Title:John C. Bull letters: to Elizabeth S. Bull, Hanover, Mass., 1845-1847
Creator/Contributor:Bull, John C. (John Clark), creator, correspondent.
Creator/Contributor:Bull, Elizabeth S. (Elizabeth Shephard), correspondent.
Four handwritten letters with integral address leaves from a 36-year old man working aboard a ship docking in California ports
to his sister. The letters contain mostly personal expressions of affection for his siblings, wife, and children back home,
along with some observations of conditons in California and the Mexican-American war. The address leaves contain some modern
annotations in pencil such as added return addresses and significant comments gleaned from information in the letter itself
Dec. 9, 1845. Handwritten letter (3 p.) datelined "Barque Tasso, Sta. Pedro [i.e. San Pedro], California, Dec. 9th 1845" and
endorsed on address leaf with "Per Ship Admittance." Written over a period of time from Dec. 9, 1845 to Jan. 18, 1846 while
sailing from San Pedro to San Francisco. Containing mostly personal reflections and observations with a postcript explaining
he is mailing the letter now because his ship will be sailing from San Francisco on Jan. 24, 1846.
Oct. 21, 1846. Handwritten letter (3 p.) datelined "Barque Tasso, San Francisco, California, Oct. 21st, 1846" carried on
the barque, Don Quixote which "sails in a day or two for the Sandwich Islands ...to be forwarded to the U.S. by the first
vessel...." Bull writes that the effects of "the war [i.e. Mexican-American War]" is causing a delay of a year in his return
home, and requests that a daguerrotype of his wife Mellisa be sent to him "as it is becoming quite fashionable for Husbands
and Lovers to take them to sea...."
Jan. 20, 1847. Handwritten letter (3 p.) datelined datelined "Sta. Diego [i.e. San Diego], California, January 20th, 1847.
This will be forwarded by the U.S. Prize, Malek Adehl, which sails with government dispatched in a day or two." Entered the
mails at New Orleans with partial strike of their large "10" rate handstamp. Expresses his hope of returning home to Massachusetts
in the winter of 1848 but cautions, "before that time do not look for me,..."
Mar. 5, 1847. Handwritten letter (3 p.) datelined "Bark [sic] Tasso, Monterey, California, March 5th, 1847." Carried by the
barque "Don Quixotte" [sic] Bull observes that he has now been gone from home for two and a half years. Also contains news
about General Kearny's Proclamation and other federal government and military actions being taken to form a territorial govenment
in California. Includes typescript transcription of the letter.
Subject:n-us-ca -- n-us-ma
Bull, John C. (John Clark) -- Correspondence
Bull, Elizabeth S. (Elizabeth Shephard) -- Correspondence
Kearny, Stephen Watts -- 1794-1848
Malek Adehl (Brig)
Don Quixote (Barque)
Seafaring life -- California -- Description and travel
Mexican War, 1846-1848 -- California -- Personal narratives
Sailors -- Massachusetts
California -- History -- 19th century -- Description and travel
John C. Bull letters : to Elizabeth S. Bull, Hanover, Mass., 1845-1847, BANC MSS 2011/12, The Bancroft Library, University
of California, Berkeley.
Purchase; from William Reese Co.; 20100219.
Associated collection: Ephraim Wales Bull papers (Vault A45, Bull, Unit 1). Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main St., Concord,
John Clark Bull and Elizabeth Shepard Bull were siblings of Ephraim Wales Bull who was a well-known goldsmith, politician,
horticulturist, originator of the Concord Grape and resident of Concord, Massachusetts.
The Malek Adehl was captured by the U.S.S. Warren at Mazatlan, Mexico on September 7, 1846 and sold at San Francisco in September
BANC MSS 2011/12 folder 1
BANC MSS 2011/12 folder 2
BANC MSS 2011/12 folder 3
BANC MSS 2011/12 folder 4
BANC MSS 2011/12