San Francisco: Printed by Towne & Bacon, 1866. ix,,[xi]-xlv,,34,106,365,,363*- 369*,-391pp. plus two leaves of errata (inserted between pages iv and v and following page 34), a slip with additions to the contents bound in between pages xliv and xlv, and a slip containing the final order of the Supreme Court bound in between pages 364 and 365. Plus two maps (one double-page and colored) and three plates (including frontispiece). Contemporary three-quarter morocco and marbled boards, spine gilt, raised bands. Moderate shelf wear, rubbing, and wear along joints. Embossed stamp of San Francisco bookbinders Bartling & Kimball on front fly leaf. Light tanning, a few instances of pencil marginalia. Very good. Item #WRCAM55810
This is the third (and best) edition, second issue of Dwinelle's work, generally considered the best and most complete edition.
One of the basic works for the history of San Francisco, containing a vast storehouse of information and documents. John Dwinelle, a talented attorney, originally published this work in 1863 as a legal brief in the U.S. District Court in support of San Francisco's suit against the United States for title to four leagues of "pueblo lands," including the land on which the city was built. The federal government had argued that there was never a "pueblo of San Francisco." To prove San Francisco's right to the land Dwinelle submitted a complete history of the city with supporting documents from archives and other sources. Dwinelle's work brings together the Spanish and Mexican legal documents that governed San Francisco since its founding in 1776. The city's claim was eventually confirmed by the Supreme Court. This second issue of the third edition contains starred pages 363-369 and the inserted slip "No. CLXXI-Bis" which gives the final order of the Supreme Court, dated February 4, 1867.
The supporting historical documents add some three hundred pages to the first edition of 1863. Also included is Dwinelle's "Address on the Acquisition of California," a single- page map of the San Francisco peninsula, and a double-page map of the "government reservations" of San Francisco, showing the land on both sides of the Golden Gate, with the coast outlined in blue. Cowan states that there were only 200 copies of this third edition printed, and does not note a second edition, though he also describes first and fourth editions (as does Rocq). This second issue of the third edition is identical to the fourth edition (dated 1867 on the titlepage) and the Graff catalogue states that "it seems probable that the additional text of the fourth edition was inserted in a small part of the third edition before the fourth was ready for distribution." John Dwinelle also served as mayor of Oakland, was a member of the state assembly, and an accomplished writer on California history. As a lawyer, Dwinelle is also remembered for representing a black child in a San Francisco school segregation case. He organized the bill to create the University of California in 1868 and Berkeley's Dwinelle Hall, home of the school's esteemed History Department, is named for him.
Howes gives this third edition a "c" rarity rating, higher than the "b" rating he gives the first and fourth editions. He also hypothesizes that the second edition was probably never issued. California land historian W.W. Robinson holds Dwinelle's work in high esteem, calling it "of the greatest importance in the history of California land titles." "The work contains a large number of documents, most of which are now either inaccessible or destroyed" - Cowan. "Basic book for the beginnings of this city" - Howes. "A great storehouse of information on the beginnings of San Francisco" - Streeter. HOWES D614, "c." ZAMORANO 80, 32. COWAN, p.189. ROCQ 7961. SABIN 21573. STREETER SALE 2912. HOWELL 50:783. NORRIS CATALOGUE 1024, "extremely rare." GRAFF 1189. W.W. ROBINSON, LAND IN CALIFORNIA, pp.232-234.