San Francisco: Pacific Press (and) N.J. Stone & Co. 1885. First edition. Hardcover. 2 volumes, original brown cloth with gilt spine titles; octavos; xxxvi, 799; xli, 823 pp. Mild wear to covers, spine gilt dulled, else very good. Very good. Item #20527
First volume inscribed on front free endpaper by the author's daughter: "To W. H. Davis from Catherine H. Hittell, 1893." An important history of California, described thus by Cowan "The best history of California within reasonable proportions. The accuracy of its author is well known, and the individual who inclines to history will find it readable. It has little in common with . . . Bancroft; so comparison is not made. It presents one singular anomaly which could neither have been foreseen nor avoided. In the earlier half of his work, Mr. Hittell used very extensively for his sources of history the archives of California, which were at the office of the United States surveyor-general in San Francisco. These were completely destroyed in the great fire of 1906, thereby rendering the possibility of verification of such references almost hopeless. The work has been adversely criticized for some reflections upon the missonaries, but notwithstanding such comments its value is unimpaired." These 2 volumes cover the Spanish and Mexican periods on through the Bear Flag revolt. Two subsequent volumes published in 1897 covered the Gold Rush (vol. 3), and the political history of the state (volume 4). Cowan p. 285.