Carson, James H. (Doris Shaw Castro, editor.)

ISBN 10: 0533121930 / ISBN 13: 9780533121939
Published by New York: Vantage, 1997. dj, 1997
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Hardcover first edition - First printing. James H. Carson was a Virginia native who came to California with his army regiment, which landed at Monterey just after the Mexican War ended in 1847. While on furlough from his military duties in 1848, he panned the tributaries of the Stanislaus River; he struck it rich at what became known as Carson's Creek. In 1850 he acted as a guide to Lt George Derby on the first topographical survey of the Tulare (San Joaquin) Valley. In early 1852, the Stockton newspaper The San Joaquin Republican printed thirty-three articles written by Carson from his sickbed describing humorous anecdotes from his mining experiences. His letters were collected later that year as 'Early Recollections of the California Mines.' He died in 1853, just 32 years old. This edition - the third of his letters - is the most comprehensive; it contains all of Carson's known works, including articles not previously published in book form. Introduction and notes by Doris Shaw Castro. Illustrated, index. 248 pp Fine in fine dust jacket (a new copy.). Bookseller Inventory # 61816

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Bibliographic Details

Title: JAMES H. CARSON'S CALIFORNIA, 1847 - 1853.

Publisher: New York: Vantage, 1997. dj

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

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It is said that California has the most complete recorded history of any state in the Union. Contemporaries called James H. (Henry) Carson's "sketches" as the most correct eye-witness reports of early California. The U. S. Congress declared war on Mexico in May 1846, and sent four units to occupy and hold Alta California, with a view to its acquisition. Sgt. Carson's Co. F, 3d Reg., Artillery, the "pioneer company," arrived in California in January 1847, after a five-months' voyage around the Horn; the Panama Canal was not yet built. In 1847 Carson served as commissary sergeant at 10th Military District Headquarters. In this capacity he obtained food supplies from the Califor-nios and shared in their social life, making him an important person at Monterey, capital of Alta California. He was one of the few who did not desert his post when gold was discovered in January 1848. In June-July he accompanied R. B. Mason, Col. 1st Dragoons, and Lt. W. T. Sherman (later Gen. Sherman of Civil War fame) on the first official tour of the Northern Gold Mines. In August 1848, on furlough, he discovered Carson Hill, classic gold mining ground of California. In July 1849 he traveled with Gen. B. Riley, Acting Governor of California and Lt. G. H. Derby on a tour of the Southern Mines. Upon discharge from the Army in November 1849, he elected to remain in California, and became a miner. In May 1850 he served as guide to Lt. Derby, Topographical Engineers, on the first official survey of San Joaquin Valley. It was here he contracted a fatal disease. He wrote his "sketches" during this period of inactivity until his death at Stockton on Dec. 12, 1853, aged thirty-two years. Carson was a keen observer, and wrote about California's mineral and agricultural resources; land titles and public domain; establishing a state capital; the first State Legislature. He "saw the elephant." He learned to laugh at himself, and his writings reflected a broad humor as he wrote about his fellowmen in the

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