Captain John DeWitt Burgess (1847-1918) was a soldier, mining engineer, Indian scout, and early pioneer of Tucson. After serving in the Civil War, he came to Arizona in 1873 and became involved with mining in the Prescott area. However, he also scouted for the Army (employed by General Crook) and was appointed storekeeper at Verde Indian Reservation. After 1882, Burgess continued in mining activities as manager of the Table Mountain Copper mines and Saginaw mines near Tucson, AZ. In 1913, Burgess went into business with Buffalo Bill Cody at a mining site near Oracle, AZ.
The collection contains correspondence concerning a state-wide fund raising effort to pay for a silver service to present to the Battleship Arizona. Correspondents include Thomas E. Campbell, Allen T. Bird, and William A. Clark. Also included are lists of contributors and their contributions.