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Guide to the Isaiah W. Lees Collection, 1863-1903
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Contents
  • Biography
  • Correspondents

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Isaiah W. Lees Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1863-1903
    Box Number: 1548
    Creator: Lees, Isaiah W., 1830-1918
    Repository: California State Library
    Sacramento, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information



    Conditions of Use

    Please credit California State Library.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to California State Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing. Permission for publication is given on behalf of California State 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], Isaiah W. Lees Collection, California State Library.

    Access Points

    Lees, Isaiah W., 1831-1902.
    Law enforcement--California--San Francisco.
    San Francisco Mining Company (Calif.)
    California Cygnet Company.


    San Francisco Mining Company and California Cygnet Company (1863-1902) list of shareholders and legal papers; Investigative files: Robert W. Souter (1973-1876), Charles G. Mugg (1874-1878, Joseph Wrigley (1858-1872), Piper-Baldwin (1863-1900), Fair-Craven Case (1890s); photographs; notes; correspondence; resolution book.


    Isaiah W. Lees was born in Lancashire, England, December 25, 1830. When he was nine months old, his family settled in Patterson, New Jersey. He sailed to San Francisco aboard the Mary Francis, arriving on December 20, 1848. He joined the San Francisco police force on October 26, 1853. He served continuously forty-seven years, retiring in January 1900. Mr. Lees was promoted to Chief of Police and served as Chief of Detectives. As a criminal officer, he travelled to Scotland Yard several times and his picture hangs there to represent one of the great criminal officers of his day. It was Captain Lees who founded the Rogues Gallery, using his own money to make the original collection of pictures. He died on December 21, 1902, president of the Veteran Police Association. He and his wife had five children, two of whom survived him.


    • Bombee, William
    • Bunce, Addie
    • Burr, J.B., Hyde & Company
    • Gagan & Fairchild
    • Harrington, Nellie
    • Harvey, George H.
    • Hatch, Joe F.
    • Heggerty, Charles J.
    • Knight, George A.
    • Mugg, C. K.
    • Pinkerton, Willam A. (William Allan), 1846-1923.
    • Souter, Robert W.
    • Stanford, Leland, 1824-1893.
    • Woods, George L.
    • Wrigley, Joseph.