What kind of value might there be for these Adolph Sutro documents...?

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Knowing my interest in the history of San Francisco, my friend's father recently e-mailed me to find out about the value -- both monetarily and historically -- of certain original, handwritten documents that he has which pertain to Mayor Adolph Sutro. He listed the following:

> 1. assessment of Adolph Sutro's estate, 1889-1890
> 2. letter to Sutro from a G. Oliva requesting to be appointed as
> an Italian translator, 1890
> 3. list of papers taken from Sutro's safe by a Dr. Merritt,
> Lloyd, Powell(?), and McKinstry on 8 February 1898
> 4. a petition signed by various citizens requesting that a Mr. E.B.
> Vreeland be appointed as an Election Commissioner, June 1895
> 5. last will and testament handwritten by Leah Sutro, wife of
> Adolph Sutro, 29 March 1893

If anyone has any information on either the value of these documents or who might simply be interested in looking at them from a historical perspective, please e-mail me and I will forward it on. I'm going to post this in the Sutro History section as well.

Scott Trimble

-- Scott Trimble (stst@stst.net), August 10, 2001


these documents would be of great value to many researchers; it would be nice if your friend would donate them to an institution where they would be accessible to historians and others who have an interest in adolph sutro and his contributions to san francisco - the bancroft library at u.c. berkeley perhaps???

-- stefanie kelly (stefaniekelly@hotmail.com), August 11, 2001.


The question for you and the owner of the documents is: Do you want to sell historial items to a person keeping them locked, or would it be more appropriate to entrust them to an organization taking care, so both researchers and students can look at them for generations to come.

This is not as altruistic as it reads, for instance, I know both authors of the "Red" Sutro biography released in 1963, Robert E. & Mary F. Stewart, have not left anything to their son. It appears that all research papers and collections they owned have disappeared and no one knows where...

When thinking of organizations, the California Historical Society come to mind, among others. You could always publish the contents on your own Internet site, or make arrangements with the Sutro History Alliance to do so.

Please do not let these informative items disappear forever, via online auctions, personal Sutroiana collectors or memorabilia sellers...

Take care, Wolfgang

-- Wolfgang Schubert (schubert@sutrohistory.org), August 11, 2001.

I'm with Wolfgang! Historical documents belong where the public and researchers can use them, taken care of by people who can preserve them properly.

If your family is interested in raising money through these documents, I'd suggest they contact various museums and libraries and offer them the chance to bid on it. That way you would know they were going to where they would do the most good. Museums, historical societies and libraries do have the funds for such purchases -- though I doubt you'd be able to send someone to college on the proceeds.


-- Rosa Debonneheure (rosadebon@yahoo.com), August 14, 2001.

To Wolfgang and everyone who has been kind enough to send their e- mails.... Within the next two weeks or so, I'm going to try to find time to get those documents scanned so I can put them online. When I do, I will post the web address so you can all access them.

-- Scott Trimble (stst@stst.net), August 15, 2001.

The documents are indeed now online. Read more here....


-- Scott Trimble (stst@stst.net), August 24, 2001.

Are any of you aware that there is a Sutro Library near Stonestown in San Francisco that has thousands of Sutro Documents.

-- Harry Murphy (Harrymurphy@my-deja.com*), October 28, 2001.

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