Guide to the Elbert P. Jones papers, 1846-1852

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History --History, California --History, Bay Area Geographical (by Place) --California --Bay Area Social Sciences --Law

Guide to the Elbert P. Jones Papers, 1846-1852

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 464

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Date Completed:
ca. 1960-1966
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Elbert P. Jones Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1846-1852
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 464
Creator: Jones, Elbert P., 1814?-1852
Extent: Number of containers: 2 boxes and 1 oversize folder
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: Relate mainly to his activities in San Francisco as lawyer, businessman, proprietor of the Portsmouth House, property owner, and member of the town council. Included are letters; accounts; contracts for street and property improvements; deeds; and petitions and other papers submitted to the council.
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], Elbert P. Jones papers, BANC MSS C-B 464, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Brief Biographical Sketch

Elbert P. Jones came overland to San Francisco from Kentucky in 1846. He was a lawyer, and in addition to his practice he became active in business and municipal affairs. Late in 1846 he became proprietor of the Portsmouth House. From January to April 1847, he served as editor of the California Star. He also owned many town lots and built several buildings, including a store and warehouse at the foot of Washington Street where he conducted his mercantile business.
In September 1847, Jones was elected to the town council and served briefly as secretary. Early in 1851, he and his wife, Sarah Kittleman, of the Mormon colony, returned east. Jones died in 1852 and was buried in Charleston, South Carolina.

Scope and Content

The papers, which are in two boxes and an oversize portfolio, reflect Jones' extensive operations in real estate and his activities as a council member and businessman. They were purchased from various dealers in 1933, 1954, 1958 and 1960.

Key to Arrangement

Box 1



Letters written by Elbert P. Jones


1847, Jan. 11 - to Joseph B. Hull (concerning editorial policy of the California Star)


1849, June 14 - to Persifor F. Smith (concerning San Francisco lot of A. B. Thompson)


1849, June 19 - to Bennet Riley (concerning San Francisco lot of A. B. Thompson)


1849, June 20 - to Henry W. Halleck (concerning San Francisco lot of A. B. Thompson). 2 versions


Letters written to Elbert P. Jones


Ackerman, J. Howard


Letter, May 29, 1848


Bale, Edward Turner, 1811-1849


Letter, Jan. 22, 1848


Brannan, Samuel, 1819-1889


Letter, Apr. 18, 1847


Frisbie, John B., 1824-


Letter, Mar. 25, 1848


Halleck, Henry Wager, 1815-1872


2 letters, 1849


Hardie, James Allen, 1823-1876


Letter, June 1, 1849


Hull, Joseph Bartine, 1802-1890


Letter, Jan. 15, 1847


Hyde, George, 1819-1890


Letter, n.d.


Leavenworth, Thaddeus Minor


Letter, Mar. 22, 1848


Lippincott, Benjamin S., 1815?-1870


Letter, Oct. 26, 1846


Tombs, Joseph H.


2 letters, 1850-1851


Miscellaneous letters


1848, Mar. 24 - Timothy Murphy to Robert Ridley (concerning sale of town lot by Gregorio Briones). Enclosures: 2 deeds (copies)


1848, Apr. 6 - note by Samuel I. Smith


1848, June 14 - William D. M. Howard to Makee & Anthon (concerning estate of W. A. Leidesdorff). Enclosures: 2 accounts

Box 1

Accounts, 1846-1852.

Additional Note

Arranged chronologically in 29 folders. The following people and firms (most of them in San Francisco) are represented:
folder 20, 21, 23, 25

Alden (S. H.) & Co.

folder 29

Almond, William B.

folder 17

Alsop & Brown (Happy Valley House)

folder 2

Bartlett, Washington Allon, 1820-1871

folder 1

Bidwell, John, 1819-1900

folder 1-7

Brannan (S.) & Co.

folder 1-4, 9-10

Brown, John Henry, 1810-1905

folder 5-6, 23

Buckelew, Benjamin R., 1822 ?-1859

folder 16

Burgoyne & Co.

folder 25

California Daily Courrier

folder 14

California House

folder 8

California Star

folder 5-6, 8


folder 2, 9

City Hotel

folder 17, 21, 23

Coit, Benjamin B., d. 1867

folder 1

Cordua, Theodor, 1796-1857

folder 12

Cross, Hobson & Co.

folder 1-8

Davis, William Heath, 1822-1909

folder 1

Dedmond, Joel P.

folder 9, 11

DeWitt & Harrison

folder 2-4, 6, 8-11

Dickson & Hay

folder 1

Don Quixote (bark)

folder 9-10, 15

Dring, David

folder 16

Eddy, William M.

folder 5-6, 8, 11

Egleston, George W.

folder 11, 14, 17

Evans, George M.

folder 10

Folson, Joseph Libbey, 1817-1855

folder 8

Fourgeaud, Victor J., 1815-1875

folder 18, 23

Geary, John White, 1819-1873

folder 3, 29

Gelston & Co.

folder 8

Gerke, Henry

folder 14, 17-20, 23-27, 29

Gilbert (E.) & Co. (Alta California)

folder 13

Gilbert, Hubbard & Co. (Alta California)

folder 8, 13

Gillespie, Charles V.

folder 2-3, 5

Glover, William, 1813-1892

folder 7-8

Goss & Blanchard

folder 27

Gray (Nathaniel) & Co.

folder 10, 29

Grayson, Andrew Jackson, 1819-1869

folder 2-3, 29

Grimes, Eliab, 1779-1848

folder 10-13, 16

Guerrero y Palomares, Francisco, 1811-1851

folder 19, 23

Halleck, Peachy & Billings

folder 2-4

Hyde, George, 1819-1890

folder 1-29

Jones, Elbert P., 1814 ?-1852

folder 24

Journal of Commerce

folder 10

Kemble, Edward Cleveland, 1828-1886

folder 11

Kyburz, Samuel E.

folder 4-5, 8-9

Leavenworth, Thaddeus Minor

folder 3-8, 10

Leidesdorff, William Alexander, 1810-1848

folder 16

Lippett, McAllister & Turk

folder 15, 29

McAllister, Hall, 1826-1888

folder 12

McCoon, Perry, d. 1851

folder 3, 5, 7

McDonald & Buchanan

folder 2

McKinstry, George, 1810-1890

folder 1-3, 5, 7-10, 15

Mellus & Howard

folder 9, 13

Nye, Gorham H., 1802-1878

folder 16-19, 25

Pacific News

folder 1, 13

Packard, Albert

folder 15-16, 19

Palmer, Cook & Co.

folder 2-4, 6-8, 11, 29

Parker, Robert A., 1820-1865

folder 12

Parker House

folder 5-6

Paty, John, 1807-1868

folder 17

Peachy & Billings

folder 2

Pell, E. Ward

folder 3, 5-6

Pettet, William

folder 17

Poett, J. Henry

folder 11-12

Post, George B., d. 1861

folder 11

Price, Rodman, McCamley, 1816-1894

folder 1-2

Richardson, William Antonio, 1796-1856

folder 4-5, 9, 29

Ross, Charles L.

folder 9, 11, 13-16

Ross, Benton & Co.

folder 23

San Francisco Herald

folder 3-4

Semple, Robert Baylor, 1808-1854

folder 3, 5-6

Shelly & Norris

folder 1-6

Sherman, Richard Mitchell, 1813-1901

folder 9, 11, 14

Sherman & Ruckel

folder 2-3

Sherrebeck, Peter

folder 1

Simmons, Bezer, 1810-1850

folder 12

Simmons, Hutchinson & Co.

folder 1

Skinner Eugene F., 1809-1864

folder 5, 10-11

Stark, Daniel

folder 24

Stevenson, Jonathan Drake, 1800-1894

folder 17, 19, 23, 25-26

Stevenson & Parker

folder 2, 4, 8

Sutter, John Augustus, 1803-1880

folder 13-15

Thompson, Alpheus Basil, 1795-1869

folder 9

Townsend, Alfred A.

folder 1-3

Vioget, Jean Jacques, 1799-1855

folder 2-3, 5, 7-8

Ward & Smith

folder 11

Wright & Owen

Box 2

Contracts, leases and other papers relating to the Portsmouth House, Oct. 1846-Sept. 1848. 12 items. Mainly copies, arranged chronologically.


Propositions and contracts for improvements (primarily building houses and filling water lots) made to town lots belonging to E. P. Jones, Jan. 1849-Nov. 1850. 14 items, arranged chronologically.


Papers relating to the San Francisco Town Council


Petitions, proposals and other papers submitted to the Council, 1847-1848. Include requests for appointments as constable, sheriff and watchman; petitions requesting public printing jobs; requests for deeds to town lots; petitions for filling the lagoon; proposals for surveying the city; proposals and agreements for building wharves; reports of lots sold at auction; proposals to grade streets, etc. 53 items, arranged chronologically, with undated material at the end.

Additional Note

The following are of special note: petition of Samuel Brannan and Edward C. Kemble for a public printing job, Oct. 2, 1847; six proposals to build a school house by Foster & Spencer. A. D. W. Hatler & William H. Eddy, William Hood, John Joyce, John Sirrine, and Daniel Stark, Oct. 11, 1847; report of the committee appointed to determine the site for a public wharf, Oct. 11, 1847; four proposals by Jasper O'Farrell for surveying San Francisco, Nov. 4, 1847; letter from Gov. Mason refusing request to remove Alcalde Hyde, Mar. 25, 1848; protest by William A. Leidesdorff against further construction of the Broadway Wharf (with report of surveyor Walter Herron to support protest), Apr. 3, 1848; protest by William D. M. Howard against further extension of the Broadway Wharf, Apr. 3, 1848; protest by William S. Clark against Treasurer Leidesdorff for failure to make a statement of funds, Apr. 4, 1848; report by R. A. Parker on his investigation of Leidesdorff's accounts, Apr. 5, 1848.

Proceedings of Council Meetings

Additional Note

Minutes, resolutions and ordinances, Sept. 1847-Apr. 1848, covering such matters as taxes, construction of wharves, sale of town lots, filling the lagoon, business licenses, gambling, street improvement, election of school trustees, collection of debts, investigation of accounts of Treasurer William A. Leidesdorff. 24 items, arranged chronologically, with undated material at the end.

Miscellaneous papers relating to San Francisco.

Physical Description: 8 items.

1847, Mar. 6 - contract (copy) for survey of town by Jasper O'Farrell


1847, July 19 - article of agreement by W. A. Leidesdorff to release a water lot to the town


1847, Aug. 20 - article of agreement by Henry Mellus and W. D. M. Howard to release a lot to the town


1848, Nov. 15 - certified copies (in Spanish) of documents concerning title to property of W. A. Leidesdorff


1849, June 4 - statement relating to town lot of A. B. Thompson signed by W. D. M. Howard, Nathan Spear and others


1849, Oct. - agreement by Mellus & Howard to convey title to a Lot to the town for opening a new street


n.d. - petition to Gov. Mason from citizens of San Francisco for the removal of Alcalde Hyde. Signed by E. P. Jones, William H. Davis and others.


n.d. - assessment list (copy) for flagging four feet, south side of 27th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues


Powers of attorney granted to E. P. Jones by the following:


Cordua, Theodor, Jan. 21, 1847


Kittleman, Thomas, n.d.


McCleery, James, Nov. 3, 1846


Nye, Gorham H., Nov. 19, 1848


Packard, Albert and Dedmund, Joel P., Nov. 6, 1846


Stevenson, Jonathan D. and Parker, William C., Aug. 8, 1850


Thompson, Alpheus Basil, n.d.


Bonds given to town of San Francisco to guarantee payment for town lots, 1847.

Physical Description: 6 items.

Additional Note

Signed by E. P. Jones, W. A. Leidesdorff, W. D. M. Howard and Robert A. Parker.
Box 2 and oversize portfolio

Petitions for and title deeds to town lots, transfer deeds, etc.

Additional Note

Arranged chronologically, Nov. 1846-Jan. 1851. Petitions from Jones and others (including James McCleery, John Allen, Hugh Reid, James Handwich, Keoni Pulani, Asa Stevens, Sarah Kittleman, and Jacob D. Hoppe) with related title deeds (most of these are in the oversize portfolio); transfer deeds to Jones from most of the aforementioned; deeds to Jones from William A. Leidesdorff, Nathan Spear, E. T. Bale, Maria Soberanes Bale, Henry Mellus, William D. M. Howard, G. H. Nye, Louis Gosse, Manuel Octave Espie, Jonathan D. Stevenson, Hilarè Alphonse D'la fenaux, Camilo Soruco and others; deeds to which Jones was not a party involving William S. Leidesdorff, T. M. Leavensorth. Grove C. McMickle, James A. McDougal, Cornelius J. Eaton, William H. Gray, and William C. Parker.
Box 2

Miscellaneous papers of E. P. Jones


Miscellaneous contracts and agreements, passport (in oversize portfolio), will, etc. 19 items, arranged chronologically, 1846-1851.