Sherman, Edwin A. (Edwin Allen), 1829-1914

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Edwin A. Sherman was chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Grand Commandery of the Lincoln Grand Guard of Honor.

From the description of Two letters : Oakland, Calif., to Elisha O. Crosby, Alameda, Calif., 1884 Jan. 30 & Feb. 25. 1884. (University of California, San Diego). WorldCat record id: 31057811


Sherman Was There The Recollections of Major Edwin A. Sherman With an Introduction by Allen B. Sherman

Edwin Allen Sherman was born on August 25, 1829, in North Bridgewater (now Brockton), Plymouth County, Massachusetts. His father was Jacob Sherman and his mother, Mary Ann (Pratt) Sherman. He resided in his place of birth until six years of age when, in 1835, his parents moved to South Boston. Here he attended the Hawes Grammar School until the spring of 1843 when he left home to visit relatives in Brimfield, Peoria County, Illinois. On his return trip he began his journalistic career by reporting for newspapers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and New York; and in Boston he was employed by William Lloyd Garrison on the Emancipator and Free American.

In 1845, with prospect of war with Mexico, he enlisted in the United States Army. As soldier and interpreter he served with Generals William J. Worth, Zachary Taylor, and Winfield Scott, in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Vera Cruz, Matamoras, and Cerro Gordo. At Monterey and Matamoras he assisted in getting out the American Flag, an army newspaper made up in Mexican Government printing offices. At the siege of Vera Cruz, Sherman was wounded by the windage of a cannon-shot passing between his knees.

With the news of the discovery of gold in California, Sherman assisted in forming the Camargo Company, which sailed from Philadelphia on February 1, 1849, in the Baltimore brig Thomas Walters for Tampico. From there the company traveled on horseback across Mexico by way of San Luis Potosm, Guadalajara, and Tepic, to Mazatlan where the company took passage in the Peruvian bark Fanny, Captain Du Brodt. The vessel arrived in San Francisco on May 24, 1849.

After the dissolution of the company, Sherman proceeded to Sacramento and thence to Rose's Bar on the Yuba River, where he mined until the fall. In January 1850, during the great flood, he went by sea to San Pedro and San Diego, and with others purchased horses and returned to Sacramento where they were disposed of at a large profit. In May 1850 he went to the Merced River to mine, but high waters drove his party out, causing a return to San Francisco. In July he went to Sonoma, and with a large party went to Clear Lake, fought Indians, and recovered large bands of horses and cattle the owners of which had been murdered. In December 1850 he returned to Sonoma, and in 1852 he was elected city clerk of the Common Council under Mayor Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. He also assisted in editing the Sonoma California Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin. In January 1854 he returned to his home in South Boston, Massachusetts.

Later that same year, with John C. Frimont, Sherman returned to California via Panama, and the following year he was elected county surveyor of Sacramento County, which office he held for two years. During this time, and for a few years afterward in connection with a private land office business, he was frequency engaged in the translation of papers relating to land grants, and assisted in the preliminary location and surveys of many of the grants. In 1860 he purchased the printing office of the San Bernardino Herald and published the Patriot, a Union paper, using the Ames Press (now in the Henry Ford Museum at Dearborn, Michigan). Later he moved the press to Aurora, Nevada, and published the Esmeralda Star, also a Union sheet.

In 1863 Sherman was elected state controller of Nevada. In 1862 Govemor Leland Stanford, of California, had commissioned him major of engineers on the staff of Brigadier General Alexander Malcolm Dobbie, and he was made military instructor of the National Guard of California for the state at large, it being placed on a war footing to suppress rebellion. Sherman was in New York City at the time of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, on April 14, 1865, and served as marshal of the Pacific Division of States and Territories in the great funeral procession in that city on April 25.

In 1866 he returned to Austin, Nevada, as superintendent of the New York & Austin Silver Mining Company. In December 1869 he resigned, went to White Pine, and located the site of Shermantown. In 1874 he was appointed town surveyor of Gold Hill, Nevada, and also deputy United States mineral surveyor, which offices he held until 1877 when he resigned and removed to San Francisco. In June 1883 he took up residence in Oakland, California, where he remained for the remainder of his career as mining expert, author, and contributor to San Francisco newspapers and magazines.

Sherman's life was an exemplification of an unrelenting devotion to country and to freedom, even to the neglect and sacrifice of personal interest. The author's passing on March 17, 1914, ushered in a new era of like sacrifice but unprecedented in scope for the cause of freedom.

The original manuscript of Major Sherman's recollections, written in the first part of the present century from notes made earlier, is contained in six tablets of heavy paper, written on one side, in ink. It is divided into five parts: 1. His boyhood around Boston; 2. The Mexican War; 3. His journey in 1849 across Mexico, from Tampico to Mazatlan; 4. California during the Gold Rush period; 5. The author's second visit to California and the conclusion of his career. We are omitting the first and second parts and begin here with Part 3.

From the guide to the Edwin Allen Sherman Papers, 1872-1971, (bulk 1896-1913), (The Bancroft Library.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Sherman, Edwin Allen, 1829-1914. Edwin Allen Sherman papers, 1872-1971, (bulk 1896-1913). UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Douglas Tilden Papers, 1860-1970 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Sherman, Edwin A. (Edwin Allen), 1829-1914. Two letters : Oakland, Calif., to Elisha O. Crosby, Alameda, Calif., 1884 Jan. 30 & Feb. 25. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Filibuster Expeditions Collection, 1851-1908 San Diego History Center Document Collection
referencedIn Brince, H. Photographs from the Edwin Allen Sherman papers [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Downing Sheldon, 1850-1898. Mary Downing Barnes papers, 1890-1898. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Sherman, Ed. Sherman, Ed : [photography bio file]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Monterey Public Library. California History Room. Documents clippings 1843-2002. Monterey Public Library
creatorOf Murrieta, Juan. Juan Murrieta diaries, record books, and family materials, c.1848-1990 (bulk 1848-1934) Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Cassagneres, Ev, 1928-. Everett Cassagneres aviation collection, 1931-2003. New Haven Colony Historical Society Library
creatorOf Burnett, Wellington Cleveland, 1830?-1907. Burnett family papers, 1840-1949. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Sherman, Edwin Allen, 1829-1914. Joseph Stewart : biographical sketch : typescript, 1905 Feb. 9. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Edwin Allen Sherman Papers, 1872-1971, (bulk 1896-1913) Bancroft Library
creatorOf Sherman, Edwin Allen, 1829-1914. Newspaper clippings of series of articles written by Edwin A. Sherman, 1895-1910. California State Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
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associatedWith Stewart, Joseph. person
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correspondedWith Tilden, Douglas, 1860-1935 person
associatedWith Vallejo, Mariano Guadalupe, 1841-1925, person
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associatedWith Woodruff, Charles Albert, 1845-1920, person
associatedWith Young, Lucien, 1852-1912, person
associatedWith Young, S. B. M. (Samuel Baldwin Marks), 1840-1924, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pyramid Lake (Calif.)
United States
California--Pyramid Lake
California--Lake County
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Indians of North America--History
Indians of North America


Birth 1829

Death 1914



Ark ID: w6hd86j9

SNAC ID: 28486530