Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Bartholomew mss., 1838-1886, are papers of Jacob Bartholomew, 1818-1863, of Ohio and California. In 1838 he was a student at Granville College, Granville, Ohio, taking his A.B. there is 1842, and serving as a member of the Faculty, 1843-1848. In 1850 he went overland to California. He was back in Ohio, 1858-1859, sailing form New York for California again on April 11, 1859 with his bride, the former Emily Ebersole, who had been a teacher at the Springfield Female Seminary, Springfield, Ohio. He remained in California until his death in 1863.

The papers in the Collection may be divided roughly into two parts, the Ohio period, 1838-1849, and the California period from 1850 on.

The first group is made up largely of letters to Jacob Bartholomew from Ohio friends and relatives. Most of the friends were former fellow-students, who were either teaching in various Ohio schools or attempting to obtain teaching positions. Among the relatives the principal correspondents were Jacob Bartholomew's father, George Bartholomew, farmer and cooper of Carroll county, Ohio, who wrote of family news, and of his farm and coopering business; Abraham Bartholomew, brother of George Bartholomew and Lutheran minister in various Ohio towns, who wrote of his work and of meetings of the Lutheran synod, particularly emphasizing its proceedings in regard to Lutheran educational institutions in Ohio, especially the Seminary at Columbus, Ohio; Amos Bartholomew and Samuel Bartholomew, also brothers of George Bartholomew; and Thomas Bartholomew, Elizabeth (Bartholomew) Marshall, and Nancy (Bartholomew) McGillivray, brother and sisters of Jacob Bartholomew, whose letters dealt in the main with family news.

Also included in the Ohio period are letters and papers on phrenology, 1843-1844, in which Jacob Bartholomew was interested, from Orson Squire Fowler; commencement programs of Granville College, 1840-1847, programs of the semi-annual exhibitions of the freshmen and sophomores of Granville College, 1845-1848; programs of the exhibitions of the Franklin Society of Granville College, 1845, 1847 and 1848; a program of the exhibition of the Calliopean Society of Granville College, 1847; a Catalogue of Officers and Students of Granville College for the Academical Year, 1846-7; programs of the annual exhibition of the Granville Male Academy, 1841, 1846 and 1848; a commencement program of Kenyon College, 1846; the Sixth Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the Springfield Female Seminary, Springfield, Ohio, July 1857; and the Twenty-fourth Annual Catalogue of Granville Female Academy, Granville, Ohio, for 1857-8.

The papers of the second or California period include Jacob Bartholomew's overland diary, May 14-August 14, 1850; official papers, December 31, 1851 to September 26, 1853, of his term as Justice of the Peace, Butte County, California; his household account book, Sept. 6, 1859-February 26, 1863; and letters and papers of the South Feather Water Company, which he owned in partnership with D.W.C. Gaskill. Letters to Emily (Ebersole) Bartholomew after she had returned to Ohio refer to Gaskill's business ethics.

The Justice of the Peace papers all deal with minor cases heard by Bartholomew. Most of these are in connection with applications for writs of attachment for debts, some of which involve mining companies. There are also several cases for recovery of portions of mining ground, a dispute on the rights of each party in regard to certain claims in a mining company seeking to prevent another company from dumping on its property, etc.

Jacob Bartholomew's wife, Emily (Ebersole) Bartholomew, is presented by two diaries, the first for January 1, 1859-June 6, 1861, covering her marriage, the ensuing journey by boat to California and her early life in Forbestown, California where the Bartholomews resided; the second is for April 21- December 24, 1866, at which time she was still living in Forbestown.

Following the death of Jacob Bartholomew in 1863, the papers are largely concerned with the settlement of his estate, of which Emily (Ebersole) Bartholomew was administrator. The principal property involved was that of the South Feather Water Company. Emily Bartholomew continued to reside in Forbestown until 1867, at which time she returned to Ohio with her two sons, Frank G. Bartholomew, 1860- , and Ralph H. Bartholomew, 1862- , taking up residence in Springfield, Ohio, in 1868. Letters from California friends, after her return to Ohio, are preserved in the Collection.

The California section contains also a group of photographs, including two town views, presumably in California, a compass used by Jacob Bartholomew on the overland journey, and an 1849 one dollar gold piece with the initials J.B. which was worn by Jacob Bartholomew.

Some of the manuscripts are in an oversize folder. A genealogical chart of the Bartholomew family is in the first box of the Collection.

Jacob Bartholomew's Overland diary has been edited with introduction and notes by Ellia Arthur Hopkins in his "The pioneer Bartholomews of Ohio and California." M.A. thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, January 1950. (D40 .H793)

Collection size: 581 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.