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Guide to the Weber family papers
BANC MSS C-B 829  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Weber Family Papers
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 829
    Creator: Webber family
    Extent: Number of containers: 54 boxes, 76 v. and 7 oversize folders Linear feet: 29
    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: Includes correspondence, diaries, letterpress copy books, legal documents, accounts, property records, and personal ephemera concerning the life of Charles Maria Weber and his family in California. Weber was a German immigrant and founder of Stockton, California. He came to California in 1841, and his family papers include material relating to his experience in the Mexican War and land acquisition in the Stockton area. The bulk of material spans the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, with some earlier family material. Correspondents include: Washington A. Bartlett, Hull McAllister, John C. Fremont, Thomas O. Larkin, Joseph Bartine Hull, and John Augustus Sutter.
    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], Weber family papers, BANC MSS C-B 829, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Removed or Separated Material

    • Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1962.003--C and BANC PIC 1964.062)
    • Maps have been transferred to the Map Collections of The Bancroft Library

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The bulk of the Weber Family Papers was deposited in The Bancroft Library by Helen Weber Kennedy in 1961 and then presented as a gift to the Library by her estate in 1985. Most of the correspondence and papers of Adolph C. Weber were given to The Bancroft Library by Frieda Weber Weedon in 1960. Other additions to the papers, primarily the correspondence of Julia Helen Weber, Charles Martin Weber, and Grace May Sinnott Weber, were given by Helen Kennedy Cahill in 1985.


    Charles Maria Weber, born in the small town of Steinvenden, Germany, on February 16, 1814, was the son of a Lutheran minister. He was educated for the ministry, learned languages, ancient and modern, but, because of poor health, had to discontinue his studies.
    Weber's uncle, Judge Theodore E. Hilgard, had left Germany to settle in Belleville, Ohio, an inducement for the young Charles to come to America. He arrived in New Orleans in 1836, where he promptly caught yellow fever. Eventually going on to St. Louis, from there he left on May 18, 1841 to join the Bartleson party for California, which traveled via the Great Salt Desert and the Sierra Nevada, reaching John Marsh's Rancho Los Meganos on November 4, 1841. He subsequently spent the winter at Sutter's Fort as an overseer. Weber soon went to San Jose, where he formed a business partnership with William Gulnac. The two opened a flour mill where they made sea bread and crackers. It was at this time that he purchased a part of the Rancho San Felipe y las Animas.
    In 1843 he petitioned for the Campo de los Franceses with Gulnac. Later, in 1845 he bought out Gulnac's share and the partnership was terminated.
    In the Micheltorena Revolt of 1844-1845, Weber sympathized with the Californians and was imprisoned by Sutter until the end of the war. During the Mexican War he sided with the Americans, was captured by Castro, and eventually struggled back to Los Angeles. He then was appointed captain of volunteers at San Jose by Commodore Hull, and was discharged in February 1847.
    After the wars, Weber settled Tuleberg (now Stockton), discovered gold, developed the city, and tended to his lands.
    He married Helen Murphy, daughter of Martin Murphy, in 1850. There were three children: Charles Martin Weber, who married Grace May Sinnott; Julia Helen Weber, never married; and Thomas Jefferson Weber, from whose marriage to Martha Isabelle there were no children.

    Scope and Content

    These papers include early documents of Charles Maria Weber, founder of Stockton, correspondence with other members of the family in California and in Germany, financial records, and personal papers. Also included are correspondence and personal papers of other members of the Weber family, including Charles Maria Weber's wife and children and his brother Adolph Charles Weber.
    The papers of Adolph Charles Weber include a previous collection, C-B 576, which has been incorporated into the Weber Family collection. Adolph Weber came to this country in 1853 from Germany, where he first worked as vaquero on the Las Animas Ranch. Later he was an assayor in the San Francisco Mint. He married Anna Regina Charlotte Drenckhahn in 1857 and had two children, Augusta Charlotte Henriette, who married Dr. Francis Savier Spranger, and Adolph H. Weber.
    Some of the papers of Charles Maria Weber relating to his experiences in the Mexican War have been microfilmed. A list of these papers is available at the end. Maps relating to this collection have been catalogued separately in the Maps Collection.