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Dr. John F. Morse & Samuel Colville, Illustrated Historical Sketches of California

Dr. John F. Morse & Samuel Colville, Illustrated Historical Sketches of California, Including General References to Its Discovery, Early Missions, Revolutions, and Settlement by the United States; Together with a More Ample History of Sacramento Valley and City, and Biographical References to Prominent Individuals. Printed for the Publisher at the Democratic State Journal Office 1854. [wrapper title, within ornamental border] March 1854. No.1. Illustrated Historical Sketches of California, with a Minute History of Sacramento Valley. Together with an Appendix of General News. [vignette of Sutter's Fort] By Dr. John F. Morse, assisted by Samuel Colville, Publisher. Printed for the Publisher by John J. Hand, Corner of K and Second Streets, 1854. Collation:front, [I] title, [ii] dedication, [iii]-iv introduction, [5]6-46 text, [1-2]3-8 appendix. 8 1/2 x 5 3/4 in. Binding: Pink pictorial wrappers, inside covers, blank. Front wrapper; as above; Rear wrapper:"To the Public," Contents and Terms. Wrappers have been mounted on new backstop. Copy comes with protective slipcase; dark blue leather backstop over blue cloth boards. Backstrip: gold stamped title and date. Illustrations: all black and white engravings; two full page illustrations and 2 vignettes. References: Cowan I, p.157; Cowan II, p.444; Graff 2909; Greenwood 482; Howes M 844.

As astute collectors, the McClatchy's recognized the rarity and importance of acquiring the inaugural number of one of the earliest periodicals published west of the Mississippi. Its editor Dr. Morris is properly heralded as Sacramento's first historian. Although a physician, he was an able researcher and gifted writer. Given the fact that Sacramento had suffered through its worst fire in November 1852 and a flood on New Year's Day 1853, it is a testament not only to the determination and optimism of Morse but also to his publisher Samuel Colville to produce this periodical. they had planned to issue these "historical sketches" monthly and for the first issue focused the majority of the text on the history of the California missions. Of local interest, Morris did provide a detailed account of the arrival of Captain Sutter and his heroic efforts to develop the Sacramento valley writing, "The old Captain assures us that no man ever felt a greater glow of pleasure than he experienced when, for the first time, he commenced to break up the green-sward of Sacramento Valley as a practical farmer. To him it seemed almost a dream." The "Appendix of General News" consisted of a daily recital of California events in the month of February. The rear cover consists of a notice "To the Public" and Morris and Colville did warn readers of the cost of producing the journal hoping for a generous number of subscribers would sustain their effort. Single copies sold for fifty cents; a dozen for $4 and a hundred $30. Copies were also supplied to San Francisco bookseller, G.W. Murray & Co in the hope of reaching a broad audience. Only one issue of this pioneer journal was published.

The frontispiece depicts "Mission of San Carmel". The other full page illustration is an engraved portrait of "Major General John A. Sutter." Vignettes of Sutter's Fort and the first State Capitol Building in Sacramento as it officially became the new center of state government grace its pages. 

Processing and shipping within the continental U.S. $25.00 plus 1.5% replacement cost insurance. Witherell's strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherell's. All lots are sold "AS IS" under terms and conditions. Please be advised we do not provide porters nor packing materials for pick ups.

Condition:

Some foxing and minor wear on text leaves. All edges of wrappers show wear.  Witherell's strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherell's. All lots are sold "AS IS" under terms and conditions. Please be advised we do not provide porters nor packing materials for pick ups.

Estimate: $1,000 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,890
09/16/2020

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Witherell's strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherell's. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms and Conditions. Methods of payment are cash, check, money orders, or wire transfer for foreign payments. Please note we do not accept credit cards. This auction has a buyer's premium of 21% when bidding through witherells.com.