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Lot 24

“A Cheap Edition for the People. Price Twelve-and-a-Half Cents”

24. [CALIFORNIA]. California Gold Regions, with a Full Account of Their Mineral Resources; How to Get There, and What to Take; the Expenses, the Time, and the Various Routes. With Sketches of California; an Account of the Life, Manners, and Customs of the Inhabitants, Its History, Climate, Soil, Productions, &c. A Cheap Edition for the People. Price Twelve-and-a-Half Cents. Ten Copies for One Dollar. New York: F. M. Pratt, Publisher; W. H. Graham, Agent for Supplying the Trade, [1849]. 48 pp. 8vo, disbound, stitched (old stab holes present), new sympathetic spine. Wanting wrappers. Preserved in half black morocco and black cloth slipcase, black cloth chemise. Very rare Gold Rush ephemera.

     First edition. Braislin 1315. Cowan I, pp. 34-35. Cowan II, p. 96. Flake 1084. Howell, California 50:102a: “Published as `a cheap edition for the people,’ and priced at twelve and a half cents, this guide to California and the Gold Region was extremely popular and appeared under numerous imprints from various Eastern cities. It provided a comprehensive historical background as well as geographic and economic descriptions of the area, and was intended for prospective emigrants.”

Howes C39 (“b”): “Probably compiled by the publisher, F. M. Pratt.” Norris 3099. Plath 900: “Exceedingly rare.” Sabin 9970.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 105:

Robert E. Cowan writes: “The same work is found under the imprints of several dealers in other cities.” This slender book features Colonel R. B. Mason’s report, a letter of Thomas Larkin dated June 1, 1848, extracts from newspapers on directions to California, and sketches of people, climate, and natural resources.


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