Sacramento: Solomon Alter, 1853. First edition. Hardcover. Original burgundy cloth with gilt spine title, octavo, 261 pp. 6 engraved plates by Charles Nahl printed on colored paper. Spine moderately faded, spotting to endpapers, bottom corner of first table of contents page creased, still about very good. Very good. Item #18874
The lectures are in the form of an allegorical narrative apparently modeled after Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" but set in various mining region locales. The author was a clergyman who arrived in California in 1849. He is called the founder of the Congregational church in California and was the pastor of the First Church of Christ in Sacramento. The 6 plates by Charles Christian Nahl (1818-1878) are among the earliest California work of the German artist who also came to the gold country in 1849. After failing as a miner (he bought a salted mine at Rough and Ready Camp on the Yuba River), he opened an art studio in Sacramento. He moved on to San Francisco in 1852 after the Sacramento fire of that year destroyed his studio and all his early work. Nahl was an accomplished painter who is regarded as perhaps the most significant California artist of the Gold Rush era. Cowan p. 48; Kurutz #49.