[CALIFORNIA]. WHEELER, Alfred. Land Titles in San Francisco, and the Laws Affecting the Same, with a Synopsis of All Grants and Sales of Land within the Limits Claimed by the City. San Francisco: Alta California Steam Printing Establishment, Portsmouth Square, 1852. [1-3] 4-127  pp., folded lithographed map (Map of San Francisco, Compiled from Latest Surveys & Containing All Late Extensions & Division of Wards. Published by Josiah J. Le Count, for Wheeler’s Report on Land Titles in San Francisco Cal. 21.5 x 25.7 cm). 4to (29 x 21.7 cm), modern cloth with gilt-lettered spine label. Map backed on old linen, text heavily foxed and stained. With author’s steel-engraved portrait on front pastedown, printed book label of Alfred I. Esberg on front flyleaf, and unsigned AL dated February 22, 1848, to Governor Mason concerning establishment of an Indian reservation laid in.
First edition (map is contemporary but later printing). AII, California, p. 45. Cowan I, p. 246; II, p. 677: “The correct map was specially engraved for this work.” Greenwood 369. Howell 50:1624. Howes W315. Norris 4174. Peters, California on Stone, p. 103. Sabin 103174. Streeter Sale 2728: “This is one of the foundation books on California land titles.”
This publication covers the legal history of San Francisco land grants and includes information on the present owners and grantors. Mexican and U.S. documents are printed, including relevant portions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, as well as the act for the admission of California as a state. Several schedules list grant sizes, grantor, grantee, etc. Schedule A lists the old Mexican grants. Despite the legal protections in those acts for Mexicans and their property, wide-spread schemes and machinations conspired to fleece them of it, beginning immediately after the war. This book is important documentation for the development of California right after the Mexican-American War.