Publication: Printed For Private Circulation, 1898, Chicago
First edition. 12mo. 7 1/4" x 4 1/2" original, green cloth with titles stamped in gold gilt on the front cover, t.e.g., 116 pp. A spectacular firsthand account of the experiences of one stricken with "Gold Fever." Setting off in partnership with 4 other men, they hauled 24 tons of mining equipment by ox cart across the Great Plains from St. Joseph, Missouri to Denver, Colorado. Hambleton has vivid accounts of encounters with Native Americans, buffalo herds, and "the returning army of disappointed gold seekers." After two years in the business, Hambleton grew "tired and disgusted" of the gold fields and returned home to Chicago. In his later years, Hambleton became a prominent Chicago lawyer, real estate developer, and member of the Chicago Board of Education. This candid work was printed privately for circulation among family and friends. Streeter Sale 3204: "This simple and unpretentious account of a journey across the plains to Colorado in the summer of 1860, followed by the story of Hambleton's experiences for the next two years in mining in Colorado, is most interesting and well told." Mattes 1773: "Enos Ayers aimed to mine at Pikes Peak on a grand scale; put the writer in charge of $9,000 worth of equipment totaling twenty-four tons, shipped to St. Joseph, then loaded onto fourteen wagons. Train plagued by cantankerous oxen, greenhorn drivers, and 'blast furnace' heat. Saved by Platte River water after forced march over barren divide from Little Blue. On the Big Platte, 'probably a million buffalo,' trailed by 'thousands of wolves'.... Teamsters had to make great commotion to urge buffalo out of their way. Indians peaceful, but made a nuisance of themselves offering squaws in exchange for whiskey, tobacco, and powder." Former owner's lightly penciled name on front fly leaf, small stamp of the State Historical and Natural History Society, Denver, Colorado on title page and at bottom margin of page 23, small stamped number on verso of title page, light glue residue at two places on spine, despite all of this the item is tight and bright, internally clean and a near fine, attractive copy.
Inventory Number: 41558