Across the Plains in '54. A Story for Young People of Early Emmigration to California. [With:] The Captive Maidens or the Prizes Won. A Sequel to Across the Plains in 54 [sic] And by the Author of "Across the Plains in 54." A Story of the early settlement
[San Francisco]: Chase & Rae, Printers, [c. 1914]. Two parts in one. 8vo, original printed tan wrappers, in new folding box with Plexiglas lid. [iv], 232 pp. Wrappers smudged, particularly at upper front wrapper; pervasive interior light dampstaining, with some spotting at terminal leaves; but a sound, solid copy of a most uncommon work. "Second Edition, Revised, Corrected and Enlarged by the Author" (as stated on the verso of the first title-page), and the first edition to include The Captive Maidens. The narrative tells of the author's emigration from Missouri to California in 1854, his return home in 1860, and his second overland crossing in 1865, as well as his adventures in California afterward. There seems to be little doubt of the general authenticity of Nott's travels, but he unfortunately recasts them into a fictionalized tale for young readers. Still, his plainspoken sincerity remains effective. Most of the California activity, mining, ranching, Indian-fighting, etc., takes place around Marysville. According to OCLC, the only copy of the first edition, undated and comprising just 76 pages, is at the Bancroft Library; about 15 copies of the second edition are listed. Wright Howes assumes that the first edition was not issued in book form, and he speculates that this second edition was published in 1905 and was almost completely destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of '06. But the book's appearance makes it clear that it was produced considerably later; and the printers, Chase & Rae, seem to have been active only between about 1914 and 1925. Howes & Mintz call for a portrait, but no other authorities or booksellers record it. Almost all citations of this book, in fact, are vague and confused, reflecting its remarkable scarcity. Cowan (II), p. 457. Graff 3045. Howes N-213. Mintz 142. Towneley, p. 113.
(Item Id: 5890)