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Lot 124

“Most comprehensive and reliable French description of the Pacific coast at this time”—Howes

124. SAINT-AMANT, [Pierre Charles Fournier] de. Voyages en Californie et dans l’Orégonpar M. de Saint-Amant Envoyé du Gouvernement Français, en 1851-1852. Paris: [Imprimerie H. Simon Dautreville et Ce, rue Neuve-Des-Bons-Enfants, 3, for] Librairie L. Maison 17, rue de Tournon, et chez Tous les Libraires de Paris et des Départements, 1854. lii, 651 [1, blank] pp., 2 maps, 10 engraved text illustrations (mining scenes in California). 8vo, original blue-grey printed wrappers with illustration of $50 California gold piece on lower wrap. Wrapper somewhat foxed, small splits at spine, edges slightly frayed. Except for light scattered foxing, very fine, mostly unopened. The Henry H. Clifford copy. Brown calf over tan silk cloth slipcase with matching chemise.


Chemin de fer de l’Isthme de Panama [with inset of Panama City]. Engraved map. Neat line to neat line: 13.6 x 9.5 cm; 5-3/8 x 3-3/4 inches. This is the same map that appears in the 1853 Guide (see above).

Orégon Territoire aux États-Unis. (Méridien de Paris.) Voyage de Mr. St. Amant. 1851-1852. Engraved folding map. Neat line to neat line: 20.5 x 26 cm; 8-1/8 x 10-3/8 inches. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 814.

     First edition. Braislin 1603. Byrd 1603. Cowan I, p. 198. Cowan II, p. 549. Hill II:1513. Howell, California 50:776: “Includes observations on mining, agriculture, industry, natural history, and the varied population. There is also a long account of the author’s journey into the Oregon Territory, similarly detailed and comprehensive.” Howes S20. Monaghan 1289. Palau 285061. Sabin 74989. Smith 8927. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 174 (cited as being of special importance): “Written by an official observer, this was the most extensive French work of the period on California, and much of it deserves translation.” In this work the author claimed to have seen a blind fish in a cave somewhere in the Cascade mountains (this claim has yet to be substantiated).

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 552:

According to Nasatir: "This work was at that time the most extensive and important work on this subject written in the French language." Saint-Amant wrote detailed descriptions of California that included discussions of John Sutter and his Hock Farm. He devoted the last three chapters to mining operations. These chapters contained high-quality wood engravings of mining activities by Jules Gaildrau and E. Forest. The back wrapper is illustrated with a woodcut of the $50 California gold piece.


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