Guben: F. Fechner, n.d., but circa 1850s.
4.5 x 6.75 inches, pp. , 39, with hand-colored frontis and seven additional hand-colored plates. Original paper-covered boards printed in gilt and green, boards rubbed and a bit faded, paper cracked at the lower rear joint, text pages (but not illustrations) with old dampstaining; good.
This Gold Rush-era children's book recounts a trip around the Horn with plenty of derring-do along the way (shipwrecked slave ships, daring rescue attempts, stops in romantic ports of call), culminating in wealth, health, and happiness for all in the Land of Gold. Although frequently cataloged as proceeding from the pen of Clara de Chatelain, who wrote frequently under the pseudonym of Leopold Wray, it appears that the translator here was a Leopold Wray in his very own right, and not a figment of Mrs. de Chatelain's imagination. (Not only does translating German not appear to have been one of de Chatelain's numerous talents, several early bibliographies list the work straightforwardly as Dr. Dietrich's, and we find evidence of another work from the German translated by Wray). Kurutz (194) writes: "This illustrated juvenile book tells the story of Fred and his family and their adventures on the voyage to California. His father joined the American Emigration Company in 1851. Much of the plot centers around the slave trade. The last three chapters cover California, including the aftermath of a lynching and an attempted robbery. In the last chapter, Fred hands a miner a divining rod and gold is discovered." See also Cowan p. 169.