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Lot 42

“Let the Government at Washington take warning...and avoid treating the people on the Pacific the British Government treated our ancestors, for its course towards us may be attended with the same results that attendced the contest between the colonies and England.”

42. CRANE, James. The Past, the Present and the Future of the Pacific. By James M. Crane. San Francisco: Printed by Sterett & Co., No. 111 Washington Street, 1856. 79 pp. 8vo, later green cloth (original wraps not present). Text lightly foxed and browned. Provenance: Eberstadt-Henry H. Clifford copy.

     First edition. Bauer 94. Cowan I, pp. 59-60: “Demonstrates the indifferent attitude of the federal government towards California. It is written in a style that is readable, and even fascinating.” Cowan II, p. 149. Graff 910. Greenwood 673. Howes C861 (“aa”). Huntington Sale 216.Kemble, pp. 333-334. Sabin 17399.

     Crane, editor of the California Courier, launches a long tirade against the Federal Government for its indifferent, rapacious attitude toward California, delving into some subjects not so palatable in the rosy flush of Manifest Destiny. In Chapter IV he particularly denounces federal laws and procedures that cloud the land titles of people who held grants before the Treaty of Guadalupe and statehood. He is especially bitter to the Fed’s indifference to land jobbers who create false titles, which they then use the courts to enforce by dragging the procedure out for so long that the common man gives up because of financial exhaustion and thereby loses his land. He is particularly sympathetic to the plight of those, such as the original settlers from Mexico and early Anglo arrivals, all of whom are being defrauded. Other subjects of interest are postal and express services and the proposed transcontinental railroad.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 162:

James Crane, a pioneer journalist, wrote this long, rambling essay to protest the “gross neglect” of California and its neighboring territories by Congress and the Federal Executive. He asserted that while miners and other pioneers settled this land, officials back in Washington, D.C. expected to reap all the benefits and exercise political and economic power over the Far West. Crane warned that conditions in California were not unlike the colonies and England.


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