Item #691 [California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive
[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive

[California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive

circa 1850-1969. [California] Charles P. Jackson Family Archive, circa 1850-1969

1.5 feet of photographs, genealogical material, correspondence, newspaper clippings and printed material
Generally Very Good condition with some light edgewear, spotting and dust-soiling. A biographical news clipping from 1894 is in fragments and susceptible to greater damage. The photo albums are near fine.

A fascinating family archive of a California pioneer. Much of what we learned about Charles P. Jackson came from a newspaper clipping in this collection, written by Jackson himself for The Pioneer, assisting in the paper’s quest to record the lives of members of the Western Association of California Pioneers. Charles Pringle Jackson was born on June 4, 1820 in Sheldon, Genesee County, New York. He ran a general merchandising business in New York and Indiana before succumbing to gold rush fever, relocating to California in 1849. The Pioneer feature details the long journey of Jackson’s traveling party as well as their forays into prospecting and mining. Jackson met with quick success; in the early 1850s he ran a miner’s supply business that was bought out by Wells Fargo, and he “was the largest buyer in the county, and, it was claimed, was one of the best judges in the State.” Jackson was integral in the development of the railroad in El Dorado and Placerville, and in the 1860s commenced a successful wine and brandy operation. His factories were situated in Chicago, however, and he suffered heavily at the hands of the great fire in 1871. Jackson recovered from financial ruin by switching gears to the refrigeration business. He patented a dry air refrigerator, organized and served as president of the Jackson Refrigeration Company of Chicago until 1891. He was also a two-term president of the Western Association of California Pioneers and an adoring father to Ernest, a Harvard graduate, and Leonora Jackson McKim. A violin prodigy from a young age, Leonora was one of the first American women to achieve international acclaim as a concert violinist. She was decorated by Queen Victoria, and performed throughout Europe and the United States with leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony. Her “Leonora Jackson” Stradivari violin was held privately until 1983 and has been used since by the likes of Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet, Eugene Fodor, and Scott Yoo for the PBS series “Now Hear This.”

This archive includes Charles Jackson’s homemade autobiography in a 9-½” x 7-½” book of 106 handwritten pages. It was addressed to Leonora and Ernest, “my dear children,” with the abovementioned clipping and a mounted photograph of Jackson taped inside the front cover. About a third of the collection is dedicated to genealogical material on Jackson, his ancestors and descendants. There are two, original 16 pp. “Genealogical Record of the Jackson Family, Chicago July 1891 for Ernest H. and Leonore Jackson By their Father Chas. P. Jackson,” one with a three pp. letter addressed to Leonore, plus a photocopy and three transcribed typed copies. There is also an ancestry record for Charles’s nephew, George Jackson, as well as records from the family bible, and various typed and handwritten genealogical notes and charts.

A highlight of the archive, representing about a third of its contents, are the photographic materials. There is a photo of Charles’ father taken from a daguerreotype, as well as a great shot of Charles at the age of 41 in California, and a Christmas greeting with a photograph of Charles and his wife, Elizabeth Higgins Jackson, in 1902. Elizabeth had designed and mounted a series of photographic portraits of family members for Christmas in 1903; the verso lists birth and death dates for six members of the Jackson family. A portrait of Charles was dedicated “to my dear daughter Leonora from her affectionate father” and there are a variety of mounted family photographs, both identified and not. There are also two pristine photograph albums. One, measuring 10-¼” x 7-¾”, was entitled “A Day in the Country: North Fork, Warm Springs Creek, 1902” and was compiled by three women of the family, Mrs. Geo B. Winston, Mrs. Ogden S. Jackson and Miss Clara Jaedicke. This album contains 45 3-¾” x 5” snapshots, heavily and neatly captioned, identifying family members camping, hunting and fishing. A second family photograph album measures 9-½” x 12”, with 378 photos ranging from 1” x 1” to 7” x 9”. Several of the images are captioned and dated, circa early 1900s to 1949, and include mainly posed portraits, though several show the family in nature, in caps, gowns, and military uniforms, at weddings and with their cars.

The remainder of the collection consists of family correspondence and business records. There are letters to Charles and his brother Julius from their father just before his death and a few letters from George Jackson to his mother in 1898, containing news from the war and “celebrating our glorious victory” in the Philippine Islands. We find an 1860 certificate for Charles’ stock in the Placerville Turnpike Company, and ephemera relating to his membership in the El Dorado Lodge. A few inches relate to George and Clara Jackson’s business with the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in Butte, Montana, including letters, earning statements, and an employee handbook for the company, circa 1954. There is also correspondence relating to the estate of Leonora Jackson McKim in 1969. The archive additionally holds a few clippings, real photo postcards, and a seven pp. handwritten treatise on the strength of one’s character.

A fantastic collection documenting a California pioneer and his family. The Music Division at the Library of Congress holds Leonora Jackson McKim’s papers, a few of which are family-related.

More scans upon request. Item #691

Price: $3,250.00