The California Star, Vol. 1, No. 7, February 20, 1847. CALIFORNIA, E. P. Jones.

The California Star, Vol. 1, No. 7, February 20, 1847

Yerba Buena [San Francisco]: Samuel Brannan, 1847.

First edition of a rare early issue of San Francisco's first newspaper. Small folio, single sheet (13.5 x 20.5 in.) folding to [4] pp, each printed in three columns. Framed between two sheets of glass (entire issue can be read). Old folding creases, dampstain to one corner, a few small tears with minor losses not affecting readability. Good to very good overall. The California Star was the second newspaper printed in California, following closely behind The Californian, published in Monterey. While The Californian followed an editorial policy of strong support for the American military government, The California Star was critical of the American administration of Yerba Buena in the immediate aftermath of the Mexican-American War. This issue includes an editorial titled "Love of Power," which minces no words, calling California's new military governor, Robert F. Stockton, a "pompous, bloated, demagogue" who has been "puffing and blowing about the country like stranded grampus ever since his arrival." More favorable attention is given to the arrival in Yerba Buena of Stockton's rival for command of California, General Stephen Kearny. The issue also carries details of the capture of Monterey; a proclamation (printed in English and Spanish) from Commander John B. Montgomery prohibiting enslavement of California Indians, but requiring that all Indians "obtain service and not be permitted to wander about the country in an idle and dissolute manner;" notice that owing to "the interruption caused to agricultural pursuits...by the late unsettled state of the country," certain foodstuffs (flour, sugar, beef, etc) will be allowed into the ports of California duty free; an account of a public meeting held to debate the proper disposition of the city's beachfront property (asserting that "a nasty little clique" of "a few designing individuals" are attempting "to appropriate the whole of this valuable property for purposes of speculation"); and a letter to the editor demanding better representation in the territorial government for Americans, who have "done vastly more than any others in conquering the enemy... [and] who have encountered all the dangers and privations of a long and toilsome journey" but find themselves subject to the will of Californians, "whose interests are in all things opposed to ours." Classified advertising includes notice of an auction of prize goods seized by the USS Cyane and a want ad placed by John Sutter for "two Thrashing Machines for wheat of a size and sufficient power for a crop of some 40000 bushels." Little did he know his farmland would soon be overrun in the quest for a more precious harvest.

Item #14139

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