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Marshall Bond papers

Call Number: WA MSS S-2358

Scope and Contents

The Marshall Bond Papers document the life of gold miner and adventurer Marshall Bond (1867-1941), and his family. The papers span the years 1869-1976, with the bulk falling between 1897 and 1935. The papers are organized into four series: Correspondence, Writings, Other Papers, and Photographs.

Series I, Correspondence , is organized into two subseries: Family Correspondence and Other Correspondence. The first, Family Correspondence, contains letters to and from Bond family members. It is arranged chronologically, and consists chiefly of long, detailed letters from Marshall Bond to his parents, his wife, and his sons. The most extensive group are letters written from the Klondike in 1897-98. Other letters from Bond to his family document a brief trip to Manila in 1899; his trip to Mexico in 1902 with E. Reeve Merritt and Boer General W. D. Synman; his experiences in Goldfield, Nevada, during the mining boom there in 1904; the Pancho Villa attacks on villages in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1918; and his tour through Africa in 1927. Other family correspondence includes a letter to Bond from his father, letters from his nephew Marshall Bond regarding a mining venture, and letters from cousins, including two letters from a cousin serving at the front in France during World War I. Also included in this subseries is a letter to Marshall Bond, Jr., from his cousin Edward Bond, Louis Bond's son, which contains a transcription of a letter from Jack London to Louis Bond, and of London's inscription in Louis Bond's copy of Call of the Wild.

Other Correspondence consists of letters written by non family members to Marshall Bond, Hiram G. Bond, Louis W. and Mary Bond, and Marshall Bond, Jr., as well as a few letters written to other parties. This subseries is arranged alphabetically under headings for each recipient. It consists chiefly of letters to Marshall Bond from business associates and friends, but also includes letters written to and on behalf of his father, Judge Hiram G. Bond, regarding a federal judgeship appointment in 1869, copies of letters from Mrs. Jack London to Louis and Mary Bond, and one letter to Marshall Bond, Jr., from his father's friend Osborne Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans. Copies of Marshall Bond's outgoing correspondence can be found throughout this subseries, interfiled with incoming letters from each correspondent. The letters to Marshall Bond document his mining investments and consultant work, other business ventures, and the plan to settle the Boers in Mexico in 1902, as well as his friendships with classmates from Yale and St. Paul's, business partners and associates, adventurers such as Warburton Pike and Belmore Browne, and writer Jack London. There is one letter from Jack London to Marshall Bond in the collection, in which London confirms that "Buck" in The Call of the Wild was indeed based on the Bonds' dog. The most substantial files in this subseries are those of Bond's correspondence with Richard M. Hurd, Oliver H. P. La Farge, George H. Mairs, Robert Rea, A. P. Rogers, and Lady Glover. Correspondence with Herbert H. White concerns Bond's role as an intelligence agent in an unnamed organization during World War I. Third party correspondence includes two letters from the Klondike in 1898 written by a man named Charlie, a typescript of a World War I letter from A. B. E. Cator, and copies of letters concerning Warburton Pike.

Series II, Writings , includes Bond's diary from the Klondike in 1897-98 and draft chapters of an uncompleted book about his Klondike experience; clippings of newspaper articles he wrote about the gold rush in Goldfield, Nevada, and Idaho in 1902-5 and about Pancho Villa in 1918; and a typescript carbon of his diary from his hunting trip on the Stikine River in 1911. Other writings include a short story about Africa, which accompanies a letter and is stored with the letter in Series I, and pages of his diary documenting a 1926 trip with New Mexico Governor Miguel Otero to interview surviving associates of Billy the Kid in Lincoln County, New Mexico, which are in his photo album from that trip, in Series IV.

Series III, Other Papers , includes a contract between Marshall Bond and L. W. Fox of Dawson City in 1897, witnessed by Jack London and Louis Bond; maps of the Yukon Territory and Alaska; a copy of a mine report; and an essay by Oliver H. P. La Farge about a camping trip he took with the Bonds. Also present is a bound typescript of a book by Marshall Bond, Jr., Adventures with Peons, Princes and Tycoons, with photographs tipped in (this book was later published by Star Rover House, 1983).

Series IV, Photographs , contains one photograph of Marshall Bond in his undergraduate years at Yale; forty-five commercially produced photographs of Dawson City and the Klondike region, the majority of them by Eric A. Hegg, with a few by Larss and Duclos, one by Case and Draper, and one by M. Craig; two personal photographs of the Bonds' cabin in Dawson and its inhabitants, one of which includes the dog that inspired Jack London's The Call of the Wild; photographs of Judge Bond and his wife Laura, Louis and Mary Bond and their children, and Marshall and Amy Bond with their son Richard in 1906 at New Park, the Judge's Santa Clara house on which London based the setting of the beginning of The Call of the Wild, as well as photos of the interior and exterior of the house itself; a portrait of Marshall Bond with Boer General W. D. Snyman and E. Reeve Merritt taken in Mexico City during their official visit on behalf of Boer refugees in 1902; snapshots of the Goldfield, Nevada mines, miners, and the Bond family's cabin there in 1904; two photos of miners in Jarbridge, Nevada in 1910; and a studio portrait of Marshall Bond in middle-age.

There are also two photo albums in this series. One documents Bond's hunting trip on the Stikine River in Alaska in 1911, and includes photos of Warburton Pike, Lord Osborne Beauclerk (later Duke of St. Albans), and Bond's older son Richard. The other album documents a trip Bond took in 1926 with his son Marshall, New Mexico Governor Miguel Otero, and Mrs. Otero to interview surviving associates of Billy the Kid; it includes pictures of Frank and George Coe and their wives, Susan E. (McSween) Barber, and others. Also present are loose commercial reproductions of photos of Billy the Kid and other Wild West figures such as the James Gang.


  • 1869-1976


Physical Description

Other Storage Formats: 2 broadside folders

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Restricted Fragile material in box 7 may be consulted only with permission of the appropriate curator. Preservation photocopies for reference use have been substituted in the main files.

Conditions Governing Use

The Marshall Bond Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Richard M. and Marshall Bond, Jr., 1952-1976


2.21 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers document the life, work, and adventures of Marshall Bond between 1897 and 1935, and also include a few papers of his father, Hiram G. Bond, and his son, Marshall Bond, Jr. Bond's Klondike experience is well documented by his diary from 1897-98, letters to his family, draft chapters of a memoir about his experiences, and photographs. The photographs include one of the dog who inspired Jack London's novel The Call of the Wild; several of the Bond family's California home, on which London based the setting for the beginning of the novel; and forty-five commercially produced photos of the Klondike region and Dawson by E. A. Hegg and other photographers.
The bulk of the collection is correspondence, which includes Bond's letters to his family from the Klondike, from Goldfield, Nevada in 1904, from Mexican villages under attack by Pancho Villa in 1918, and from hunting trips in Alaska in 1911 and Africa in 1927. It also includes his incoming and outgoing correspondence with business associates and friends, which documents mining ventures and other matters, including a plan to settle Boer refugees in Mexico. Bond's letters to Herbert H. White report intelligence about Germans in the American Southwest during World War I.
The correspondence includes one letter from Jack London to Marshall Bond, in which London confirms that the character "Buck" was indeed based on the Bonds' dog, and Judge Miller's house in the novel on Judge Bond's house in Santa Clara.
The collection also includes photographs taken in 1926 of surviving associates of Billy the Kid, a few World War I letters from the front, copies of newspaper articles by Bond, maps of the Yukon Territory, and a typescript of a book by Marshall Bond, Jr.


Marshall Bond (1867-1941) was born in Richmond, Virginia, the second son of Federal Judge Hiram G. Bond and Laura Higgins Bond. The family moved to Denver, Colorado in 1870, and thereafter continued to relocate frequently to be near the Judge's mining investments and other business concerns. Marshall Bond attended St. Paul's School, in New Hampshire, and Yale College, graduating in 1888.

After college, he worked for his father's mining company in Seattle and formed a real estate partnership with Oliver H. P. La Farge. In July of 1897, Marshall Bond, his brother Louis Bond, La Farge, and Stanley Pearce left Seattle for the Klondike gold rush, settling in Dawson City, Northwest Territories for the winter of 1897-98. There, the Bond brothers befriended Jack London, who later based The Call of the Wild on Louis Bond's dog Jack and used New Park, Judge Bond's home in Santa Clara, California, as the setting for the beginning of the novel.

Although his Klondike venture was not profitable, Bond continued to work in gold mining for most of his life, investing in claims independently and with various business partners, working as a special correspondent to several West coast newspapers from Goldfield, Nevada in 1904-05, and as a consultant to mining companies, including the Alvarado Mining and Milling Company in Chihuahua, Mexico, during a period of raids by Pancho Villa in 1918. His last mining interest was in the Mohave desert in the 1930s. At other times he worked as director of his father's companies and as a stockbroker, and seems to have served as a domestic intelligence agent during World War I. Other projects included an official visit to Mexico City in 1902 with Boer General W. D. Snyman to discuss the permanent relocation of Boer refugees to Mexico.

Bond was an avid adventurer and big game hunter. In addition to regular camping trips with friends and family, he went on at least two major hunting expeditions: one on the Stikine River in Alaska in 1911, the other an extended trip through Africa in 1927.

Marshall Bond married Amy Louise Burnett of Seattle. They had two children: Richard M. Bond, born in 1903, and Marshall Bond, Jr., born in 1908. Both sons are Yale graduates.

Processing Information

The letter from Jack London to Marshall Bond, 1903 Dec 17, and the photograph autographed by Jack London were formerly cataloged as part of the ZA Letter File.

Guide to the Marshall Bond Papers
by Ellen Doon
February 2000
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.