Finding Aid to the Joseph Bryant Crockett Papers, 1848-1879

Processed by The Bancroft Library staff
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 2007
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


History --History, California --History, Bay Area Social Sciences --Law


This finding aid has been filmed for the National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United States (Chadwyck-Healey Inc.)

Finding Aid to the Joseph Bryant Crockett Papers, 1848-1879

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 896

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Encoded by:
Gabriela A. Montoya
© 2007

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Joseph Bryant Crockett papers,
Date (inclusive): 1848-1879
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 896
Origination: Crockett, J. B. (Joseph Bryant), 1808-1884
Extent: Number of containers: 1 box 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: Correspondence; miscellaneous legal papers; deeds for lands in San Francisco, Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties.

Letters to his wife from San Francisco, 1852-1858, relate to his law practice and to land claims, his association with Page and Bacon, the assassination of James King of William and the Vigilance Committe of 1856.

Also included are papers of the Grimwood family, 1863-1915, pertaining mainly to property in Fruitvale, California.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See:   extref>
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Joseph Bryant Crockett papers, BANC MSS C-B 896, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

This group of papers was given to the Bancroft Library by R. C. Eckart, Oct. 15, 1963, and by Miss Emma P. Grimwood and Mrs. A. W. Weeks, Jan. 31, 1965.


Joseph Bryant Crockett came to San Francisco in 1852 and soon became an established lawyer active in land claims, and a speculator in San Francisco real estate. He was the organizer and spokesman for a committee of citizens attempting to reconcile Governor J. Neely Johnson and William T. Sherman with the 1856 Vigilance Committee. He was appointed to serve out the term of Oscar L. Shafter who resigned his position as Judge of the Supreme Court of California in December 1867. Judge Crockett retained the office until 1881.

Scope and Content

The collection includes letters from Crockett to his wife from 1852 to 1869, telling of the establishment of his practice in San Francisco, reporting on the crash of Page and Bacon in 1855, and on the assassination of James King of William with the subsequent activities of the Vigilance Committee of 1856; legal papers in suits against Swan and Clifford, and in cases instituted by Matilda and Franklina Gray; miscellaneous accounts and printed items. Papers relating to lands in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa Counties and elsewhere have been placed in an oversize portfolio.

Key to Arrangement

Box 1

Crockett, Joseph Bryant


Outgoing letters, 1852-1879

Physical Description: (2 folders)

Incoming letters, A-Z

Physical Description: (1 folder)

Legal cases


(1.) Suits brought against Lyman Swan, 1855-1856

Physical Description: (1 folder)

(2.) Valentine vs. Samuel Webb, original papers, 1850;

Suits vs. Steamship Cortes, 1856;

Suits vs. Steamship Uncle Sam, 1856;

Gray vs. Brignardello et al., 1861-1865;

Misc., 1848-1869

Physical Description: (1 folder)

Miscellaneous papers


Pages from family Bible (phot);

Misc. accounts, 1850-1869;

Payroll receipts for schooner Jupiter, 1854;

Clippings, etc.

Physical Description: (1 folder)

Miscellaneous printed items

Physical Description: (1 folder)
Box 1

Grimwood family papers

Physical Description: (1 folder)

(1.) Adolphus Grimwood's citizenship papers, Dec. 10, 1863 - Certified copy


(2.) Deeds, etc., re. Fruitvale property, 1887-1915


(3.) Bills etc. re. building of house on Mesa St. in Piedmont, 1913-1914

Oversize Volume 1

Deeds for property in Contra Costa Co., 1863-1867


Deeds, etc., for Lot 274 in San Francisco, 1849-1854


Deeds etc., for property in San Francisco, 1854-1869


Papers re. land in Santa Clara Co., 1848-1866




Oil portrait of Joseph B. Crockett, Jr.

Partial List of Correspondents


Brown, Ezekiel


Apr. 26, 1867, to E. D. Sawyer


Carroll, William Thomas, d. 1863


Nov. 21, 1862


Clark, H. T.


Jan. 18, 1853


Coleman, William Tell, 1824-1893


2 letters, 1872


Crittenden, Alexander Parker, 1816-1870


Oct. 31, 1856


Galpin, Philip Gleason, 1830-


2 letters, 1861


Garrison, Cornelius Kingsland, 1809-1885


May 26, 1855


Stevenson, Jonathan Drake, 1800-1894


Dec. 26, 1865