San Francisco: Francis & Valentine, 1875. 103pp. plus nine original mounted albumen photographs. 20th-century three-quarter morocco and blue cloth, spine gilt. Spine sunned. Frontispiece photograph with three small stains, and the final two photographs exhibiting some moderate fading, else quite clean internally. A very good copy. Item #WRCAM41643A
A rare photographically illustrated account of a tour of Yosemite and the High Sierras, by one of the pioneer founders of the University of California. Le Conte studied with Agassiz at Harvard before going to California to serve as professor of geology, and he was among the charter members of the Sierra Club. This work describes Le Conte's first expedition, with students of the University, into the Sierras, and the text wonderfully conveys Le Conte's enthusiasm for the region and its natural beauty. In his autobiography he describes his first years in California as "very active ones for me, the wonderful new country, so different from any that I had previously seen, the climate, the splendid scenery, the active, energetic people, and the magnificent field for scientific, and especially for geological investigations...." "A record of an excursion by Prof. Le Conte and nine members of one of the early classes of the university. It is stated that but 20 copies were printed" - Cowan. The actual number of copies printed was almost certainly higher, perhaps as many as 120 (twelve for each member of the party). A beautiful book, with superb photographs depicting the range of northern California's natural splendor. The images are captioned on the mounts as follows: 1) "...Great Yosemite Fall" (frontispiece group portrait of the party). 2) "The Grizzly Giant...." 3) "The High Sierras...." 4) "The Gates of the Valley...." 5) "Bridal Veil Fall...." 6) "The Heart of the Sierras. Lake Tenaya." 7) "Day-Dawn in Yosemite. The Merced River." 8) "...North Dome, South (Half) Dome...." 9) "Montgomery St., San Francisco. Where our trip ended." HOWES L175. COWAN (1914), p.137. FARQUHAR 14a. CURREY & KRUSKA 230. KURUTZ, CALIFORNIA BOOKS ILLUSTRATED WITH ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS 27. ZAMORANO SELECT 64.