San Francisco: Thomas C. Russell Private Press, 1922. Near Fine. First Edition. M. Buehler, Illustrator. , #252 limited to 450 copies, signed by Russell with written note on “hand-colored plates” [5.5x8.375”]; Tan paper boards, tan linen spine back strip with black lettering on buff paper label, tan end papers, buff California bond-paper, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed; xlvix [synopses, forward and emendations by Russell, list of illustrations], , 350 pp., [1, colophon], frontispiece and 7 line illustrations hand color tinted with decorative glassine tissue guards, richly detailed dark blue illustrated devices at beginning and end of each letter; Minimal shelf wear and rubbing to edges, front lower corner has small rubbed through, small nick on inside back cover near top. [Kurutz 133a with variant binding, Howell 373, Zamorano 80 Volkmann Zamorano 80 69a]San Fran. Item #13252
Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe [1819-1906] accompanied her husband on the ship Manilla to California in 1849. Fayette and Louise were in their 30’s and wanted an adventure. After staying in San Francisco, they moved to Rich Bar on the Feather River in 1851. Louise was not shy or reserved and was a keen observer of the rough gold miners life. Between September 1851 to November 1852, she wrote 23 letters to her sister Molly [Mary] describing her time in the mountains. They were first published in The Pioneer magazine under the pseudonym of “Dame Shirley” from January 1854 to December 1855. This is the first book form printed since magazine printing. The introduction and synopses by Thomas Russell became one of the best first hand accounts of the mining camps. Russell was known for his book design, printing and binding, and, in this book, his thoughtful introduction.