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Lot 156

1849 English Emigrant Guide to Australia, Vancouver Island & California

156. [WARD, James]. Perils, Pastimes, and Pleasures of an Emigrant in Australia, Vancouver’s Island and California. London: Thomas Cautley Newby, Publisher, 72, Mortimer St., Cavendish Sq., 1849. [4], 404, 12 (publisher’s ads) pp. 12mo, recent half tan levant morocco over marbled boards. A few leaves moderately stained, but generally a fine copy.

     First edition. Bagnall 5863n (“not seen”). Cowan I, p. 176. Cowan II. p. 479. Eberstadt 115:264: “The author came to California while that country was still the lazy land of missions, dashing caballeros and laughing senoritas. Neither gold nor conquest had yet come to mar the picture. His narrative affords an interesting view of the country as it was during these last days of the old regime, and as it became following the gold discovery. An Appendix of nearly 100 pages is given over to an account of the mining districts, the character of the diggings, the routes thither, etc.” Ferguson 5237. Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 1758: “In the chapter headed Sandwich Islands, the author discusses trade with the Northwest coast and California.” Howell, California 50:15: “Rare.” Howes B267 (under J. W. Bayswater). Norris 3027. Howes (A406) and Sabin (60928) lists an identical title of the same year and publisher with collation (2) 606 pp.

     Chapters in the appendix on California are: “The Voyage to the Gold Country,” “The Sudden Influx of the Precious Metals,” “Fluctuations of the Precious Metals,” “Fluctuations in the Relative Value of Gold and Silver,” “Hoarding, One of the Causes which Maintains the Value of the Precious Metals,” “What Effect Will the Discovery of the Mines in California Have upon the Industrial Relations of the World?”, “The Isthmus of Panama,” “Prince Louis Napoleon’s Project to Connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by Means of a Canal,” and “Shortest Route Across the Isthmus of Panama.”

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 661:

Both the dedication and introduction are signed “J. W.” According to a note in the copy possessed by the British Columbia Archives and Records Service, “J. W.” was James Ward. Ferguson also attributes authorship to Ward. The author was in California before 1848. News of the gold discovery reached England when his travel book was at the press. In response, he added a 100 page appendix describing California, the effect of the discovery on the world gold market, and advice on various routes to California. He also included a chart of “Voyages to the western coast of America.”


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