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|Title||Finding aid for Collection of Benjamin Davis Wilson, 1836-1941 (bulk 1847-1894).|
|Creator||Wilson, Benjamin Davis, 1811-1878.|
|Extent||2,394 items. 41 boxes.|
|Biographical Note||Benjamin Davis Wilson (1811-1878), a native of Tennessee, was a pioneer California rancher and businessman who came to California from New Mexico in 1841 as a member of the Rowland-Workman party. He purchased the Jurupa Rancho (Riverside, Calif.) in 1843. In 1851-52 Wilson was elected the second mayor of Los Angeles, in 1852 he served as U.S. Indian Agent under Superintendent Edward F. Beale, and in 1855-57 and 1869-72 he served as state senator. He purchased Rancho de Cuati and adjacent land to develop his Lake Vineyard Ranch (part of present-day San Marino) and with John S. Griffin purchased Rancho San Pascual (which later became the city of Pasadena). Wilson planted vineyards and citrus groves and became active in business circles. In 1844 Benjamin D. Wilson married Ramona Yorba, daughter of Bernardo Yorba, a well-known land owner during the Mexican period. Their daughter, Maria de Jesus Wilson, known as Sue, married James DeBarth Shorb (1842-1896). They also had a son, John B. Wilson, who later committed suicide. After Ramona's death, Wilson married Margaret S. Hereford (d.1898) in 1853. Margaret had a son, Edward Sublette Hereford, also called "Judge" from her first marriage. Together Wilson and Margaret had two daughters, Anne (d.1931) and Ruth (d.1928), who married George S. Patton, Sr. (1856-1927). Ruth and George's son was General George S. Patton (1885-1945). They also had a daughter, Anne W. Patton (1887-1971). The Pattons and Wilsons were also related to the Banning family through George Patton Sr.'s half-sister Anne Smith, who married Hancock Banning, the son of Phineas Banning.|
|Scope and Content||The collection consists of letters, manuscripts, documents and maps related to the life and business affairs of Benjamin D. Wilson. Subject matter includes business and social life in California (1850-90), Indian affairs in Southern California (1852-56), the wine industry, the Santa Fe trade, the estate settlement of Solomon Sublette, and the early history of Pasadena, San Marino, and Wilmington, California. There is also a great deal of personal correspondence from Wilson's wife Margaret S. Hereford Hereford Wilson, his daughters Maria de Jesus Wilson Shorb, Ruth Wilson Patton, and Annie Wilson, his son John B. Wilson, Ruth's husband George S. Patton, Sr., and many of Margaret's Hereford relatives. Also included are diaries kept by Margaret, Ruth, and Annie Wilson. Other individuals represented in the collection include Phineas Banning, Edward Fitzgerald Beale, Joseph Lancaster Brent, Cave Johnson Couts, Stephen Clark Foster, John Charles Fŕemont, John S. Griffin, William McKendree Gwin, Benjamin Hayes, Henry Edwards Huntington, George S. Patton, Jr., and Jonathan Trumbull Warner.|
|Notes||All inquiries about this collection should be directed to the Curator of Hispanic, Cartographic, and Western Historical Manuscripts.|
|Provenance||Purchased from Mrs. C.J. McClung, November 1933, and gifts of Anne W. Patton, 1959, David and Peter W. Patton, August 5, 1971, Mrs. James W. Totten, April 19, 1971, Anne Totten, October 26, 1972, and Doyce Nunis, August 21, 1974.|
Wilson, Benjamin Davis, 1811-1878.
Businessmen -- Southern California -- Correspondence.
Domestic relations -- California.
Indians of North America -- California, Southern.
Land tenure -- California -- Los Angeles County.
Politicians -- California -- Los Angeles.
Ranches -- California, Southern.
Wine industry -- California, Southern.
California, Southern -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
California, Southern -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
California, Southern -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Sources.
California, Southern -- Social life and customs -- 20th century -- Sources.
Pasadena (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Pasadena (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
San Marino (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
San Marino (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Wilmington (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Wilmington (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Account books California 19th century. (aat)
Diaries California 19th century. (aat)
Letters (correspondence) California 19th century. (aat)
Letters (correspondence) California 20th century. (aat)
Receipts California 19th century. (aat)
Banning, Phineas, 1830-1885.
Beale, Edward Fitzgerald, 1822-1893.
Brent, Joseph Lancaster, 1826-1905.
Couts, Cave Johnson, 1821-1874.
Foster, Stephen Clark, 1820-1898.
Fremont, John Charles, 1813-1890.
Griffin, John S. (John Strother), 1816-1898.
Gwin, William McKendree, 1805-1885.
Hayes, Benjamin, 1815-1877.
Huntington, Henry Edwards, 1850-1927.
Patton, George S. (George Smith), 1856-1927.
Patton, George S. (George Smith), 1885-1945.
Warner, Jonathan Trumbull.
|Department||Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. Manuscripts Department.|
|Call Number||mssWN 1-2419|
|Physical Collection||Benjamin Davis Wilson Collection.|
|Digital Collection||Finding Aids, Huntington Digital Library|
|Physical Description||93 p.|
|Digitization Specifications||Original finding aid converted into PDF document by B. Black, 2011-12-15.|
|Original Finding Aid||Finding aid prepared by Katrina Denman, November 18, 2011.|
|Citation Information||Finding aid for Benjamin Davis Wilson Collection, Huntington Digital Library, San Marino, California.|
|Restrictions||Images in this collection are for scholarly research; please review the Huntington Library's copyright information: http://cdm16003.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/about. For purchasing images for publication please review our permission to publish policy: http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary.aspx?id=590.|