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Lot 79

79. HITTELL, John S[hirtzer]. A History of the City of San Francisco and Incidentally of the State of California. By John S. Hittell, Historian of the Society of California Pioneers; Author of “The Resources of California,” “A Brief History of Culture,” etc., etc. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Company, 1878. 498 pp. 8vo, original terracotta cloth lettered and decorated in gilt and black (skillfully recased, new sympathetic endpapers). A few neat mendings to spine and first few leaves with a few tiny chips and short tears (affecting only blank margin), but generally very fine.

     First edition. Bradford 2324. Cowan I, p. 111: “The most reliable and standard authority that has yet appeared upon the period it includes.” Cowan II, p. 283. Cowan & Dunlap, Chinese Question 231. Howell. California 50:786. Howes H539. Norris 1642. Rocq 7966. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 99: “Impressive work by the historian of the Society of California Pioneers, whose pamphlet report Marshall’s Gold Discovery (San Francisco, 1893) set finally at rest all question as to the true date of Marshall’s discovery (January 24, 1848).”

     Hittell wrote this work for the U.S. Centennial. The preface is a stunning, heartfelt paean to the city, its founders, and its accomplishments. Chapter IV (“The Golden Era” at pp. 124-206) and Chapter V (“The Golden Era in Decline” at pp. 207-329) are devoted to the Gold Rush. ($400-800)

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