San Francisco: Published by Appellants, 1859. First edition. Original printed wrappers, 8.75 x 5.75 inches), 2fl, (title, page of errata),167 pp. Lower corner of front wrapper mended, paper at spine foot worn, text after p. 50 foxed, scattered pencil underlining and marginalia. Good. Item #20278
Report on the arguments in an important test-case intended to sort out the complicated issues of land ownership that arose subsequent to the 1846 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the end of the Mexican War; California statehood in 1850; the adoption of the California Land Act of 1851; and, as disputes arose, the various legal challenges already presented in the courts. While Hart vs. Burnett was specifically related to the validity of the so-called "Peter Smith" titles - deeds for lands sold at sheriff's auctions to satisfy judgements against the city, often for ridiculously low prices - the ultimate judgement here set precedents for land cases throughout the state. William J. Shaw, who was elected to the California State Senate in 1855, argues against the validity of the Peter Smith titles. Presentation copy, with inscription at top of front wrapper: "John McHenry Esquire, Regards of Wm. J. Shaw." Wrappers are apparently from the 1860 second printing, with imprint on front reading: "Printed by the Commercial Book and Job Steam Printing Co., 1860." Cowan p. 366; Greenwood 1167; Howell "California Catalogue 50" 584; Rocq 9718.