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The Phoenix, Edward "Ned" McGowan, Editor

The Phoenix,[Sacramento] Edward "Ned" McGowan, Editor. Weekly. Each issue, four pages. 16 3/4 x 11 1/2 in. Issues: Vol.1, No.6, October 4, 1857, Nos. 7-20 January 10, 1858. Vol.1, No. 24, February 7, 1858. The newspaper is housed in a protective black half leather over blue cloth boards clamshell case. Reference: Kemble, Edward C. A History of California Newspapers 1846-1858. Reprinted from the Supplement to the Sacramento Union of December 25, 1858. Edited and with a Foreword by Helen Harding Bretnor. Los Gatos, CA: The Talisman Press, 1962. Pp. 164, 360.

Respected pioneer newspaper historian, Edward C. Kemble, in his colossal "A History of California Newspapers 1846-1858" that appeared as a supplement to the December 25, 1858 Sacramento Union touched on the curious history of The Phoenix and the checkered career of its editor, "Ned" McGowan. Kemble opined: "Though scarcely deserving a name among our public prints, the sheet being a vehicle for the malignant abuse and indecency of a private individual, may be mentioned as a part of the typography of our city. It was vended by E. McGowan, from about the Fall of 1857, until the Summer's of '58. A few months previous to its discontinuance, it was called the Ubiquitous." Prior to coming to the river city, Judge McGowan found himself in deep trouble. Active in San Francisco politics, McGowan became known as a ballot box stuffer and as a bank robber who used funds to support a prostitution ring. Even worse, the judge was accused of being an accomplice of James P. Casey in the murder of James King of William. The 1856 Vigilance Committee indicted him but he was acquitted. In defense of his innocence, he wrote an published in 1857 a thick 240 page book titled: Narrative of Edward McGowan, Including a Full Account of the Author's Adventures and Perils While Persecuted by the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856. With his life threatened and reputation blackened, he fled to Sacramento and Started The Phoenix principally as a weapon for attacking his many enemies and resurrecting his tarnished reputation. In each issue he included hi own narrative titled "McGowan's Lives of the 'Stranglers!!!"" which told of the great injustice he had suffered and profiled whose who condemned him. McGowan repeatedlylisted the names of the "Stranglers" or Vigilantes below his own publisher's imprint in issue after issue. He also loaded many of his columns with crime reports.

 

Processing and shipping within the continental U.S. $95.00 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:

Most of the issues are in excellent condition; some do show browning and foxing. Backstrip is worn.

Estimate: $2,500 - $5,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$4,235
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.