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Lot 20

With both the large Colton Map of Texas, Oregon & California and the crude little map of the Gold Fields

20. BRYANT, Edwin. What I Saw in California: Being the Journal of a Tour, by the Emigrant Route and South Pass of the Rocky Mountains, across the Continent of North America, the Great Desert Basin, and through California, in the Years 1846, 1847...By Edwin Bryant, Late Alcalde of St. Francisco. Sixth Edition. With an Appendix, Containing Accounts of the Gold Mines, Various Routes, Outfit, etc. etc. New York: D. Appleton & Company, 200 Broadway; Philadelphia: Geo. S. Appleton, 164 Chestnut-Street, 1849. [2], 480 pp., 2 maps. 8vo, publisher’s original blindstamped brown cloth, gilt-lettered spine. Binding slighted faded and fatigued, front pastedown abraded due to removal of bookplate, text lightly browned, map professionally strengthened and stabilized), a very good copy, with contemporary pencil calculations on front pastedown and envelope at rear containing large folded ledger sheet with ink and pencil bibliographical notes.


Frontispiece: Untitled engraved map of California gold region. 14.5 x 8.5 cm; 5 3/4 x 3 1/4 inches. Uncolored, on wove paper. According to Kurutz’s sequence, this map first appeared in the “fifth edition” published at New York in 1849 (Kurutz 95h). Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 67: “This the same as the small woodcut map listed as 1849-Brooks (5) and also as 1849-Frémont and Emory.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 587.

Map of California, Oregon, Texas, and the Territories Adjoining with Routes &c. Published by J. H. Colton, No. 86. Cedar St. New York, 1849. [below border at left] Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1849 by J. H. Colton in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York | D. Appleton & Co. New York. Lithograph map with ornate vine border, original hand coloring (boundaries in pink, California gold region in yellow). Neat line to neat line: 52.4 x 45.2 cm; 20-11/16 x 17-7/8 inches. Wheat, Maps of the Gold Region 73 (citing its appearance in Thornton, q.v.). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 593 (citing its appearance in Thornton, q.v.).

     “Sixth edition.” This was the first edition to contain both maps. Graff 458. Howes B903. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 95i. Plains & Rockies IV 146:9. The untitled map of the Gold Region first appeared in the “fifth edition” published at New York by Appleton in 1849. (Kurutz 95h). The large Colton map is first recorded in another Appleton 1849 edition (Kurutz 95e). Graff (457), in the note for the first edition published by Appleton at New York in 1848, states: “Although [the first edition] is a faithful account of an overland journey, its usefulness was marred because there was no map. The lack was supplied starting with the fifth edition. Kurutz (95e) lists what appears to be the same or a very similar map in his entry 95e, an 1849 edition of Bryant’s book published by Appleton in New York in 1849. A quite similar map also appeared in Thornton, Oregon and California in 1848 (q.v.), with a few minor differences, such as the inclusion in the material below the neat line: Ackerman lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

     Obviously Colton’s excellent map appeared in various permutations as different publishers used it for their publications. Here the name of the Appleton firm has been added below the neat line at center. Wheat (Mapping the Transmississippi West 593) comments: “The California Historical Society has a copy of this map which appears not to have been used in a book, indicating that it may have been published separately.” Wheat comments (Transmississippi West III, pp. 74-75) on Colton’s maps of 1849: “The important map publishing house of J. H. Colton, in New York, was now very busy. It published three distinct maps to be used for book illustrations by various publishers.... A ‘map of California, Oregon, Texas, and the territories adjoining with routes &c,’ published by D. Appleton, New York...extends from Independence to the Pacific and from the northern boundary of the United States to below the tip of Lower California. It is a combination of 1848 Fremont and 1848 Tanner, with a big splotch of yellow covering ‘El Dorado or Gold Region.’ [footnote 9] This map was used to illustrate J. Quinn Thornton’s Oregon and California in 1848... and was also issued as a separate with Colton’s own imprint.” ($1,500-3,000)

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