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1. ACKLEY, Mary E. Crossing the Plains and Early Days in California: Memories of Girlhood Days in California’s Golden Age. San Francisco: Privately printed, 1928. 68 pp., photographic frontispiece, 6 photographic plates (included in pagination). 8vo, original half beige cloth over beige boards, printed grey paper label on upper cover. Light cover wear and corners bumped (a bit of board exposed), a few signatures carelessly opened, otherwise a very good copy of a fragile book.
First edition. Cowan II, p. 2. Eberstadt, Modern Narratives of the Plains & Rockies 1. Flake 12. Howell 50, California 264: “One of the scarcest of the modern books on overland travel.” Howes A33. Mintz, The Trail 3. “Mrs. Ackley was ten when her family emigrated from Missouri to Sacramento in 1852. An observant child with a good memory, she gives an engaging summary of her journey overland and her early experiences in California” (Hanna, Yale Exhibit).
2. ADAMS, Ansel. “Poplars, Autumn, Owens Valley, California.” Gelatin silver photograph. 32.7 x 22.9 cm; 12-7/8 x 9 inches. Signed by Adams in pencil on mount at lower right; titled, dated, and rubber-stamped in ink on verso: [stamped] Photograph by Ansel Adams | [in ink] Poplars, Autumn, Owens Valley | [in ink] California c. 1937 | [stamped] Route 1 Box 181 Carmel, California 93921. Matted, framed, and glazed. Very fine.
3. ADAMS, Ansel. Sierra Nevada and the John Muir Trail. Berkeley: Archetype Press, 1938. [50 leaves of plates consisting of 50 mounted photogravures on coated stock (printed by the Lakeside Press, Chicago, each plate with a separate caption leaf)]. Folio, original white cloth. Very good copy, signed twice by Ansel Adams (on half title and colophon). Preserved in a cloth box.
First and only edition, limited edition (#125 of 500 copies) of one of the rarest and finest of Adams’s many photography books. Ansel Adams stated: “A word about the photographs themselves: my best work with the camera in the Sierra, they attempt to convey the experiences and the moods derived from a close association with the mountains.... I feel secure in confining the tone-scale of my prints to a vibrant deep register and in adhering to a certain austerity throughout, in accentuating the acuteness of edge and texture, and in stylizing the severity, grandeur, and poignant minutiae of the mountains.”
4. [ADAMS, Ansel]. ALINDER, James (editor). Ansel Adams 1902-1984. [Carmel: The Friends of Photography, 1984]. 56 pp., text illustrations (Adams’s photographs). 4to, original white wrappers blind embossed with an illustration of Adams’s photo of El Capitan. As issued.
First edition. Essays on Adams by Anita Ventura Mozley, John Szarkowski, Anne Wilkes Tucker, Newhall Beaumont, James Alinder, Mary Alinder, Alfred Glass, Rosario Mazzeo, Alan Cranston, William A. Turnage, Wallace Stegner, and Peter C. Bunnell. James Alinder’s essay is a useful chronology of Adams’s life. The illustration on the upper wrapper is dramatic and unique.
5. Artistic Homes of California Issued with S.F. News Letter 1887-8. San Francisco: F. Marriott, Publisher; Office S.F. News Letter Flood Building Market and Fourth Streets San Francisco, [1888 or after].  pp., 50 artotypes of architecture by Britton & Rey with captions printed in blue ink. Oblong small folio, original three-quarter black calf over maize and maroon gilt-lettered cloth, title and panel lines in gilt on spine. Calf slightly rubbed, professionally rebacked with original spine preserved, interior very fine. Very rare.
Norris 488. One of several manifestations of this book, which was issued under this title several times with various numbers of descriptions and views. (The Bancroft Library, for example, holds several copies of the book, one of which has only 27 plates.) The individual reproductions were originally published by Britton & Rey between 1887 and 1890 as supplements to the San Francisco News Letter. Here, each illustration is preceded by a leaf with descriptive text on one side and an ad on the other. This copy, except for numbers 38 and 43, matches the printed plate list. The originals published here appeared in the periodical between March 19, 1887, and March 10, 1888.
Issued at the height of Victorian California exuberance and expansion, this work showcases not only the wealth and taste of the city’s leading citizens but also the skills and craft of the tradespeople who constructed these homes. Some structures are located in San Jose and Oakland. This beautiful documentary preserves images of many homes; the majority of those in San Francisco are no longer standing. An artotype is a variation of a collotype.
6. AUGER, Édouard. Voyage en Californie...(1852-1853). Paris: L. Hachette, 1854.  238 [2, blank] 8 pp. 8vo, original green printed illustrated wrappers, original glassine dust jacket. Minor losses at spine extremities and lower right corner of wrappers, scattered light foxing, old ink stamp of Ministère de l’Intérieur on half title, otherwise as issued.
First edition ofone of the better French accounts of the Gold Rush. Byrd 73. Cowan I, p. 9. Cowan II, p. 23. Hill 38. Howes A393. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 24. Monaghan 118: “The author states that he went to California from simple curiosity and a love of travel, and not to seek gold. He studied the mines, the miners, and the Indians. He found thousands of Frenchmen who were stranded in California. The religious revivals which he witnessed he thought were worthy of the middle ages. Lauds the generous and noble instincts of the Americans.” Norris 154. Rocq 15679. Sabin 2376. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 7.
This book was issued as part of a long series called “Chemins de fer,” intended to be sold to train travelers to amuse them during their trip. Because Auger was a sightseer in California not involved in the scramble for gold, his account projects a more objective view. His description of a cockfight in Panama is highly unusual (pp. 86-89), and he devotes an entire somewhat sympathetic if not wide-eyed chapter to lynchings, several of which he describes as an eyewitness (pp. 205-219).
7. AUGER, Édouard. Voyage en Californie...(1852-1853). Paris: L. Hachette, 1854.  238 [2, blank] pp. 8vo, contemporary blue and brown marbled wrappers with later plain green paper spine. Spine slightly detaching along upper joint, light foxing, otherwise very good. Preserved in a blue cloth slipcase.
First edition, second issue of preceding (with half title canceled; otherwise from the same setting of type as the “Chemins de fer” issue above).
8. AUSTIN, Mary [Hunter]. California: The Land of the Sun. Painted by Sutton Palmer, Described by Mary Austin. London: Adam and Charles Black, . viii, 178 [2, ads] pp., 32 tipped-in color illustrations, 1 folded map in sepia: Sketch Map Accompanying “California” by Sutton Palmer and Mary Austin (A. & C. Black, London). 4to, original green pictorial cloth with color illustration on upper cover and title in gilt on decorated spine. Very minor bumping to spine and corners; interior, plates, and edges lightly foxed; else very fine in a lovely binding.
First edition. Cowan I, p. 23. Rocq 16661. By turns a mystic, pragmatist, conservationist, and scholar, Austin was the foremost California woman of letters during her lifetime and moved in distinguished literary and scientific circles both in the U.S. and abroad. H. G. Wells stated that she was the most intelligent woman in America. This work is another in her line of entrancing physical descriptions of various California locales, beautifully printed by the London firm responsible for many such handsome tomes. Harold Sutton Palmer (1854-1933) was a well-known English Victorian landscape artist and book illustrator who contributed to many books by this publisher.
9. BAKER, [George Holbrook] & [Edmund Lorenzo] BARBER. Sacramento Illustrated [wrapper title]. Sacramento: Barber & Baker (Printed by Monson and Valentine, San Francisco), 1855. 36 pp., printed in three columns, 33 wood engravings (map, illustrations, views). Folio, original tan pictorial upper wrapper, stitched (lacks lower wrapper). Wrapper and text creased at center where formerly folded; upper wrapper expertly strengthened at lower left; uniformly browned and with slight losses (affecting border and illustration); interior uniformly lightly stained and foxed. Preserved in a red cloth folding box with black leather label.
First edition, second issue, of “the first illustrated history of Sacramento” (cf. Howell 50, California 1413). In this issue, the list of illustrations on the upper wrapper does not correspond exactly to the contents and there is an errata pasted to p. 29. The woodcut on p. 19 is also a second state, a pig having been substituted. Cowan I, pp. 11-12: “Contains 32 of the earliest views of Sacramento.... This work has long been excessively rare.” Cowan, II, p. 34. Cf. Greenwood 547: “Earliest views of Sacramento.” Greenwood 548. Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers II, p. 78. Huntington-Clifford Exhibit (“Possible Titles for an Expanded Zamorano 80”) C:“This publication shows the kinds of illustrations which were used in California pictorial letter sheets.” Howes B127. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 35b. Rocq 6617. Streeter Sale 2777.
A publication intended to right the wrongs that had been inflicted on the city and the state by erroneous authors who concentrated “on the sterility of our soil, the unhealthiness of our climate, [and] the wild, unsettled state of society, business, etc.” Although relying heavily on published sources listed on p. , the authors also made use of personal recollections and illustrations “to rescue from oblivion some facts now fresh in the memory of the living that else might be buried with the dead, or become obscured by the mold of age.” The authors confidently predict that their city will easily eclipse San Francisco in size and importance.
10. [BAKER, S. F. or Peter Browning (attributed)]. Outline History of an Expedition to California: Containing the Fate of the Get All You Can Mining Association. Designed and Engraved by XOX [wrapper title]. New York: H. Long & Bro., 1849. 32 pp. printed on one side only, every page with mordant illustrations of the Gold Rush. Oblong 8vo, original tan pictorial wrappers. Upper wrapper detached, wraps lightly soiled and curled, slightly shaken, stitched as issued but some broken, a few modern light pencil notes on upper wrapper and p. 1, interior fine. In a worn blue half calf slipcase. A remarkable survival of an extremely fragile piece printed on poor paper.
First edition. Cowan II, p. 466: “The illustrations are quite brutal.” Groce & Wallace (Baker). Howes B50. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 474: “This satirical series of cartoons begins with this vivid warning: ‘The Devil encircles California...and from his magic pipe sends forth his emissaries to fill the place with bait.’” Sabin 57955. Streeter Sale 2545. Centered on leader Jonathan Swapwell, this is a singular send-up of desperate and naive Yankee gold seekers who, upon their journey to California, more often found disease, misery, hard living, and death rather than wealth. A few manage to return home, including M. Crapo, who is depicted on p. 14 in a pensive mood, having already seen the elephant long before reaching the goldfields. The ninety-one cartoon panels, apparently by Samuel F. Baker, are masterpieces of American nineteenth-century satiric depiction. As Streeter implies, this is an early pictorial burlesque of the overland journey to the gold regions (but see Jeremiah Saddlebags, item 160).
11. BARTLETT, John R. Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, Connected with the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission, during the Years 1850, ’51, ’52, and ’53. New York & London: D. Appleton, 1854.  xxii, 506;  xviii [1, blank] 624 [2, ads] pp., 2 folded lithographed frontispieces on tinted grounds, 29 woodcut engravings, 14 lithographs on tinted grounds, numerous woodcut illustrations in text, 1 folded map (new paper backing). 2 vols. in one, 8vo, rebound in modern full green levant morocco, spines with raised bands and gilt-lettered red leather spine labels. Light uniform age toning and occasional offsetting from lithos, generally a very good, clean copy, with blind stamps of the Boston Society of Natural History on title page of vol. 1 and most plates.
First edition. Abbey 658. Basic Texas Books 12. Clark, Old South III:272. Cowan I, p. 13. Cowan II, p. 36. Flake 325. Graff 198: “An essential book for the Southwest.” Hill 74. Howes B201. Plains & Rockies IV:234:1. Rader 287. Raines, p. 22. Sabin 3746. Saunders 2721. Streeter Sale 173: “Bartlett’s was the first thoroughly scholarly description of the Southwest.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 798: “Among the most important Western maps...excellent early map showing Gadsden Purchase Boundary.” Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 252.
Although a competent reporter and scholar, Bartlett was not a sterling boundary commissioner and is remembered for a blunder that cost the U.S. the price of the Gadsden Purchase. “The history of the Mexican Boundary survey was, perhaps more than any other episode in the American West, colored by ineptitude, personal animosity, ambition and political interference. It was to have significant effect on the final shape of the region” (Martin & Martin 40). The crux of the problem lay in errors in the Disturnell map, used to determine the boundary in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which distorted the area along the Rio Grande and near El Paso. The Mexicans claimed that lines of latitude and longitude should be adhered to, while it was to the advantage of the U.S. to establish the boundary according to geographical locations. Bartlett compromised, unknowingly giving up an area not only rich in copper mines, but also containing a portion of the only practical route for a southern railroad to California. This created a great deal of the conflict between the party members, as well as “a political issue of the greatest importance in Washington.... The issue was defused in 1853 with the Gadsden Purchase, a treaty in which the United States obtained the disputed territory, as well as additional lands and other Mexican concessions, in return for cash payment” (Martin & Martin 40). Bartlett had greater success later as John Carter Brown’s librarian.
12. BELCHER, Edward. Narrative of a Voyage around the World, Performed in Her Majesty’s Ship Sulphur, during the Years 1836-1842.... London: Henry Colburn, 1843. xxii [i.e., xxxviii]  387 pp., engraved frontispiece, 7 engraved plates, 3 folded engraved maps, text illustrations + vi  324  326 -474 pp., engraved frontispiece, 10 engraved plates, 20 engraved text illustrations (total 19 plates + 3 maps). 2 vols., 8vo, contemporary three-quarter leather over boards, spine with raised bands and gilt-lettered red and green morocco labels. Binding rubbed and worn, corners bent with small losses, hinges starting, text and plates browned.
First edition. Cowan I, p. 15. Cowan II, p. 44. Ferguson 3564. Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 1377 (not noting mispagination in vol. 1 and calling in error for 12 plates in vol. 2). Hill 102. Howell 50, California 18. Howes B318. Hunnewell, p. 23. Lada-Mocarski 117 (not noting mispagination in vol. 1). Sabin 4390. Wickersham 6543a. This surveying voyage, repeatedly extended by intervening circumstances, lasted nearly seven years from the time Belcher took command in Panama until the Sulphur returned to England. During his visit to California (vol. 1, pp. 311-340), he stopped at San Francisco and San Diego, although he does not seem to have been overly impressed with either of those locales.
As a result of the independence of Mexico from Spain in 1821, the naval department of San Blas was without ships. After three centuries of attempts to penetrate the former Spanish colony, England sought opportunities of exploitation and investment, and began to serve as the maritime carrier for Mexico on the Pacific coast. As a result, the great surveys of George Vancouver (1792-1793) notwithstanding, British navigators sought to expand knowledge of the Pacific Basin and continue the national obsession, the search for a northern water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Between 1825 and 1828, Frederick W. Beechey with the Blossom had explored the Pacific coast to the Arctic Ocean with Lieutenant Edward Belcher, a native of Nova Scotia, as surveyor. Dissatisfied with his explorations, Beechey, commanding the Sulphur, made a second voyage in 1836 but fell ill upon reaching Valparaiso and the expedition was continued under Henry Kellett. At Panama, Belcher, now a captain, joined the expedition and assumed command for the remainder of its exploration. Of particular importance is the exploration of California, not only because it included a monthlong survey of the Sacramento River from San Francisco Bay in longboats, but also because of the international situation of the region. France and England were, at the time, creditor nations of Mexico, which was unable to service the debts to the bankers of those nations, and both began extensive exploration to the end of possibly occupying the territory of California in payment of debts. During the years of Belcher’s survey, Abel Dupetit-Thouars (q.v.) and Eugène Duflot de Mofras (q.v.) were involved in surveys of California for similar reasons.
Following his sojourn in California, Belcher continued to Hawaii, the Marquesas and Society Islands, Tonga, the New Hebrides, the Solomons, and New Guinea. After making extensive observations on those islands, the expedition returned to England from Australia. Of particular interest are the observations of naturalist Richard Hinds regarding fauna observed and collected during the voyage.
Belcher subsequently explored Malaysia, Borneo, the Philippines, Celebes, Moluccas, Ryukyus, Formosa, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea, Japan, Mauritius, and the Cape of Good Hope between 1843 and 1846, and captained an Arctic voyage in 1852-1854 in search of Sir John Franklin, whose expedition was lost without a trace in search of the Northwest Passage in 1845.
——W. Michael Mathes
13. BIDWELL, John. Echoes of the Past about California: An Account of the First Emigrant Train to California, Fremont and the Conquest of California, the Discovery of Gold, and Early Reminiscences [wrapper title]. Chico: Chico Advertiser, .  91 pp., title with photographic portrait of author, 3 halftone photographic illustrations (scenes). 16mo, original green printed wrappers with original staples. Light adhesive stain on upper wrapper where old label was affixed. Except for uniform age toning from the poor paper on which it was printed, an excellent copy. In a blue cloth slipcase with chemise.
First separate edition (consists of three articles first published in Century Magazine for November-December 1890 and February 1891, with an additional chapter of reminiscences).Braislin 173. Cowan II,p. 52. Dobie, p. 84: “Bidwell got to California several years before gold was discovered. He became foremost citizen and entertained scientists, writers, scholars, and artists at his ranch home.... Graphic, charming, telling.” Eberstadt 113:531. Eberstadt, Modern Narratives of the Plains & Rockies 35. Graff 292. Holliday 88. Howell 50, California 299. Howes B432. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 55: “The photographs depict the Bidwell mansion and ranch.” Mattes, Platte River Road Narratives 52n. Mintz, The Trail 36. Norris 280. Paher, Nevada 127: “Narrates his journey from Ohio in 1839 to California, which he completed in 1841. Obviously impressed with the Humboldt River and its sink, the author devotes more detail than usual on his exploration of the river four years prior to Frémont’s arrival there. Well written.” Plath 55. Rocq 1371. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 16. Bidwell’s first employment in California was at Sutter’s Fort. He gives an account of Sutter’s method of threshing wheat. A huge mound of wheat was placed in a corral. Then several hundred wild horses were turned into the corral where Native Americans chased them to make them run faster. Also includes observations on the hide and tallow trade, rounding up wild cattle, etc.
14. BOGGS, Mae Hèléne Bacon. My Playhouse Was a Concord Coach: An Anthology of Newspaper Clippings and Documents Relating to Those Who Made California History during the Years 1822-1888. [Oakland: Howell-North Press, 1942]. xvi, 763 pp., numerous illustrations, plates, and maps (some folded). Small folio, original blue buckram, spine lettered in gilt, blind-stamped illustration of horse-drawn coach on upper cover, photographic illustration on endpapers. Spine light and minor shelf wear, otherwise very fine.
First edition. Adams, Guns 234. Dykes, Rare Western Outlaw Books 29. Howes B570. Rocq 15700. Chronological clippings, maps, and other documentation of California between 1822 and 1888.
15. BONNER, T. D. (editor). The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1856. 537 pp., woodcut frontispiece, 12 full-page woodcut text illustrations (4 signed by John McLenan). 8vo, original blind-embossed brown cloth, spine stamped in gilt. Slightly shelf-worn, minor rubbing to spine extremities and joints, corners lightly bumped, uniform light age toning, overall a very good copy. Contemporary ink ownership inscription of Wm. DeWitt Tisdale on front free endpaper.
First edition. Buck 156. Cowan II, p. 41. DeVoto, Across the Wide Missouri, p. 183: “One of the gaudiest books in our literature and may well be the goriest.... An indispensable witness to the events it deals with.” Dobie, p. 71: “Beckwourth was the champion of all Western liars.” Field 149. Graff 347: “Beckwourth’s life is a classic of pioneer days in the West.” Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers 1061 & I, p. 180: “Discovered by DeWitt C. Hitchcock working in a pork packing establishment in Cincinnati and making drawings on the tops of barrels, McLenan became one of the most prolific of our early illustrators.... His work will bear comparison with the best of his time.” Howes B601: “Highly colored, but basically authentic, narrative of a noted mountain character.” Plains & Rockies IV:272:1 (calling for 12 plates, including the frontispiece): “Recent scholars seem to take a more charitable view of Beckwourth’s veracity.” Rader 322. Rittenhouse 72. Sabin 4625. Smith 695.
“Beckwourth’s life is classic reading on the early West, but his patent exaggerations cast doubt on his stories” (Streeter Sale 2101). “Mulatto of Va., who became in the great West a famous hunter, guide, Indian-fighter, chief of the Crows, and horse-thief. No resume can do justice to his adventures, nor can the slightest faith be put in his statements” (Bancroft, Pioneer Register). “Now research indicates that Beckwourth’s basic narrative is true.... The narrative also records the way in which a black man succeeded in the dangerous and demanding life of the Far West between 1825 and 1865” (Lamar, Reader’s Encyclopedia of the American West). Among the more gruesome and disturbing incidents in this man’s life is his calm, illustrated recounting of how he “killed” his Native American wife who displeased him by participating in a dance (pp. 114-121). Amazingly, the chief, Beckwourth’s father-in-law, concurs and gives him a second, even better-looking daughter to replace the one he clubbed.
16. BROWNE, J[ohn] Ross. Resources of the Pacific Slope: A Statistical and Descriptive Summary of the Mines and Minerals, Climate, Topography, Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures, and Miscellaneous Productions, of the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains. With a Sketch of the Settlement and Exploration of Lower California. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1869. 678, 220 pp. 8vo, original dark green pebble cloth with gilt-lettered title on spine. Light wear at spine extremities, corners slightly bumped, light occasional foxing, generally fine. With printed bookplate of C. O. G. Miller on front pastedown and penciled signature of Jos. J. Seymour dated 1869 on title page.
First trade edition, revised and expanded (originally published as a government document containing 320 pages in 1867). Some copies of this edition bear the imprint of H. H. Bancroft and Company, San Francisco. Barrett 373. Cowan I, p. 27. Cowan II, p. 79n. This work covers western mining operations through 1866-1867. Although Browne gives impressive statistics for mining operations and comments extensively on the wealth extracted, he takes the general view that the operations are inefficient and could be much improved: “No country in the world can show such wasteful systems of mining as prevail in ours” (p. 9). He is generally supportive of the work done by placer miners, however, and considers them fairly efficient (p. 13). He supports a national school of mines as a corrective to the problem. The final section of the book is Alexander S. Taylor’s “Sketch of the Settlement and Exploration of Lower California.”
17. BUNNELL, Lafayette Houghton. Discovery of the Yosemite, and the Indian War of 1851, Which Led to That Event. Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, . 331 pp., frontispiece, map (Map of the Yo-Semite Valley Prepared to Accompany Dr. L. H. Bunnell’s History of the Discovery of the Valley.... 9.6 x 15.2 cm; 2-3/4 x 6 inches), 6 woodcut plates (portrait, scenes, map). 8vo, original gilt-lettered blue cloth decorated in black. Lightly soiled and faded with minor bumping to spine ends and corners, rear cloth slightly frayed at top, rear hinge just starting, one page torn barely into text, otherwise a very good copy.
First edition. Cowan II, p. 29. Currey & Kruska 27: “It is probable that the Walker party saw Yosemite Valley from its rim in 1833. The narrative of Bunnell and the diaries of Robert Eccleston are the principal sources of information on the Mariposa Indian War, which indirectly brought the valley to the attention of the general public.” Farquhar, Yosemite 15a. Howes B954. Bunnell and James D. Savage led the Mariposa Battalion in 1850-1851 in a punitive expedition against Native Americans accused of raiding mining camps. In the course of the campaign they discovered the Yosemite Valley and named it. Before them, it is thought that perhaps Joseph R. Walker’s party had visited, too. Many of the scenic woodcuts are interesting for the tiny people included to give perspective.
18. BUNNELL, Lafayette Houghton. Discovery of the Yosemite, and the Indian War of 1851, Which Led to That Event. Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, . 349 [1, blank] [3, ads] [1, blank] 8 pp., frontispiece, 1 map, 6 plates (all woodcut engravings). 8vo, original gilt-lettered brown cloth decorated in black. Spine worn at extremities, corners bumped and abraded. With purple ink stamp of D. B. M. Buck on front pastedown and flyleaf. Author’s pencil presentation inscription to Dr. Muligan of Wapasha, Minnesota, December 25, 1886, on front flyleaf.
Second edition of preceding. The text here has been slightly expanded and somewhat rewritten (Chapter 20 added, and former Chapter 20 changed to 21 and 22 and augmented). Currey & Kruska 27. Farquhar, Yosemite 15b. Howes B954. The plates are the same as those in the first edition.
19. BURNEY, James. A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean....Illustrated with Charts. London: Printed by Luke Hansard...and Sold by G. and W. Nicol...G. and J. Robinson...J. Hobson...T. Payne...and Cadell and Davies, 1803-1817.  xii  391 pp., 5 folded copper-engraved maps + v  482 pp., 6 copper-engraved maps (4 folded), 4 copper-engraved plates +  437  pp., 11 copper-engraved maps (2 folded), 8 copper-engraved plates + xviii, 580 pp., 3 copper-engraved maps (2 folded); vii [1, blank] 178  179-337 (i.e., 237) pp., 2 copper-engraved maps (1 folded), 1 folded copper-engraved plate (for a total of 40 plates and maps). 5 vols. in four, 4to, contemporary three-quarter tan calf over marbled boards, neatly rebacked, original spines preserved, spines gilt. Some moderate rubbing to boards and calf, corners refurbished, minor losses to paper, light age toning throughout, moderate offsetting from plates to adjacent text leaves and title pages, some heavier staining in last volumes from plants now removed, plates lightly to moderately foxed.
Maps of California Interest:
Vol 1: [Chart of California and the Gulf]. 26 x 26 cm; 10-1/4 x 10-1/4 inches. Untitled map engraved by F. Sansom and copyrighted by Burney May 18, 1803.
Vol 2: A Chart of the American Coast from Cape San Lucas to Cape Mendocino. Formed from the Plans made in 1602 by Captain Sebastian Vizcaino (35 x 33.7 cm; 13-3/4 x 13-1/4 inches). Engraved by F. Sansom. With inset at upper right: The Coast from Cape Mendocino to C. Blanco de Martin de Aguilar, as laid down in the voyage of the Sutil and Mexicana in 1792.
First edition. Cowan II, p. 86: “The great reputation of this work has been consistently sustained for a century. Many of the early voyages to California, and the adjacent coast, would be nearly inaccessible were they not herein collected. Among these are the narratives or reports of Alarçon, Cabrillo, Salvatierra, Vizcaino, and numerous others.” Ferguson 372. Hill 221: “The most important general history of early South Sea discoveries, containing practically everything of importance on the subject; collected from all sources, with the most important remarks concerning them, by Captain Burney, who was a great authority on the subject.” Hocken, pp. 30-34. Howell 50, California 32. Howes B1002. Mathes, California Colonial Bibliography 72. Sabin 9387. Strathern 80. Wickersham 673.
Few historians have ever been in so fortunate a position as Burney when they undertook their task and few have had such admirable, long-respected results. Intending to be a professional mariner, he sailed with Cook on his second voyage and was called upon again to sail with him on the third. After both Cook and Clerke died, he was given command of the Discovery and promoted to captain shortly after his arrival back in England. His last action was off India in 1783, and after returning to England in poor health, he never again sought command but rather devoted himself to the writing of this opus and other works. His access to London literary circles no doubt improved the text, and the dedicatee, Sir Joseph Banks, gave Burney access to his incomparable collection of books and manuscripts. He was also assisted by others, such as Dalrymple and Arrowsmith. In addition to making available many texts scarce even at the time, Burney also re-engraved and copied many of the maps, charts, and views from the older works.
An excellent indication of his skill and balance in handling controversial topics is his evenhanded discussion of the failed Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, founded in 1695, which had set off an international incident when it established a colony in the Isthmus of Darien. This disastrous venture, dubbed the Darien Scheme, drained Scotland of more than a quarter of its liquid assets and probably played a key role in pushing the country in 1707 to the Act of Union which united Scotland and England. Using both printed and manuscript sources, Burney also gives an admirable account of the career of the Buccaneers in the West Indies.