RESOURCES OF THE PACIFIC SLOPE. A STATISTICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY OF THE MINES AND MINERALS, CLIMATE, TOPOGRAPHY, AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, MANUFACTURES, AND MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTIONS, OF THE STATES AND TERRITORIES WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. WITH A SKETCH OF THE SETTLEMENT AND EXPLORATION OF LOWER CALIFORNIA. By J. Ross Browne, Aided by a Corps of Assistants. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 90, 92 & 94 Grand Street, 1869. 23.5 x 14.5 cm (large octavo), pp. [1-3] 4-678 [1-3] 4  6-200, flyleaves at front and rear, original dark green pebbled cloth, spine panel stamped in gold, front and rear panels ruled in blind, light yellow coated endpapers. Second, revised edition. First published as part of a preliminary 360-page government report, REPORTS UPON THE MINERAL RESOURCES OF THE UNITED STATES, BY SPECIAL COMMISSIONERS J. ROSS BROWN AND JAMES W. TAYLOR (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1867), this is a revised and expanded edition that covers western mining operations through 1866-1867. Some copies have the imprint of H. H. Bancroft and Company, San Francisco and others have the cancel title leaf of D. Appleton and Company, this being one of the latter. 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. 79. Contemporary printed book label of C. O. G. Miller affixed to the front paste-down along with later leather bookplates of collectors Daniel G. Volkmann and Michael Sharpe. Penciled marginalia by Miller regarding minerals on recto of rear flyleaf. Light wear to spine ends and lower corner tips, but overall a remarkably fresh, nearly fine copy. (#164930).
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