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The Civil War Diary of Samuel James Corbett. A Source Book for the California One Hundred

Corbett, Samuel James First edition. One of 500 copies (not numbered, as usual). By The Madera Method Historians With a Special Preface by Irving Stone. Forward by Wayne Colwell. Quarto. Pp. xxiv, 248, [1]. Maps and portraits from old images throughout. Biographical sketches, bibliography. Dark blue cloth. Slight damage to bottom edge of front board, else a fine copy with white dust jacket, portrait of the author on front. ). Very scarce. Deep political divisions existed in California during the Civil War as the state was caught up in the rampant sectionalism of the time. Sympathy for the South was evident but it remained, for the most part, an unpopular position. Union sentiment ran high in California. Because of the political dissension within the state, the Lincoln administration never requested California troops for eastern battlefields. The great distance involved was also a factor. Nevertheless, the call for California volunteers went out, for men were needed to replace the regular troops stationed throughout the West. All in all, throughout the conflict, 15,000 California volunteers served at western outposts and prevented a possible Confederate toehold in the West. However, many young men were disappointed that Californians were denied the opportunity to join on the major battlefields of the East. Some key San Francisco businessmen (especially J. Sewell Reed) with official permission, raised a company of one hundred men in California, to be taken East and added to the Massachusetts quota (Massachusetts was at the time paying an enlistment bounty of $200 to each man). Within three weeks, 500 men had applied, although only a company of 100 was to be organized. Thus, the California One Hundred was formed and they embarked for the eastern battlefields in December, 1862 with brand new uniforms graciously supplied by San Francisco. This book is considered a great source for the company, the California One Hundred. (the printing and binding are sub-par, in my opinion, but indeed this work is a superb source for the subject).
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California Notes

Abbey, Edward First edition. 16mo. Pp. [xiii], [1], 2-232. Two single-page maps. Original purple cloth stamped in black, title in gilt on front cover. Bookplate tipped-in to inner cover. One leaf torn vertically and professionaly repaired (very well done). With the exception noted, a fine and clean copy. Presentation inscription, signed by "The Author" to T. H. D'Estrella. Theophilus Hope D'Estrella (1851-1929) was born in San Francisco. Being deaf from birth and orphaned at age five, he was one of the first students at Berkeley's School for the Deaf where he continued as an instructor. He taught his pupils sign language and pantomime and showed them lantern slides of photograps which he took in the high Sierra and on the seashore. The included bookplate is of the School for the Deaf with a note thereon that the book was bequeathed to the school's library by D'Estrella. The book's title pages states, "First Volume" but in fact no additional volumes were published. Printed by Edward Bosqui, San Francisco's first "fine printer," this scarce little book provides a wealth of information on Calavaras county, the gold mines, Yosemite railroad and stage routes, etc. The two maps include a general map of Yosemite Valley showing the various trails, and another devoted to the railroad and stage routes to Yosemite. "This work. was based upon Turrill's personal travel notes. Includes detailed descriptions of the North and South Calaveras sequoia groves. the Big Oak Flat route to Yosemite. and Yosemite Valley. The appendix provides a summary of routes to Yosemite" (Currey & Kruska). A rare Bosqui imprint! [Bosqui, Memoirs (1952): p.178; Cowan: p.647; Currey & Kruska, Bibliography of Yosemite: 339; Hughes, Artists in California: p.125; Rocq, California Local History: 16113].
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In the District Court of the Fifteenth Judicial District in and for the City and County of San Francisco. Joseph Emeric, Plaintiff; Juan B. Alvarado, et als, Defendants. Brief on Behalf of Plaintiff and the Alvarado Title. John B. Felton and Theodore H.

Large octavo. 10 x 7 inches. 98pp. Original dark gray wrappers printed in black. Top of spine with some damage, some widely scattered very light foxing. A fine copy. Rancho San Pablo was a nearly 18,000 acre land grant in present-day Contra Costa County. It was granted in 1823 by Governor Argüello to Francisco Maria Castro. The San Pablo grant covered what is today Richmond, San Pablo and Kensington in CC County. The original grantee, Castro, died in 1831. He left one half of his Rancho to his wife, Maria Gabriela Berreyesa de Castro, and the other half to his eleven children. Unfortunately, the heirs each received undivided shares, which meant that no boundaries were drawn to clearly define what each heir owned. Instead, each heir owned either a 1/22 interest (each child) or 11/22 interest (Castro's wife) in every square inch of the entire Rancho. It became utter confusion. Some sold land, some mortgaged land, and in general no one told anyone else what they were doing. The mom died in 1851 and things still were not resolved. She had left her interest in the Rancho to her daughter Martina, wife of Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado. At one point the other heirs tried to have the will of their mother thrown out. Poorly documented sale and mortgage transactions entered into the almost irresolvable situation. The mess ended up in the courts in what is said to have been one of the most drawn-out land cases in American history. Joseph Emeric (the Plaintiff) came to San Francisco in 1849 with only a dollar in his pocket, after his business failed in Boston. His business ventures on the west coast proved more successful, and he soon was able to purchase large portions of Rancho San Pablo, which entered into the inevitable lawsuits, etc. of this drawn-out California land case. Felton and Hittell provide a superb and quite detailed historical background of Castro's original ownership, his will, and much more in this now scarce legal brief. [thanks in part to the El Cerrito Historical Society].