San Francisco: A. M. Robertson, 1911. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing, octavo size, 258 pp., presentation copy to Judge John Currey (with Jeremiah Lynch inscription), also with ANS laid in by a member of Judge Currey's family. Near fine. Item #CNWB01
Jeremiah Lynch (1849-1917) came to California as a child in 1858. During the excitement of the gold rush, when fortunes were being made and lost on a daily basis, he served as a member of the newly-created San Francisco Stock Exchange, elected president thereof in 1888. He authored several works, but this, "A Senator of the Fifties", is considered one of his most important - it tells the story of "one of the most exciting decades San Francisco and California have konwn, told with the brilliant but ill-fated David Broderick, one-time political boss and United States Senator, as the principal character" (n.b., quote from the website of SF Genealogy). Mr. Lynch was also a very active member of the Bohemian Grove, having procured the mummy of an Egyptian Princess which remains enshrined within a glass case at the Club quarters today.
What makes this particular volume interesting is the gift inscription on the front paste-down. On the calling card of Jeremiah Lynch tipped onto the front pastedown (with his address being "Bohemian Club / San Francisco") is written "Compliments of (above the printed name 'Jeremiah Lynch') [to] Judge John Currey" (below the printed name), showing that this volume was given by the author to Judge John Currey, who was "a warm supporter" of David C. Broderick and a well-known, and highly respected, lawyer in San Francisco and Benicia, and serving as one of the early Justices of the Supreme Court of California. In a short autograph note loosly laid into the book, the author of the note (only identified as "Uncle George", but apparently of the same family as Judge Currey), addresses "Robert" (the son of Judge Currey), saying "as your father gave the author the information about the Broderick duel he was in duty bound to send one or more copies to him. It's a most interesting book & must be particularly so to your father who was a close friend of Broderick & took an active part in the political history of the time."
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full rust-coloured cloth, a single narrow gilt ruled border with gilt lettering with decorative borders inset on the front, gilt lettering with decorative borders on the spine, calling card , frontispiece a tissue-guarded photographic portrait of David Broderick with his facsimile signature beneath, an additional fourteen plates bound into the text (largely persons named in the book, but also some early views of cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles); octavo size (7 7/8" by 5"), pagination: [i-xii], 1-246 . The note is on a single sheet of paper, measuring approx. 7.25" tall by 4.25" wide, likely white paper originally now toned to a light tan, with red printed lettering at the top "Compliments of / Pernau Publishing Company....", with "San Mateo Dec. 18, 1911" written at the top right of the sheet; the note opens "Dear Robert" and closes "Uncle George" with approximately thirteen lines of hand-written text.
___CONDITION: Volume is near fine, with clean boards, straight corners with minimal rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges (the front hinge recently restored by a professional, name available upon request), the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; some light rubbing to the head and tail of the spine at the joints, aforementioned light rubbing to the corners, toning to both free endpapers, else fine. The ANS is just about fine, the paper lightly toned and a few extremely light, small creases to the corners.
___CITATION: Cowan (1964) p. 401.
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