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Gold-Rush-era Archive of Surveyor Edward Williams

Gold-Rush-era Archive of Surveyor Edward Williams, including Thirteen Letters Written from Monterey in 1850, a Transcribed Copy of a Mexican Land Grant from 1834, and Notes Relating to his Work as a Surveyor

[California - Gold Rush - Surveying - Personal Archives] Williams, Edward California, 1850. With thirteen letters, most multi-page, written from Monterey in 1850, a 7 pp facsimile transcription of a 1834 Mexican land grant on cloth measuring 11 x 14 inches, and and eleven page document on paper in Spanish relating to a Monterey land grant, transcribing an 1841 document. Letters heavily worn with some loss at margins but mostly legible, land grant in good to very good condition, transcribed document in Spanish in fair condition with water damage to margins. Fair. An interesting archive of 1850s-era material relating to the life and career of the surveyor Edward Williams, which recently surfaced in the central mother lode region. The group includes his personal letters from the California Gold Rush, as well as well two interesting documents form his work for the Surveyor General J.W. Mandeville in 1858, where he transcribed two Mexican land grants. Lt. Edward Williams was a member of Company E, New York Volunteers under Capt. Nelson Taylor. He came to California around 1847 and found employment as a deputy surveyor, later working for the Office of the Surveyor General of the Unites States for California. In 1858, Surveyor General J.W. Mandeville commissioned a report on Mexican-era California Land Grants. Mandeville had Williams copy the original documents exactly - inclusive of an ink copy on linen that is an "exact tracing" of the original documents, starting with 1834 up through about 1840. These "copies" were submitted to the Surveyor General in 1858 for use in the report. Williams continued the title work by copying other documents from about 1841, though this time not as a tracing, but hand copied on the usual blue paper of the 1850s. The documents illustrate the length officials went to while they investigated Mexican Land Grant titles to California properties in the 1850s. The process was difficult, and involved two distinctly separate cultures and legal systems that clearly conflicted. The Mexican Government granted rights for these large land parcels in California to various people, but clearly stated they could not sell parts of the property. The wording was used many times in litigation of the period in both defense of the land grants, and in opposition to how the land grants were handled. The issues were actually quite simple, in that the Mexican legal standards for land grants was far different from those in the United States, and the two differing forms of written land ownership (and use) clashed. These documents reflect a parcel of land granted to Francisco Mesa at "Corral de Tierra," a large parcel in Monterrey County, California. Mesa had requested land for "his personal use and that of his family." In the Grant, the title papers reflect "while the land is under (Francisco's) possession it cannot be divided, mortgaged, or a levy placed on it, nor handed down..." These original documents help illustrate the complex story of Mexican Land Grants in California. Also included are thirteen letters from Ed (aka "Ned") to various family members, primarily his mother and sister Alice, and vice versa. About half are from Ed, the other half are written to him. The dates of the letters are; 1850: February 10th, April 15th, April 16th, April 28th, June 10th, July 30th, October 11th, and November 17th, and 1851: September 9th. One undated letter with heavy loss is written from Panama. The letters are generally readable, but the condition far from perfect, with water stains throughout and chips abundant along edges, and significant textual loss. The letters are generally at least two pages, sometimes four or more, inclusive of writing in the crossed line custom to save paper. Most are datelined at Monterrey, where he discusses the people, the customs, setting and more. Despite the condition flaws, there is much to be gleaned from his correspondence. In his April 15, 1850 letter . he describes his trip to San Juan (Bautista) from Monterrey in detail while he was on his way to San Francisco. Williams writes of his great pleasure on tasting cooked beef by the Indians that he found was the best he ever tasted as they camped on the way to San Jose, with the ultimate goal, Mission Dolores in San Francisco: "this [the beef] they put on the embers of the fire and broiled it - I never tasted anything like it before, so tender, so juicy..." One of his first notes on San Francisco: "There are regular streets filled with all kinds of sorts of stores... The shipping covers the water as far as you can see. And those nearest the shore are converted into store houses, the rigging being taken down and the and holes cut in the sides for doors...The best houses in town are occupied by gamblers ... a large saloon filled with tables on which are played all kinds of games of chance - at some of the tables are displayed immense amounts of coin and gold in lumps worth from 1 to 5000 dollars which some poor infatuated fool of a miner has at some time lost to them." In his letter of April 16th, he discusses both his difficulties with women in California and his lack of fitting in back east: "The Spanish Girls are very nice and all that sort of thing but the trouble is to find one that is educated. I can't bear an uneducated wom an and I think I shall have to come to N.Y. and bring one out here... I know one or two in N.Y. but I don't believe they would have such an uncouth specimen of an 'hombre' as me..." In his next letter, he describes Carmel in detail. He states: "I haven't been to the mines nor have I any inclination to go," though he intends to settle in California permanently. In his next letter he discusses the people he's met, and how he detests the anglophone community there: "How do I like the People? Those of Spanish whom I call my friends, I love with all my soul - there is not much society except among them... the Eng. and Am. population I detest from the bottom of my heart. This may sound strange, but you will know the por que? when you arrive." He then praises the climate and scenery of Monterey. One letter written from Panama, which has unfortunately sustained heavy losses at margins, offers some details of the trip on the Chagres River. The replies to Williams from his family offer details on life in New York, and are similarly compromised in condition, but overall there is enough to glean from the group to provide a detailed example of family correspondence from the period. Overall a very interesting and unusual archive of a young professional who moved to California during the Gold Rush period and rejected the Anglophone mining community, with particular interest to historians of Monterey and of the systems of land grants that shaped Mexican and American land policy in the nineteenth century.
  • $7,500
  • $7,500
Portraits of Little Holy Flower

Portraits of Little Holy Flower, Hold His Hand, and Come in Camp, Three American Indian Child Performers at the ‘Red Man Spectacle,” Earl’s Court, 1909

[American Indian Performers - London] [The Golden West and American Industries Exposition] London, 1909. Silver gelatin prints measuring 5 ½ x 4 ½ inches. Editorial marks to verso, one marginal tear, else about fine with fine contrast, very good plus overall. Fine. Western shows, particularly Buffalo Bill's, which ran in Earls Court for several years, were highly influential in introducing the British public to American Indian culture, often in highly fictionalized form. After the Buffalo Bill show ceased performing in London, others followed, including the The Golden West and American (U.S.A.) industries exhibition of 1909. Offered here are three photographs of American Indian children from the exhibition, who were likely part of the show's 'Red Man Spectacle." They are likely Oglala. The show featured a reenactment of an entirely fictitious event called the "Black Hawk Massacre in Colorado," and some veterans of Cody's shows including Red Shirt, Lone Bear and Painted Horse were among the performers. The three children pictured here are named Little Holy Flower, Hold His Hand and Come in Camp. A note to a verso says the pictures were taken concurrently with the Franco-British Exposition, which continued for several years in various iterations beginning in 1908. We find one variant image from this shoot, otherwise no record of these images, which may have been taken by the Brown Brothers firm or possibly ended up in their possession from another photographer.
  • $875
Collection of Thirty-Two Photographs of Sicangu Lakota with Annotations and Identifications

Collection of Thirty-Two Photographs of Sicangu Lakota with Annotations and Identifications, Most Circa 1900-1920

[American Indian History - Sicangu Lakota or Rosebud Sioux - Photography] Most South Dakota, 1920. Mix of formats including realphoto postcards, snapshots and cabinet cards, annotations verso. Worn overall, good to very good with some assorted chips and wear but very good contrast. Good. An interesting and illuminating group of images compiled by a member of the Sicangu Lakota community, with most images identified to versos. The group documents an interesting time and is the first we've encountered to blend a mix of vernacular snapshots with realphoto postcards and images produced for a Euro-American audience by a member of an Indigenous community. We believe that the original owner was Tommy Thompson, one of the original members of the Black Pipe Community, to whom we find references in Sicangu Lakota references online as being one of the original families on the Rosebud Reservation. The group presents a valuable amount of genealogical information, as well as providing a visual document of a transitional time in the community. The style of dress ranges from traditional to fully Euro-American, with many images showing subjects in mixed attire. The names encountered - Standing Elk, Red Hawk, Boudreaux, Little, et al - match genealogical and tribal records for Sicango Lakota. Several of the images have the Thompson identification to verso, with one postcard addressed to Tommy Thompson, which makes our best guess that these were collected by Thompson while a member of the Little White River community. One postcard describes an episode involving ther horse thief William "Buffalo" George: "Jesse Brown shot Buffalo George in hip. And he still chasing him and capture him [sic]." The collection would be a valuable resource for any genealogical research into Sicangu Lakota of the period from 1900-1930, and provide an unusual visual compilation of several types of photography not usually seen together and the relationship to traditional culture during this period of cultural transition.
  • $2,400
  • $2,400
Extensive Photographic Archive of the Philippine-American War in Cebu

Extensive Photographic Archive of the Philippine-American War in Cebu, with 218 Photographs of the Conflict Including Images of the Surrenders of Filipino Forces and Photographs of Filipino Culture and Scenery

Most Cebu, 1902. Two hundred eighteen silver gelatin photographs, most measuring 6 ½ x 4 ½ inches, with forty one panoramic photos measuring 11 ⅞ x 3 ⅜. Fine contrast, heavy wear and some tears to bindings, excellent image quality and good bindings. Very Good. A remarkable photographic record of the Philippine-American War in Cebu, this group of photographs was taken by an unknown but very talented photographer likely associated with the 19th Infantry, which was stationed in Cebu during the conflict. Consisting of two hundred eighteen continuously numbered images, the collection contains a surprisingly insightful look at Filipino culture considering the military background of the photographer, and includes some very rare scenes including perhaps the only extant examples of images of the surrenders of the Filipino Generals Mateo Noriel Luga and Aguedo de Rosario. We find no other comparable photographic records of the war in Cebu. Cebu was somewhat unique in that Cebuanos did not participate in the war against the Spanish prior to 1898, but fought actively against American forces after they arrived by gunboat in February of 1899. American forces committed many atrocities during the conflict, and active guerrilla warfare continued after the surrenders of the Cebuano leaders in 1901. Resil Morales' book The War Against the Americans: Resistance and Collaboration in Cebu 1899-1906 (Manila University Press, Manila, 1999) studies the conflict and its underlying anti-imperialist causes. This collection documents Cebuano life in surprising detail, with about sixty percent of the images showing Cebuano subjects and scenery and the other forty percent pertaining to military operations. Two photographs show scenes in Hong Kong, likely taken during a refueling of a hospital ship at Hong Kong, the remaining are in the Philippines. The full subject list, album by album, is as follows: The first image is of July 4th 1902 (likely the last images taken) in Cebu PI. Subjects in this album include an elaborate military bicycle race, Washington Park, Filipino Men / 29th Infantry Band and of the panoramas: Fort San Pedro, Army Barracks, Military Parades, Escolta Port (Abu), San Nicholas Market, Dock of Smith (Abu), Cebu Bay, theatre, churches, convent, St. Joseph Hospital & Schools (colleges), 19th Infantry Band HQ, native scouts, church yards, Calle Infanta, shops, cathedrals, street views, Chinese Trolleys and warehouses, German drug store, Santa Nina Church, San Nicolas Bridge and housing. Volume Two (#55 to 109): Unloading Casco at Cebu, Camp at Guadalupe, Cartel Inganteria, Railroad from Coal Mines at Danoa w/ Child (this is the most artistic shot in the whole collection), U.S.S. Nashville Gun, Naga Barracks, Detachment Company A Native Scouts Naga, Quarters of the Military Governor, Church at Naga, Colonel McClernand driven in a rickshaw several interiors of his home, 19th Infantry Band Baseball Team, Dance of the Seven Doctors, aerial views of Cebu, Surrender of Insurgents at Iloilo, 44th Vol Infantry Band, St. John the Baptist Day Bathing in the Ocean, General Luga and his men, Fort San Pedro, Farming, Filipino Homes, Families, Recoletos Church, Unloading Rice Boats, Street Scenes & Ports, Hospital Ship Relief, Elaborate Holy Day Celebrations, Moro Surrender and the 1901 Surrender of General Rosario. This album houses a total of six insurrection photographs. Volume Three (#111 to 165) : Hong Kong, Coconut Groves, Where the first Mass was celebrated in PI by Magellan 1565, Covent Recoletos, Roman Catholic Cathedral, Cebu Street Scenes, Market in Jolo (Type II photo), Suburbs Cebu, City Hall & Jail Cebu, Magellan's Monument Mactan Island, San Nicholas Market & Street Scenes, Surrender of Insurrectos Cebu 1901, Cemetery at Cebu, Cebu Port, Back Streets, Mimic Combat by Moros (Type II photo), Farm House, 'Mixed Family', Catholic Process San Nicholas, Insurrectos / General Luga series of photos ending in Surrender of General Luga to Captain McIntyre / 19th at Guadalupe 1901. Volume Three (#111 to 165): Hong Kong, Coconut Groves, Sugar Plantation, first mass celebrated in PI by Magellan 1565, Convent Recoletos, Roman Catholic cathedral, Cebu street scenes, Market in Jolo (type II photo), City Hall & Jail in Cebu, Magellan's Monument Mactan Island, San Nicholas Market & street scenes, Cemetery at Cebu, port, back streets, farm house w/mixed family, Catholic procession San Nicholas, also Mimic Combat by Moros (type II photo), Insurrectos General Luga in Center (pair), Insurrecto Skirmish Line and Surrender of General Luga to Captain McIntyre 19th Infantry, Guadalupe Cebu PI, 1901. A total of five surrender photographs in this album, the last is pasted to the fly leaf with emulsion flaking that affects Luga's face. Volume Four (166 to 218): opens with indigenous children, ox cart and American soldiers in front of Fort San Pedro, Company G / 19th US Infantry Fort Brady MI (one of the less than a half dozen US images), Insurgent Fort Mt. Sudlon, Cebu PI captured Jan 8, 1900, Recruits of Native Puerto Rican Battalion Ponce PR, 1899, Moro Spear Dance (type II), Colony of Lepers Cebu, Cebu from church tower, Guam from the sea, Filipino Prisoners for Guam (pair), Deportation of Prisoners for Guam (pair), church interior w/young girl's choir, beautiful pair), Filipino House w/family and soldier, Palace at Cebu, Naga family w/impressive house, Filipino Family (wealthy dress), Adjutant's Quarters Cebu, Interior series of McClernand's home, Hong Kong (type II), Spanish Drilling (type II), Feast of the Seven Doctors. Overall an exceptional collection of images.
A Manuscript 'Public Statement of protest' Recording the Hostile Actions of a French Privateer Against a Portuguese Merchantman

A Manuscript ‘Public Statement of protest’ Recording the Hostile Actions of a French Privateer Against a Portuguese Merchantman, in June 1813

Plymouth, 1813. Plymouth, Devon, England: 21st July 1813. Folio, 7 pages (13 1/8 x 8 ¼ inches), duty blindstamp, small ink stamp to upper inner margin of the first page, two seals to the last page, signed twice by Galindo. Toned, some small repaired tears (using reversible archival ph-neutral paper-repair tape), very good to near fine. Very Good. An interesting document of privateering in the Peninsular war, this 'Public Instrument of Protest' documents a Portuguese captain and crew complaint (in detail) to an English notary. After sailing from Calcutta to Brazil and then from Rio to just outside of Lisbon, their ship, the 700-ton 'Oceano', was seized and comprehensively ransacked by a French privateer (the 'Lion' out of Lorient). Most of the crew and passengers were offloaded onto a passing American vessel, the 'Leda' bound for Lisbon. Meanwhile, the 'Lyon' escorted her prize towards the nearest French port, but before a friendly haven was reached they were both set upon by the brigantine HMS 'Achates'. The 'Lyon' escaped but the 'Ocean' was captured by Commander Morrison and the 'Achetes'. The 'Ocean' was taken to Plymouth, and moored in the Hamoaze. The remaining Portuguese crew who had been forced to remain aboard the 'Ocean' by the French, got a message to the 'Ocean's Master Dn. Ignacio Joze Martins and he, and the boatswain, made their way to Plymouth as quickly as possible. The sworn statement presented here is in English, thanks to the translation given by Francisco Martins d' Magalhaens, master of a Portuguese ship "now dwelling in Plymouth" The 'Oceano' sailed from Calcutta to Brazil, arriving 10th February 1813. She left Rio on 4th April, all was plain sailing until the afternoon of the 7th June (off the Rock of Lisbon) when the 'Lion' showed up, first under false British colors, then French. The fighting was fierce (the privateer was driven off once) but eventually the 'Oceano' was taken. The night of the 7th June was spent by the French 'conveying everything Moveable and Valuable from the Ocean to the Privateer'. The 'Leda' (the US vessel) landed the majority of the 'Ocean's crew, including the Master, in Lisbon on the evening of the 9th June.Monday 14th June, the 'Lyon' engaged in a running battle with HMS 'Achates' and escaped, but the 'Achates' did capture the 'Ocean'. Wednesday 16th June the 'Ocean' arrived in Plymouth under the watchful eye of the 'Achates'. Receiving the crew's message, the Captain of the 'Ocean' left Lisbon for Falmouth and then Plymouth arriving on the 20th July. The document was dated 21st July 1813. Full transcription available.
Album of Photographs and Ephemera Documenting Life on the Colorado-New Mexico Border

Album of Photographs and Ephemera Documenting Life on the Colorado-New Mexico Border, Including Pictures of Indigenous Ceremonies, Ranching, and Rural Life, 1900-1907

Colorado and New Mexico, 1907. With ninety-six photographs measuring 4 ½ x 3 ½ and varied ephemera pasted in. Brittleness to pages, fine contrast to photos, some pages detached due to brittleness but still very good or better. Very Good. A visually compelling collection of images of rural life along the Colorado / New Mexico border, showing images of a young family on their Colorado homestead and a series of images of trips to nearby Taos, New Mexico, by wagon, including a series of images of indigenous celebrations at Taos Pueblo. As a group the We believe the photographer to be a young woman originally from Ohio, who seems to have moved to Colorado with her husband John, who is pictured in many of the photographs, and her family, as other photographs show a family with young children. Two of the realphoto postcards are addressed to a Sophia Mack in Cleveland, who the writer calls "Aunt Sophia." The photographs are loosely in two groups, with one group offering intimate scenes of early Euro-American family life in a very remote section of Colorado, and the other showing indigenous subjects in the couple's travels near Taos. A handful of other interesting photographs show a street car wreck in Trinidad, ruins of the Pueblo Reservations where Kit Carson had his fort, Kit Carson's grave, a coal mine after an explosion in 1904, a general merchandise store, camping scenes in the desert, portraits of two young cowboys named Ray Dwelling and Oliver Russell, and other scenes. The photos of indigenous subjects show a sun dance ceremony at Taos Pueblo, a parade for an election of a chief on Oct. 1 1904, dancers preparing themselves with paint, a indigenous subject alongside a Euro-American, captioned "Indian chief with Mr. Miller the man they deal with will not have picture taken alone," relay races, and burros on a reservation near Taos. The photographs of the ceremonies are more intimate than general tourist photographs, with the photographer situated quite close to the subjects.
Album of Photographs of a Japanese-American Family from Seattle

Album of Photographs of a Japanese-American Family from Seattle, Showing Outdoor Recreation and Family Life in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, 1930-1941

Most Washington State, 1941. Oblong album measuring 11 ¼ x 7 ¼ inches, 144 photographs. Most measuring 2 ¼ x 3 ¼. Very Good. An album documenting the lives of a Japanese-American family in Seattle in the 1930s, when the ethnic Japanese population in Seattle was about 9,000, making Japanese-Americans the fourth largest group by nationality in the city. This album shows the travels and activities of a recreation-loving family in various settings, including skiing, possibly British Columbia, several series of camping and outdoor adventures, including time at the beach and boating. Two photos show the family at the border crossing to Canada, with one image of the family posing alongside immigration officials. Two photographs show sports teams of Japanese-Americans, one a baseball team and one a football team. The album ends abruptly in 1941, with one loose photo of a wedding from 1952 inserted later. Most Japanese-Americans from Washington State were relocated to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho, it is unclear if this unidentified family was among that group. The final four pictures in the album show scenes of formally dressed Japanese-American women traveling, with their belongings with them, though two of the photos show a woman onboard a ship which would suggest it was not part of relocation process. Overall a joyful and compelling photographic document of pre-War Japanese-American life in the Pacific Northwest in the early days of automobile tourism and accessible outdoor recreation.