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Auction 15: Fine Collection of Californiana Formed by Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Lots 171-175: San Francisco

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171. SAN FRANCISCO. Act of Incorporation and Ordinances of the City of San Francisco. San Francisco: Printed at the Office of the Evening Picayune, 1850. 72 pp. 8vo, original yellow printed wrappers, title within typographical border, stitched. Spine repaired, some light staining (especially at gutter), generally a very good copy. Ownership inscription on upper wrapper: “Isaac Bluxome Jr., San Francisco Nov. 22, 1850” (Bluxome later became the secretary of the Vigilance Committee of 1856, and was one of the most powerful officers in that group). Preserved in a quarter green morocco and marbled boards slipcase with chemise.

    First edition of “one of the earliest of the public documents of San Francisco” (Cowan I, p. 199). AII, California 31. Cowan II, p. 553. Fahey 192. Greenwood 229 (locating copies in the California State Library, in the Bancroft and Huntington libraries, and at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin). Howell 50, California 794. Huntington Sale 1698:784 (noting in 1934 that the work is “very rare”). Rocq 11438. Wagner, California Imprints 76. This work contains “An Act to Incorporate the City of San Francisco,” as passed by the Legislature on April 12, 1850; the message of Mayor John W. Geary to the members of the Town Council, delivered on April 9, 1850; and the thirty-nine city ordinances passed between May 15 and July 26, 1850. The ordinances organize the various departments (such as fire and police), authorize sale of buildings, regulate saloons and gambling halls, establish safe storage of gunpowder, address water supply, provide for grading and planking of streets, ban riots and running horses in streets, etc. The final ordinance, “Authorising the Comptroller to Advertise for Proposals for City Printing,” includes interesting documentation on early San Francisco printing.

172. SAN FRANCISCO. Charter for the City and County of San Francisco Proposed by the Board of Freeholders. San Francisco: S. W. Raveley, 1880. [2] 192 pp. 8vo, original full smooth black sheep, red and green morocco spine labels, gilt tooling, a.e.g. Spine lightly rubbed, head cap slightly loose, otherwise fine. Washington Bartlett’s copy with his name gilt on upper cover. Manuscript corrections in ink on pp. 102-103. An exceptional association copy.

    First edition, limited edition (one of 16 copies signed by all of the freeholders). Rocq 11437. Washington Bartlett (1824-1887) immigrated to California in 1849 and worked as a printer, issuing the first English-language book printed in California–Wierzbicki’s California as It Is and as It May Be (1849).

Active in the Democratic party and the Vigilance Committee of 1856, he was mayor of San Francisco (1882-1886) and governor of California in 1887, dying in office in his first year. This was the third charter for San Francisco, the first having been enacted in 1850, and the second in 1853.

173. SAN FRANCISCO. Proceedings of the Town Council of San Francisco, Upper California. San Francisco: Alta California Press, 1849-1850. Parts 2-4 (part 1 is not present). [19]-105 pp. (the 3 parts consecutively numbered). 3 (of 4) parts, 8vo, stitched as issued, with terminal blanks. Parts 2 and 3 slightly trimmed and partially unopened, a few light stains. Except for some light browning, very good. Part 4 is trimmed, lower wrapper foxed with minor hole and adhesive spot near top, folded, scattered foxing especially to first few leaves, contemporary ink ownership inscription on title page and occasional ink marks in text. Preserved in red slipcase with four chemises. The Streeter copy, with his book label; Eberstadt’s notes on parts 2 and 3 stating they were acquired in exchange from the Bancroft. Bancroft Library ink stamp and shelfmark on p. [21]. Streeter’s ms. note in first chemise stating that he was unable to ever obtain part 1. Complete sets are “excessively rare” (Cowan).

    First edition of the earliest publication of the proceedings of the Town Council. AII, California 104 & 146. Cowan I, p. 202. Cowan II, p. 563 (noting 200 copies each of parts 2 and 3 were printed). Fahey 162. Greenwood 143, 144, 244 & 245. Howell 50, California 221. Libros Californianos, p. 19 (Bliss list). Rocq 11755. Sabin 76070. Streeter Sale 2600. Wagner, California Imprints 38. The earliest published proceedings of the San Francisco Town Council, covering August 1849 to April 1850. In addition to the usual issues of managing streets and other such growth, the proceedings offer interesting insights into the problems faced by the burgeoning city. Among the more pressing problems faced were the need to build a city hospital (which was also to contain City Hall), fix the price of coffins at $25.00, and procure a supply of coffins for the city’s use. Even more urgent was the resolution at the December 24, 1849, meeting to organize fire companies in light of “the disastrous fire of this morning.”

174. SAN FRANCISCO. Minutes of the Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly
of the District of San Francisco, from March 12th, 1849, to June 4th, 1849, and a Record of the Proceedings of the Ayuntamiento or Town Council of San Francisco, from August 6th, 1849, until May 3d, 1850.... San Francisco: Towne & Bacon, 1860. iv [5]-296 pp. 8vo, contemporary three-quarter black sheep, spine gilt-lettered, edges speckled. Spine rubbed at extremities and along hinges, corner slightly scuffed, title page browned and with small piece missing from lower blank margin. With modern printed bookplate of KMJ (Kenneth M. Johnson?) on front pastedown and pencil note: “Bought at SCOP auction.” Several purple ink stamps of the Society of California Pioneers and their pictorial bookplate on front pastedown (see Talbot, Historic California in Bookplates, pp. 131-132, illustrated).
    Second edition. Cowan I, p. 202n. Cowan II, p. 563n. Greenwood 1364 (calling for frontispiece). Howell, Americana 492: “This volume contains the first printing of the records of the extra-legal ‘Legislative Assembly’ that refused to recognize the authority of the American military government, maintaining that the city of San Francisco should be administered by civilian officials.” Rocq 11574. Sabin 76062. Streeter Sale 2854. Reprints the original Proceedings of the Town Council of San Francisco (San Francisco: Alta California Press, 1849-1850), which was published in four parts. Talbot comments on the Society of California Pioneers bookplate: “The bookplate...approximates an al fresco treatment of state history, for from the San Cárlos to the Pony Express, it depicts that which could belong to no other state or group. The artist, Louise Thian Diamond, has cunningly contrived to suggest by her skill in perspective a chronological sequence of events in its minute space.”

175. SAN FRANCISCO. San Francisco Municipal Reports: 1859-60. [San Francisco]: Towne & Bacon, City and County Printers, 1860. iv [5]-186 pp. 8vo, contemporary gilt-stamped navy blue sheep, a.e.g. Moderately rubbed, some light to moderate foxing confined generally to first half of book and final leaves, small paper tear just into text at pp. 37-38. With name of A. M. Ebbets, Supervisor, 4th Ward, stamped in gilt on upper cover and added leather spine label and ink stamp of J. J. Dunne of Honolulu on front pastedown.
    First edition. Cowan I, p. 202n. Cowan II, p. 559. Rocq 11323. Sabin 76096. One of an annual series of reports. Ever San Francisco the surprising, the sheriff reports that in the previous year he transported thirty-one prisoners to the penitentiary but forty to the state insane asylum. The chief of police report has an interesting list of crime statistics, the most common one mentioned being “drunk,” which offense accounted for 2,161 arrests. More unexpected is the chief’s eloquent and moving plea for some action to be taken to protect Chinese prostitutes: “Words are powerless to paint the condition of loathsome disease in which they exist” (p. 42). On a more encouraging note, the school report notes that nearly 14,000 children are attending school, the majority of U.S.-born being from Massachusetts (716) and the majority of foreign-born, from Australia (190).

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