Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Naglee Family Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1846-1959
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 796
Number of containers: 33 boxes, 6 volumes, 2 oversize folders
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
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.
[Identification of item], Naglee family collection, BANC MSS C-B 796, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Material Cataloged Separately
Portraits have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
Henry Morris Naglee, born of a prominent Philadelphia family in 1815, graduated from West Point in 1835. He resigned his commission
in 1836 to become a civil engineer in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. With the advent of the Mexican War he enlisted
in 1846 in the New York Volunteers, Stevenson's Brigade, where he held the rank of Captain. He came to California, around
the Horn, on the
Susan Drew, arriving in San Francisco in March 1847. General Kearney then gave him a detached mounted command, joining a company of Californians
to his company of volunteers, with orders to clear the country of Indians. This was accomplished after several expeditions.
He was also ordered to help Padre Real eject squatters in and around the San Jose Mission. Naglee's base of operations was
in Monterey. Here he made friends with several of the local families and participated in the town's social life. Under Colonel
Mason's command he was sent to Baja California to reinforce Burton's troops besieged by the Mexicans and the Yaqui Indians
at La Paz. He led a victorious battle at Todos Santos, March 30, 1848, and cleared the Peninsula. He was about to be court-martialled
for the shooting of two Yaqui Indians when the war ended and the matter was dropped.
Naglee then went into business with Richard H. Sinton, former Army paymaster, and organized the first bank in San Francisco
under the name Naglee & Sinton in 1849. Sinton soon left the bank. The firm, then known as Naglee & Co., closed in September
1850. But Naglee remained in San Francisco, buying gold dust, banking, selling frame houses. He also dealt in real estate.
In 1855 he was a receiver for Adams & Co.. Very successful in his ventures, he owned the American Theatre in San Francisco
for a few years, took a trip to Europe in 1880, combining business with pleasure, sending home pedigreed livestock, grape
cuttings, porcelain, statuary, paintings and various objets d'art. He also purchased property in San Jose at this time.
When the Civil War broke out, Naglee volunteered his services. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 16th U.S. Infantry
which consisted of 400 recruits in Ohio. He requested active service, resigned and was reappointed Brigadier-General early
in 1862. He was first ordered to Hoover's Division on the Potomac, and subsequently was stationed with the Army of the Potomac
before Yorktown until April 1862. Naglee was then ordered to Casey's division, took Lee's Mills, crossed the Chickahominy,
and was wounded in the battle of Seven Pines, also known as the battle of Fair Oaks, while valiantly leading his men. He later
was stationed in North Carolina and in Norfolk, Virginia. After mustering out in April 1864, he actively campaigned in the
election of General McClellan for the Democratic Party.
Upon his return to California, Naglee devoted his energies to the cultivation of grapes on his San Jose property, to the beautification
of San Jose, and to flood control and reclamation on his San Joaquin property. In 1865 he married Marie Antoinette Ringgold,
the young daughter of his former friend George Hays Ringgold who worked in the U.S. Mint at San Francisco before her marriage.
From this marriage were born two daughters, Marie, in 1866, and Antoinette, in 1869. Mrs. Naglee died in 1869 and Naglee never
The production of the first Naglee brandy took place in 1868. It was reputed to be of a superior quality and won various awards.
Its production was discontinued after Naglee's death in 1886.
Please refer to the paper copy of the finding aid for the Naglee family genealogy.
Scope and Content
The Naglee family collection, the gift of Mrs. Marie R. Robins, Naglee's daughter, and Mrs. Antoinette N. Spruyt, his grand-daughter,
in December 1960 and August 22, 1961, contains originals, some photocopy and a partial typed transcript of correspondence
and papers of the Naglee and Ringgold families. There is personal and official correspondence to and from Naglee from 1845
until 1885 shortly before his death; a diary of the trip on the
Susan Drew around the Horn to San Francisco; field notes of excursions in California during the Mexican War; military orders, sketch
maps, clippings, some printed items, a few photographs; material concerning the General's activities in the Civil War; deeds
for property in California, especially relating to Rancho El Pescadero and Rancho Los Coches; correspondence and papers pertaining
to the Naglee Brandy and its sales in the East. Later correspondence and papers, 1907-1923, relate to the disposal of the
Naglee Estate. There is also a file of correspondence of Mrs. Spruyt aided by her research assistant, William Tyler Arms,
with various persons and institutions requesting information pertinent to the collection; a file of notes and a partial card
One volume, entitled "To Gen. Henry M. Naglee, from his friends", Oct. 26, 1864, upon the presentation of a medal for gallantry
at Fair Oaks, was given to the Bancroft Library by Warren Howell, July 1962.