Very Good. Item #6540
New York: Henry Bill, 1853 . Second Edition [i.e., retitled issue that occurred when author switched publishers]. "Sold Only by Subscription." Octavo; 224pp + publisher's tipped-in Want Ad for agents. All 48 called-for plates present. Plum publisher's cloth with blind-stamped borders and ornaments both panels, framing a stamped image of a lanky Gold Rush adventurer, in gilt on the front panel, in blind on the back. He is repeated in gilt on the spine, under the shorter title "California Illustrated." The handsome plates were drawn, for the most part, by George Victor Cooper and lithographed by John Cameron.
Joints and hinges solid, though cloth is fraying in spots on both joints, and at crown and foot of spine. Cloth slightly soiled; a previous owner enjoyed tracing the joint groove with a lead pencil. Panel corners bumped and edges moderately eroded. Stitching of one gathering (pp. 145-60) is loosened but still holding. Minor foxing throughout, most visible on tissue guards, all 48 of which are in place.
A pleasantly complete and candid how-to and warning for aspiring Gold Rushers—covering how to get there, how to participate, how to die there, and, if you're lucky, how to come home with your tail between your legs. Remarkably complete coverage of travel from and back to the East Coast of the U.S., and the solidifying of California statehood, making the narrative feel, at many points, like a 12-years-later sequel to Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast." But with a lot more jollifying misbehavior. [Howes L300 et simil.].