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Register of the Rhodes Family Papers, 1838-1942
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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: Rhodes Family Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1838-1942
    Collection number: Mss30
    Creator: E.L. Pister, Richard Rhodes & Robert Chandler
    Extent: 1 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], Rhodes Family Papers, Mss30, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

    Access Points

    Personal Names

    Rhodes, William Henry (1822-1876)
    Rhodes, Elisha (1791-1858)
    Rhodes, Mary W. Kimball (1808-1893)
    Rhodes, Robert H.
    Rhodes family
    Pister family
    Smith family


    Voyages to the Pacific coast
    Authors -California
    Ranch life -California -San Joaquin County
    Women -California -San Joaquin County
    Medicine -New York -History
    Economic conditions -California -San Joaquin County
    San Joaquin County (Calif.) -History -Sources
    Texas -History -Sources
    United States -History -Mexican War, 1846-1848
    United States -History -Civil War, 1861-1865

    Personal Names

    McDermott family


    Dr. Robert H. Rhodes, a physician from New York City, came to California in 1849. His cousin, Col. Elisha A. Rhodes (1791-1858), a widower, had earlier gone to Texas where he was appointed U.S. Consul(1838). There Elisha married a widow, Mary Kimball (1808-1893) of Houston, and they had two sons, Cullen C. (b. 1839) and Edward A. (b. 1841). Both Elisha and Mary Rhodes also had children by their previous marriages. One of Col. Rhodes' sons, William Henry Rhodes (1822-1876), later achieved fame in California as author "Caxton" Rhodes. Elisha Rhodes was incapacitated by a stroke during the late 1840s and his wife, Mary, went to California with William H. (1850), leaving her husband behind. In 1852 she returned to Texas and brought the entire Rhodes family to California, settling them on Windsor Ranch about five miles from Stockton. After Col. Rhodes' death Mary Rhodes continued to operate their ranch for many years. She was also active in prisoner relief work during the Civil War.
    William Henry Rhodes studied at Harvard Law School (1844). Upon his arrival in San Francisco, Rhodes practised law and dabbled in politics. When his Southern sympathies caused difficulties for him in California during the Civil War, Rhodes withdrew to Virginia City, Nev. (1863-1865). At war's end, he returned to California where he launched a literary career, publishing poetry and science fiction under the nom de plume "Caxton." While holding a judgeship in the 12th Circuit Court, Rhodes also became well-known for public readings of his works, the most noteworthy of which was probably the anthology, Caxton's Book, published in the year of his death (1876).

    Scope and Content

    The Rhodes Family Papers consist of correspondence (1838-1877), Robert H. Rhodes diary (1848-1849), California ranch business records(1858-1898), and miscellaneous biographical and genealogical materials pertaining to the Rhodes, Smith, Pister and McDermott families.