An Interesting Americana Auction PBA Sale #264: Held May 29th
Here are a few of the interesting lots.
Author: Hastings L[ansford] W[arren]
Title: A New Description of Oregon and California: Containing Complete Descriptions of Those Countries, Together with the Oregon Treaty and Correspondence, and a Vast Amount of Information Relating to the Soil, Climate, Productions, Rivers, and Lands, and the Various Routes Over the Rocky Mountains.
Publisher: Geo. Conclin
Item # : 133054 – Lot No. 128
Description: , 168 pp. Wood engraving on the title-page. 8¼x5¼, modern ¾ morocco & cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Sixth Edition. Enlarged edition (from the original 152 pages) of the first California guide book, which was first published in 1845 and is notorious as being the guide which led the Donner Party over the so-called Hastings Cutoff, so delaying their arrival at the passes of the Sierra Nevada that they were imprisoned by the early snowfall and reduced to cannibalism for their survival. Lansford Hastings participated in the great Oregon immigration of 1842, but was little impressed by the Willamette Valley, and the following year ventured down to California, returning to the United States after several months. He became one of the great boosters of pre-Gold Rush California, undoubtedly envisioning himself as one of the leading citizens of a California populated by Americans, and his Emigrant's Guide to Oregon and California, the first edition of the present work, is as much propaganda as guide book. The work consists of narratives of his trip to Oregon and California, a discussion of different routes to the Pacific Coast, and recomendations as to trail conduct, equipment, supplies, and methods of travel. The travel sections are interspersed with descriptive essays on Oregon and California. Wagner-Camp espouses the belief that "the larger importance of the Guide lay in its powerful appeal generated by its fanciful picture of California and its promise of `as much land as you want.' Emigrants who might otherwise have chosen to go to Oregon, where the homestead laws in effect limited the amount of land that could be allotted to one individual, were thus influenced to go to California instead...." The final 8 pages of the present edition comprises Col. R.B. Mason's report on the California Gold Region of Aug. 17, 1848. (Cowan p.270); (Paher 802); Howes H288; (Streeter 3142); Wagner Camp 116:6; (Zamorano Eighty 41).
Condition: The original wrappers were not retained when rebound, foxing to contents, pencil underlining of the title, else very good.
Price Realized: (Estimated $1,500-2,500). Actual: $3,737