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Guide to the John Wilson Papers, 1840-1897
BANC MSS C-B 420  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: John Wilson Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1840-1897
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 420
    Creator: Wilson, John, 1790-1877?
    Extent: Number of containers: 4 boxes and 1 oversize folder
    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 documents relating to Wilson's activities as U.S. Indian Agent, Naval Agent and lawyer, mainly concerning land claims and Whig politics. Santa Cruz County poll list of 1854. Diary of visit to silver mines in Chihuahua in 1864, and some miscellaneous papers of Wakeman and Cooper families also included.
    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], John Wilson papers, BANC MSS C-B 420, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and Content

    The greater portion of the Wilson papers, acquired through Col. Fred B. Rogers, were given to the Bancroft library by Mrs. Evva M. Cooper in 1948 and 1949. A few items were purchased from Col. Rogers in 1951 and Mrs. Lucile B. Bradley gave some additional material in 1952.
    John Wilson, born in 1790, came to California in 1849 as Indian Agent, then as Navy Agent in San Francisco. He soon settled down to practicing law in San Francisco, becoming somewhat of a specialist in land claim cases. Tremendously interested in the Whig party in California, he was active politically. These two aspects -land claims and politics -form the backbone of the incoming correspondence, spanning for the most part the years 1849 to 1860. Some letters and vouchers relate to Wilson's position as Indian Agent and later as Navy Agent. The few outgoing letters, mainly in draft form and some incomplete, include a contemporary copy of a letter to Hon. T. Ewing, Department of the Interior, concerning the state of the Indians; a partial description of difficulties of trip from Missouri to San Francisco, 1849; Whig politics; and a discussion of the wealth of Nevada mines. Among the miscellaneous personal papers, related largely to his legal practice, is to be found William B. Ide's proclamation to the people of Sonoma of June 15, 1846.
    There are also a few papers of members of the Wilson family -his wife, Ann Robertson (Pulliam) Wilson; his son Micajah D.; and his daughter, Mary Elizah (Wilson) Wakeman. A scrapbook assembled by a grand-daughter, Katharine (Wakeman) Cooper and various papers relating to members of the Cooper family, with legal papers of Ferdinand O. Wakeman, round out the collection.