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Lot 65

“Earliest European Map to Indicate the Discovery”—Wheat

65. [FOSTER, George G. (editor) (attributed)]. The Gold Regions of California; Describing the Geography, Topography, History, and General Features of That Country, from the Official Reports Transmitted to the American Government by Colonel Mason, Lieutenant Emory, T. O. Larkin, Esq., Rev. Walter Colton, J. S. Folsom, Esq., and Lieutenant-Colonel Fremont. Together with Exclusive Authentic Particulars, and a Coloured Map of the Country. Second Edition. London: [Vizetelly Brothers and Co., Printers and Engravers, Peterborough Court, Fleet Street, for] Baily Brothers, Exchange Buildings, Cornhill; Liverpool: G. and J. Robinson, and Evans, Chegwin, and Co.; Hull: Goddard and Lancaster; Bristol: John Chilcott; Glasgow: James Murray, [1849]. 79 [1], [8 (ads)] pp., lithograph folding map with original hand coloring showing gold region in yellow outline: Map of the Gold Regions of California [lower left above neat line]: Paul Jerrard, Litho. 206 Fleet St. [below neat line]: Entered at Stationers Hall London. Published by Baily, Brothers, Cornhill January 13th 1849; map measures 24.5 x 20.5 cm (9-5/8 x 8-1/8 inches) neat line to neat line. 8vo, original upper blue clay-coated paper wrapper printed in gold, cover title within ornamental border (lower wrap wanting), bound in later three-quarter brown sheep over tan and blue marbled boards, spine gilt lettered. Minor edge wear to marbled paper, endpapers moderately browned, wrapper with a few small chips and one spot, gold on wrapper tarnished. Except for occasional light browning, text and map are fine. Blind-embossed stamp of Theodore J. Hoover on title page and his lithographed bookplate on pastedown. A pencil note states Theodore Hoover was the brother of Herbert Hoover.

    Second English edition, with “Second Edition” in title (the first edition was published in New York in 1848; see Kurutz 250). Kurutz 250e. According to Sabin (10010), another anonymous work came out in London the same year as the present work, but with a slightly different title: The Gold Regions of California: A Geographical, Topographical, and Historical View of that Country; with Exclusive Authentic Particulars, and Coloured Map of the Country (London 1849. 8vo, pp. 88). With no further discussion of the bibliographical sequence of the English editions of this work, we will conclude by stating simply that all the early English editions are exceedingly rare and the map is of more than passing interest.

     Wheat (Maps of the California Gold Region 59 & Transmississippi West 576) records the same map as here, but states that it is from another (but similar) title that lists “Colonel Mason, Lieutenant Colonel Fremont, Brigadier-General Jones, Lieutenant Emory, J. S. Folsom Esq.” In Vol. III, p. 73, of Transmississippi West, Wheat discusses the map: “On January 13, 1849, a small colored ‘Map of the Gold Regions of California’ was published in London by Baily Brothers to illustrate a pamphlet, The Gold Regions of California.... (Wheat 59). It was surprisingly well drawn, using Frémont’s 1845 map as a base, and covered the California-Great Basin area. Around the New Helvetia-Sierra foothill country south from the Feather River to the Calaveras is a heavy, hand-colored yellow line, doubtless meant to indicate the gold region. So far as is known, this is the earliest European map to indicate the discovery.”

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 250e:

Edward Eberstadt wrote: “This is the first considerable pamphlet on the Gold Regions and but two others (Sherwood and Simpson) are contemporary with it. The author was the first to suggest going to California in companies or associations, and he predicts that ‘one year will see ten or fifteen thousand heady and adventurous Americans in the heart of California, ready to dig gold.’“ Foster, in his eloquent and stirring introduction, also correctly predicted that a fortune could be made by the enterprising blacksmith, wheelwright, carpenter, shoemaker, etc. This slender work is a useful anthology of some of the earliest reports of the gold discovery and features the writings of Farnham, Mason, Doniphan, Larkin, Folsom, Fremont, Colton, and articles from the June and August issues of The Californian....

      Under the imprint of Baily Brothers, London, the English also produced a pirated edition without crediting Foster. It includes minor text changes, an index and “a coloured map of the country.” Wheat points out that Baily’s edition contains an announcement made by J. R. Chidley of London of “The Company of Adventurers for Exploring the Gold Districts of New California.”


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