TAYLOR, Zachary (1784-1850). California and New Mexico: Message of the President of the United States, Transmitting information...on the Subject of California and New Mexico. [Washington, D.C.]: House Ex. Doc. 17, 31st Congress, 1st Session, .
8vo., (8 5/8 x 5 4/8 inches). 6 folding engraved maps (laid down on linen), one full-page engraved map. Modern red cloth gilt.
Provenance: Newberry Library duplicate, with their bookplate on the front paste-down, and their discreet ink library stamp at the foot of the first page of text; with the bookplate of James S. Copley on the front paste-down, his sale, Sotheby's New York "Magnificent American, Historical Documents", 10th May 2011, lot 1059.
First edition, House issue. "This thick government compendium contains a wealth of information on the annexation of Alta California by the United States, the changeover from Mexican to American rule, the transition from military to civilian government, and the earliest days of the Gold Rush. It systematically documents the work of the federal government in the newly won territory from 1847 to 1849. Arguably, these were the most important years in California history and no single publication provides as much raw data as does House Executive Document No. 17. It opens with a brief statement by Mexican-American War hero President Zachary Taylor, which touches on California's desire to be admitted to the Union as a state. The federal publication then proceeds with a plethora of official proclamations, reports, circulars, and letters from virtually every important American official in California including Washington Bartlett, Walter Colton, R. B. Mason, Bennet Riley, Jonathan Drake Stevenson, Joseph Folsom, Stephen Watts Kearny, William Tecumseh Sherman, John C. Fremont, Henry W. Halleck, and E. R. S. Canby" (Kurutz, Volkmann).
The fine and important maps include "Map of Oregon and Upper California from the Surveys of John Charles Fremont" with indication of the Gold Region; George Derby's "Sketch of General Riley's Route through the Mining Districts, July and Aug. 1849" (Wheat, Gold Region 79) which includes San Francisco & Monterey; the entrance to San Francisco Bay; "Map of Fort Hill, Monterey" from Lt. Warner's Field Map; plus route of Major Beall's expedition against the Apaches, Baja California and Port Escondido. Howes C53; Kurutz 106b; Wagner-Camp 179b:2; Wheat Books 31; Zamorano Eighty 14.