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Lot 149

149. VER MEHR, J[ean Leonhard Henri] C[orneille]. Checkered Life: In the Old and New World. By Rev. J. L. Ver Mehr. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft and Company, 1877. 476 pp. 8vo, publisher’s original blindstamped green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, upper cover with title gilt stamped within circle. Very fine, bright, and fresh, with only minor edge wear.

     First edition. Cowan II, p. 660. Howell, California 50:893. Norris 4073. Rocq 5933.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 650:

A first edition appeared in 1864 without any reference to California. The 1877 Bancroft edition added Part II which provided a superb recollection of an Episcopalian minister trying to win souls in the torrid atmosphere of the early 1850s. With his family, Ver Mehr left New York on February 8, 1849, on the ship George Washington and arrived in San Francisco on the 8th or 9th of September. In these recollections, he recounted starting Grace "Chapel" on the corner of Jackson and Powell streets, participating in the General (Episcopal) Convention of 1853, witnessing the appointment of Rev. Ingraham Kip, and assisting in the consecration of Grace Church. The reverend also established St. Mary's Hall in Sonoma and San Francisco. As Norris points out, this man of the cloth had no hesitancy telling about a San Francisco gambler's funeral and the hanging of deserters on Commodore Jones's ship in San Francisco Bay.


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