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Item 68. Shinn’s Mining Camps—“The most tolerantly
critical study of mines, miners, and mining that we have” (Powell).
|68. SHINN, Charles
Howard (1852-1924). Mining Camps: A Study in American Frontier
Government. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1885. xi [1, blank]
316 [8, ads] pp. 8vo, original brown cloth with black ruling, gilt-lettered
spine. Spine slightly dark and a bit of shelf wear, text lightly age-toned,
generally a fine copy. John N. McCue’s copy, with his bookplate and
ink ownership inscription dated May 1907.
First edition. Adams, Guns 2003: “Scarce.” Cowan I, pp. 212-13. Cowan II, p. 584. Graff 3760. Holliday 996. Howell 50, California 837. Howes S416. Huntington Library, Zamorano 80...Exhibition of Famous and Notorious California Classics 68: “An authoritative study of the administration of mining law in the camps.” Libros Californianos, pp. 52-53 (Powell commentary): “Shinn...understood the period. He was, as the Mexicans say, both contento and simpático. As a result he has written, in his Mining Camps, the most tolerantly critical study of mines, miners, and mining that we have. At no time does he slop over into bawdy sentimentality, but he sees reason—both good or bad—in the most unreasonable acts. Defender of the period he may be called, and he summons in this defense, wisdom, tolerance, and conviction”; p. 70 (Hanna list). Norris 3567. Streeter Sale 2997: “This is one of the twelve important books on the gold rush picked out by J. Gregg Layne and listed in the Book Club of California Quarterly News Letter—Autumn 1948—TWS.” Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 188. Zamorano 80 #68 (J. Gregg Layne): “A logical and brilliant defense of the ’49er, and mining-camp ways, by a tolerant and capable student, who lived with, loved, and understood the miners and their ways.” ($300-600)
68A. SHINN, Charles Howard. Mining Camps: A Study in American
Frontier Government. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948.  xxvi,
291  vii (index)  [1, colophon] pp. 8vo, original brown cloth
gilt. Spine light, generally fine.
Even by today’s standards and with all the new books published because
of the Gold Rush sesquicentennial, Shinn’s Mining Camps still
must be regarded as one of the very best narrative histories. Preceding
the works of Royce and Bancroft, Mining Camps is the first true
interpretative history of the California Gold Rush. As an experienced
San Francisco journalist, Shinn knew how to express himself in a lively,
attention-getting, finished manner.
——Gary F. Kurutz
Additional sources consulted: Rodman W. Paul, Introduction to Mining Camps: A Study in American Frontier Government (New York: Harper & Row, 1965); Joseph Henry Jackson, Introduction to Mining Camps: A Study in American Frontier Government (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948).