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Finding Aid to the William Carey Jones Papers, 1834-1923, bulk 1884-1923
BANC MSS C-B 536  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: William Carey Jones papers
    Date (inclusive): 1834-1923,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1884-1923
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 536
    Creators : Jones, William Carey, 1854-1923; Jones, William Carey, 1814-1867
    Extent: Number of containers: 6 boxes, 1 carton, 1 portfolio Linear feet: 4.5
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The William Carey Jones Papers comprise the professional correspondence and research files of William Carey Jones, 1854-1923, administrator, professor, and founder and first director of the School of Jurisprudence at the University of California. The papers include extensive materials relating to Jones' administrative appointments at the University of California, including his membership on the advisory board of the Phoebe A. Hearst International Architectural Competition, and his term as dean of the Graduate Division, as well as his academic positions on the faculty of the Department of History and the Department of Jurisprudence, prior to the founding of the School of Jurisprudence. The collection also contains drafts and notes for Jones' Illustrated History of the University of California, and correspondence and writings regarding city charters in California and elsewhere. Also included are documents belonging to Jones' father, William Carey Jones, 1814-1867, relating to land title claims in California, including Rancho Santa Ana y Quien Sabe, and the San Francisco Pueblo Lands.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English and French
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    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, 94270-6000. 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 obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html . 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], William Carey Jones Papers, BANC MSS C-B 536, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Letters from Josiah Royce to William Carey Jones, (Box 2, Folder 15), is also available on microfilm (BANC MSS X-X FILM 10).
    Additional Notes on Collection:
    3 boxes and 2 cartons of additions to the William Carey Jones papers, previously identified by the call number BANC MSS 76/166 c, have been integrated into this collection.

    Related Collections

    Hittell family papers, 1855-1916. BANC MSS C-B 405. Finding aid available online: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/cgi-bin/oac/berkeley/bancroft/hittell 
    Documents pertaining to the adjudication of private land claims in California, BANC MSS Land Case Files (individual call number assignments vary).
    University of California, Berkeley. School of Law Papers, 1909- , CU-48. Finding aid available online: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf8t1nb3tc 

    Separated Material

    Chapters from a manuscript written by University of California Professor of Jurisprudence Dudley Odell McGovney have been separated and added to a new collection: Our 18th Century Heritage of United Democracy: ms., circa 1940, by Dudley Odell McGovney, BANC MSS 2007/108. Administrative records have been transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law records in the University Archives in The Bancroft Library, CU-48. A scrapbook of clippings concerning the Kaweah Colony, given by William Carey Jones and William A. Knowles, has been transferred to BANC MSS C-V 24. Issues of the Kaweah Commonwealth have been added to the Kaweah Commonwealth collection, xfF868.T8K28.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Jones, William Carey, 1854-1923--Archives
    Jones, William Carey, 1814-1867--Archives
    University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Jurisprudence
    University of California, Berkeley. School of Jurisprudence
    University of California, Berkeley. School of Law
    University of California (1868-1952)--Faculty
    Rancho Santa Ana y Quien Sabe
    Municipal government--California
    Land tenure--California--San Francisco
    California--Politics and government
    Bartlett, Louis, 1872-1960
    Cable, G.W. (George Washington), 1844-1925.--Correspondence
    Cushing, Frank Hamilton, 1857-1900.--Correspondence
    Davis, Horace.--Correspondence
    Dunbar, Charles Franklin, 1830-1900.--Corespondence
    Eldredge, Zoeth Skinner.--Correspondence
    Ford, Paul Leicester, 1865-1902.--Correspondence
    Gilman, Daniel Coit, 1831-1908.--Correspondence
    Hanna, Edward Joseph, 1860-1944.--Correspondence
    Hart, Albert Bushnell, 1854-1943.--Correspondence
    Hastings, Serranus Clinton, 1814-1893.--Correspondence
    Hearst, Phoebe Apperson, 1842-1919.--Correspondence
    Hittell, Theodore Henry, 1830-1917.--Correspondence
    Holden, Edward Singleton, 1846-1914.--Correspondence
    Hosmer, Hezekiah L. (Hezekiah Lord), 1814-1893.--Correspondence
    Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910.--Correspondence
    Kellogg, Martin, 1828-1903.--Correspondence
    London, Jack, 1876-1916.--Correspondence
    McKinstry, Elisha William, 1825-1901.--Correspondence
    Miller, Adolph Caspar, 1866-1930.--Correspondence
    Moses, Bernard, 1846-1930.--Correspondence
    Reid, William Thomas, 1842-1922.--Correspondence
    Royce, Josiah, 1855-1916.--Correspondence
    Slack, Charles William, 1858-1945.--Correspondence
    Stebbins, Horatio, 1821-1902.--Correspondence
    Stoddard, Charles Warren, 1843-1909.--Correspondence
    Taussig, Frank William, 1859-1940.--Correspondence
    Walker, Francis Amasa, 1840-1897.--Correspondence
    Wheeler, Benjamin Ide, 1854-1927.--Correspondence
    Worcester, Joseph, 1836-1913.--Correspondence
    Manuscripts for publication.
    Faculty papers.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The William Carey Jones papers, C-B 536, were acquired by the Bancroft Library beginning with a donation from William Carey Jones of five letters regarding the Kaweah Colony. Additions of two boxes were donated by Frank Melvin Bumstead in August 1935. Additions of three boxes, as well as a portfolio containing materials on California land cases, were purchased from Mrs. Francis Freyers by the Bancroft Library in July 1954. Additions of two boxes and one carton, previously identified under the call number BANC MSS 67/177 c, were transferred from the Law Library in 1976.


    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Josh Schneider in 2006.

    Biographical Information

    Background and Early Education

    William Carey Jones, former professor of law at the University of California, was born on October 15, 1854 in Washington DC, to a well-respected family with strong political and military ties. His father, also named William Carey Jones, was a United States Land Commissioner, who in 1849 headed the government's investigation into land titles in California. His mother, Eliza Benton Jones, was the sister of General John Charles Frémont and the daughter of Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. Proceeding further back on his father's side, Jones was the great grandnephew of General Joseph Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill, and of Benjamin Thompson, later Count Rumford, a Loyalist and scientist whose inventions included central heating, the closed oven, thermal underwear, and the pressure cooker.
    The younger William Carey Jones was educated at public and private schools until the age of 17, when he enrolled at the University of California, founded only three years prior to his arrival. Throughout his time as a student at the University of California, Jones avidly pursued his interest in the law. He compensated for the lack of a formal program of legal education on the Berkeley campus by supplementing his coursework in political theory and history with independent readings into the theory and practice of law in California. He received his A.B. from the University of California in 1875, after submitting as his bachelor's thesis an essay entitled, Alfred the Great and George Washington.

    Teacher and Administrator

    Jones had intended upon graduating to immediately enter into practice. However, members of the University of California faculty and administration had recognized his talent in legal matters, and had begun requesting for his services. In 1876, University of California President John Le Conte offered Jones an administrative role as Recorder of the Faculties. In 1877, Jones was appointed instructor in Latin at the insistence of Professor (and future university president) Martin Kellogg. In 1879, after passing the bar exam and receiving his M.A., he attempted to resign his position at the University of California, in order to once again pursue practice of law in San Francisco. His attempt at resignation met with swift opposition from the Board of Regents. They referred the matter to a special committee, chaired by Dr. Horatio Stebbins, who personally convinced Jones to stay on at the university.
    From 1882-1894, Jones taught courses in Roman law, constitutional law, international law, and jurisprudence, as an Instructor in United States History and Constitutional Law in the History Department. In 1894, the President and Board of Regents created a new Department of Jurisprudence. Jones was selected to chair the new department, whose creation signaled the beginning of a formal program of legal education on the campus.
    The 1868 Organic Act, which created and organized the University of California, included provision for the establishment of a law college. The Hastings College of Law, founded in San Francisco in 1878 through the generous funding of the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, Serranus Clinton Hastings, began offering courses in conjunction with the University of California Department of Jurisprudence in 1898. Following extended discussions among William Carey Jones, President Benjamin Ide Wheeler, and other longtime supporters of the University of California, the decision was reached to establish a more robust program of legal education at the university, which would focus on abstract concepts as well as more practical applications, and which would benefit from being in close proximity to the other academic departments and resources of the Berkeley campus. On November 12, 1912, following fourteen more years of development and planning, the Department of Jurisprudence was transformed into the School of Jurisprudence, with a new home at Boalt Hall, named for Elizabeth Boalt, who contributed $100,000 towards the construction of the law school building. Jones was appointed its first director, a position he held until his death in 1923.
    Besides serving as a de facto legal advisor to the University throughout his career, Jones served as a strong advocate of the University. He helped attract many talented faculty, and was also a successful fundraiser, who played a major role in strengthening Phoebe Hearst's relationship with the University. Although the Regents selected Benjamin Ide Wheeler to succeed Martin Kellogg as President in 1899, Jones was under heavy consideration for that position, and there is some evidence that his candidacy remained under consideration throughout his academic career.
    Jones served as dean of the Graduate Division from 1918 to 1920, and in 1919 also served as chairman of the administrative board that presided over the University in the nine-month interim between President Benjamin Ide Wheeler's resignation and the inauguration of David S. Barrows.
    Among his many contributions to the University of California, Jones wrote the University's first comprehensive history, The Illustrated History of the University of California, first published in 1895. A revised edition of that volume, covering the university's history to the turn of the 20th century, was published in 1901.

    Public Servant and Legal Scholar

    Apart from his close relationship with the University, Jones was very active in the affairs of the City of Berkeley. He served for six years as President of the Berkeley Board of Education (1884-1890), and also held a seat for two years on the Berkeley City Council (1894-1896). Jones served as President of the Berkeley Unitarian Club (1908), and also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley (1911).
    Jones was a member of the American, California, and Alameda County Bar Associations, the Phi Beta Kappa scholarship society, and the Commonwealth Club of California, as well as the Golden Bear and Winged Helmet Clubs of the University of California. Following many years of local affiliation, Jones also served as President of the National Committee of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation (1921).
    Jones helped write or amend the charters of many California cities, including Berkeley, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Vallejo, and was often contacted by municipal governments throughout the United States for his legal expertise. He also authored numerous scholarly publications and articles, including treatises on torts in Modern American Law, papers on constitutional law in the California Law Review, and a number of legal textbooks, including the Elements of Civil Government (1891).

    Personal and Family Life

    Jones married twice; his first marriage, to Alice Harriet Whitcomb, of Berkeley, took place on October 17, 1880. They had one daughter, Alice Benton. Jones' second marriage, to Ada M. Butterfield, of San Francisco, took place on November 18, 1893. Together they had two daughters, Frances Carey, and Elsie.
    Jones maintained close ties with his children, and in the final year of his life, he visited his daughter Alice and her husband, Willys Ruggles Peck, at their home in Peking, China. William Carey Jones died in Peking on October 2, 1923.


    1854 William Carey Jones is born on October 15, in Washington, D. C.
    1875 Receives A.B. from the University of California
    1876 Appointed Recorder of the Faculties
    1877 Appointed Instructor in Latin
    1879 Receives M.A. from the University of California
      Admitted to the State Bar of California
    1880 Marries Alice Harriet Whitcomb, of Berkeley, on October 17
    1882 Appointed Instructor in United States History
    1884-1890 Serves as President of the Board of Education of Berkeley
    1891 The Elements of Civil Government is published
    1893 Marries Ada M. Butterfield, of San Francisco, on November 18
    1894-1896 Serves as member of the Berkeley City Council
    1895 First edition of The Illustrated History of the University of California is published
    1896 Nominated by Phoebe A. Hearst as the University Representative and Trustee of her endowment to the University
    1897-1900 Serves as Secretary of the California Historical Society
    1901 Revised edition of The Illustrated History of the University of California is published
    1908 Serves as President of the Berkeley Unitarian Club
    1911 Serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley
    1912 Becomes Director of School of Jurisprudence
    1918-1920 Serves as Dean of Graduate Division
    1919 Serves as Chairman of the Board of Administration of the University
    1921 Serves as President of the National Committee of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation
    1923 William Carey Jones dies on October 2, in Peking, China

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The William Carey Jones papers comprise the professional correspondence and research files of William Carey Jones, 1854-1923, professor, administrator, and first director of the School of Jurisprudence at the University of California.
    Jones' extensive correspondence with faculty and administrators of the University of California, including seven presidents of the university, represents one of the collection's major strengths. Correspondents from the University of California include presidents Daniel Coit Gilman, William Thomas Reid, Edward Singleton Holden, Horace Davis, Martin Kellogg, and Benjamin Ide Wheeler; professors Josiah Royce, Bernard Moses, and Horatio Stebbins; university librarian and archivist Joseph Cummings Rowell; and philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst. Much of the University of California correspondence relates to the creation of the Department of Jurisprudence, as well as the founding of the School of Jurisprudence under Jones' direction.
    Notable correspondents outside of the University of California include writers Jack London, George Washington Cable, and Charles Warren Stoddard; historians Albert Bushnell Hart, Herbert Baxter Adams, and Theodore Henry Hittell; economists Adolph Caspar Miller, Francis Amasa Walker, Charles Franklin Dunbar, and Frank William Taussig; State Supreme Court Justices Serranus Clinton Hastings, Elisha William McKinstry, and Hezekiah Lord Hosmer; Mayor Louis Bartlett of Berkeley, and Mayor Edward Hull Crump, of Memphis, Tennessee; physician and philanthropist Levi Cooper Lane; anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing; abolitionist and social activist Julia Ward Howe; and Swedenborgian minister Joseph Worcester.
    Another of the collection's strengths includes an extensive file on city charters, including correspondence, notes, essays, and annotated charter drafts. The charter materials relate primarily to California cities; correspondence and notes on the creation and amendment of the charters of Berkeley, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vallejo are particularly extensive. The file culminates in the inclusion of a hand-bound volume of writings and articles collectively titled Full Text of Model City Charter Drafted by William Carey Jones.
    Although the collection includes a small number of unpublished essays, the draft materials and related correspondence for Jones' published works are not very well represented. A notable and fortunate exception to the scarce documentation of Jones' writings can be found in the inclusion of a comprehensive set of background materials for Jones' The Illustrated History of the University of California, the first comprehensive history of the university. These materials, which include biographical notes, annotations, and drafts, often demonstrate the same methodical reasoning, penchant for detail, and strict adherence to presenting factual evidence unimpeded by emotion or bravado that typify Jones' legal opinions.
    However, the drafts also reveal Jones' talent for infusing these characters from the early life of the university with a relevance, substance, and vitality that is undeniably facilitated by Jones' intimate familiarity with the contributions of his subjects on a personal as well as a professional level. The Illustrated History background materials, replete with illustrations and anecdotal recollections, enable a researcher to see the author's unmistakable dedication to ensuring that the rich history of the young university and its founders would be transmitted with the same candor and steady purpose that is revealed in those who contributed, through their accomplishments and sacrifices, to the university's creation and early successes.
    The collection also includes limited materials relating to investigations into California land claim cases conducted by Jones' father at the behest of the Commissioner of the United States General Land Office following the Mexican Cession. The land case materials, which relate primarily to Rancho Santa Ana y Quien Sabe, and the San Francisco Pueblo Lands, represent a particularly valuable addition to the collection on their own merits. In this context, they also provide a researcher with further perspective into Jones' life and early influences.