Copyright 2000- by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

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

Lots 84-88: Social History, Economics & Herbs

| <<previous lots | |Auction 15 abstracts| |Home| |A15 contents| | next lots>> |

84. FRIGNET, Ernest. La Californie. Histoire des Progrès de l’un des États-Unis d’Amérique et des Institutions qui Font sa Prospérité. Deuxième Édition Revue et Enrichie d’une Carte de la Californie. Paris: Schlesinger Frères, 1867. [4] xxvi, 479 pp., lithographed folded map (California [sic] [below neat line]: Gravé chez Avril Fres. | Imp. Grandjean, R. du Jardinet, 10; 37.9 x 31.7 cm; 15 x 12-1/2 inches). 8vo, original printed wrappers in original glassine dust jacket. Mostly unopened, a pristine, nearly as-issued copy.
    Second edition (the first edition, published the previous year, did not contain the map). Cowan I, p. 92n: “Of the numerous works upon California, this is one of the best and most complete of that period. Numerous authorities have been consulted and carefully cited.” Cowan II, p. 225. Holliday 406. Howell 50, California 478 (this copy). Howes F385. Monaghan 710. Sabin 25969. Written by an unabashed U.S. admirer who wishes the country and California well at the end of the Civil War. The map shows railroad routes and wagon roads.

85. FRINK, Margaret A. Journal of the Adventures of a Party of California Gold-Seekers Under the Guidance of Mr. Ledyard Frink During a Journey across the Plains from Martinsville, Indiana, to Sacramento, California, from March 30, 1850, to September 7, 1850. From the Original Diary of the Trip Kept by Mrs. Margaret A. Frink. [Oakland: Privately printed, 1897]. 131 pp., 2 frontispiece portraits. 12mo, original gilt-stamped brown cloth. Front hinge cracked, otherwise very fine. Rare, privately printed account.
    First edition, limited edition (50 copies printed, per Kurutz). Cowan II, p. 225. Eberstadt, Modern Narratives of the Plains & Rockies 172. Graff 1445. Howell 50, California 479: “An engrossing account in diary form.... Mrs. Frink, an intrepid, acute, and sensitive observer, comments in detail on the routes followed, scenery, fellow travelers, and Sacramento.” Howes F388. Kurutz, California Gold Rush 258a: “Eberstadt describes the Frink journal as ‘one of the fullest and most interesting of source accounts of the great overland migration.’ Along with her husband, Ledyard, and other three men, Margaret Frink began her great journey on March 30, 1850. On September 4, they reached Pleasant Valley and on the 5th Ringgold, the first regular mining camp.... In Sacramento the couple established Frink’s Hotel, experienced a cholera epidemic, sold the hotel, and bought twenty-five cows. Frink concludes the journal with a summary of their life in Sacramento and an account of what became of their traveling companions. Written for family and friends, only fifty copies of this important and detailed narrative were printed.” Littell 386. Mattes, Platte River Road Narratives 795. Mintz, The Trail 166. Streeter Sale 3201.

86. GARRARD, Lewis H[ector]. Wah-To-Yah, and the Taos Trail; or, Prairie Travel and Scalp Dances, with a Look at Los Rancheros from Muleback and the Rocky Mountain Campfire. Cincinnati: H. W. Derby & Co.; New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1850. vi [2] 349 pp. 8vo, original dark brown blind-stamped cloth, spine gilt (expertly recased). Spinal extremities and corners slightly bumped, gilt lettering on spine dull, text with light to moderate foxing (a few signatures more heavily), overall a very good copy of a book difficult to find in good condition. Black cloth slipcase.
    First edition (with mispagination at p. 269, as noted by Graff). Campbell, pp. 46, 192. Dobie, p. 72. Field 594. Flake 3509. Garrett, Mexican-American War, pp. 147-148. Graff 1513: “An important Southwest book by a perceptive observer and a thoroughly captivating writer. Edward Eberstadt often recommended this work as the first book that collectors should read about the Southwest.” Holliday 419. Howes G70. Jones 1239. Plains & Rockies IV:182. Rader 1538. Rittenhouse 236: “One of the great classics not only on the Trail but of the entire Southwest.” Sabin 26687. Streeter Sale 170: “The classic account of the Santa Fe trail and life on the trail.” Tutorow 3428. One of the most important overland narratives and a fascinating account of life on the trail. The author was only seventeen when he made his journey, during which he met Jim Beckwourth, Kit Carson, Edward Beale, and George Ruxton. He accompanied Ceran St. Vrain, the celebrated Indian trader, and describes the Taos Massacre and the trial of the Mexican prisoners, which he witnessed.

87. GAY, Frederick A. Sketches of California: An Account of the Life, Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants. Its History, Climate, Soil, Productions, &c.... Also Interesting Information in Relation to the Canchalagua, a Californian Plant of Rare Medicinal Virtues [wrapper title]. N.p., n.d. 16 pp., printed in two columns. 8vo, original yellow pictorial wrappers (title and illustration of Mexican eagle within ornate border; testimonials on verso of upper wrapper and recto of lower wrapper; ad on verso of lower wrapper), stabholes. Other than mild soiling and slight wear to wraps, very fine. Preserved in a half green morocco over green cloth slipcase with chemise. Provenance: Jenny Crocker Henderson–John Howell-Books.

    First edition. Cowan I, p. 94 (stating the pamphlet was printed in New York in 1848): “Issued for gratuitous distribution, to advertise the merits claimed for this wonderful plant. With the exception of hides, tallow, and gold, this is probably the first time that the attention of the world was directed to the qualities of a natural product of California.” Cowan II, pp. 230-231. Graff 1525. Holliday 425. Howell 50, California 98: “Exceedingly rare.” Littell 400: “Seldom found with the original wrappers.” Sabin 267887. Streeter Sale 2530: “The author confesses in a note on p. 10 that he has been somewhat indebted for his sketches to Bryant’s What I Saw in California, published in 1848, but the chapters on ‘State of Agriculture’ and ‘Production and Live Stock of the Country’ are not directly traceable to Bryant. From p. 11 to the end the virtues of the Canchalagua plant are extolled. The latest date in the text seems to be September 14, 1848 (on p. 17) and it is probable the pamphlet was published not long after that time. It is one of the early accounts of California after its acquisition by the United States.”
    This tract is a promotional for settlement in pre-Gold Rush California in which Gay focuses on the region’s potential for agriculture and livestock, with special emphasis on the plant canchalagua. In the section on livestock and rodeos, Gay comments on Californian expertise with the lasso: “The practice of the Lasores begins from their earliest infancy. The first thing you see in a little urchin’s hand is a lasso of thread or twine with which he essays to ensnare his mother’s kittens and chickens.” Regarding mining prospects, Gay says, “Gold and silver mines have been found in Upper California, from which, considerable quantities of ore have been obtained: skilful miners are only required to make them profitable.” The Donner Party is discussed, the author’s source being an April issue of the California Star.

     The author, proprietor of “Gay’s Canchalagua” in New York City, developed a patent medicine tonic made with canchalagua (Centaurium venustum; common name charming centaury), a medicinal herb found in California and Nevada and along the Pacific Coast. The stems and leaves of this plant were highly esteemed by Native inhabitants as a general tonic, blood-purifying agent, febrifuge, antidote to rattlesnake bites, and a host of other ailments. The book is not listed in Jeremy M. Norman’s revised edition of Garrison-Morton. Testimonials include John C. Jones (former consul of the U.S. in the Sandwich Islands, merchant, and California rancher; see Bancroft, Pioneer Register, pp. 202-203), Samuel J. Hastings (Northwest coast trader; see Bancroft, Pioneer Register, p. 182), and Alfred Robinson (resident of California from 1829, courier in 1842 for the first California gold taken to the U.S., and author of the well-known anonymously published Life in California, published in 1846; see Hart, Companion to California and Zamorano 80). Robinson may have been a source for portions of Gay’s text.

88. GEORGE, Henry. Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions, and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth–the Remedy. Author’s Edition. San Francisco: Wm. M. Hinton & Co., 1879. [4] 512 pp., lacking slip requesting that no reviews be printed. 8vo, original purple pebble cloth (amateurishly rebacked, original spine preserved). Spine sunned and gilt lettering dull, extremities of spine chipped and with losses along joints. Contemporary ink signature of Mich Mullany on front pastedown. Laid in printed bookplate of Irving W. Robbins, Jr. Preserved in slipcase with red morocco spine with gilt title, and chemise.
    First edition, limited edition (200 copies). Adams, Radical Literature in America, p. 54. Cowan I, p. 95. Cowan II, p. 233: “Notable work.” Grolier American Hundred 81: “The most influential of American works on economics, this book gave its author an international reputation as prophet and reformer. He proposed to abolish poverty and secure fair distribution of the rewards of labor by appropriating all economic rent by taxation, and abolishing all taxation except on land values.” Howes G106: “Significant American contribution to economic and sociological thought.” Streeter Sale 4284. Encountering poverty first as a youth in Calcutta, George went on to develop his theory that land speculators were making it impossible for laborers to make a living and wanted to replace the current system with a new one of his own design, called a “single tax” system.

| <<previous lots | |Auction 15 abstracts| |Home| |A15 contents| | next lots>> |