San Francisco, CA: The History Company, Publishers, 1891. Early edition. Hardcover. 808pp. Large octavo [23.5 cm] 3/4 brown cloth with rust colored cloth covered boards. Good only. The extremities are mildly rubbed, bumped and stained. The frontispiece and tissue guard are completely detached, but present. The last page is partially detached, and the Preface and contents pages are hanging on by a thread. The text block is cracked multiple times. Browned pages. Item #33562
Flake: 288. Part of the exhaustively researched western historical series. Bancroft had formed a large collection of source materials on the history of the American west and decided to write the definitive work on the subject. He employed assistants to prepare statements of the facts for large sections of the proposed history. Originally he intended to use these statements as the basis of a narrative from his own hand, but as the work progressed he came to use them with slight changes. We have his own word that the assistants were capable investigators and there is independent evidence to show that some of them deserved his confidence. Bancroft considered himself the author of the series. According to C.A. Morris in volume 4 of the Oregon Historical Quarterly, most of this work was written by Alfred Bates.