Forster, George G. The Gold Regions of California: Being a Succinct Description of the Geography, History, Topography, and General Features of California: Including a Carefully Prepared Account of the Gold Regions of that Fortunate Country. Prepared from Official Documents and Other Authentic Sources. Edited by G.C. Foster. Third Edition. New York: DeWitt & Davenport, Tribune Buildings. 1848. Collation: map,[I] title, [ii] copyright and printer's imprint, [iii] iv-vii preface, [viii] blank,  10-80 text, advt. leaf, verso blank. 9 1/2 x 6 in. Binding: Front wrapper: [printed in gold ink within ornamental borders; above border]: Second edition. [within borders] The Gold Mines of California. And also a Geographical, Topographical and Historical View of the Country, from Official Documents and Authentic Sources, with A Map of the Country, and Particularly of the Gold Region; Edited by G.G. Foster, Esq. Price Twenty-Five Cents. New-York; Published by DeWItt & Davenport, Tribune Building. Book is placed in a half polished brown leather slipcase over brown cloth boards. Map: Frontispiece: Untitled map of California from Los Angeles to Sutter Buttes with Gold Region encircled by dotted line. 7 x 4 1/4 in. References: Down I, p.89; Cowan II, p. 219; Eberstadt 107: 58; Howes F-287; Kurutz 250; Streeter 2529; Wheat, Books, 77; Wheat, Maps, 39.
The distinguished antiquarian bookseller Edward Eberstadt wrote:"This is the first considerable pamphlet on the Gold Regions and but two others (Sherwood and Simpson) are contemporary with it. The author was the first to suggest going to California in companies or associations, and he predicts that 'one year will see ten or fifteen thousand heady and adventurous Americans in the heart of California, ready to dig gold." Foster, in his eloquent and stirring introduction, also correctly predicted that a fortune could be made by the enterprising blacksmith, wheelwright, carpenter, shoemaker, and other skilled trades. This slender work is a useful anthology of some of the earliest reports of the gold discovery and features the writings of Farnham, Mason, Doniphan, Larkin, Folsom, Fremont, Colton and articles from the June and August issues of The Californian. Foster's preface includes one of the oft-quoted statements regarding the impact of J.W. Marshall's great discovery: "The recent reports concerning the discovery of immense regions where gold-bright, glittering gold, the first, last and only friend of man in these slippery, selfish days - can be gathered in handfuls and brought away in bags and baskets, with no more machinery and labor than shovel-work and a tin pan - must add immense force and activity to the already rapid emigration."
Foster's pamphlet is an outstanding example of the publishing frenzy generated by the gold discovery. Between 1848 and 1849 five versions were printed with essentially the same number of pages but with variations on the number of advertising leaves and the printing of the map. The McClatchy copy is an excellent example. Its title page indicates that it is the third edition but the wrapper title states "Second Edition". This copy has a single leaf frontispiece map of California whereas other editions feature a large folding map compiled by J.H. Colton showing land and water routes to golden land.
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All edges curled. Rear wrapper with stain and tears; one tear with a partial repair.
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