Lot 57: JAMES W. MARSHALLSigned Card the Discoverer of Gold in California - January 1848

Early American

December 10, 2016, 9:00 AM PST
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US
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Description: Autographs JAMES W. MARSHALL Signed Autograph Certificate: "The Discoverer of Gold in California - January 19th 1848" JAMES W. MARSHALL (1810-1885). "The Discoverer of Gold in California - January 19th 1848", the most Famous California Goldrush figure. January 19, 1848-Dated Pre-Printed Card Signed, "Ja's. W. Marshall," measuring 5.25" x 2.75" Choice Crisp Very Fine. This special "Autograph" Card features a vignette of the "Old Sutter Mill" at left, together with the printed text: "Autograph of" and below "The Discoverer of Gold in California / January 19th, 1848." Insignificant paper handling, overall sharply printed, boldly signed and excellent for display. Patrick E. McCarthy (1846-1921) was born in Killarney, Ireland. When he was three, his parents immigrated to Canada, where he served as a quartermaster's clerk in the U.S. Army in Kansas. He arrived in San Francisco in 1868 when the Gold Rush fever had begun to settle down. McCarthy began publishing "The Standard and The Pathfinder" and worked on the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1880s. McCarthy acquired paintings from all the major California painters from the 1870s to the turn of the century. His collection, ostensibly including this card, was the only one in San Francisco that survived the 1906 earthquake intact. Autograph expert Charles Hamilton wrote about James W. Marshall in his definitive 1961 volume Collecting Autographs and Manuscripts: "Near the end of his long life he printed a few cards, picturing Sutter's mill, with a note about his discovery of gold...". In 2010, Spink sold a similar card for $4,125. James Wilson Marshall (October 8, 1810 - August 10, 1885) was an American carpenter and sawmill operator, who reported the finding of gold at Coloma on the American River in California on January 24, 1848, the impetus for the California Gold Rush. The mill property was owned by Johan (John) Sutter who employed Marshall to build his mill. The wave of gold seekers turned everyone's attention away from the mill which eventually fell into disrepair and was never used as intended. Neither Marshall or Sutter ever profited from the gold find. Patrick E. McCarthy (1846-1921) was born in Killarney, Ireland. When he was three, his parents immigrated to Canada, where he served as a quartermaster's clerk in the U.S. Army in Kansas. He arrived in San Francisco in 1868 when the Gold Rush fever had begun to settle down. McCarthy began publishing The Standard and The Pathfinder and worked on the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1880s. McCarthy acquired paintings from all the major California painters from the 1870s to the turn of the century. His collection, ostensibly including this card, was the only one in San Francisco that survived the 1906 earthquake intact. Pioneer autograph expert Charles Hamilton wrote about James W. Marshall in his definitive 1961 volume Collecting Autographs and Manuscripts: "Near the end of his long life he printed a few cards, picturing Sutter's mill, with a note about his discovery of gold..."
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