San Francisco: Printed by Thomas C. Russell, 1922. xlvii,350pp. plus eight handcolored plates. Original cloth backed printed boards, paper spine label. Backstrip detached along front hinge, later inscription on front free endpaper. Upper forecorner torn off with no loss of text. Else internally good and clean. Item #WRCAM21475
From a limited signed edition of 450 copies, and with the plates handcolored. The letters first appeared serially in THE PIONEER magazine of San Francisco in 1854-55 under the pseudonym of "Dame Shirley." This is the first edition in book form. "...These letters present a vivid and unexcelled picture of every-day life in the mines" - Howes. "These superlatively readable and informative letters from a gifted young New England woman to her sister in 'the States' may well be accorded first place in any gathering of notable Gold Rush literature" - Wheat. After Russell's death, the remaining unbound signatures of this book were purchased by the San Francisco bookseller, John Newbegin, who had them bound in 1946 in a style similar to that of the original edition. He had employees of his shop forge Russell's signature, but the copy at hand is one of the original and genuine signed limited issues. HOWES C427. WHEAT GOLD RUSH 39. ZAMORANO 80, 69. KURUTZ 133a.