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Lot 84

“Tinctured occasionally by the mild sarcasm of an English baronet, whose dignity sometimes encountered a severe shock”—Cowan

84. [HUNTLEY, Henry Veel]. California: Its Gold and Its Inhabitants. By the Author of “Seven Years on the Slave Coast of Africa,” “Peregrine Scramble,” &c. in Two Vols. London: [J. Billing, Printer, Working, Surrey for] Thomas Cautley Newby, Publisher, 30 Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square, 1856. Vol. I: iv, 303 [1, blank] pp. Vol. II: [2], 286 pp. 2 vols., 12mo, later three-quarter smooth burgundy calf over marbled boards, gilt-decorated spines with raised bands, black gilt-lettered calf spine label, t.e.g., other edges sprinkled, matching marbled endpapers. Wanting one leaf of ads at end of Vol. II. Boards lightly rubbed, hinges neatly reinforced, otherwise fine.

     First edition. Cowan I, p. 117. Cowan II, p.299. Decker 32: 55. Graff 2022. Howes H825 (“aa”): “Small edition printed.” Rocq 15864. Sabin 33981. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 109.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 348a:

Decker states that only 100 copies of California: Its Gold and Its Inhabitants were printed. Cowan (I, p. 117) summarized Huntley’s attitude: “Entertaining reading, tinctured occasionally by the mild sarcasm of an English baronet, whose dignity sometimes encountered a severe shock.” The author came to California in 1850 as Chief Superintendent of the Anglo-California Gold Mining Company. His book, however, is based on his 1852 journal. During that year, the Englishman journeyed from San Francisco to Sacramento, Marysville, Placerville, and Columbia. Although somewhat disjointed in style, his account provided worthwhile descriptions of ship arrivals, fires, floods, duels, shootings, lynchings, hotel accommodations, expensive food, travel, movement of the state capital, drunken newspapermen, and the general state of mining. All except the gold and mint juleps made California less than desirable. Huntley also produced a report on the Mariposa District in the Rocky-Bar Mining Company Report, 1851 and the report for the Anglo-California Gold Mining Company.

(2 vols.) ($2,000-4,000)

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