[FREMONT, John C. (1813-1890)]. The Mariposa Company, 34 Wall Street, New York. New York: Wm. C. Bryant, 1863.

$ 3,500.00

4to., (9 ¼ x 6 ¼ inches). Fine folding lithographed map with hand coloring in full, laid down on linen (some spotting). Original brown publisher’s cloth, the front cover titled in gilt and both covers ruled in blind, all edges gilt (rebacked, extremities worn with loss).

First edition. In October 1848 Frémont had set out on his ill-fated fourth expedition, “partially financed by St. Louis businessmen eager to locate a central, all-weather railroad route through the Rockies. During the unusually severe winter, the expedition lost its way in the rugged mountains of southern Colorado, and ten men, a third of the expedition, perished in the snow. While Frémont and several reliable men in his party blamed the guide, William S. ‘Old Bill’ Williams, other members blamed Frémont himself. Despite the tragedy, Frémont pushed on to California, where gold had been discovered at Las Mariposas, a seventy-square-mile tract near Yosemite Valley that he had purchased sight unseen in 1847 for $3,000. Las Mariposas made Frémont rich, but he was not a shrewd businessman. Until he sold it in 1864, its legal entanglements and escalating costs diminished both his profits and his energy” (Pamela Herr for ANB). This volume is a detailed prospectus of Charles Frémont’s ill-fated Mariposa Estate Company, which spectacularly failed in 1868, only 6 years after its launch.

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