Guide to the 1880’s Wanted Persons Journal Collection (1879 – 1883)

Overview +


Collection Number



This collection was assembled by an unknown individual. Due to the nature of the content in this journal it is highly likely that this journal and/or scrapbook was assembled by an individual whom either practiced law—such as an attorney/lawyer/prosecutor, or a member of law enforcement such as a Sheriff or police officer. This collection was donated by Jessie Hill of Aptos, CA in 1993 to the Santa Cruz Historical Trust (now the MAH).


Number of Containers:  One (1) Box Linear Feet:  0.5 Linear Feet


Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Archives 705 Front Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060


This collection consists of one journal bearing the title “Daily Journal 1879” in gold lettering on a black leather cover. Inside are handwritten notes in ink on what appear to be court cases with information such as:” Notify Wells of postponement of Habeus Corpus case” and “Love & Johnson-when are they wanted?” and “Brown’s trial Dismissed”. Pasted over these notes are cards featuring notices of rewards for wanted persons, rewards for return of stolen property, notices of lost and stolen items, burglaries and missing persons from both local California counties and other areas, such as Denver, Colorado and Iowa. Some places the notices are from include Oakland, Alameda County; San Jose, CA; Modesto, CA; San Francisco CA; Merced, CA; and more. Some of the notices include photos of the person wanted for arrest. Also included are handwritten notes from various police Sergeants.

Date range: 1879-1883


The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Preferred Citation

The 1880’s Wanted Persons Journal  Collection, The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the head of Archives at MAH.  Researchers may be responsible for obtaining copyright permission to use material not produced by museum personnel.

Process By

Renata McRee

Date Completed


Contents +


One (1) Journal

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of one (1) approximately 14”(height) x 9” (length) journal bound in black leather with the words “Daily Journal 1879” in gold lettering on the front cover.  Inside the journal are handwritten notes on court cases and trials. The notes include intriguing statements such as: “Look for Chinaman’s pistol…Pistol no. 58”; “John Reardon’s trail 9AM”; and “Notify witnesses in McCarty case”. On some of the pages, pasted over these notes, are 3×4.5” cards featuring notices of rewards posted for suspects and persons wanted for arrest, notice and rewards for stolen property and horses, and missing persons. These notices/cards date from 1883-1884 and were issued by Sheriffs from various counties including San Jose, CA; Martinez Contra Costa County, CA; San Francisco, CA; and even as far away as Nebraska and Denver. Some of these notices/cards include photographs of the person wanted for arrest. A few of these cards/notices support the possibility that the creator of this journal was in law enforcement as the cards/notices state “ Don’t post in public. For Officers only.” Some of the cards/ notices include annotations in spidery handwriting—it is not clear whether this is the same individual who wrote the notes on trials and cases which were pasted over. These annotations include notes such as “Found in Santa Cruz” and [referring to a notice for a person wanted for arrest] “is fond of drink….” Also in this journal are handwritten letters from “E.J. Chase Sergt. Police” of Oakland, CA” to “Dear Sir” discussing corrections to reports on stolen property and the pardoning of an individual by the Governor. Another letter from an individual (signature illegible) is headed “Chief of Police” and addressed the “Dear Sir” and describes stolen property. It is not clear whether this journal belonged to one of two individuals—the first individual being the writer of the 1879 notes on court cases, and the second being the one whom pasted 1883 wanted notices over these earlier notes OR whether this journal belonged to the same person and was re-used or re-purposed.  Handle with care. This item is in fair to poor condition. Original binding is intact; some pages are entirely loose from binding, pages are yellowing and cracking at the edges.

Location and Box ID#:

Box 1