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Bancroft Family Papers
MSS 0039  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Bancroft Family Papers
    Creator: Bancroft family
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0039
    Physical Description: 1.15 Linear feet (4 archives boxes and 1 art bin item)
    Date (inclusive): 1844-1882
    Abstract: A small collection of family papers of book dealer and historian Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918). The collection consists of letters from his first wife, Emily Ketchum, to her family, 1859-1869; and to her sister, Mrs. Coit, 1860-1869. It also includes the journal of Bancroft's daughter, Kate, 1874, describing her travels to the California missions and her visit to the Vallejo family in Sonoma in 1874, and correspondence and documents relating to the Civil War activities of General Henry Clay Pleasants and Lt. Charles Israel Pleasants.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    A small collection of family papers of book dealer and historian Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918). The collection consists of letters from his first wife, Emily Ketchum, to her family, 1859-1869; and to her sister, Mrs. Coit, 1860-1869. It also includes the journal of Bancroft's daughter, Kate, 1874, describing her travels to the California missions and her visit to the Vallejo family in Sonoma in 1874, and correspondence and documents relating to the Civil War activities of General Henry Clay Pleasants and Lt. Charles Israel Pleasants.
    Aarranged in three series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE & PORTRAIT, 2) KATE BANCROFT'S JOURNAL, and 3) PLEASANTS FAMILY MATERIALS.

    Biography

    Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918) was a Pacific Coast historian, book dealer, bibliophile, and entrepreneur. Having no formal schooling, Bancroft educated himself through travel and reading. A native of Granville, Ohio, he began his career as a bookstore clerk in Buffalo, New York. He came to California in 1852, and in 1856 he opened a successful bookstore in San Francisco with his brother Albert. By 1870 Bancroft had purchased a five-story building and had enlarged his business to include the selling of sheet music, pianos, and organs. His business also included facilities for printing, engraving, lithography, and bookbinding. At one time Bancroft's business was the largest and foremost bookselling concern west of Chicago.
    The entire fifth floor of Bancroft's San Francisco store was occupied by his library, which eventually contained over 60,000 works pertaining to Pacific Coast History. Drawing on these and other resources, Bancroft set out to write a comprehensive history of the Western United States. To assist him with this task he hired researchers and writers, some of whom authored works that appeared under Bancroft's name. When completed, Bancroft's 39-volume history became a standard reference source, and included Native Races of the Pacific States (5 volumes, 1874-1876), and History of the Pacific States of North America (21 volumes, 1882-1890). In 1905 the University of California acquired the author's vast library, which became the nucleus of the present-day Bancroft Library.
    Bancroft married Emily Ketchum of Buffalo, New York, in 1859, and the couple had one daughter, Kate, born in 1860. Emily died in 1869, and Bancroft married Matilda Coley Griffing in 1876. This second marriage produced four children: Paul, Griffing, Howe, and Lucy. Hubert Howe Bancroft died in 1918 in Walnut Creek, California, two days after being struck by a street car.
    Bancroft's great-granddaughter, Ruth Lineaweaver Swisher, a descendant of Bancroft's daughter Kate, deposited the Bancroft Family Correspondence at the UCSD Library in 1970.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Bancroft Family Papers. MSS 39. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Deposit, 1971.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Diaries -- 19th century
    California -- Description and travel
    Missions -- California
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
    San Francisco (Calif.) -- Description and travel
    Letters -- 19th century
    Bancroft family -- Archives
    Pleasants family -- Archive
    Bancroft, Emily Ketchum -- Correspondence
    Bancroft, Kate -- Correspondence
    Pleasants, Henry, 1833-1880
    Pleasants, Charles Israel -- Correspondence
    Bancroft family -- Correspondence
    Bancroft, Hubert Howe, 1832-1918 -- Correspondence
    Bancroft, Matilda Griffing -- Correspondence