“THE INCIDENTS HEREIN RELATED ARE AUTHENTICALLY HISTORICAL; WHICH, FROM THEIR STARTLING, I SHOULD SAY TRAGIC NATURE, WILL, I AM LED TO BELIEVE, VERY MUCH ENTERTAIN…”: FIRST EDITION OF SMITH’S SAN FRANCISCO VIGILANCE COMMITTEE OF ’56
SMITH, Frank Meriweather. San Francisco Vigilance Committee of ’56 with Some Interesting Sketches of Events Succeeding 1846. San Francisco, California: Barry, Baird, 1883. Octavo, stitched as issued, original printed cream paper wrappers. $800.
First edition of this 19th-century work focusing on San Francisco’s first and second vigilance committees, in original wrappers.
In this work, Smith concentrates on mid 19th-century San Francisco, then “a small trading village, for the accommodation of a few individuals” and its rapid transformation into a thriving commercial center during the Gold Rush. His main focus is the second “vigilance committee,” the main mode of justice at the time. He begins with a brief sketch of the committee that preceded it and its battle against the “Hounds,” the organization against whom they directed their actions. He continues with events of 1856 and the undertakings of the second vigilance committee and an almost full account of the legal court proceedings during the trial of Charles Cora for the murder of General Richardson. Particular attention is given to specific outlaws and the details of the administration of justice. “Accounts of both Vigilance committees are given, drawn principally from the contemporary press. The author has ventured neither praise nor prejudice, and his work is a concise… history of these tribunals” (Cowan, 493). Soliday IV:143. Eberstadt 251. Jones 1625.
Interior generally fine, expert restoration to wrappers.