San Francisco: Sun Print. (1853). 1st separate issue (Baird 167; Clifford 180). 1 sheet of lined, light blue laid paper, folded once vertically. Text printed p. 4, in 3 columns, with a surrounding border of 11 wood engraved vignettes of mining-camp life, as drawn by Harrison Eastman. Eastman's images portray the temptations which the commandments exhort the miners to resist, such as gambling, drinking, staking false claims, stealing, fighting, lying, etc. 11-1/4" x 9-1/4". Subtle age toning to extremities. Fold lines, which are a bit tender & starting at the edges. Still, a respectable VG copy. Item #34042
"Thou shalt have no other claim than one." "Thou shalt not go prospecting before thy claim gives out." "Thou shalt not steal a pick, or a shovel, or a pan, from thy fellow miner; ..." "Thou shalt not tell any false tales about 'good diggings in the mountains' to thy neighbor ..." "Thou shalt not commit unsuitable matrimony.."
So declares 'The Miner's Ten Commandments.' These divine rules of the California Gold Rush came about in the early 1850s, when keeping the Sabbath became a point of issue in Placerville [and other mining regions]. Such religious observance was favored by James Hutchings, but not so by many other residents. Their lack of spiritual reverence was lampooned, along with many other shady miner practices, by Hutchings in this famous, and subsequently oft-imitated, parody of the Ten Commandants. The work was first published 4 June 1853 in the Placerville Herald, and this the first separate publication. For more detailed history of this piece, see Kruska's HUTCHINGS, Chapter 5.