CRUSOE'S ISLAND: A RAMBLE IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK. WITH SKETCHES OF ADVENTURE IN CALIFORNIA AND WASHOE. By J. Ross Browne. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square, 1864. 19x12 cm (12mo), pp. [i-iii] iv [v] vi-vii [viii]  10-436, flyleaves at front and rear, numerous illustrations by Henry Louis Stephens and others after drawings by Browne, original brown cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, cream coated endpapers. First edition. These sketches first appeared in HARPER'S NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE: "Crusoe's Island" in 1853, the remainder in 1860-1862. John Ross Browne (1821-1875) was a journalist, travel writer, artist, government agent and California Forty-niner whose CRUSOE'S ISLAND: A RAMBLE IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK. WITH SKETCHES OF ADVENTURE IN CALIFORNIA AND WASHOE (1864) was the model for Mark Twain's ROUGHING IT (1872). Browne wrote easily and was clever at caricaturing people and things about him. Browne's trip over the old Placerville Road took him to Virginia City, but he stayed there only a month. He described the town as a "mud hole ... [with] no title to property and no property worth having." He said the Washoe mines were "nothing more than squirrel holes on a large scale, the difference being that the squirrels burrow in the ground because they want to live there, and men because they want to live somewhere else." "There are several reports that came from his pen while he was engaged in government service, among which RESOURCES OF THE PACIFIC SLOPE (1869) has been one of the most widely used ... In 1870 he settled in Oakland, Cal., a place he had called 'home' since 1855, and entered the real estate business with offices in San Francisco, He was engaged in this at the time of his death ... Browne had a keen sense of humor, was versatile, modest, good-natured, cordial, and generous." - DAB. Browne's fascinating career as a government agent is told in Richard Dillon's J. Ross Browne: Confidential Agent in Old California (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965). Cowan (1933), p. 78. Wright (II) 399. Hamilton 1221. Acidic paper stock with some scattered foxing throughout, several leaving small holes in the paper (not as bad as it sounds), otherwise quite a nice, attractive copy. (#165962).
No statement of printing.