Sacramento, CA: Soloman Alter, 1953. First Edition. Octavo. Item #025254
261 pages, 7 Plates. The remarkable Rev. Joseph Benton saw the Gold Rush in Sacramento at its wildest. Using the imagery rooted in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, he depicts a social history of a place where gambling, drinking and its allied vices seemed to predominate. He notes how barrels of vinegar were unloaded and the markings were changed to read claret or sauterne. He viewed the library (including his own continual buying of books] a missionary outreach since there was a paucity of better literature in the earliest day of the Gold Rush. He describes the drunken state of many of the city's inhabitants until the great conflagration of 1852 took place that left the city in ruins. He intermixes debates about the judgments of the deity and yet the conditions of travel, social mores, and the struggle of the good who were in the minority to those predisposed toward evil which clearly were in the majority. Bound in black cloth, nicely rebacked, spine title gilt. Previous owner's bookplate from the library of noted Oregonian book collector Frederick W. Skiff.