Boston: Stacy, Richardson & Co., Printers, 1849. 32pp. Facsimile brown printed wrappers. Titlepage toned, with two small paper repairs not affecting text. Outer third of final leaf completed in facsimile, with half of text of final two stanzas on p. 31 supplied. Minor creasing, light to moderate foxing. Good. In a half morocco and cloth slipcase and chemise with bookplate on interior. Item #WRCAM52153
Among the rarest of the gold rush pamphlets, listed in Eberstadt catalogue 135 (circa 1950) at $650 with the following note: "One of the rarest books of the California gold rush, only several copies of which are known to be in existence." The author includes a history of gold discovery and mining in California, personal experiences of miners, and estimates of costs. He describes San Francisco and routes to the mines, and warns of the dangers inherent in the journey and the odds against striking it rich: "Let every man, then, who goes to California, arrange his affairs at home, if he has any to arrange, and MAKE HIS WILL. He may outlive all the perils of the enterprise, and return - either very rich or extremely poor - and live long in the society of his friends; but he runs many chances to reach a very different result." Other pieces of advice are more succinct including "stay at home," and "if you go to California, take any route but [the Isthmus]." Walton further asserts that "our own opinion is, that there is a vast deal of knavery in getting up this gold fever," and that recent reports of discoveries of three-pound gold nuggets are "monstrous nonsense." The pamphlet concludes with a long humorous poem entitled "The Californian Cry," which balances the excitement and anticipation of going to California with cautionary advice. We locate fifteen copies in institutions, though it is our experience that Walton's book is very scare on the market. A great gold rush pamphlet, with clear-headed advice for those caught with gold fever. HOWES W77, "b." EBERSTADT 135:177. COWAN, p.668. KURUTZ 658. VAIL, GOLD FEVER, p.25. WHEAT GOLD RUSH 182 (note). ROCQ 16132. SABIN 101210.