BIDWELL, John, 1819-1900


Guide to Research Collections

University of California, Berkeley
Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Papers: 1867, 7 items.
Six letters from John Bidwell, written from Chico, California, to Haskell (probably Edward Wilder Haskell), in Marysville, California. Letters concern John Bidwell’s political career, his defeat at the state convention, the campaign of 1867, and his speech regarding the inadvisability of a third party. Includes a letter from John Howell Books describing the materials, 1950; and notes.

Papers: 1895-1899, 1 portfolio.
The portfolio contains letters mainly written to Professor Rockwell D. Hunt, re his recollections of early California history. Also included are three canceled checks.

Papers: In the Dictation from John Bidwell: An Autobiography: typescript, [1891?], 69 leaves.
Consists of the autobiography of John Bidwell.

Papers: In the Hubert Howe Bancroft Collection, N.d., 17 leaves.
A summary of John Bidwell’s book entitled Journey to California. The summary is also available on microfilm.

In the Hubert Howe Bancroft Collection, 1884, 23 pieces.
Scraps of two letters from John Bidwell to Hubert H. Bancroft, written on February 7 and May 23, 1884, concerning California pioneers. The letters are also available on microfilm.

Papers: In the Josiah Belden Papers, 1832-1903, 3.75 linear feet.
Other authors include John Bidwell. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: In the Bidwell Family Papers, ca. 1792-1934, 8 boxes, 3 cartons, and 1 portfolio.
Persons represented include John Bidwell. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

Papers: In the Nicholas Dawson Papers, ca. 1839-1901, 1 portfolio.
Correspondents include John Bidwell. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: In the Robert Underwood Johnson Papers, 1889-1924, 8 boxes.
Correspondents include John Bidwell. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: In the Thomas O. Larkin Papers, 1822-1858, 7.1 linear feet.
Correspondents include John Bidwell. A finding aid is available in the library.

Papers: In the Mott-von Schmidt Family Papers, ca. 1849-1899, 1 box.
Correspondents include John Bidwell.

Papers: In the New Helvetia: Diary of events from 1845-1848, 1 volume and 1 portfolio.
Other authors include John Bidwell.

Papers: In the Alice M. Reading Collection of Material Relating to her father, Pierson B. Reading, 1 portfolio.
Persons represented include John Bidwell.

Papers: In the Edwin Allen Sherman Papers, ca. 1872-1971, 2.1 linear feet.
Other authors include John Bidwell. A finding aid is available in the library and online.


Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
Chico, CA
Papers: 1841-1900, 9 feet.
Personal and business papers and correspondence, photographs, portraits, and memorabilia; includes 35 volume diary (May 1864-April 1900, 700 pages). Little information on his congressional years. Documents photocopies of originals in California State Library; Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley; and Meriam Library, California State University, Chico. Restricted.


California Historical Society
North Baker Research Library
San Francisco, CA
Papers: 1892, 2 leaves.
A photocopy of a letter from John Bidwell to a geologist, describing a California white oak tree on John Bidwell’s farm, Rancho Chico. The tree was named after Sir Joseph Hooker during his visit to Rancho Chico in 1877.

Papers: 1840-1900, 1 folder.
A ledger (1868-1900) concerning the management of John Bidwell’s ranch, Rancho de Arroyo Chico, as well as the farm and household. It itemizes wages, supplies, cattle sold, work performed, freight shipped, type of payment made, paper and periodical subscriptions, political party donations, and compensation received for broken or misplaced materials. Also included is an accounting sheet, a bill, and a memorandum concerning relative rainfall for 1840-1851.


California State Library
California History Room
Sacramento, CA
Papers: ca. 1841-1917, 11 boxes.
The papers of John Bidwell contain correspondence, notes, and legal and business papers.

Papers: In Annie Ellicott (Kennedy) Bidwell papers, 1842-1917, 200 items, 17 volumes, and 118 boxes.
Other authors include John Bidwell.

Papers: In the John Bidwell (Sutter’s Fort Pioneer Collection), 1841-1902, 2 manuscript boxes.
Business and personal papers, correspondence, certificates, contracts, receipts.

Papers: In the George McKinstry Collection, 1816-1890, 5 manuscript boxes.
Other authors include John Bidwell.


California State University, Chico
Meriam Library
Chico, CA
Papers: 1849-1918, 13 feet.
In part microfilm and photocopies of originals in California State Library and other repositories. Correspondence, diaries, legal papers, account books, and printed material relating to his wide range of interests. A finding aid is available in the repository.


Huntington Library
Manuscripts Department
San Marino, CA
Papers: 1851, 1 letter.
A letter from John Bidwell to John Augustus Sutter written on April 2, 1851. In this letter, John Bidwell thanks John Sutter for everything he has done for him since his arrival in California.

Papers: In the George A. Gillespie Papers, 1849-1899, 123 pieces.
Correspondents include John Bidwell.


The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts
New York, NY
Papers: 1868, 1 item.
A letter from John Bidwell to President Elect Grant written on December 8, 1868. In the letter, John Bidwell recommends Major William G. Morris as a U.S. Marshal.


The Society of California Pioneers
San Francisco, CA
Papers: In the Autobiography and Reminiscence of John Bidwell, San Francisco, 1904, 28 pages.
This reminiscence details John Bidwell’s impressions of California during the time period of 1841 to 1897. The primary focus of the reminiscence is the immigration to California and John Bidwell’s analysis of the state’s growth and the people inhabiting California. He names fellow pioneers across the state and tells in what party they traveled. Mr. Bidwell also discusses the early government of California, describing its judicial system and methods used to punish those convicted of crimes.


Sutter’s Fort State Historical Park
Sacramento, CA
Papers: 1842-1888, approximately 1,000 items.
Correspondence, bills, and receipts. Described in published guide.


University of the Pacific Libraries
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Stockton, CA
Papers: 1850, 1 letter.
A letter from John Bidwell to California Governor Peter Burnett written on in 1850. In the letter, John Bidwell that E. Covington be appointed tax collector for Butte County. A finding aid is available in the repository.