Lot 14 of 235:
Colonial History of San Francisco 1866  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,440
$2,000 - $3,000

The Colonial History of the City of San Francisco: Being a Narrative Argument in the Circuit Court of the United States for the State of California, for Four Square Leagues of Land Claimed by that City and Confirmed to It By That Court

Dwinelle, John W.

San Francisco

Printed by Townw & Bacon, Book & Job Printers



xlv, [1], 34, 106, 365, [1], 363*-369*, [2], 368-391 pp. Errata leaves inserted after pages iv and 34; addenda slips tipped-in at pages xlv and 365. With 3 lithograph plates including frontispiece, 2 maps, one single page, & one double page with hand-coloring. (8vo) 22x14 cm. (8¾x5¾"), original half green morocco and marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine. Third Edition, Second Issue.

Following the Land Act of 1851, the city of San Francisco, the successor to the pueblo of Yerba Buena, filed a claim for four leagues of pueblo or town lands. The United States contended that the pueblo of San Francisco never existed, which would have invalidated the city's claim for thousands of acres. Dwinelle, the city's special counsel, successfully argued against the federal government in both the district and circuit courts, and in so doing amassed a mountain of documentary evidence on the history of San Francisco during the Spanish and Mexican periods. Cowan notes that most of the documents supporting Dwinelle's argument "are now either inaccessible or destroyed." Additional material was added to later editions as the case moved from trial to appeal. This second issue of the third edition is considered the most desirable from the perspective of historical completeness. The single-page map is "The Peninsula of San Francisco," showing the major ranchos. The double-page map is "Sketch of Government Reservations of San Francisco."

Provenance: PBA, 8/9/07

References: Cowan (I), p. 75; (II), p. 189; Howell 50:783; Howes D614; Norris 1024; Rocq 7961; Zamorano 80:32.

Lot Amendments

Joints and edges lightly worn, small pull to leather along front joint; occasional light foxing; else a near fine copy of this scarce history.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS.  For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting Scott Lenarsky prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.