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

Lots 46-48: Mormon Battalion, Overlands, California's Natural Wealth

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46. COOKE, P[hilip] St. G[eorge]. The Conquest of New Mexico and California; An Historical and Personal Narrative.... New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1878. vi, 307 pp., large folded engraved map: Sketch of part of the march & wagon road of Lt. Colonel Cooke, from Santa Fe to the Pacific Ocean 1846-7.... (22 x 43 cm; 8-5/8 x 17 inches). 12mo, original green cloth, black stamped bands on upper cover (repeated in blind on lower cover), title in gilt on backstrip. Front pastedown split at juncture of board and text block (but hinge unsplit and strong), slight chipping and splits to map (no losses), light marginal browning to text, but overall a very good, bright copy, preserved in a green cloth slipcase. Pencil ownership inscription on front flyleaf: “H. A. Manchester, May 1890, Auburn N.Y.”; signature repeated on p. [1]. The Littell copy, with red morocco gilt-lettered label on front pastedown.
    First edition of “an important source on the course of the Mexican War in the Far West by one of the great western soldiers” (Streeter Sale 182). Bradford 1055. Braislin 476. Connor & Faulk 293. Cowan I, p. 55. Cowan II, p. 142. Edwards, Enduring Desert, pp. 54-55. Flake 2499. Garrett, Mexican-American War, p. 201. Graff 869. Haferkorn, pp. 34-35. Holliday 230A. Howell 50, California 393. Howes C728. Kurutz & Mathes, The Forgotten War, pp. 130-131: “Cooke commanded the Mormon Battalion, and his narrative covers the final stages of the conquest of California.... Cooke was highly critical of Frémont.” Littell 215. Munk (Alliot), p. 54. Plains & Rockies IV:165n. Rader 912. Rittenhouse 129. Saunders 2837. Tutorow 3426. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 505. The march of the untrained Mormon Battalion under the command of Cooke was an epochal event in Western history. At the outbreak of the Mexican-American War in 1846, Cooke marched with Kearny’s Army of the West to New Mexico. In October Cooke left Santa Fé with a battalion of Mormons and a small supply train to open a wagon route to the Pacific by the Gila route, involving a 1,100-mile march through unknown wilderness without a road or trail. Cooke, who has been called the beau sabreur and ideal cavalry leader in American history, succeeded in opening the wagon (and eventual railroad) route to the Pacific, helped gain respect for Mormons, and played a prominent role in bringing peace to a divided California.

47. COTTEAU, Edmond. Six mille lieues en soixante jours.... Auxerre: Gustave Perriquet, 1887. 138 [2] pp., 1 folded colored lithographed map showing the author’s route, bodies of water tinted in pale green: Six mille lieues en soixante jours. Itinéraire de l’auteur (20.3 x 45.3 cm; 8 x 17-3/4 inches). 8vo, original green printed wrappers bound into modern half mauve cloth over marbled boards, gilt-lettered green spine label. Light shelf wear, endpapers browned, title page foxed, light uniform foxing to text, small ink stain in upper blank margin of several leaves, overall very good. Author’s signed presentation ink inscription to Monsieur Tilleron on upper wrapper. Little known, and rare.
    First edition (first appeared in Bulletin de la Société des sciences historiques et naturelles de l’Yonne, 1er semestre 1877). Monaghan, p. 29. Not in Flake, Paher, Howes, etc. In his visit to the U.S., the author traveled overland by train to California from Chicago, arriving in San Francisco via Dutch Flats, which he entered on September 24. He remarks favorably on San Francisco, Oakland, and the University of California, although like many European visitors he is a little taken aback by the leveling effects of U.S. society. He is greatly impressed that the San Francisco police issue citizens special whistles with which to summon their help, the efficacy of which he witnessed after a shooting (p. 87). He left on September 26 to recross the country by train. Coutteau, a member of the French Alpine Club, later wrote Promenades dans les deux Amériques 1876, 1877 (Paris, 1880).

48. CRONISE, Titus Fey. The Natural Wealth of California.... San Francisco: H. H. Bancroft, 1868. xvi, 696 [12, ads] pp., 16 wood-engraved plates (views, scenes, mining operations). Large thick 8vo, original green pebble cloth, beveled edges, title gilt on spine. Other than light binding wear, fine and bright. With printed bookplate of Alfred I. Esberg on front pastedown and two 1868 ink stamps of jobbers and importers Isaac and Lewis Wormser of San Francisco on front flyleaf.
    First edition, the preferred issue, with plates. BAL 7243. Bradford 1134. Cowan I, p. 60. Cowan II, pp. 150-151: “The best and most reliable work of the time.” Edwards, Enduring Desert, pp. 62-63. Fritz, California Coast Redwood 88 (includes information about lumbering and mills). Howell 50, California 400: “The best and most reliable work of its time, describing climate, agriculture, geology, zoology, railroads, mining, and manufactures. Many copies were issued without the plates.” Rocq 16793. Sabin 17608. A fine copy of a book most often found without the plates and in poor condition because the text block weighs more than the binding was designed to withstand. Printed by Towne & Bacon, stereotyped at the California Type Foundry, and bound by Bartling & Kimball (p. [iv]). An encyclopedic work on the history and present state of California published at a transitional time in the state’s history, which is reflected by the fact that the author pays more attention to agriculture and manufacturing than to mining operations, although recognizing the need for all if the state is to prosper. Bret Harte made unidentified contributions to this work.

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