“I HAD SWUM EVERY RIVER TO LEAD THE HORSES… I HAD REMAINED BEHIND TO DIG A GRAVE AND BURY THE DEAD”
ABBOTT, Carlisle S. Recollections of a California Pioneer. New York: Neale Publishing, 1917. Octavo, modern blue cloth, paper spine label. $1200.
First edition of this early and important account of pioneer life in California, with frontispiece portrait of the author.
The autobiography of a Canadian pioneer who traveled to California at the start of the Gold Rush. “Abbott, with his brother Alvin, left Beloit, Wisconsin, on March 3, 1850, in Captain Clark’s company, bound for California. Their route lay up the Platte River through South Pass to Salt Lake City, where the company disbanded. With a small party, the Abbotts continued by way of the Humboldt River, crossing the desert to the Carson River and Mormon Station. At the latter point, they abandoned their wagons, packing in to Georgetown. After several months of mining near Volcano, at Yankee Slide and Yankee Bar on the American River, Abbott returned to Wisconsin, arriving at Beloit on January 20, 1852. Subsequently, he returned to California, leasing a ranch on Point Reyes, where he is still commemorated by Abbott’s Lagoon” (Kurutz 2). After failing at gold-mining and giving up cattle-ranching, Abbott went on to open a hotel and subsequently became involved in a risky venture that involved trying to circumvent the Southern Pacific Railroad with the narrow-gauge Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad, a plan that ended in failure and poverty. Abbott wrote this book during his retirement at age 88. Cowan II:1. Storm 2. Perforated library stamp to title page and number stamp to dedication page.
Corner of page 83 torn, a few spots of marginal finger soiling to text, light rubbing to spine ends. A near-fine copy.