Lot 64 of 305:
Hasting's Emigrant's Guide 1857 Edition  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,200
$2,000 - $3,000

A New Description of Oregon and California: Containing Complete Descriptions of Those Countries, Together with the Oregon Treaty and Correspondence, and a Vast Amount of Information Relating to the Soil, Climate, Productions, Rivers, and Lands, and the Various Routes Over the Rocky Mountains

Hastings L[ansford] W[arren]


H.M Rulison, Queen City Publishing House


160 pp. Woodcut frontispiece and title page vignette. (8vo) 22.5x14 cm. (8¾x5½") original wrappers. Ninth Edition. Enlarged edition of the first California guide book, which was first published in 1845 and is notorious as being the guide which led the Donner Party over the so-called Hastings Cutoff, so delaying their arrival at the passes of the Sierra Nevada that they were imprisoned by the early snowfall and reduced to cannibalism for their survival. Lansford Hastings participated in the great Oregon immigration of 1842, but was little impressed by the Willamette Valley, and the following year ventured down to California, returning to the United States after several months. He became one of the great boosters of pre-Gold Rush California, undoubtedly envisioning himself as one of the leading citizens of a California populated by Americans, and his Emigrant's Guide to Oregon and California, the first edition of the present work, is as much propaganda as guide book. The work consists of narratives of his trip to Oregon and California, a discussion of different routes to the Pacific Coast, and recommendations as to trail conduct, equipment, supplies, and methods of travel. The travel sections are interspersed with descriptive essays on Oregon and California. Wagner-Camp espouses the belief that "the larger importance of the Guide lay in its powerful appeal generated by its fanciful picture of California and its promise of `as much land as you want.' Emigrants who might otherwise have chosen to go to Oregon, where the homestead laws in effect limited the amount of land that could be allotted to one individual, were thus influenced to go to California instead...." Despite mention on the title page the present edition does not include Col. R.B. Mason's report on the California Gold Region. Cowan p.270; Paher 802; Howes H288; Streeter 3142; Wagner Camp 116:9; Zamorano Eighty 41; Tweney 27.

Lot Amendments

Wrappers chipped, rear wrapper detached, backstrip largely deteriorated; some staining and foxing; very good. Rare in any edition.

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