All the Drama & Pathos of the Western Overland
Depicted on One Letter Sheet

With Autograph Letter Signed, from Placerville in 1854

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590. [LETTER SHEET: WESTERN OVERLAND TO CALIFORNIA]. BARBER & BAKER. [Title at top] Crossing the Plains. Views drawn from Nature in 1853, by George H. Baker; [lower left below images]: Published by Barber & Baker, Sacramento. Copyright secured; [titles of 13 vignettes: [1, across top, wagon train including two canvas-covered wagons with painted titles, “For California” and “Pike Co. Mo.”]: Emigrant Train Passing Wind River Mountains; [2, below preceding]: Indians Chasing Buffaloes, Scott’s Bluffs; [3, below preceding, moonlit campfire scene with milling men and women, tent and covered wagon]: First Night on the Plains; [4, below preceding, grisly scene with vultures, dead animals, white cross next to human skeleton]: Scene on the Desert; [5, across bottom]: Driving Stock across the Plains; [6, down right side]: Sioux Indians; [7, below preceding]: Court House Rock; [8, below preceding]: Chimney Rock; [9, below preceding]: Laramie Peak; [10, down right side]: California Indians; [11, below preceding, wagon heading toward a river]: Mouth of Ash Hollow; [12, below preceding]: Devil’s Gate; [13]: Castle Rock. Sacramento: Barber & Baker, 1853. Wood-engraved letter sheet measuring 28.2 x 22.4 cm, on a double sheet measuring 28.2 x 45 cm, on blue wove paper. Except for light stains at old folds and small tear at top margin of conjugate leaf, very fine, with very early use. 1-1/4 pp. autograph letter signed, dated from Placerville, Cal., Nov. 28th., 1854, written by S.W. Bush to his brother in Ohio saying that there is little going on and they are expecting the rainy season. He also recounts the hanging of two men for murder. He concludes he hopes to hear from the family soon.

     Baird 47. See also Baird 109 for a similar letter sheet published by Hutchings the same year. Our sheet has a wavy ribbon border, and the Hutchings sheet has a straight line border. In the present sheet is a scene of California Indians at top of right column of vignettes. The image in the space on the Hutchings sheet is entitled Stuck Fast, and shows a covered wagon tipped on its side and bogged down as men attempt to extricate it. Clifford Sale (Letter Sheets) 41 (also with a letter which in 1994 was the earliest use, April 6, 1855). Copies of this image located by Baird: 3 institutional.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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