The Diary of a Forty-Niner.

First Edition of The Diary of a Forty-Niner; lengthily inscribed by Chauncey L. Canfield

The Diary of a Forty-Niner.



Item Number: 100356

San Francisco : Morgan Shepard Company, 1906.

First edition of this early twentieth century California gold mining diary, “kept by Alfred T. Jackson, a pioneer California miner, from May 18, 1850 to June 17, 1852.” Octavo, original cloth over illustrated boards, frontispiece map titled, “The Land of the 49er: Yuba, Sierra, and Nevada Countries”, top edge green. Presentation copy, inscribed by the editor on the front free endpaper, “Mr. Willis Polk, Compliments of the author Chauncey L. Canfield San Francisco February 4th 1908.” One of only 2000 copies, 1200 of which were destroyed in the San Francisco fire of 1906. From the library of Harold L. Mack III with his bookplate and ownership signature and address. In very good condition. Uncommon signed and inscribed.

In his preface to the work, Canfield explains: "There lately came into possession of the editor of the text that follows this preface a stout, leather-bound book of some three hundred pages, containing a jumble of accounts and records and happenings related to the cost of provisions and supplies to notes of the doings of mining chums and neighbors. Bearing every evidence of genuineness, it purported to be the experiences of one Alfred T. Jackson, a pioneer miner who cabined and worked on Rock Creek, Nevada County, California." There has since been some question as to the authenticity of the work, perhaps suggesting it to be a work of fiction rather than an historical account.

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