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Lot 39

Unrecorded Variant of Deck and Port

39. COLTON, Walter. Deck and Port; or, Incidents of a Cruise in the United States Frigate Congress to California. With Sketches of Rio Janeiro, Valparaiso, Lima, Honolulu, and San Francisco. By Rev. Walter Colton, U. S. N., Author of “Ship and Shore,” etc. New York: [Stereotyped by Richard C. Valentine, New York. F. C. Gutierrez, Printer, No. 51 John-street, corner of Dutch, for] A. S. Barnes & Company; Cincinnati: H. W. Derby & Co., 1850. 408, [20] (ads) pp., 5 plates, text illustrations (including untitled map of North and South America engraved by Orr, p. [12]). 8vo, publisher’s original dark brown blindstamped cloth, gilt-pictorial spine with naval motif (neatly recased). Spinal extremities frayed, light shelf wear, slightly shelf slanted, interior with scattered light to moderate foxing (including plates), over all good to very good in a bright binding. Bookplate of Frederick Ogilby with illustration of lion rampant. Pencil ownership of F. Ogilby, Philadelphia on title.


[Frontispiece]: Commodore R. F. Stockton United States Navy. Steel engraving.

Tinted lithographs with the following below image: Colton’s Deck & Port. Lith. of Sarony & Major N.Y.

Rio de Janeiro.



San Francisco in 1846.

     First edition, an unrecorded variant. The binding is Kurutz 150b (lacking publisher’s name on spine); the endpapers have no ads and are maize; preliminaries are [1] title, [2] copyright, [3] dedication, [4] blank, [5]-7 preface, [8] blank, [9]-11 contents, [12] map; following p. 408 are [20] of publisher’s ads, on p. [1] of which is an ad for Three Years in Alta California. Berger, Bibliografia do Rio de Janeiro, p. 106. Borba de Moraes, pp. 193-194. Cowan I, p. 52. Cowan II, p. 137. Cf. Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 1769. Garrett, Mexican-American War, p. 201. Hill II:340. Cf. Howell, California 50:45A. Howes C624. Sabin 14799.

     The author founded the first newspaper in California and served as first American alcalde of Monterey under American rule (see Hart, Companion to California, pp. 98-99). While being hosted by Damon (q.v.) in Hawaii, Colton witnessed how livestock were herded into a secure valley surrounded by high mountains by skillful “kanacka” herdsmen on horseback with lassoes (pp. 343-346). Colton mentions the wild cattle of California, once “the great staple of the it is found in exhaustless mines of quicksilver and gold” (p. 403). While being hosted by Damon in Hawaii, Colton witnessed how livestock were herded into a secure valley surrounded by high mountains by skillful “kanacka” herdsmen on horseback with lassoes (pp. 343-46). The chapter “Sketches of Valparaiso” has a description and engraving of a Chilean horseman: “The costume of the rider was in wild harmony with his occupation. His hat rose in a high cone, like that of a whirling dervish in Turkey. His poncho, resembling a large shawl, fell in careless folds around his person. His gaiters rose to the knee; his heels were armed with a huge pair of silver-mounted spurs, while a brace of pistols peered from the holster of his saddle-bow. He was mounted on a powerful animal, impatient of the bit, and sure of foot as the mountain roe” (pp. 196-97).

Cf. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 150a & 150b:

After sailing on board the frigate Congress, Walter Colton settled in California in 1846 and was appointed by Commodore Stockton alcalde of Monterey. This travel volume concludes with his arrival in San Francisco in July 1848. He stated: “Here the publication of my journal must rest; and be resumed in another volume, under the title of `Three Years in California.’“ Colton did, however, pen an eloquent final chapter entitled “Glances into California” contrasting the old and new California and the effect of the Gold Rush. Colton correctly predicted: “Not one in ten of all the thousands who have, or may go to California to hunt for gold, will return with a fortune.”


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