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Sayre Macneil Papers: Finding Aid
mssMacneil papers  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Sayre Macneil Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1736-1957
    Collection Number: mssMacneil papers
    Creator: Macneil, Sayre, 1886-1961.
    Extent: 652 pieces in 3 boxes.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers of law professor Sayre Macneil (1886-1961), chiefly consisting of correspondence related to academic and legal matters (1869-1948), and papers of his family including documents related to the Arügello family (1875-1975) and the family estate and claims before the American Mexican Claims Commission related to properties near Tijuana; Alfred Henry Wilcox (1823-1883) and the Colorado River navigation; and the Wilcox family of Chatham, Connecticut (1736-1928).
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Sayre Macneil Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Acquired from Sayre Macneil in 1959.

    Biographical note

    Sayre Macneil (1886-1961), son of Hugh Livingston Macneil and Louise (Slauson) Macneil, and grandson of Jonathan Sayre Slauson (early California banker who purchased the Dalton Azusa Rancho and founded the city of Azusa), was born in Los Angeles, California. He was educated at the University of California and Harvard University, and became professor of Law at Harvard (1926-1933) and at Loyola University from 1940. He married Daphne María Antonia Martha Drake, granddaughter of Alfred Henry Wilcox, who engaged in Colorado River Navigation for many years, and María Antonia (Argüello) Wilcox, of the Santiago Emidio Argüello family of Tijuana, B.C., and San Diego.

    Scope and Content

    The Sayre Macneil papers contain papers in three areas of interest:
    • 1) the pioneer Argüello family (1875-1957), the Argüello family estate and claims before the American Mexican Claims Commission involving the Argüello Properties in and near Tijuana.
    • 2) Alfred Henry Wilcox and the Colorado River Navigation in the 19th century. There are also a number of early land papers of the Wilcox family from Chatham, Connecticut, place of Alfred H. Wilcox's birth. This subsection covers 1736-1928.
    • 3) The Sayre Macneil papers (1869-1948), mainly correspondence relative to academic and legal matters.
    Subject matter includes:
    • American Mexican Claims Commission
    • Argüello family genealogy and estate papers.
    • California Land Claims
    • Chatham, Connecticut land papers
    • Colorado River Navigation (19th century)
    • Harvard Law School-students, faculty, legal matters
    • Mexico-U.S. Treaty relative to Colorado River Water Use (1944)
    • Los Angeles City Water Company vs. Crystal Springs Water Company
    Some notable items include:
    • Allen, Robert. Two letters to Alfred H. Wilcox relative to Colorado River Navigation. 1850, 1852. Box 1 (2)
    • Bandini, Juan Bautista. To Francisco Argüello. July 15, 1882. Box 1 (6)
    • Argüello family: genealogical notes, and claims before American Mexican Claims Commission. 1946-1957. Box 1 (14, 18), Box 3 (36)
    • Sketch of María Antonia Argüello. (Typescript). Box 1 (16)
    • Black, Jeremiah Sullivan relative to land claims in California. 1858. Box 1 (22)
    • Della Torre, P. to Jeremiah Sullivan Black re California land claims. 1857. Box 1 (45)
    • Chatham, Conn. Petition for right of Baptism. 1783. Box 1 (37)
    • Graves, O'Melveny & Shankland to John MacKay Elliott: Report on litigation Los Angeles City Water Company & Crystal Springs Water Company. Box 2 (9). See also Box 2 (3) and Box 3 (29)
    • Ingalls, Rufus. Extracts from Report on Colorado River. 1866. Box 2 (17)
    • Kingman, S.S. Photograph of John Muir and Charles F. Lummis. 1921. Box 2 (24)
    • Willcocks, John. Account Book of what I have paid to my daughters. 1736-1750. Box 3 (43)


    The collection is arranged alphabetically by author, followed by papers related to the Wilcox building and ephemera.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Macneil, Sayre, 1886-1961.
    Arügello family.
    American Mexican Claims Commission.
    Crystal Springs Water Company.
    Harvard Law School -- Faculty.
    Harvard Law School -- Students.
    Los Angeles City Water Company.
    International rivers -- Law and legislation -- United States.
    International rivers -- Law and legislation -- Mexico.
    Land claims -- California.
    Real property -- Connecticut -- East Hampton (Town)
    Water use -- Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
    Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico) -- Navigation.
    Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico) -- Water rights.
    East Hampton (Conn. : Town)