[LETTS, John M.]
A Pictorial View of California; including a Description of the Panama and Nicaragua Routes, with information and advice interesting to all, particularly those who intend to visit the Golden Region. By a Returned Californian
New York: Henry Bill, 1853. 8vo. (8 7/8 x 5 5/8 inches). 224pp. 48 tinted lithographic plates George V. Cooper. Publisher's ad in the rear. Light foxing.
Publisher's blue pictorial cloth gilt, neat repairs to spine
A vivid narrative of California mining life, issued at the height of the Gold Rush fever.
Letts sailed to Chagres in 1849, went overland to the Pacific, and sailed to San Francisco. This work is a vivid narrative of California mining life, issued at the height of the gold fever. It is particularly valuable for the attractive, accurate illustrations drawn by Cooper and lithographed by Cameron. Peters remarks: "Cooper has left us a pungent, graphic record of the long trip to and from the gold fields, of the young cities he found mushrooming there, of booming San Francisco and Sacramento, of the lovely vestiges of the mission-founding padres in early California, and of the actual life of the forty-niners, with its flavor of roughing it, humor, hope, and all the luring magic of the yellow streak." First published by Holredge in 1852 under the title California Illustrated, this later issue includes the full complement of plates, which Howes notes are not always found complete.
Howes l300; Cowan, p.390; Graff 2469; Flake 4880; Kurutz 395; Hill, p.476; Peters, America on Stone, pp.130-31, 147; Peters, California on Stone, pp. 97,103-5; Sabin 40723; Wheat Gold Rush 125.