GREGORY'S GUIDE FOR CALIFORNIA TRAVELLERS; VIA THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA
1850·New York & St. Louis
by Gregory, Joseph W.
New York & St. Louis, 1850. 9pp. Original self wrappers bound into modern library paper boards, cloth backstrip. Short tear to front board, two bookplates. Minor dust-soiling to text. Very good. In a half morocco slipcase and cloth chemise. The Hershel V. Jones - Daniel Volkmann copy of this exceedingly rare example of the California guide, a genre of literature birthed by the California gold craze. "These singular compositions, known as 'guides,' were as frequently constructed by those who had not been in California as those who had. The contents were taken from all possible sources, with little regard to accuracy. Travels, geographical works, antiquated articles in encyclopedias, government reports, letters, verbal narratives - anything to secure a sufficient amount of material to form a book. As the object was their sale, all were more or less highly colored, and occasional flashes of intelligence veiled the poverty of their limitations…With their defects, however, these works form one of the most interesting features of Californian literature" - Cowan. Joseph Gregory is identified as the proprietor of Gregory's California and New York Express on the titlepage, one of the more successful early entreperneurs in the express business to California. In addition to offering practical advice about travel and money, GREGORY'S GUIDE also brims with medical advice. "The writer outlines the route and mode of travel from New York to San Francisco by way of the Isthmus, indicating necessary costs, desirable supplies, etc." - Jones. This short guide is typically found with a reprint of the California constitution as pages -46, hence the pagination in Howes; however, H.V. Jones notes only five leaves, as in the present copy. The Jones copy was sold by the Rosenbach Company in 1940 for $135. This copy is the first original edition of this great California rarity handled by this firm; previously, we have only sold a copy of the 1949 limited edition reprint from the Book Club of California. COWAN I, pp.99-100. COWAN II, pp.249-250. HOWES G407, "aa." JONES ADVENTURES 254. JONES CHECKLIST 1241. SABIN 28744n.
(Inventory #: WRCAM52147)
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