Previously Unpublished Contributions by California Pioneers
31. Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. New York [De Vinne for]: Century Company, 1890-1891. 3 issues as follows:
Vol. XLI, No. 1, November, 1890: , 160, -116 pp., text illustrations.
Vol. XLI, No. 2, December, 1890: A1-A4, 32, A5-A8, -320, A9-A12, 33-122, 127-128 pp., text illustrations.
Vol. XLI, No. 4, February, 1891: 12, -640, 13-88 pp., text illustrations.
3 vols., 8vo, original tan pictorial wrappers. A few minor chips and old tape repairs to fragile wraps, 2 issues with original small printed mailing label of George Bacon in San Francisco and a few neat pencil notes. Interiors very fresh and fine. It is difficult to find individual issues, particularly in wrappers and in fine condition. Each issue preserved in blue folding case.
First editions. Among the contents of California and Gold Rush interest are several by important, early pioneers:
BIDWELL, John. “Life in California before the Gold Discovery” (pp. 163-183). Illustrated by Frederic Remington, Mary Hallock Foote, C. D. Gibson, et al., and with map: The California Coast under the Mexican Régime. Author John Bidwell (1819-1900) was an extremely prominent California settler who arrived there on the first wagon train from Missouri and subsequently worked as Sutter’s agent for many years. He later rose to political prominence and wealth in the state. His reminiscences of California, some of which were used extensively by Bancroft, are considered important primary sources for the time. (See Bancroft, California Pioneer Register, pp. 59-60, and Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, I:106).
BIDWELL, John. “The First Emigrant Train to California” (pp. 106-130). Eberstadt, Modern Narratives of the Plains & Rockies 36. Mintz (The Trail 35) discusses the “virtually unobtainable” ca. 1842 account by Bidwell, known only by the Bancroft copy lacking title and wrapper. Mintz suggests the 1937 John Henry Nash printing as a worthy substitute. Mintz does not mention this periodical appearance of Bidwell’s account. Of Bidwell’s account Mintz comments: “A classic of its kind, depicting with grim realism the hazards and frustrations experienced by the emigrants of the first wagon train to California.” See also Plains & Rockies IV:88 (the ca. 1842 edition). Illustrations by Frederic Remington, Charles Nahl, et al, along with a map: Western Territories in the Forties Showing the Principal Routes of Exploration.
SHINN, Charles Howard. “Californiana: Grizzly and Pioneer.”
VALLEJO, Mariano Guadalupe. “Ranch and Mission Days in Alta California” (pp. 183-192). Vallejo (1808-1890) descended from a first generation California family and held numerous important positions under the Mexican government in California. A friend of U.S. annexation, he was nevertheless briefly jailed during the Bear Flag Revolt. He was elected to the Constitutional Convention and to California’s first senate. He introduced vineyards to Sonoma and made the region’s first wine. Illustrations by A. B. Davies and F. Day.
“Californiana” (pp. 192-193). Includes “Trading with the Americans” and “The Date of the Discovery of the Yosemite.”
BIDWELL, John. “Frémont in the Conquest of California” (pp. 518-525). Photographs and illustrations by Harry Fenn.
HITTELL, John S. “The Discovery of Gold in California” (pp. 525-536). Author John S. Hittell (1825-1901) was a Forty-Niner who quickly lost interest in gold mining and turned to writing, becoming a major promoter of the state in conjunction with Bancroft’s publishing firm. In this article he announces, apparently for the first time, his conclusion that Marshall discovered gold on January 24, 1848, a conclusion he repeats in his Marshall’s Gold Discovery (San Francisco, 1893), which work Wheat states “set finally at rest all question as to the true date of Marshall’s Discovery” (Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 99n). See item 80 herein. Illustrated by Fenn, W. Taber, A. Brennan, Audubon, and with a map Placer Regions of California in the Fifties.
MARSHALL, James. “Marshall’s Narrative.” Marshall’s own account of the Gold Discovery at Sutter’s Mill, in “Californiana” (pp. 537-539).
Other articles of interest are:
DE VINNE, Theodore L. “The Printing of the Century” (pp. 87-99); heavily illustrated article in which De Vinne discusses some of the innovations and processes used to print this magazine.
HARRIS, Joel Chandler. “A Conscript’s Christmas” (pp. 284-299).
HARRIS, Joel Chandler. “Balaam and His Master” (pp. 557-567).
(3 vols.) ($150-300)
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