SEYD, Ernest (1830-1881). California and its Resources. A Work for the Merchant, the Capitalist, and the Emigrant. London: Trubner and Co., 1858.

$ 2,100.00

8vo., (8 ¾ x 5 5/8 inches). Advertisement leaf. 2 folding lithographed maps (each with a repaired tear); tinted lithographed frontispiece; 13 black-and-white and 7 tinted lithographed illustrations in a total of 16 plates (some spotting). Original publisher's pebbled cloth, covers stamped in gilt and in blind, the spine titled in gilt (binding a bit shaken but holding).

Provenance: Contemporary manuscript ownership inscription of John Hamilton to title page.

First edition. A beautifully illustrated paean to California. "Scarce. One of the best books on the resources of California, with much historical material on the Vigilance Committee" (Howell). As the title suggests, the purpose of this book is to encourage people of all stripes to settle in California, from the European emigrant to the ambitious businessman, highlighting the opportunities presented by the discovery of gold in the region. "One of the best early surveys of the natural resources of California" (Currey and Kruska). The author seeks to give an overview of California's natural resources and its history, as well as the best routes to reach it. One map outlines the various routes to California from Europe, while the other portrays the whole territory, with an inset of the neighboring areas. The illustrations "are of much Gold Rush significance" (Wheat), in particular the two views of Yosemite, which "were derived from sketches made by Thomas A. Ayres in 1855. These illustrations appear to be the first views of Yosemite Valley published in a book" (Currey and Kruska).