New York: Columbia University Press, 1944. First Edition. Hardcover. Two volumes (complete), quarto size, 1500 total pp., with slipcase. Near Fine. Item #19122101
Joseph Goldsborough Bruff (1804-1889) left Washington, D.C., where he was then living, when news of the discovery of gold in California swept through the city. He organized and planned an expedition to California which included sixty-six men, fourteen large wagons, mules, tents and other supplies. During the overland journey he kept extensive journals and made meticulous drawings, having been trained as a professional draftsman and mapmaker.
This set is the first publication of those journals and drawings, which cover the period of April 2, 1849 (when he left Washington) through July 20, 1851 (when he returned to Washington). The work is Zamorano Select no. 9, in which it is described as "the most elaborate and accurate single record of an overland journey for 1849 or any other year". The set is profusely illustrated with Bruff's artwork, which comprises the "most extensive extant pictorial record of the overland experience" (Zamorano Select, p. 28). The editors spent over fifteen years preparing this work, with over 340 pages of notes supporting the text.
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter black cloth with grey paper boards, gilt lettering on the spine, tops speckled red, different frontispieces in each volume, vignette on the title pages of a pickax and hammer crossed, illustrations scattered throughout the volumes (some full-page and some set within the text); quarto size (10" tall), pagination: Volume I: [i-v] vi-lxxxviii [1-3] 4-630; Volume II: [i-v] vi-viii [631-633] 634-1404. Housed in publisher's slipcase covered in black paper, with a paper label on one side with a vignette that matches those on the title pages.
___CONDITION: Volumes are almost fine, with strong, square text blocks, the cloth spines unrubbed and the paper boards clean, perfectly straight corners without rubbing, solid hinges, the interiors are clean and bright, the fold-outs are in fine condition, and both volumes are entirely free of prior owner markings; the sole condition issue we see is shallow creasing to the head of the spine of Volume I. The slipcase is a bit better than good, entirely present and sturdy, however it is split on several of the seams and has minor overall wear; we would recommend it have some restoration work done at some point.
___CITATION: Kurutz no. 93a, Rocq no. 15724, Wright-Howes (final edition) no. R 89, Zamorano Select no. 9.
___POSTAGE: Please note that due to the size and weight of this work additional postage may apply; we are happy to ship to both domestic and interational customers at cost, please contact us for details.
___Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.