An 1849 California Gold Seeker's Manual
By An English Geologist
The first edition of this informative California gold seeker's manual. Ansted, an English geologist of King's College, describes California's prospects as a gold-producing country and particularly recommends California as an opportunity for English manufacturers. After remarks on the general distribution of gold, the author dedicates most of his chapters to California gold mining topics. For example:
The Gold District of California
The Geology of California.
Probable Influence of the Gold of California on the Commercial Value of Gold
The Prospects of California as a Gold-Producing Country
Other chapters cover practical and technical topics such as the washing of alluvial gold, assaying and refinement of gold, and geological concerns such as the relative position of gold in rocks. In the final chapter Ansted discusses California as a place of settlement, including some comments on San Francisco, the accessibility of its port, population growth, steam communication via Panama, and development of commerce in the larger Pacific sphere:
The Pacific will be covered with the ships of the world as the Atlantic and the the Indian Ocean have long been, and our own Australian possessions, placed midway between spots so distant, will not fail to profit of a trade so important. Fleets of steamers will soon navigate the intermediate ocean, and touch at shores which, till now, have rarely seen any white men, except those of Spanish blood; and in the course of a short time, the true value of the various possessions in the Oregon territory, Vancouver's Island and elsewhere, which have been too long neglected, will be felt and appreciated.
An interesting early California gold seeker's guide, issued in New York in 1849 to meet the great demand for information about California and its gold mines, and called by Cowan, "the standard authority of the time."