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Lot 12

12. BROMLEY, George Tisdale. The Long Ago and the Later On; or, Recollections of Eighty Years by George Tisdale Bromley. San Francisco: A. M. Robertson, 1904. [i-ii], [2], [iii-xiii] [3], 289 [1, blank] pp., frontispiece (photograph of author). 8vo, original beige linen over light brown paper boards, gilt-lettered leather spine label indicating this is the “Edition de Luxe.” Spine label rubbed, otherwise fine.

     First edition, first issue (#36 of 150 copies, large paper special issue, printed on Japanese vellum paper, with larger reset title page, signed by author and in the special binding). Cowan II, p. 73. Graff 408. Howell, California 50:327: “The author came to California in 1851 and lived one of the most eventful lives of any pioneer to record his experiences. Among other things, he was the first conductor on California’s first railroad.”Norris 399. Bromley briefly tells how he and his friend Robert Parker became involved in the hide and horn trade during the Gold Rush, trading hides and horns they gathered for groceries that they then sold.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 78:
A portion of this Bohemian Club (a San Francisco social club) member’s reminiscences takes in his Gold Rush era experiences. The promise of a position in the San Francisco Custom House lured him to California. Bromley left New York in November 1850, reached the Isthmus of Panama, boarded the steamer Tennessee on the Pacific side, and arrived in San Francisco on January 8, 1851. Bromley called his new city the liveliest place on earth. In this rambling account, he painted a vivid picture of the destruction of the Custom House during the May 1851 fire, the celebration of Christmas that year, an interesting visit by an Australian to the gold fields, and the arrival in 1852 of the crew of a Japanese junk rescued by the revenue cutter Polk. Sometime in the 1850s the author also worked in the mines near Folsom and Sonora. The remainder of this chatty volume records Bromley’s business ventures; history of the Pony Express and railroad; activities with the Bohemian Club, and observations concerning his world travels.
      Robertson printed 150 copies of the de luxe edition on white Japanese vellum. It was numbered and signed by the author.


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