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|80. WOODS, Daniel
B[ates] (?-?). Sixteen Months at the Gold Diggings. New York:
Harper, 1851. [2, blank] iii-vii, -199 [1, blank] 6 (publisher’s
catalogue) [2, publisher’s ads] pp. (complete). 12mo,
original brown blindstamped cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt.
Spine a bit light, binding slightly rubbed and worn (particularly at
extremities which are a little frayed), pervasive mild foxing to text,
overall a near fine to very good copy. Two contemporary ink ownership
inscriptions (George Poore and L. P. Washburn). Tipped onto the last
page of the preface is a contemporary newspaper clipping with this
sobering documentation: “COST OF DYING IN CALIFORNIA. A correspondent of
the Washington Union, furnishes that paper with the following
bill from San Francisco for services rendered to his deceased brother.”
Set out are the physician’s fee ($755) and funeral expenses, for a
total of $889, attested to by Charles A. Chagin, M.D., Sacramento Hospital,
Sutter’s Fort, November 25, 1849.
First edition. Blumann & Thomas 694. Braislin 1930. Cowan I, pp. 252, 279: “Woods reports mining $17,123.95 of gold from October 8 to November 9, 1850 on the Tuolumne River.” Cowan II, p. 694. Graff 4741. Gudde, California Gold Camps, p. 429. Hill, p. 621. Howell 50, California 940: “Vividly describes the sweat and toil of mining life.” Howes W651. Huntington Library, Zamorano 80...Exhibition of Famous and Notorious California Classics 80. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 696a. Norris 4265. Rocq 15417. Streeter Sale 2696. Vail, Gold Fever, p. 29. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 235. Zamorano 80 #80. ($400-800)
80A. WOODS, Daniel B[ates]. Sixteen
Months at the Gold Diggings. London: Sampson Low; New York: Harper
and Brothers, 1852. 199 [1, blank] 16 (publisher’s catalogue) pp. 12mo,
original beige blindstamped cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt.
Light outer wear and slight darkening, first and last few leaves browned,
occasional foxing, overall very good. Monsignor Joseph M. Gleason’s
copy, with his engraved bookplate (see Talbot,
Historic California in Book Plates, p. 99 [illustrated]
& p. 213). Front free endpaper with small
embossed stamp of Birmingham bookseller W. J. Sackett, old small ink-stamped
number on title verso. Lower pastedown with printed stamp of binder
Bone & Son of London.
Daniel B. Woods, a Philadelphia clergyman, began this lively volume
with a preface (dated July 1, 1851) stating that he intended to make
this book a miner’s manual based on his experience working in the diggings
“chiefly upon the American and Tuolumne Rivers and their tributaries.”
A rare Argonaut-clergyman, Reverend Woods further stated that he kept
this journal of mining at the request of friends, promising to record
“its lights and shades, its fortunes and misfortunes.” He wisely advised
his readers that mining was for young men and those who are doing
“well enough” or have families should stay home.
—Gary F. Kurutz