San Francisco: The Grabhorn Press, 1933. Very Good in Very Good dust-jacket First Edition. limited to 500, in two volumes 1851 [Number 5, Rare America Series] and 1852 [Number 6, Rare American Series], 8vo, [9x6in]; Vol. I - , xviii, , 142, , , Vol. II - , xviii, , 143, , , 24 black/white and blue toned illustrations and map, Introduction and Retrospective by Carl Wheat; Dark blue cloth backstrip with gray-blue paper boards, dark blue lettering and line designs on front, spine paper label with black lettering for both volumes, top edge trimmed and others untrimmed; Light tan dust jackets with black lettering narrative about the Rare America Series on front; Vol. I & II boards age toned along edges, darken age toning to front and rear end papers of both volumes, bookplate of Frank Howard Abbott, Jr. on front end paper in both volumes with some offset, tipped in illustration of miners in a saloon on pale blue paper with Grabhorn address; Dust jackets age toned and fragile with chips and closed tears at edges and spine, archival tape repairs to stabilize, darkened spine. A foundational work in Gold rush literature with rare dust jacket. [Kurutz 133b, Wheat Gold Rush Books 39, Adams 425, Howell 1307, Volkmann Zamorano 80 69b, The Grabhorn Bibliography 178 & 179]. Item #13637
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 she 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 (1854 to 1855) under the pseudonym of “Dame Shirley”. In 1922, they were republished in 'The Shirley Letters from California Mines, 1851-52', edited by Thomas Russell and became one of the best first hand accounts of the mining camps. This book is a reprint of the original Pioneer magazine printing with an introduction and notes by Carl Wheat. From Kurutz, "The Shirley Letters have received the highest possible praise. The importance of her letters was recognized early on and influenced the views and writing of Josiah Royce, Hubert Howe Bancroft, Bret Harte, and possibly, Samuel Clemens. Carl Wheat wrote, 'These superlatively readable and informative letters ... may well be accorded first place in any gathering of notable Gold Rush literature."