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Lot 4

4. BALL, Nicholas. Voyages of Nicholas Ball, from 1839 to 1853. In Tabulated Form, with Notes. Together with a Summary of a Trip to Europe in 1888. Boston: L. Barta & Co., Printers, 144 & 148 High Street, 1895. 38, [2, ads] pp., frontispiece (steel-engraved portrait), plus 7 engravings and halftones (scenes). 8vo, original dark maroon pebble cloth, title stamped in gilt on upper cover. Split between free endpaper and verso of frontispiece, mild foxing to portrait and tissue guard, otherwise fine. Presentation rubber stamp on front free endpaper, completed in ink, presented to Hon. Robert Coit, signed by Nicholas Ball and dated at Block Island, R.I., May 20, 1895.

     First edition. Cowan II, p.30. Howell, California 50:279: “The itemized gold mining record under a separate title at the back is one of the most accurate presentations of the actual cost and profit of placer mining in the California gold region.” Howes B68. Norris 179: “Privately printed by the author for his friends only.” Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 9.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 32:
Pages 31 to 35 contain an “Itemized Mining Record kept by Nicholas Ball in 1850 and 1851.” The record’s daily entries account for the pails of dirt shoveled and the value of the gold extracted. The volume also includes notes from a journal and a letter to his brother dated January 19, 1851, from Rattlesnake Bar on the North Fork of the American River. The final page is an advertisement for The Pioneers of 49 which he sold for $2.50 a copy. The author’s preface is dated January 1, 1895. Many of the illustrations consist of reproductions from earlier works such as the Annals of San Francisco.


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