No Binding. Very Good. Group of 114 letters, 148 pp., (no retained mailing envelopes) dated 1875-1907, the bulk of the letters dated 1883-1907. The letters are mostly one page in length and written (some typed) in legible hands, and they are for the most part in good condition, with most letters containing docket holes at top; some toning, minor tears, stains, or nicks. The letters consist of mainly incoming letters to Henry French, as well as some retained copies of outgoing correspondence. Of the 114 letters, 6 of them (10 pp.) are undated. A couple of the letters are circular letters from his alumni association of the University of the Pacific. There are also 34 pieces of ephemera, dated 1883-1906. The ephemera includes such things as printed letterhead receipts, manuscript receipts, manuscript notes, printed programs, statements of accounts, etc. The letters pertain to French's legal, business, or other activities such as his involvement in the University of Pacific Alumni, his involvement with the YMCA, French's San Jose store (on 1st St.), plus some letters from family and friends. In addition, there is an assortment of documents, flyers, bills, and other miscellaneous ephemera. Locales that the letters are posted from are mainly California cities and towns such as San Jose, San Francisco, Los Gatos, Pacific Grove, Alameda, Compton, San Bernardino, Wrights, Monterey, Santa Clara, among others. Henry French (1851-1916) was a San Jose, California lawyer and merchant, and a graduate of the University of the Pacific. He was prominent in the Prohibition movement and made an unsuccessful bid for Governor of California on the Prohibition Party ticket in 1896. He had a law practice in San Jose, practicing general law in state and federal courts. French was born on 18 September 1851 at the seaside town of Camelford, Cornwall, England. He served ten years in the English navy. He married Rebecca Tretheway (1852-1919) also a native of Cornwall. Henry and his wife had met in England, but Rebecca's parents brought her to America when she thirteen years old to take up land in the San Joaquin Valley. French followed Rebecca to American and they were married at Lockford in 1876. Rebecca was interested in the religious and philanthropic work of the community and for many years was a director of the Home of Benevolence and the Florence Crittenden Home, and was also a member of the Manzanita Club. For many years she was active in First M.E. Church. She had, like her husband, been a student at the University of the Pacific. Together the couple had at least five children: Mary Arthur French (1878-1919); Mrs. Beatrice French Bolt (married to Dr. Richard Bolt); Henry Nelson French (became an attorney); John Warren French (1886-1940), who was a representative of the National Biscuit Company; Annie Cordelia French; and William Edward French (1896-1900). Beatrice French Bolt's husband was connected for a number of years with the Indemnity College of Peking, China. Henry French died on 27 August 1916 at his small estate at Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California. He was buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose. Much of French's life is revealed in several obituaries published in local papers in California. His obituary calls him a ""prominent citizen of San Jose"" and a ""pioneer"" of the city. For twenty five years French occupied an official position in the Methodist Episcopal Church, also acting as the superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school for many years. In 1896, he was chosen a delegate of the Methodist Church to the conference at Cleveland, Ohio, the same year he also went as special correspondent of the Examiner to the Republican Convention at St. Louis. He polled a record number of votes in 1894 for a Prohibition Party candidate. He was on the Prohibition Ticket with Gen. John Bidwell, and ran for the governor of California, but he lost. When the YMCA opened in San Jose, French was their first secretary, and held (Inventory #: 030051)
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