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Alexander Van Valen Papers

Creator:
Van Valen, Alexander  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (4 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Maps
Diaries
Daguerreotypes
Painted photographs
Photographs
Hand coloring
Place:
California
California -- San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.) -- 1840-1850
Date:
1849-1850
Summary:
Personal papers of Alexander Van Valen documenting his participation in the California Gold Rush, 1849-1850.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists mostly of the personal papers of Alexander Van Valen during his journey and subsequent stay in San Francisco, California, to participate in the Gold Rush,1849-1850. Of particular interest are the founding documents of the mining company, his 85 page journal, and his many letters, mostly to and from his wife Susan. Also included are portraits and daguerreotypes of his family. This collection is especially valuable to researchers who are interested in the California Gold Rush, nineteenth century maritime travel, business history, and migration.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1, Personal Papers, 1849-1850

Series 2, Other Materials, 1849-1850
Biographical / Historical:
Alexander Van Valen was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on June 25, 1819. He married Susan Maria Talmage, and the couple had twin daughters, Catharine Eliza and Sarah Maria, born June 2, 1845. Van Valen served as treasurer of the California Gold Mining Company, one of many companies formed to participate in the 1849 California Gold Rush. Funded by two wealthy New York merchants, Henry A. Kerr and B. S. Clark, the company consisted of Van Valen and four men other men. Van Valen and his business partners agreed to spend two summers in California and pay Kerr and Clark one quarter of any profits made. Van Valen sailed aboard the San Francisco-bound Hersilia on January 22, 1849. Once in California, he and his company decided to try to strike it rich, first along the Mokelumne River and then up the San Joaquin River to Stockton. The trip proved unsuccessful, and Van Valen returned to New York less than two years later. He died on November 24, 1869.
Provenance:
Purchased by the National Museum of American History from Cowan's Historic Americana Auctions in 2006.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Mining  Search this
Gold mines and mining  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 19th century
Maps -- 19th century
Diaries -- 19th century
Daguerreotypes
Painted photographs
Photographs -- Daguerreotypes -- 1840-1860
Hand coloring
Citation:
Alexander Van Valen Papers, 1849-1850, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0935
See more items in:
Alexander Van Valen Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0935
Online Media:

A year of mud and gold : San Francisco in letters and diaries, 1849-1850 / edited by William Benemann

Author:
Benemann, William 1949-  Search this
Physical description:
xxiii, 241 p. : map ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Biography
Sources
Place:
California
San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1999
C1999
19th century
Topic:
Pioneers--Diaries  Search this
Pioneers--Correspondence  Search this
History  Search this
Sources  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Social conditions  Search this
Gold discoveries  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_567883

Little bronze playfellows a phantasy for children and grown-ups by Stella George Stern Perry

Author:
Perry, Stella G. S (Stella George Stern) 18771956  Search this
Subject:
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Physical description:
iv, 26 pages ill 21 cm
Type:
Fiction
Short stories
Stamps (Provenance)
Place:
United States
Date:
1915
19th century
Topic:
Sculpture, American  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_936796

Four women impressionists in Paris / Krista Brugnara

Author:
Brugnara, Krista  Search this
Legion of Honor (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Subject:
Morisot, Berthe 1841-1895  Search this
Cassatt, Mary 1844-1926  Search this
Gonzalès, Eva 1849-1883  Search this
Bracquemond, Marie 1841-1916  Search this
Physical description:
40 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Biography
Place:
France
Paris
United States
Date:
2008
19th century
Topic:
Impressionism (Art)  Search this
Impressionist artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Call number:
ND192.I4 B78 2008
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_957880

Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean / made under the direction of the secretary of war, in 1853-[6] ..

Title:
Pacific railroad surveys
Pacific railroad reports
Explorations and surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific railroad explorations DSI
Author:
United States War Department  Search this
Editor:
Henry, Joseph 1797-1878  Search this
Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887  Search this
Printer:
Ford, Thomas H. approximately 1837-  Search this
Harris, William A (William Alexander) 1805-1864  Search this
Nicholson, A. O. P (Alfred Osborn Pope) 1808-1876  Search this
Tucker, Nathaniel Beverley 1820-1890  Search this
Illustrator:
Campbell, Albert H (Albert Henry) 1826-1899  Search this
Egloffstein, Gottfried Friedrich Ernst Freiherr von und zu 1768-1848  Search this
Koppel, Charles  Search this
Richard, John H. approximately 1807-  Search this
Tidball, John C (John Caldwell) 1825-1906  Search this
Young, J. H (James Hamilton)  Search this
Young, J. J.  Search this
Engraver:
Hinshelwood, Robert 1812-1879  Search this
Hunt, Samuel Valentine 1803-1893  Search this
Metzeroth, R (Robert)  Search this
Pinkney, Samuel J.  Search this
F. Artos & Co.  Search this
Wood engraver:
Orr, Nathaniel  Search this
Lithographer:
Bien, Julius 1826-1909  Search this
Siebert, Selmar  Search this
Ackerman Lithr.  Search this
Julius Bien & Co.  Search this
Herline & Hensel  Search this
Hoffman, Knickerbocker & Co.  Search this
Sarony, Major & Knapp Lith,.  Search this
T. Sinclair's Lith.  Search this
Former owner:
Lubrecht, Harry 1908-1997 DSI  Search this
Merrill, George P (George Perkins) 1854-1929 DSI  Search this
Dwight, Jonathan 1858-1929 DSI  Search this
Tucker, Marcia Brady DSI  Search this
Whitman, William 1842-1928 DSI  Search this
Corning, Erastus 1794-1872 DSI  Search this
Berkeley Divinity School DSI  Search this
Compiler:
United States Army Corps of Engineers  Search this
Bookseller:
John Howell Books (San Francisco, Calif.) DSI  Search this
Physical description:
12 volumes in 13, leaves of plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 30 cm
Type:
Electronic resources
Maps
Place:
West (U.S.)
California
United States
Date:
1855
1860
19th Century
Topic:
Pacific railroads--Explorations and surveys  Search this
Discoveries in geography--American  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Description and travel  Search this
Discovery and exploration  Search this
Call number:
F593 .U59
F593 .U59 1855
F593.U59
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_400661

The fair but frail : prostitution in San Francisco, 1849-1900 / Jacqueline Baker Barnhart

Author:
Barnhart, Jacqueline Baker 1940-  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 136 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
California
San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1986
19th century
Topic:
Prostitution--History  Search this
Economic conditions  Search this
Moral conditions  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1084420

The making of "Mammy Pleasant" : a Black entrepreneur in nineteenth-century San Francisco / Lynn M. Hudson

Author:
Hudson, Lynn M (Lynn Maria) 1961-  Search this
Subject:
Pleasant, Mary Ellen 1814-1904  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 193 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
California
San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
2003
19th century
Topic:
African American women  Search this
African Americans  Search this
African American businesspeople  Search this
Businesswomen  Search this
African Americans--History  Search this
History  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_714827

Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet! : the Bruyas collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier / catalogue edited by Sarah Lees ; exhibition curated under the direction of Michel Hilaire and Sylvain Amic

Title:
Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier
Author:
Lees, Sarah  Search this
Hilaire, Michel  Search this
Amic, Sylvain  Search this
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute  Search this
Subject:
Bruyas, Alfred 1821-1877 Art collections  Search this
Musée Fabre  Search this
Physical description:
255 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
France
Montpellier
Date:
2004
C2004
19th century
Topic:
Art, French  Search this
Art--Private collections  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_743289

San Francisco's Midwinter Exposition / William Lipsky

Author:
Lipsky, William  Search this
Subject:
California Midwinter International Exposition (1894 : San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Physical description:
128 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
San Francisco (Calif.)
Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, Calif.)
Date:
2002
C2002
19th century
Topic:
History  Search this
Call number:
T874.B1 L57 2002
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_765370

XIX century works of art, April 23rd-May 30th, 1986

Author:
Pascal de Sarthe Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Physical description:
16 [i.e. 32] p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1986
C1986
19th century
Topic:
Art, French  Search this
Call number:
N6847 .A14 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_645367

[Trade card for a wholesale dealer in sewing machines and supplies] / Mark Sheldon

Author:
Mark Sheldon  Search this
Physical description:
2 p. : col. ill.. ; 10 x 8 cm
Type:
Books
Trade cards
Date:
1800
1899
19th cent
Topic:
Advertising cards  Search this
Sewing machines  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_661337

Civic wars : democracy and public life in the American city during the nineteenth century / Mary P. Ryan

Author:
Ryan, Mary P  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 376 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
New York (N.Y.)
New Orleans (La.)
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1997
C1997
19th century
To 1898
Topic:
Political participation--History  Search this
Political culture--History  Search this
Democracy--History  Search this
City and town life--History  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_516142

The public city : the political construction of urban life in San Francisco, 1850-1900 / Philip J. Ethington

Author:
Ethington, Philip J  Search this
Physical description:
xvi, 464 p. : ill., maps ;: 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1994
19th century
Topic:
Political culture--History  Search this
Political participation--History  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Social conditions  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_528511

Panama Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915 : fine arts, French section : catalogue of works in painting, drawings, sculpture, medals-engravings and lithographs

Title:
Fine arts, French section, catalogue
France fine-arts
Author:
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Subject:
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Physical description:
351 p., [78] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 19 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1915
1915]
19th century
Topic:
Art, French  Search this
Call number:
N6847 .P22 1915
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_535929

Old California in picture and story, [by] Stewart Edward White; illustrated in color and black and white from contemporary prints

Author:
White, Stewart Edward 1873-1946  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 122 p., [32] leaves of plates illus. (some col.) 31 cm
Type:
Books
Pictorial works
Place:
California
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1937
1846-1850
Topic:
Lithography  Search this
History  Search this
Gold discoveries  Search this
Call number:
F865 .W583 1939
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_552824

Artful players : artistic life in early San Francisco / Birgitta Hjalmarson

Title:
Artistic life in early San Francisco
Author:
Hjalmarson, Birgitta  Search this
Physical description:
256 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1999
19th century
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Artists  Search this
History  Search this
Call number:
N6535.S3 H53 1999
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_556456

San Francisco album : photographs of the most beautiful views and public buildings / George Robinson Fardon ; with contributions by Rodger C. Birt ... [et al.]

Author:
Fardon, G. R  Search this
Birt, Rodger C  Search this
Fraenkel Gallery  Search this
Hans P. Kraus, Jr. (Firm)  Search this
Subject:
Fardon, G. R  Search this
Physical description:
174 p. : ill., map ; 29 x 26 cm
Type:
Books
Pictorial works
Place:
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1999
C1999
19th century
Topic:
History  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
TR647.F22 S26 1999
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_594512

If they don't bring their women here : Chinese female immigration before Exclusion / George Anthony Peffer ; foreword by Roger Daniels

Author:
Peffer, George Anthony  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 164 p. ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
San Francisco
Foreign countries
San Francisco (Calif.)
United States
China
Date:
1999
C1999
19th century
Topic:
Chinese American women--History  Search this
Chinese American women--Government policy--History  Search this
Women immigrants--History  Search this
Chinese--History  Search this
Emigration and immigration  Search this
History  Search this
Government policy  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_598434

On the edge of the world : four architects in San Francisco at the turn of the century / Richard Longstreth

Author:
Longstreth, Richard W  Search this
Physical description:
xiv, 455 p. : ill. ; 27 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1983
C1983
19th century
Topic:
Eclecticism in architecture  Search this
Architecture--History  Search this
Buildings  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
NA735.S35L66 1983X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_406671

The evolution of political protest and the Workingmen's Party of California / Neil Larry Shumsky

Author:
Shumsky, Neil L. 1944-  Search this
Subject:
Workingmen's Party of California History  Search this
Physical description:
xiii, 269 p. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1991
C1991
19th century
Topic:
Riots--History  Search this
Crowds  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Call number:
JK2391.W73S267 1991X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_430161

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