REMINISCENCES OF A RANGER OR EARLY TIMES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. By Major Horace Bell. Los Angeles: Yarnell, Caystile & Mathes, Printers, 1881. 22.7x14.2 cm (octavo), pp. [1-2: blank] [1-9] 10-15 [16-17] 18-457 [458: blank], original pictorial bevel-edged green cloth, front panel stamped in black and gold, spine panel stamped in gold, rear panel stamped in blind. First edition. "Pungent recollections of lively times, mostly about Southern California" (Wheat). Horace Bell (1830-1918) "went from his native Indiana to California in the the gold rush, moved to Los Angeles (1852), drifted into the filibustering adventures of William Walker, and became a union scout or ranger in the Civil War before returning to Los Angeles in 1866. There he became a lawyer and for a time was the vigorous editor of a prickly paper properly named PORCUPINE. He is best remembered for his salty memoir, REMINISCENCES OF A RANGER (1881)" (Hart, A companion to California, p. 43). As "a chronicler who had seen the violence first hand and who had a sense of humor in telling about it," Major Horace Bell "was the man for the job. He not only had seen the life but had so thoroughly taken part in it that one of his contemporaries called him a 'blackmailer, murderer, thief, house-burner, snake-hunter, and defamer of the dead.' He, however, labeled himself a truthful historian who delighted in 'taking the ludicrous side of the horrible history of pioneer times.' Experience, taste, and talent all combined in producing an unusual record in the REMINISCENCES OF A RANGER" (Walker). "Bell has written more minutely upon the 'seamy side' of society than any other California author, and there is a fascination about his book. From the long lists given us of murderous villains, thieving scoundrels, and other unholy characters, it would appear that the polite society of the south in those days was neither large nor extensive" (Cowan). Adams, Six-guns, 189. Cowan (1933), p. 44. Edwards, pp. 25-26. Howes B325. Powell, California Classics, 24. Rocq 2788. Walker, A Literary History of Southern California, pp. 51-59. Wheat, Gold Rush, 15. Zamorano Eighty 5. Cloth lightly worn at spine ends and corner tips, some rubbing to cloth along outer joints, a very good copy. Provenance: small leather label of the distinguished Zamorano Eighty collector Daniel G. Volkmann affixed to the front paste-down. A very nice copy of this book. (#167618).
No statement of printing.