee of the U.S. Senate by E.W. Meddaugh and A.C. Raymond, at a hearing in Detroit, Mich., May 1, 1891.
    • Prospectus of the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railroad. 1893.
    • The Argonaut, June 2, 1906.
    • Journal of Commerce and Daily Bulletin, San Francisco Jan. 25, 1850.

    Scope and Content

    The Fitch papers were presented to Bancroft Library in March 1940 by his daughter, Virginia Fitch. Covering the period from 1849 until his death, they include correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports, legal and financial papers, invitations and programs, and biographical sketches of Fitch. Names of principal correspondents and other items of note appear in the manuscripts catalog.


    George Kenyon Fitch was one of the best known of the pioneer editors of California. He was born in New York State on March 2, 1826 and came to California in 1849 after working in Ohio and New Orleans as a printer. He settled first in Sacramento where he helped establish the Sacramento Times and Transcript and in 1852 went to San Francisco. In partnership with Loring Pickering and James W. Simonton, he purchased the San Francisco Bulletin and then the San Francisco Call, and the two newspapers became powerful forces in the city. Fitch was responsible for the Bulletin while Pickering managed the editorial affairs of the Call. In January 1895, after the death of Pickering, the Call and the Bulletin were sold, and Fitch retired from active life. He died June 18, 1906, in San Rafael, California.