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Lot 29

Pioneer Biography—Fifty copies printed at Philopolis Press

29. CAMDEN, Charles. The Autobiography of Charles Camden Being a Synopsis of Main Occurrences in His Life from August, Eighteen Hundred and Thirty-Four up to May Nineteen Hundred, Written by Himself and Privately Printed and Published after His Death by Family. San Francisco: [Privately printed at the Philopolis Press], 1916. [10], 173 [1, blank], 6 photographic plates (including frontispiece portrait of author). 8vo, original three-quarter tan pigskin over beige cloth, gilt-lettered spine, t.e.g. Binding rubbed and cracked along joints, endpapers browned and mild browning to edges of blank margins, a very good copy.

     First edition, limited edition (50 copies). Cowan II, p. 103. Howell, California 50:346: “A vivid account of the Gold Rush trials, tribulations, and eventual success of a young Englishman. Camden mined in South America, but, upon hearing of the discovery of gold in California, left Peru and arrived in San Francisco on October 2, 1849. Besides mining and running a saw mill, he also explored the northern California coast before retiring to Oakland.” Howes C79. Norris 736: “Fifty copies privately printed... In 1850 [Camden] went to the mines in Trinity County.” For an extensive biography of Camden, consult Dottie Smith, The Dictionary of Early Shasta County History (Redding, 1999).

     Founded by A. F. and L. K. Mathews, the Philopolis Press was part of the California Arts and Crafts Movement dedicated to rebuilding San Francisco. Louise Farrow Barr (The Presses of Northern California and Their Books 1900-1933, pp. viii) classifies the press as part of the “California school of printing.” ($2,000-4,000)

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