James and Hannah Lloyd Neall papers , 1845-1906

Overview of the Collection

Neall, James, 1820-1903
James and Hannah Lloyd Neall papers
1845-1906 (inclusive)
1.25 linear feet, (3 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 347
James Neall (1820-1903) was a pioneer, merchant, and entrepreneur from Philadelphia who established claims and businesses in Oregon and California. His wife, Hannah Lloyd Neall (1817-1912) was a cultural enthusiast and suffragist who wrote for numerous early California publications. The collection consists of reminiscences, correspondence, miscellaneous papers, bound volumes and a painted tin box.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

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Paper finding aid with additional information is available in Special Collections & University Archives.

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical NoteReturn to Top

James Neall (1820-1903) was a pioneer, merchant, and entrepreneur from Philadelphia. Neall sailed to Oregon in 1845 on the ship Toulon. There, he staked a 650 acre claim. He returned overland to Philadelphia in 1848.

In January of 1849, Neall sailed to San Francisco, where he established a successful retail operation specializing in hardware. He is credited with introducing the first door locks to San Francisco. His store was destroyed in the city fire of May 4, 1851.

In 1852, Neall returned to Philadelphia, where he married Hannah Lloyd (1817-1912). The couple returned to California where Neall became president of the Bear River Water and Mining Company, an unsuccessful scheme to supply water for hydraulic mining operations.

For her part, Hannah Llloyd Neall was active in the literary world of early San Francisco, writing stories and poem that were published in periodicals and newspapers. She was a charter member of the Century Club of California (one of the first women's clubs), a suffragist, and a friend of Susan B. Anthony and Anna Shaw.

The couple resided in San Francisco until James Neall's death in 1903. He was killed in a carriage accident.

James and Hannah Lloyd Neall are the grandparents of the author Marie de Nervaud Dun (1884-1973).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of reminiscences, correspondence, miscellaneous papers, bound volumes and a painted tin box.

James Neall's reminiscences, written in 1888, cover the five year period from 1845-1850 in which Neall travelled to the west coast twice and set up a trading post in San Francisco. They were written specifically for his niece, Abbie Tredick. In character, the narrative is literate and literary. There is also a bound, typed transcription of the reminiscences edited and with an introduction by Martin Schmitt and K. Keith Richard in the bound volumes. This transcription served as the manuscript for the published volume A Down-Easter in the Far West.

Correspondence includes letters from James and Hannah Neall to Mrs. Abbie Tredick, their niece, 1879-1889. These letters provide additional biographical information for James Neall, both for the period of the letters and earlier. There are also letters by James Neall extracted from a letterpress book, 1856-1858, as well as various drafts and correspondence. Correspondents include: Nathaniel Crosby, Elizabeth (Libby) Lloyd, and James Field.

Miscellaneous Papers include autobiographical documents of James Neall, some transcribed by Neall's niece, Abbie Tredick as well as various legal and financial documents.

Bound volumes include: The holy bible... New York, American Bible Society, 1859, with a newspaper obituary of James Neall glued inside the front cover; A scrapbook of poetry and prose, mostly taken from California newspapers and magazines; Martin Schmitt and K. Keith Richard's transcription of James Neall's reminiscences with introduction; The journal of Hannah Lloyd Neall, which includes short stories, poetry, spanish lessons, and essays on the literary life of San Francisco and the effects of the sewing machine on women's lives.

There is also a "tin trunk" with a painted design on it. According to the explanatory note that James Neall placed inside the trunk, Neall's "grandfather Jones" gave him the box in 1826. Neall then took it with him on his journeys to Oregon and California.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Frontier and pioneer life--California--San Francisco
  • Merchants--California--San Francisco
  • Pioneers--California
  • Pioneers--Oregon
  • Pioneers--Oregon
  • Quakers--United States
  • Suffragists--California--San Francisco
  • Voyages to the Pacific coast
  • Women Pioneers--California

Personal Names

  • Neall, Hannah
  • Neall, Hannah--Correspondence
  • Neall, James, 1820-1903

Geographical Names

  • California--Description and travel
  • Oregon--Description and travel
  • San Francisco (Calif.)--Social life and customs--19th century

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Overland journals
  • Reminiscences