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Auction 15: Fine Collection of Californiana Formed by Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Lots 81-83: The Frémonts

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First Use of the Term “Golden Gate”

81. FRÉMONT, John C. Geographical Memoir upon Upper California, in Illustration of His Map of Oregon and California. Washington: HR5 [Tippin & Streeper], 1849. 40 pp., folded lithographed map with original outline color in green: Map of Oregon and Upper California from the Surveys of John Charles Frémont and other Authorities. Drawn By Charles Preuss under the Order of the Senate of the United States Washington City 1848. Lithy. by E. Weber & Co. Balto. (83.7 x 67.2 cm; 33 x 26-1/2 inches). 8vo, recent maroon cloth, gilt-lettered black spine label. Title page lightly browned with some foxing, else very good; map with minor loss at lower blank left margin, otherwise very fine (much better than usually found).
    First edition, the House issue of the report of Frémont’s third expedition, but with the preferred Senate version of Preuss’s map. California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present (Ralph E. Ehrenberg) 48. Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 152-153. Cowan II, p. 223n. Fritz, California Coast Redwood 303 (citing Senate issue). Howell 50, California 90. Howes F366. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 256b: “His report provided gold seekers with a reliable summary of the terrain they were about to encounter.” Littell 385. Paher, Nevada 637. Plains & Rockies IV:150:2. Sabin 25837. Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, plate 171, p. 278. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 78: “Important report.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West III, 559 & pp. 55-62: “The one great general map of 1848 was that of Fremont and Preuss.”

    Despite some misstatements by others, as Wheat points out, the map here is the large-scale, complete one, not the smaller quadrant that some say belongs with this report. In compiling this record of his third voyage, Frémont was relying totally on his memory because his journals had all been destroyed. Coming as it did nearly simultaneously with the announcement of California gold discoveries, it was basically the first reliable geographical information available to forty-niners. As Schwartz & Ehrenberg remark: “Frémont’s epochal map of Oregon and Upper California...added many new place names to the geographical nomenclature of the West, including the Humboldt River, Lake, and Range in present-day Nevada...San Francisco’s ‘Chrysopylae or Golden Gate’...and the phrase ‘El Dorado or Gold Regions,’ one of the earliest graphic announcements of the discovery of gold in California.” The map is also important as one of the early ones to depict the newly created Oregon Territory and for providing the first information about the unexplored area between the Great Salt Lake and the Pacific Ocean.
($750-1,500)

82. FRÉMONT, John C. & Jessie Benton Frémont. Memoirs of My Life...Including in the Narrative Five Journeys of Western Exploration, during the Years 1842, 1843-4, 1845-6-7, 1848-9, 1853-4.... Vol. 1 (all published). Chicago & New York: Belford, Clark, 1887. xix, 655 pp., 84 plates, including steel and wood engravings (some on tinted grounds), photogravures, 1 chromolithograph, and 7 maps (2 colored, 4 folded). Large 4to, original brown mottled sheep with decorative blind-stamping, spine gilt-lettered, beveled edges, a.e.g. Joints weak, corners bumped, lower board rubbed, hinges starting, small hole in blank margin of p. 539, otherwise interior fine. Because of the weight of the text block, this book is usually found with the hinges deteriorating.
    First edition, in the special binding and printed on better paper. Cowan I, p. 91. Cowan II, pp. 224-225. Eberstadt, Modern Narratives of the Plains & Rockies 171.
Fritz, California Coast Redwood 304. Howes F367: “Embraces his first three exploring expeditions and the part played by him in the conquest of California.” Larned 2035. Paher, Nevada 638. Rittenhouse 228. The Pathfinder’s own story of his first three exploring expeditions and his role in the conquest of California, with excellent illustrations by Darley, Hamilton, and other leading artists, along with photographs. The large folded map (often lacking) is tipped to the inner rear cover. A second volume was contemplated but never issued.
($250-500)

83. FRÉMONT, J[ohn] C[harles] [& Jessie Benton Frémont]. Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842, and to Oregon and North California, in the Years 1843-’44. London: Wiley & Putnam, 1846. 324 pp., 4 lithographed plates by Day & Haghe, large folded lithographed map: Map of the Western & Middle Portions of North America, to Illustrate “The History of California, Oregon & the Other Countries. On the North West Coast of America” by Robert Greenhow [below rule]: London, Wiley & Putnam (58 x 64 cm; 23-7/8 x 25-1/4 inches). 8vo, original navy blue blind-stamped cloth, spine gilt-lettered. Minor shelf wear (extremities chipped), spine slightly faded, some spotting and staining to covers, hinges cracked, occasional light foxing, old tape repair (approximately 5 cm) to map at juncture with book block, generally a very good copy, the text for the most part clean and bright, the map excellent except for the tape repair on verso, which does not show on the face of the map. Armorial bookplate of Chase.
    First English edition, an unrecorded issue, similar to Plains & Rockies IV:115:6, but with two additional plates (for a total of four) and without the ads. Howes F370 (calling for two plates). Norris 1179. Volkmann, Zamorano 80 (Gary F. Kurutz) 39: “John C. Frémont’s Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains...and to Oregon and California can only be described as one of the monumental works of Western exploration [and] became the vade mecum of Manifest Destiny. Its words, maps, and pictures paved the way for future waves of overlanders culminating in the flood tide of the Gold Rush.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 481n & II, p. 184 (stating that the map appeared in Greenhow’s History of Oregon published at Boston in 1844); Maps of the California Gold Region 22n (noting that the map appeared in the English and American editions of Greenhow). Zamorano 80 #39. The British edition of Frémont, which adds an introduction discussing the Oregon dispute, is printed on much better paper than U.S. editions and the plates were created by one of the prominent lithographic firms in nineteenth-century England, William Day & Louis Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen (see Tooley, 1999 edition, p. 343).
($250-500)


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