New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1930.
First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. Number 108 of a limited edition of 150 copies, signed by Lyman on the limitation page. 394 pp, illustrated with plates from photographs, paintings and engravings, and with four folding facsimile letters not found in the trade edition. Two-toned red cloth with leather spine label, top edge gilt. One tiny spot to top edge of front board, else fine. No slipcase, but protected by a plain paper dustwrapper with typed spine label. Marsh (1799-1856) was a pioneering California physician and ranch-owner, and one of the major figures in the establishment of California statehood. He was also a gifted linguist who, wrote a Sioux dictionary and grammar and married into the tribe while serving as Indian subagent at Prairie du Chien in the 1820s, and afterward established a private trading post there. He migrated to California in 1836 (having been held captive by and escaped from Comanche Indians along the way). In 1837, he purchased a 17,000-acre land grant along the San Joaquin River. In 1848, he both struck gold and also established a highly lucrative business catering to the needs of gold miners. In 1855, he was brutally murdered in a dispute over wages. Lyman conclues that Marsh "possessed great courage, adventurousness, and intelligence, and seemed to genuinely love his two wives and children, [but] his treatment of most other people revealed more negative character traits. Bitterness, greed, stinginess, and a violent temper too often governed his personality and ultimately stamped his public reputation" (ANB). Howes L578; Cowan p.400.