[SAN JOSÉ, CALIFORNIA]. HALL, Frederic. The History of San José and Surroundings with Biographical Sketches of Early Settlers...Illustrated with a Map and Engravings on Stone. San Francisco: Printing House of A.L. Bancroft and Company, No. 721 Market Street, 1871. [i-iii] iv-xv [1, blank],  2-537 pp., frontispiece, 3 plates, 1 folded map on thin paper (Map of Pueblo Lands of San Jose...July 1866. Lith. by Geo. H. Baker; 51 x 42 cm). 8vo (23.5 x 15 cm), original gilt-lettered blue pebble cloth, gilt-lettered spine, beveled edges. Text block slightly cracked at pp. 192-193; map with several archival tape repairs, a paper reinforcement, and fold split (no losses). Otherwise, a fine, fresh copy.
First edition. Cowan II, p. 259: “Historically valuable.” Howes H63. Rocq 14036.
A complete history of San José through 1870. Chapters 11 and 12 (pp. 133-166) cover the Mexican-American War, including the Bear Flag Revolt. Hall (1825-1898) was from Vermont and after emigrating to California became a prominent lawyer knowledgeable in land law. He even went to Mexico to defend Maximilian, although he was not allowed to address the court. Johnson said of this text: “The history is a thoroughly creditable work and no subsequent history of the area can be written without reference to it.... The work is truly source material for the time and era” (Kenneth M. Johnson, “Frederic Hall,” California Historical Society Quarterly, vol. 38. no 1, March, 1959, p. 54).