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AUCTION 16

“THE WORLD RUSHED IN”
THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH

Lot 37

Broadside Laws Printed at the Mines

37. COLUMBIA MINING DISTRICT. Columbia Mining Laws. [Text begins]: We, the Miners of the Columbia Mining District, working under sufferance of the Government of the United State [sic], do, upon this 1st day of October, 1853, enact the following Laws for the government of the mines within said District... [17 articles, signed at end]: C. H. Chamberlain, Pres. Attest, R. A. Robinson, Sec’y. [Columbia, California: Columbia Gazette, 1853]. Folio broadside printed in 3 columns. Browned from old backing.

     First printing. Bauer 61: “Important as the first separate printing known of the Columbia press and as an example of the organization of law and order under primitive conditions beyond the reach of regular government. The articles include provisions for enforcement.” Eberstadt 131:105: “Crudely printed with newspaper type; a press had been established in the mining camp in 1852. The item is of basic importance...as an example of how the California minersor men beyond the reach of government anywhere else in our States and Territories, for that matterbanded together and enacted and enforced codes of law for their own protection.” Greenwood 381 (3 loc.). Streeter Sale 2735.

     Of the seventeen articles, the first ones govern claims. Then is addressed the problem of foreigners staking claims; apparently South Sea Islanders and Asiatics were not terribly popular with this Yankee group, since they were forbidden to operate in the area, and punishment is provided for any miner who seeks to circumvent that prohibition. The final articles provide a system for enforcing the agreement among the group. ($5,000-10,000)

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