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Lot 154

154. WAKEMAN, Edgar. The Log of an Ancient Mariner. Being the Life and Adventures of Captain Edgar Wakeman. Written by Himself, and Edited by his Daughter. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Co., Printers, 721 Market Street, 1878. 378, [4] (ads) pp., lithograph frontispiece portrait of author, numerous text illustrations (line engravings and bizarre initial letters). 8vo, publisher’s original blindstamped gilt pictorial terracotta cloth with illustration of Neptune and anchor on upper cover. Light shelf wear (tips of board slightly exposed at lower corners), generally fine and bright, with small blindstamp at top of title.

     First edition. Braislin 1835. Cowan I, p. 242. Cowan II, p. 667. Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 3248: “During his long career, Captain Wakeman became well acquainted with other Pacific ports. For some years he was in and out of South American ports, had stopped in both Samoa and Tahiti, and had been in San Francisco in 1850 and in Australia in 1853.” Howell, California 50:920: “A picaresque classic of early California, of which Cowan remarks, “there is a persistent tendency to doubt his narrative at times.” Wakeman came to California in 1849 and spent most of his life sailing in the waters of the Pacific Coast, in and around which most of his humorous anecdotes are set.” Howes W23. Norris 4124. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 218. Captain Wakeman was a well known figure in San Francisco and supplied a story for Mark Twain.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 657.

Cowan noted: "There is a persistent tendency to doubt his narrative at times." Captain Wakeman arrived in San Francisco on July 11, 1850, joined the Vigilance Committee and served as sheriff at the hanging of Jenkins and Stewart. The captain boasted that he had a large fleet of boats on San Francisco Bay and carried the title of "Emperor of the Port." He also recalled that he ran the steamship New World up to Sacramento for nearly a year. On February 25, 1851, he started a tour of the mines via Stockton and "saw gold-washing in all its phases." Wakeman described life in Stockton and such camps as Murphys, Sullivan's Flat, and Coyote Diggings. Additionally, he recounted his hunting adventures and encounters with Indians. On March 4, 1851, he headed back to San Francisco and resumed his worldwide travels.



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