San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Company, 1873. 1st edition (Cowan II, 36; Graff 197; Howes B-192; Kurutz 38a; Rocq 8248; Wheat 12). 296 pp. NB. Cowan II mentions 2 photo-frontispieces, as does Howes, presumably in error, as we find other references do not call for such, nor was such present in any of the multiple copies we've handled during our three decades in the trade. 12mo. 7-5/8" x 4-7/8". Green cloth binding with gilt stamped title lettering to spine & front board. Brown eps. A bit cocked. Binding shows wear & a bit shaken. A Good-plus copy. Item #34030.2
Per Cowan I, "a most brilliant panorama of the times...", and per Wheat, "Informative and engaging gossip respecting old-time personalities and events."
The authors arrived in their adopted state before January 1, 1850 & proudly answer to the moniker, "pioneer". This book gives those that came later, and without such status, "a detailed picture of the city as it existed a few months before California statehood. They describe the streets and the residences and business that lined each thoroughfare and alley as well as the men and women who owned those homes, boarding-houses, hotels, restaurants, saloons, stores, offices, and shops. They also chronicle the fire of May 1851 which destroyed so many of the structures they describe. While they focus on the city as it was in early 1850, their sketches of its residents extend further, often forming capsule biographies of their subjects." [OCLC].
This copy with a presentation inscription, on a preliminary blank, from Mr Robt Cummings from B. N. Taggard, Sept 1870, with notes underneath chronicling Cumming's trip to San Francisco, from New York, around Cape Horn, 1849-1850. Within, on pp. 122, 123 & 127, Cummings has penciled marginallia, commenting on divers events recorded by the book's authors, e.g., on p. 123 is described an Australian boy throwing a boomerang.. Cummings has commented, "I often saw him throw it. RC"
However, while the above inscription is certainly interesting given it presumes actual prior ownership by one who personally experienced San Francisco in 1850, we, regretably, have not been able to independently verify all the information provided by Mr Cummings, though we do find, from the New York Herald, that the Brig Orleans, in fact, departed New York December 15th, 1849 [Cummings states a 27 November departure].