Item #75141 NARRATIVE OF EDWARD MCGOWAN, including a Full Account of the Author’s Adventures and Perils, while persecuted by the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856. Edward McGowan.

NARRATIVE OF EDWARD MCGOWAN, including a Full Account of the Author’s Adventures and Perils, while persecuted by the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856.

San Francisco: Published by the Author, 1857. First Edition. Wraps. Justice of the Peace 'Ned' McGowan, part of Senator David Broderick’s political machine, was accused of masterminding James P. Casey’s murder of San Francisco journalist James King of William in 1856. To escape impending justice at the hands of the second Vigilance Committee, he skedaddled out of town. His friend Casey was not so lucky and swung from the end of a rope at the committee’s headquarters. Traveling at night and dodging the forces of the all-seeing eye of law-and-order boys, the fugitive hid out in the rugged mountains of the Santa Barbara area with the assistance of outlaw Jack Powers and the kindly Dr. Nicholas Den. His ability to elude the self-appointed lawmen earned him the nickname of 'Ned the Ubiquitous.' When the excitement died down, slippery Ned turned up in Sacramento, and demanded a trial to clear his good name. The trial was held in neutral Napa, and exercising legal tactics that would impress even modern defense attorneys, McGowan won his freedom. Vindicated, he set himself up in Sacramento and began writing a book about his side of the story concerning his persecution by the Vigilantes. Self-published in 1857 and dedicated to Dr. Den, Ned’s narrative created a sensation not only for the incredible adventure but also for his defiance of the powerful Vigilantes. The wrapper title with its portrait of the author signed 'your friend' and its rabble-rousing subtitle no doubt attracted much attention. It was easily the most action-packed book published in California during the Golden Era, rivaling in excitement John Rollin Ridge’s quasi-historical account of Joaquín Murieta" (Gary F. Kurutz, The Zamorano 80 Collection of Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.).

12mo: viii [9]-240 p. with 9 engraved text illustrations, 7 of which are full-page (some signed by Huestis). Original printed buff paper wrappers, with engraved portrait of Edward McGowan and facsimile of his signature. Some occasional light foxing, with a period previous owner's ink signature to the dedication page. Some general toning and a few faint stains to the wrappers, with export restoration to the spine and corners. Housed in a custom brown cloth chemise and a one-quarter brown morocco over brown cloth slipcase. The Zamorano Eighty 54. Item #75141

Price: $4,000.00

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