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Auction 15: Fine Collection of Californiana Formed by Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.
Muir’s First Appearance in a Book
116. KNEELAND, Samuel. The Wonders of the Yosemite Valley, and of California. Boston: Alexander Moore and Lee & Shepard; New York: Lee, Shepard & Dillingham, 1872. xii, 13-79 pp., 10 mounted albumen photographs by John P. Soulé, 2 engraved maps (one counted as part of pagination), a few text illustrations (text and plates printed within red-ruled border; captions in red). Large 8vo, original green pebble cloth, upper cover and spine gilt-lettered and decorated in gilt and black, lower cover stamped in blind, beveled edges, a.e.g. A few pages stained from plant specimens, text block cracked at pp. 42-43, otherwise very fine, the binding fresh and bright.
Second edition, enlarged (first edition, Boston: Alexander Moore, 1871). The second edition added two maps and extended the text to include two articles (“The Yosemite in 1872” and “The Recent Earthquake in Yosemite”) largely by John Muir, marking Muir’s first appearance in a book (not in BAL, who lists Muir’s contributions to the third edition; see BAL 14733).
Cowan I, pp. 131-132. Cowan II, p. 333. Currey & Kruska 225: “Kneeland, a professor of zoology and physiology and secretary of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, produced one of the better early guide books to the Yosemite region.
It is an especially attractive book due to the inclusion of an excellent series of mounted photographic images.” Farquhar, Yosemite 10b. Kurutz, California Books Illustrated with Original Photographs 1856-1890 #84. Kneeland traveled on the newly opened transcontinental railroad and returned east via Panama. The source of the photographs in this work is the subject of some conjecture. They were supplied to Kneeland by Boston photographer John P. Soulé; however, Soulé apparently never visited Yosemite.
It has been suggested
they were taken by Muybridge, but the photographer’s actual identity has never
been firmly established.
117. KROEBER, A[lfred] L[ewis]. Handbook of the Indians of California. Washington: GPO, 1925. xviii, 995 pp., 73 half-tone photographic plates, some on both sides of a sheet (Native American subjects), 7 colored maps (5 folded), 3 folded uncolored maps. 8vo, original olive cloth, title in gilt on spine. Light binding wear, otherwise a very fine copy of this physically ponderous volume.
First edition. Smithsonian Institution Bureau of Ethnology Bulletin 78. Cowan II, p. 336: “Highly important work.” Fritz, California Coast Redwood 341: “A basic source book. Includes several references to the use of redwood by the Yurok, Tolowa, Wiyot, Hupa, Karok, and Sinkyone tribes; particularly a description in great detail of the construction of Yurok houses and sweathouses from redwood; and a detailed account of the construction and uses of the Yurok type canoe, made only from redwood because of its size, evenness of grain, and softness under tools.” Howell 50, California 1560: “The most comprehensive one-volume study of the Indians of California ever published.... Kroeber’s Handbook remains the single most valuable and informative work on the subject, and is indispensable to any understanding of the history and customs of the Indian cultures.” Howes K268. Libros Californianos, pp. 54, 60 & 74 (Hanna list: “A complete guide to the native races–prehistoric and historic–by the foremost living American anthropologist. Out of print, alas!”). Rocq 16975.
118. LAMBERTIE, Ch[arles] de. Voyage pittoresque en Californie et au Chili; Iles Malouines; Terres Magellaniques; Détroit de Magellan; Terre-de-Feu; Terre-des-États; Cap-Horn; etc. Paris: Ledoyen...ou chez l’Auteur, 1853. xi [1, blank] 292, 295-310 pp. (text complete). 8vo, modern half tan roan over contemporary marbled boards, spine gilt-lettered, marbled endpapers. Sheets uniformly age-toned, else fine. Very rare.
edition (author states parts appeared previously in Paris periodicals,
p. xi). Cowan I, p. 134. Cowan II, p. 340. Holliday 622. Howes L42. Kurutz,
The California Gold Rush 388. Monaghan 903. Palau 130625. Sabin 38741.
An extremely obscure book by an equally obscure author, about whom little
is known except the vanity revealed in his preface and “Miscellanies” here.
He claims his book is the first one like it in French about California. Complaining
about the dryness of previous accounts, Lambertie tightly wraps himself in
the Romantic mantle and promises a narrative rich in emotion and personal
reactions. His description of San Francisco concentrates on the contradictions
to be found there both in wealth and commerce, but he resolutely believes
in the energies and capabilities of the American citizenry. Oddly, he comments
that prostitutes seem to have a lot of money and command a good price under
the circumstances, apparently just another scarce commodity, like eggs. Though
suitably impressed by the opulent gambling establishments and the array of
gourmet cuisine, he considers the latter overpriced. Among the unfortunate
sights witnessed was the fire of May 3, 1850. He quits the city for the goldfields
because of it and travels to Stockton. After a few adventures there, he works
a cradle on the Mokelumne River and moves on to another mining camp. His narrative
turns to describing Native Americans of the vicinity and then abruptly ceases.
This rare narrative deserves more study. We trace four copies in commerce:
the Holliday Sale (1954 at $32.50), Scribner’s (1956 at $35.00), Palau (noting
a copy at 25 francs before 1954), and Chamonal (2003 at $6,000 U.S.).
119. [LANG, Herbert O., et al.(compilers)]. A History of Tuolumne County, California; Compiled from the Most Authentic Records. San Francisco: B. F. Alley, 1882.  xi [1, blank] 509 [1, blank] 48 pp., woodcut frontispiece portrait , 11 woodcut plates (portraits). 8vo, contemporary full sheep, neatly rebacked (original spine and red and black leather labels preserved). Spine and boards somewhat rubbed, both hinges opened but holding, otherwise very good.
edition. Adams, Guns 361 & 2248: “Rare. Has a chapter on stage
robbers and other criminals, such as Murieta and Tom Bell.” Blumann and Thomas
4712 (citing the reprint). Cowan II, p. 646. Cowan & Dunlap, Chinese
Question 6 (listing the book under publisher B. F. Alley). Eberstadt 128:76.
Howes L71. Norris 3968 (lacking title page): “One of the rarest of all California
histories. Only a few copies in existence.” Rocq 15345. The preface makes
it clear that this was a work assembled by several compilers from various
sources. A fairly detailed and nicely organized history of the county, including
sections on history, distinguished residents, chronology, and gold mining.
The chronology, which covers May 1849 to September 1880, gives a graphic idea
of how dangerous and violent a place California could be during those years.
It recites great progress in some aspects of society, but is also a litany
of fires, cave-ins, floods, robberies, and murders, one of which, on January
25, 1851, ended with the murderer “immediately hanged by the exasperated crowd.”
One of the portraits (most of which were engraved by F. Bühler) shows Mark
Twain, and a biography of Twain is included on pp. 47-48 at the end.