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Auction 15: Fine Collection of Californiana Formed by Daniel G. Volkmann Jr..
14. BOGGS, Mae Hèléne Bacon. My Playhouse Was a
Concord Coach: An Anthology of Newspaper Clippings and Documents Relating
to Those Who Made California History during the Years 1822-1888.
[Oakland: Howell-North Press, 1942]. xvi, 763 pp., numerous illustrations,
plates, and maps (some folded). Small folio, original blue buckram,
spine lettered in gilt, blind-stamped illustration of horse-drawn coach
on upper cover, photographic illustration on endpapers. Spine light
and minor shelf wear, otherwise very fine.
First edition. Adams, Guns 234. Dykes, Rare Western Outlaw Books 29. Howes B570. Rocq 15700. Chronological clippings, maps, and other documentation of California between 1822 and 1888.
15. BONNER, T. D. (editor). The Life and Adventures
of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer and Chief of
the Crow Nation of Indians. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1856.
537 pp., woodcut frontispiece, 12 full-page woodcut text illustrations
(4 signed by John McLenan). 8vo, original blind-embossed brown cloth,
spine stamped in gilt. Slightly shelf-worn, minor rubbing to spine extremities
and joints, corners lightly bumped, uniform light age toning, overall
a very good copy. Contemporary ink ownership inscription of Wm. DeWitt
Tisdale on front free endpaper.
First edition. Buck 156. Cowan II, p. 41. DeVoto, Across the Wide Missouri, p. 183: “One of the gaudiest books in our literature and may well be the goriest.... An indispensable witness to the events it deals with.” Dobie, p. 71: “Beckwourth was the champion of all Western liars.” Field 149. Graff 347: “Beckwourth’s life is a classic of pioneer days in the West.” Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers 1061 & I, p. 180: “Discovered by DeWitt C. Hitchcock working in a pork packing establishment in Cincinnati and making drawings on the tops of barrels, McLenan became one of the most prolific of our early illustrators.... His work will bear comparison with the best of his time.” Howes B601: “Highly colored, but basically authentic, narrative of a noted mountain character.” Plains & Rockies IV:272:1 (calling for 12 plates, including the frontispiece): “Recent scholars seem to take a more charitable view of Beckwourth’s veracity.” Rader 322. Rittenhouse 72. Sabin 4625. Smith 695.
“Beckwourth’s life is classic reading on the early West, but his patent exaggerations cast doubt on his stories” (Streeter Sale 2101). “Mulatto of Va., who became in the great West a famous hunter, guide, Indian-fighter, chief of the Crows, and horse-thief. No resume can do justice to his adventures, nor can the slightest faith be put in his statements” (Bancroft, Pioneer Register). “Now research indicates that Beckwourth’s basic narrative is true.... The narrative also records the way in which a black man succeeded in the dangerous and demanding life of the Far West between 1825 and 1865” (Lamar, Reader’s Encyclopedia of the American West). Among the more gruesome and disturbing incidents in this man’s life is his calm, illustrated recounting of how he “killed” his Native American wife who displeased him by participating in a dance (pp. 114-121). Amazingly, the chief, Beckwourth’s father-in-law, concurs and gives him a second, even better-looking daughter to replace the one he clubbed.
16. BROWNE, J[ohn] Ross. Resources of the Pacific
Slope: A Statistical and Descriptive Summary of the Mines and Minerals,
Climate, Topography, Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures, and Miscellaneous
Productions, of the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains.
With a Sketch of the Settlement and Exploration of Lower California.
New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1869. 678, 220 pp. 8vo, original
dark green pebble cloth with gilt-lettered title on spine. Light wear
at spine extremities, corners slightly bumped, light occasional foxing,
generally fine. With printed bookplate of C. O. G. Miller on front pastedown
and penciled signature of Jos. J. Seymour dated 1869 on title page.
First trade edition, revised and expanded (originally published as a government document containing 320 pages in 1867). Some copies of this edition bear the imprint of H. H. Bancroft and Company, San Francisco. Barrett 373. Cowan I, p. 27. Cowan II, p. 79n. This work covers western mining operations through 1866-1867. Although Browne gives impressive statistics for mining operations and comments extensively on the wealth extracted, he takes the general view that the operations are inefficient and could be much improved: “No country in the world can show such wasteful systems of mining as prevail in ours” (p. 9). He is generally supportive of the work done by placer miners, however, and considers them fairly efficient (p. 13). He supports a national school of mines as a corrective to the problem. The final section of the book is Alexander S. Taylor’s “Sketch of the Settlement and Exploration of Lower California.”
17. BUNNELL, Lafayette Houghton. Discovery of the
Yosemite, and the Indian War of 1851, Which Led to That Event. Chicago:
Fleming H. Revell, . 331 pp., frontispiece, map (Map of the
Yo-Semite Valley Prepared to Accompany Dr. L. H. Bunnell’s History of
the Discovery of the Valley.... 9.6 x 15.2 cm; 2-3/4 x 6 inches),
6 woodcut plates (portrait, scenes, map). 8vo, original gilt-lettered
blue cloth decorated in black. Lightly soiled and faded with minor bumping
to spine ends and corners, rear cloth slightly frayed at top, rear hinge
just starting, one page torn barely into text, otherwise a very good
First edition. Cowan II, p. 29. Currey & Kruska 27: “It is probable that the Walker party saw Yosemite Valley from its rim in 1833. The narrative of Bunnell and the diaries of Robert Eccleston are the principal sources of information on the Mariposa Indian War, which indirectly brought the valley to the attention of the general public.” Farquhar, Yosemite 15a. Howes B954. Bunnell and James D. Savage led the Mariposa Battalion in 1850-1851 in a punitive expedition against Native Americans accused of raiding mining camps. In the course of the campaign they discovered the Yosemite Valley and named it. Before them, it is thought that perhaps Joseph R. Walker’s party had visited, too. Many of the scenic woodcuts are interesting for the tiny people included to give perspective.
18. BUNNELL, Lafayette Houghton. Discovery of the
Yosemite, and the Indian War of 1851, Which Led to That Event. Chicago:
Fleming H. Revell, . 349 [1, blank] [3, ads] [1, blank] 8 pp.,
frontispiece, 1 map, 6 plates (all woodcut engravings). 8vo, original
gilt-lettered brown cloth decorated in black. Spine worn at extremities,
corners bumped and abraded. With purple ink stamp of D. B. M. Buck on
front pastedown and flyleaf. Author’s pencil presentation inscription
to Dr. Muligan of Wapasha, Minnesota, December 25, 1886, on front flyleaf.
Second edition of preceding. The text here has been slightly expanded and somewhat rewritten (Chapter 20 added, and former Chapter 20 changed to 21 and 22 and augmented). Currey & Kruska 27. Farquhar, Yosemite 15b. Howes B954. The plates are the same as those in the first edition.