Charles Brinley Collection

TITLE: Charles Brinley Collection.

DATE RANGE: 1860 - 2006


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:  2 linear feet (2 boxes)

PROVENANCE: Received from Joseph Richards of New York, 2007.


RESTRICTIONS: This collection is unrestricted.   

CREDIT LINE: Charles Brinley Collection, Y-MS 7, Yuma County Library District


Charles Brinley was an influential judge in Yuma during the last half of the nineteenth century. He was born on October 21, 1825 in Massachusetts. His early life is largely unknown until 1845 when he arrived in California by boat. While in California he was involved in trading goods with China, building wagon roads, and was a volunteer in the California Militia during the Civil War.  In 1864 Brinley made his way to La Paz, Arizona, following the discovery of gold nearby.  In 1866, with the end of the gold rush, he moved to Yuma.  In Yuma Brinley became heavily involved in politics;  he was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1869, Probate Judge in 1870, and was frequently called on to act as a translator for the Spanish speaking population.  In 1871 Brinley was elected to the Arizona Territorial Assembly, a position he would hold on three separate occasions. He acted as a legal agent during the creation of the town of Ehrenburg and was a commissioner for the Territorial Prison.  Brinley served as a judge off and on until 1900.  In August of 1900 Brinley’s son Charles Jr. was arrested for robbery. While he was not convicted, Brinley resigned as judge before the trial. Soon afterwards he moved to Los Angeles, California to live with his daughter, Sarah. He died there in 1907.


The Biographical section contains mostly newspaper articles, and a few short biographical summaries about Charles Brinley. There is also a partial genealogy of the Brinley family. The certificates section has several documents appointing Charles Brinley to various positions, such as Commissioner of Deeds, Revenue Collector, Deputy Collector of Customs, and Vice Consul to Mexico. The Correspondence section contains letters and invitations mostly sent to Brinley but also a few that he wrote himself. Many of the letters have to do with Brinley’s various legal and political positions. The Documents section holds various assorted papers including a divorce case handled by the Territorial Assembly, petitions, and notes on laws. Also in this section are the 1863 minutes of several meetings about the creation of the town site of La Paz, Arizona.. The map section contains a map of the railways of southern California. The Postcard section has three advertisement postcards from the early 1900s, as well as a complimentary railway pass for the Prescott and Arizona Central Railway Company from 1891. The Certificates contain Brinley’s appointments to various offices 1868-1901.


Box Folder Title Dates
1 1 Biographical: Charles Brinley 1860 – 2006, N.D.
  2 Biographical: (Nora Brinley, Francis Brinley)  N.D.
  3 Certificates 1868 – 1890
  4 Correspondence 1863 – 1904, N.D.
  5 Documents 1871 – 1873, N.D.
  6 Documents: La Paz, Arizona 1863
  7 Map: Montane California N.D.
  8 Postcards 1891, N.D.
2 1 Certificates (Oversize) 1868-1901


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