Rare Hawaiian Account of the California Gold Fields in First Issue
44. DAMON, Samuel C[henery]. The Friend, A Monthly, Devoted to Temperance, Seamen, Marine and General Intelligence. Published and Edited by Samuel C. Damon, Seamen’s Chaplain. Volume VII. Honolulu, Oahu, H.I.: Printed at the Polynesian Office, 1849. [2, title] 96 pp., title within typographic border, printed in 3 columns. 4to, disbound. Except for scattered light foxing and occasional browning and spotting, a very good copy of a scarce imprint, generally encountered in second issue, with new title page and only numbers 6 to 12 (pp. 41-96). Rarely found thus. Preserved in a blue cloth clamshell case with gilt-lettered red morocco labels on spine and upper cover.
First edition, first issue, consisting of the original issues of the periodical The Friend (Honolulu), Vol. VII, Nos. 1-12, January 1 through December 20, 1849, Nos. 6-12 of which contain Damon’s “A Trip from the Sandwich Islands to Lower Oregon, and Upper California; or, Thirty Leaves Selected from “Our Log-Book.”
Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 1388 (entire run): “There was little of importance that Damon did not include or discuss in the pages of this journal.” Streeter Sale 2564 (citing the present Volume VII, plus Vol. VIII). For second issue, see: Cowan I, pp. 61-62: “This relation is little known. The author, a clergyman, Father Damon, as he was known, was a famous character in Honolulu.” Cowan II, p. 155. Eberstadt 134:252: “The work is...among the earliest printed in the Sandwich Islands on Oregon and California.” Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 1726: “Damon’s well-written narrative is a classic, and provides an early account of life in the gold mines. He describes the primitive social conditions at the mines, and the racial tensions extant between the varied groups of gold seekers.” Graff 994. Hill I, p. 73. Hill II:413. Holliday 160. Howell, California 50:52. Howes D44. Cf. Kurutz 168a. Littell 244. Matthews, p. 315.
Cf. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 168a (second issue):
Reverend Samuel Damon, the publisher and editor of The Friend, began his excursion from Hawaii to the Pacific Coast on April 17, 1848. Damon recounted his trip for his newspaper. The California portion started with the November 15, 1848, issue (Number 10). In June, he stayed in San Francisco and expressed disappointment with the city, writing: “As a city it did not fill up that `beau ideal’ which I had pictured in my imagination.” Damon noted the large number of people who had emigrated from Honolulu. From San Francisco, the editor headed to Benicia and wrote about the lack of accurate maps of California. On June 26, he arrived in Stockton, and on July 3, visited Sutter’s Fort. After celebrating the Fourth, Damon continued his tour and stopped at Mormon Island and Kanaka Diggings before taking a trip down the Sacramento River. Damon commented on the prejudice against foreign miners, lamented the wickedness of some of the miners, and hoped that New England emigrants “will exert a salutary influence.” In Number 12, the final issue, Damon commented extensively on the New England and California Trading and Mining Association, the Monterey Constitutional Convention, and San Francisco. He noted how the city had nearly doubled since his June visit. On July 26, he departed for Honolulu. In addition to Damon’s narrative, The Friend included additional news on the mines.
The chapter headings adequately convey the importance of the content:
1. Passage to Columbia River.
2. Columbia River, its Discovery and Navigation.
4. Ascent of the Columbia.
5. Geographical Outline of Oregon.
6. Lower Oregon—Population.
7. Fort Vancouver—Visit to Calsas Plains.
8. Tour through the Willamette Valley.
9. Education in Oregon.
10. Visit to Klakamas Settlement.
11. Overland Settlement of Oregon.
12. Territorial Government of Oregon.
13. The Jargon [linguistics of Natives].
14. Journey over the Rocky Mountains.
15. Return to the Massachusetts.
16. Departure from Fort Vancouver.
17. Books upon Oregon.
18. Passage from Oregon to California.
19. The Bay of San Francisco.
20. San Francisco.
21. Passage to Benicia.
23. The Hon. T. B. King’s Address.
24. No Good Maps of California [Damon laments that there none, although he expects that lacuna to be supplied as a consequence of the Gold Rush].
25. Interior of Alta California [Stockton, Journey to Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento, etc.].
26. Mining Associations.
27. The Convention.
28. Return to San Francisco.
29. Visit to see the “Lions” [sea lions].
30. Passage to the Islands.
Images (click to enlarge)
<<Previous Lot (43) | Back to Auction 16 Abstracts | Next Lot (45) >>
Home | Auction
16 | Auction 17 | Auction