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Lot 155

The Book Needed for the Times

155. WALTON, Daniel. The Book Needed for the Times, containing the Latest Well-Authenticated Facts from the Gold Regions; also, A Geographical and Historical View of California, with the Different Routes, by Land and Water, and Their Difficulties. A List of Necessary Articles for Those who Go, and the Mode of Sending Letters to and from there;— also—Cautionary Remarks to the Community, and the California Cry, a Spirited Original Poem. Boston: Stacy, Richardson & Co., Printers, 1849. 32 pp. 8vo, brown facsimile wrappers. Title page moderately foxed, remainder of text lightly foxed, with some staining at lower blank margin of last half of book. Approximately the outer third of last leaf is missing but provided in facsimile; only the last few words of text on the bottom half of p. 31 is missing, and only a few letters on p. 32. Text lightly wrinkled (first and last leaves more so). Preserved in dark brown morocco and brown cloth slipcase, brown cloth chemise.

     First edition. Anderson Sale 1686:1113. Cowan I, p. 243. Cowan II, p. 668. Howes W77 (“b”). Huntington 1698:944 (commenting in 1923): “Excessively rare. But few copies known.”Mintz, The Trail 479. Sabin 101210. Vail, Gold Fever, p. 25. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 182n. Sabin 101210.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 658:

Walton’s guidebook included much useful information, including a long description of San Francisco excerpted from the California Star. Walton mentioned that the paper suspended publication because of the gold discovery. He also cautioned his readers about the lure of California writing: ‘Our opinion is that there is a vast deal of knavery in getting up this gold fever.’ The author quoted a letter of January 13, 1849, from London concerning the gold excitement noting that ‘John Bull has been actually mad, crazy and bewildered.’ He recommended strongly against the Panama Route. The guidebook concluded with his epic poem.


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