• <b>Consignments now invited<br>History of Science & Technology<br>December 12th, 2017</b>
    NEWTON, ISAAC. <i>Opticks</i>. London, 1704. Presentation copy to Edmund Halley. Sold for $1,330,000
    Apple Computer Contract & Dissolution of Contract, signed by Jobs, Wozniak, & Wayne. Sold for $1,594,500
    DARWIN, CHARLES. Autograph Manuscript page from the manuscript of <i>On the Origin of Species</i>. Sold for $250,000
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Cook in Tahiti. [Playbill]. [Germany, c.1840.] $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Roberts' Sketches in Egypt and Nubia. London, 1846-9. $20,000 - $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Breydenbach. Peregrinatio in terram sanctam. Mainz, 1486. $100,000 - $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Dürer. Underweysung der messung [and two more]. Nuremberg, 1525-8. $150,000 - $200,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Whitman. Autograph Manuscript [in] The Complete Writings. One of 32 sets. $8,000 - $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Columbus. De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis. Basel, 1494. $700,000 - $1,000,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> The Dr. Hendon M. Harris Jr. Korean Atlas Collection. [Korea; c.1700 to c.1890.] $35,000 - $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Aa, Pieter van der. Naaukeurige versameling der gedenk-waardigste zee en land-reysen. Leyden, 1706-8. $8000 - $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Russian Kholod 5D67 HFL Rocket Engine. $25,000 - $40,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Neil Armstrong Apollo Era Training Glove. $8,000 - $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Large Lunar Near Side Chart, Signed by 20th Century Surface Explorers. $20,000 - $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Annotated Photo Album Detailing Alexander Graham Bell's Experiments with Tetrahedral Kites. $50,000 - $80,000
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2004 Issue

ILLUSTRATED CALIFORNIA NEWS

Icn1

The Illustrated California News. Vol. 1., No. 1. September 1st, 1850


ILLUSTRATED CALIFORNIA NEWS PUBLISHED SEMI-MONTHLY, AT THE OFFICE OF
The Alta California,
Washington street, Portsmouth Square.

Vol. 1, No. 1. September 1st, 1850.

TERMS—One dollar a number, with an allowance of 124 per cent, to purchasers of not less than 25 copies. Half yearly subscription, in advance, $10.00 ADVERTISEMENTS will be inserted at the usual rates.
Oculis Subjecta Fidelibus.

  CALIFORNIA is now the cynosure of every eye.— From the four quarters of the earth, regards are bent upon the land that almost realizes the tales of Eastern fiction, in wealth beneath, in adventure above, in vicissitudes of fortune, and almost magical rapidity of change. Amazement seems as yet to be a main ingredient in the feeling with which it is viewed; for the world is scarcely enough recovered from the excitement caused by the first recital of these marvels to look on them collectedly. Even now, notwithstanding the masses of correspondence, the libraries of volumes that have gone forth regarding it, men are all agape, as though it were yesterday's discovery; some swallowing every rumor with indiscriminate voracity; some confessing honestly that they know not what to think; a few affecting to listen with a half smile of incredulity, which they do not feel in their hearts; but all seizing with equal eagerness every fresh account that comes to hand. Tales of the diggings are sterling currency still, and welcome to all the world; like Cleopatra's beauty,
Age cannot wither them, nor custom stale
Their infinite variety.

Fresh bands of adventurers are pouring in, day by day, to this extraordinary country, all bound by promise of imparting the wonders of El Dorado to less adventurous friends and relatives; while the great majority, if we may judge by the size of the outward bound mails, would seem to be keeping that promise in its most liberal interpretation.

But the fame of California has been blazoned as yet by description only, which can convey, even when the work of the most practised pen, but a faint idea of what is sought to be portrayed. "The eye," says Horace, when exhorting play wrights to depend upon dramatic action rather than upon recital, for success—" the eye conveys a livelier impression than the ear." The roughest sketch of scenery gives a more faithful impression to the mind, and fixes it more strongly in the memory, than could be acquired from the unrivalled word-painting of even a Walter Scott. The views which meet the eye in every part of this noble country, are only known as yet by a few stray pencil drawings, the advantage of which is confined to those in whose immediate possession they may chance to be. For want of the auxiliary graver, they remain a sealed book to the public at large, which must either travel and observe for itself, or be content to remain in ignorance. It is therefore with the most sanguine hopes of success that we have entered upon this undertaking, in an attempt to supply one of the very few deficiencies which yet remain to meet;—an illustrated magazine, at a price within the reach of every class.

As may be readily supposed, this journal will be conducted on principles widely different from those which direct a daily press. Strictly speaking, it is not so much a news paper, as a periodical; not so much a vehicle for the importation of knowledge from abroad, as a faithful representative of the country which gave it birth; an exporter, rather than an importer, of events. We wish it to savor of California, and of California only; to be "of the earth, earthy;" being by no means cosmopolitans in journalism, but opining that, as a matter of good taste, every journal should be characteristic of the country to which it belongs. For each community has its own peculiarities and distinguishing features, which should be carefully reflected by its press; the stronger the tinge of local coloring, the more interest will be gained in the eyes of those who do not actually reside on the spot.

We have said that every journal should typify, so far as it is able, its own peculiar sphere of action; but with ourselves, who have double means of carrying out our own theory—being able to portray the material features of the country, as well as the moral features of its society, its tone and characteristic traits—exclusive attention to that point is more especially requisite. Our main object is picturesqueness, in composition as well as in illustration: for the pictorial portion of these pages being the most marked feature in the work, with it the letter-press is bound to harmonize. In the place of loading our columns with reprints from the States, or from European papers, nothing will be admitted which cannot reasonably be expected to command attention in foreign parts, to which it may be assumed that nearly every copy will ultimately find its way. For we entertain a hope, that, when bound into volumes, it may be considered a record of California; — a record in a double sense, not only of its history and phases of society, but of the material changes which are working in the face of the country itself. In a few years hence, when San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton, and San Jose shall be goodly cities, boasting substantial buildings and architectural adornments, in place of adobe walls and lumber sheds, our pages may be again turned over with curiosity, by way of marking the difference between past and present,—of proving by ocular demonstration the unparalleled progressive instinct of the American people. It shall be as a Nilometer, to measure the increase of a mighty river. By the text, on the other hand, we hope to preserve a large mass of traditional history, which is even now fading into oblivion for want of a commemorative pen, while by chronicling the more important events as they pass, and separating them, so far as possible, from circumstances of merely local interest and party consideration, it may serve as a substitute for history, until that department of the State literature shall have been more efficiently filled.

Upon one point we desire to be distinctly understood. Although we shall carefully guard ourselves from taking a prominent part in political matters, more especially in such as are of a merely local nature, still we feel that the entire exclusion of them from consideration might argue a careless indifferentism, which would be almost an affront to the community for which we write. Systematically to reject the subject, confining ourselves to descriptions of locality and literary disquisitions, would throw a damp upon our pages, a flatness of effect, that no power of language, or refinement of style could overcome.— To use a homely, but expressive phrase, it would be offering "porridge without salt.".

Whenever we happen to believe ourselves capable of subjecting a broad question to the test of logical reasoning, not in the spirit of advocacy or partisanship, but in style of a judicial summing up;— whenever we see a chance of presenting the full strength of the argument on both sides to the judgment of the public, then, and then only, shall we suffer ourselves to speak.

With regard to party, we link ourselves with none, and interfere with none. Of course we cannot be without our own private political predilections; no man whose blood runs warm in his veins, who has a spark of social feeling or impressionable temperament about him, can venture to believe himself entirely free from party bias; we shall nevertheless make a point of suppressing it, inasmuch as that the expression of any such feeling not only intrudes upon the province of the daily press, but involves the chance of being drawn into controversy, a challenge which we shall resolutely decline to entertain. We shall endeavor to keep a straight forward course, casting off to the right and left, as irrelevant, every thing that does not directly tend to the advancement of the State.

Our claim to attention shall be based on the most rigidly punctilious regard to accuracy of fact.— Hackneyed as we are in public writing, swept along as we have often been in the full tide of the bitterest political controversy, we pride ourselves upon having never published a single line in the truth of which we did not religiously believe. There is no vain glory in the boast; any one can acquire a right to make the same, if he have only the will to win that right. We may be mistaken from time to time,— led astray by placing over-ready confidence in statements that we are unable to verify by personal experience; but will vouch for guarding as far as possible against every such mishap, by care in the selection of correspondents, and close comparison of opposite accounts. No monster gold stories, no ex parte statements, no crying up of one location at the expense of another, nothing but what shall have been first touched with the spear of Ithuriel, will ever fine place in these colum[n]s. Setting aside all higher considerations, we firmly believe that it is the ultimate interest of a public journal to keep this principle uppermost in view. In spite of the Hudibrastic warning, that
The world is naturally averse
To all the truth it sees and hears;
But swallows darkness, and a lie,
With greediness and gluttony;

we are still convinced that the confidence of the pubic is the first object to secure, and that the public will not be long in finding out where that confidence may be securely placed.

The last point to be touched upon, before winding up this inaugural profession of faith, is one to the importance of which we are sensibly alive. Every free country is estimated abroad by the tone of its own press, which is considered, not unreasonably, as holding up the mirror to society. "Bad the crow, bad the egg," says a Greek proverb, of immemorial antiquity; and wherever journalism is marked by violence, by recklessness, or by palpably interested motives in expression of opinions, the blame will be justly attached, not so much to itself, as to the community that supports it. Nor is this consideration, that it is not the sole sufferer by its own misdeeds, the only one to be kept in prominent view. "Upon the press of this country," observes the writer of a very remarkable article in the Marysville Herald, "rests a great responsibility. For good and evil it has a great power. The newspaper, therefore, should be more than a price current of the markets, a reporter of crimes and events, a chronicle of gold diggings, or a 'snapper up of unconsidered trifles.' It should be the book from which may be drawn instructions and incentives to those moral and social qualities, which will more than any thing else tend to elevate the scale of the affections, and give to society in California that character which can alone secure its permanency as a State." Let us therefore pledge ourselves—so far as ability may allow—to make common cause with our elder brethren of the craft in supporting the principles, and working out the precepts, so eloquently insisted on in the article from which we quote; in maintaining a high standard of writing, both as regards morality, dignity of expression, and abstinence from unnecessary personalities. And though it beho[o]ves us to be chary of engaging for performance, we may safely promise never to offend.

Let it not therefore be supposed that we intend to indulge in lecturing, or to be guilty of any such unwarrantable assumption. "Never moralize without spectacles," quoth Doricourt in the Belle's Stratagem, to a tiresome adviser, with more practical wisdom in a single phrase than the other could command in the length of a sermon. To be merry as well as wise :—
Polla men geloia ei-
pein, polla de spoudaia,
(why is there no Greek type to be had in California?) after the fashion of Aristophanes, who doubtless had his private reasons for the commixture of style which he adopted when addressing an Athenian audience— to back a word in season by a word in jest, is by no means the least effective preachment, after all. Like Master Shallow, "we have heard the chimes at midnight" in our time, and promise our heartiest thanks to any one who will enrich us with a characteristic anecdote, or racy witticism, "fire-new from the mint," or the mines, to lighten the dullness of our pages withal; barring Joe Millers, which are long since obsolete.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Broadside proclaiming the end of the Revolutionary War, NH, 1783. $20,000 to $30,000. 
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Manuscript medical journal kept by physicians aboard Continental Navy vessels, 1777-88. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Manuscript notes on sermons heard at Boston's First Church & Old South Church, 1684-1703. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Missionary archive of Samuel W. and Gideon H. Pond, MN, 1833-93. $30,000 to $40,000. 
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Captain's journal of a mutinous whaling journey, South Pacific, 1839-46. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> <i>McClees' Gallery of Photographic Portraits ... of the Thirty-Fifth Congress</i>,Washington, 1859. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Juan de Ugarte, manuscript report on first 16 months of California missions, Mexico, 1699. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Cyanotype albums depicting the construction of the Williamsburg Bridge, New York City, 1897-1903. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Unrecorded broadside from occupied New York, 1778. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> <i>The Honolulu Merchants' Looking-Glass</i>, first edition, San Francisco, 1862. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Honorius Philoponus, <i>Nova Typis Transacta Navigatio</i>, first edition, Linz, 1621. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, NY, 1830. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cook (Captain James).- Webber (John) and Marie Catherina Prestel. Four views in the South Seas [bound with] <i>Atlas to accompany Captain James Cook's account of his voyages...</i> £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Knight (Joseph). <i>On the cultivation of the plants belonging to the natural order of Proteeae</i>, 1809. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> India & China.- Sonnerat (Pierre). <i>Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine, fait par ordre du roi, depuis 1774 jusqu'en 1781</i>. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mongolia.- Pallas (Peter Simon). <i>Sammlungen Historischer Nachrichten uber die Mongolischen Volkerschaften.</i> £15,000 to £20,000 
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> America.- Warre (Henry). <i>Sketches in North America</i>, 1848. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Atlases.- <i>English Pilot (The). The Fourth Book. Describing The West-Indian Navigation, from Hudson's Bay to the River Amazones...</i> £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greece.- Lear (Edward). <i>Views of the Seven Ionian Isles</i>, signed presentation copy from the author to Evelyn Baring, 1863. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Lear (Edward).- [Gray (John Edward)]. <i>Gleanings from the Menagerie and Aviary at Knowsley Hall</i>, 1846. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Flamsteed (John). <i>Historiae Coelestis</i>, first edition,1712. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Flamsteed (John). <i>Atlas Coelestis</i>, 1781. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Conjuring Posters.- The Steens, American Mystifiers: Originators of Silent Transmission. broadside poster, [probably 1890-1900]. £300 to £500
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Tyndale's Bible.- Bible, English. The newe Testament, Richard Jugge, 1552; sold not subject to return. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cook (Captain James).- Webber (John) and Marie Catherina Prestel. Four views in the South Seas [bound with] <i>Atlas to accompany Captain James Cook's account of his voyages to the Pacific Ocean in the years 1776-1780.</i>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Knight (Joseph). <i>On the cultivation of the plants belonging to the natural order of Proteeae</i>, 1809. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> India & China.- Sonnerat (Pierre). <i>Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine, fait par ordre du roi, depuis 1774 jusqu'en 1781</i>. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mongolia.- Pallas (Peter Simon). <i>Sammlungen Historischer Nachrichten uber die Mongolischen Volkerschaften.</i> £15,000 to £20,000 
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> America.- Warre (Henry). <i>Sketches in North America</i>, 1848. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Atlases.- <i>English Pilot (The). The Fourth Book. Describing The West-Indian Navigation, from Hudson's Bay to the River Amazones...</i> £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greece.- Lear (Edward). <i>Views of the Seven Ionian Isles</i>, signed presentation copy from the author to Evelyn Baring, 1863. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Lear (Edward).- [Gray (John Edward)]. <i>Gleanings from the Menagerie and Aviary at Knowsley Hall</i>, 1846. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Flamsteed (John). <i>Historiae Coelestis</i>, first edition,1712. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Flamsteed (John). <i>Atlas Coelestis</i>, 1781. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Conjuring Posters.- The Steens, American Mystifiers: Originators of Silent Transmission. broadside poster, [probably 1890-1900]. £300 to £500
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Tyndale's Bible.- Bible, English. The newe Testament, Richard Jugge, 1552; sold not subject to return. £10,000 to £15,000
  • <b>Sotheby’s: The Library of John & Suzanne Bonham. 26 September in London. Viewing 22-25 September</b>
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Churchill, Winston S. Two Typed Letters Signed, regarding the British North Greenland Expedition (1952-54). £3,000 to £4,000
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Bernatz, Johann Martin. <i> Scenes in Ethiopia</i>. London: F.G. Moon, 1852. First edition. £6,000 to £8,000
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates. Collection comprising (among other things): documents and pamphlets. £1,500 to £1,800
    <b>Sotheby’s: The Library of John & Suzanne Bonham. 26 September in London. Viewing 22-25 September</b>
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Darwin, Charles, and Philip Parker King, and Robert FitzRoy. <i> Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle Between the Years 1826 and 1836…</i> £15,000 to £20,000
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Spratt, Thomas A.B., and Edward Forbes. <i>Travels in Lycia, Milyas, and the Cibyratis</i>. London: John Van Voorst, 1847. £800 to £1,200
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Richardson, John. <i>Arctic Searching Expedition: A Journal of a Boat-Voyage Through Rupert's Land and the Arctic Sea, In Search of Sir John Franklin</i>. £6,000 to £8,000

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions