The Shirley Letters from the California Mines In 1851-52
San Francisco: Printed by Thomas C. Russell, 1922. Large Paper Edition. 350pp. Octavo [24 cm] 1/2 tan cloth over green boards with printed paper label on the backstrip. Near fine. 1/200 large paper copies. Signed by the printed on the limitation page. Item #8038
First book form of this important firsthand account of the gold fields with eight tinted plates. Dame Shirley, as she is known in California literature, sailed around Cape Horn to San Francisco with her husband, Dr. Fayette Clappe. After a short stay in San Francisco, Dr. Clappe went off for the diggings at Rich Bar. Shirley joined him in September, 1851, and began a series of twenty-three letters to her sister back home in Massachusetts. She wrote the last letter in November, 1852. Upon returning to San Francisco, Dame Shirley separated from her husband and eventually met Ferdinand C. Ewer, the editor of California's first magazine, The Pioneer. Recognizing the value of these beautifully crafted firsthand account of the mines, Ewer published one Shirley letter in each number of The Pioneer beginning in January 1854 and ending with the demise of the magazine in December 1855. The Shirley letters have received the highest possible praise. Kurutz 133. Zamorano 80: 69. Howes C427. Cowan.