Apr 07, 2022 - Sale 2600

Sale 2600 - Lot 41

Price Realized: $ 1,062
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(CALIFORNIA.) John Bigler. Inaugural Address of the Governor of the State of California, January 8, 1852. 14 pages plus final blank. 8vo, self-wrappers; moderate toning and edge wear, splits along backstrip, title detached, 2 horizontal folds, inked number in upper corner, small tape repair to final blank; uncut; inscribed "Respects of John Bigler" on title page. [Sacramento, CA?]: Eugene Casserly, State Printer, 1852

Additional Details

John Bigler (1805-1871) was a Pennsylvania lawyer who went west with the Gold Rush. He found work in such undignified professions as wood chopper, stevedore and auctioneer, before gaining a foothold in state politics. In 1852 he became California's third governor, and the first elected after statehood. He was popular enough to gain re-election, and the state's largest lake was named Lake Bigler in his honor; it was later renamed Lake Tahoe.

In this inaugural address, Bigler looks back at California's history from his own personal experience: "But a short time since and we were a roving and unsettled people; mere dwellers in tents." He embraces the rapid advance of agriculture and education, and opposes efforts to establish mining monopolies: "The mines should be left as free as the air we breathe" (page 9). Hoping to stamp out corruption, he warned that it would be "our own fault then, if California does not grow to be one of the most prosperous and flourishing States of the Union." This address was also published in the California Senate journal, but we can trace no other examples of this separate printing in OCLC or at auction. Not in Greenwood's California Imprints.