FIRST EDITION of the earliest California county history and one of the rarest.

The Annals of Trinity County, Containing a History of the Discovery, Settlement and Progress, Together with a Description of the Resources and Present Condition of Trinity County…

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SKU: NL-01850 Categories: , Tag:
Date: 1858
Place: San Francisco
Dimensions: 8vo (22 x 14.2 cm)
Condition Rating: VG
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Isaac Cox’s The Annals of Trinity County is California’s earliest known county history. Neatline’s example is the extremely rare First Edition, published in 1858. 

It is among the earliest mining accounts from Northern California. Less than ten years after the Gold Rush, Cox elucidates Major Pierson B. Reading’s original discovery of gold on the Trinity River in 1848 and provides detailed accounts of mines, lands, notable individuals, politics, statistics, and even criminal activities in the county. He also references the unverified report of two miners discovering gold here as early as 1847.

The careful and comprehensive descriptions make this a valuable resource for understanding the region’s history and evolution. The author documented some of the most formative developments in northern California and made a meaningful contribution to the historical narrative associated with the Golden State.

Isaac Cox’s The Annals of Trinity County was a pioneering work that still stands as a keystone in the literary tapestry that describes California’s incredible progress from a newly won Mexican territory to the most significant U.S. hub on the Pacific. Today, Cox’s history is among the rarest acquirable California publications.



This volume comes from the private library of H.L. Littleton (pencil inscription inside front wrapper), and was, to our knowledge, the last known copy in private hands. We find no copies of this first edition in Rare Book Hub.

The OCLC records only five institutional copies of this seminal work, held in the libraries of Harvard, Yale, and UC Berkeley, as well as in the California State Library and the California Historical Society (no. 11874530). Outside Neatline’s example of this work, there are no records of Cox’s History on the open market, making it among the rarest of all 19th-century works on the history of Northern California.


Commercial Book and Job Steam Printing Establishment

The Commercial Book and Job Steam Printing Establishment was a publishing house based in San Francisco.

Issac Cox

Isaac Cox was a dedicated historian and writer known for his passion for local California history. A resident of Trinity County, Cox possessed an intimate connection to the area and its people. His deep appreciation for the county’s heritage and commitment to documenting the formative events that shaped Trinity County and Northern California is evident in the meticulous research and attention to detail displayed in The Annals of Trinity County (1858). 

Condition Description

Original wrappers, custom Morocco clamshell case by the Lakeside Press. A few instances of stray stains, but generally clean, wrappers with spine and corners renewed and some mild toning and spots, front wrapper with closed tear at upper joint; case sunned.

Provenance: H.L. Littleton (pencil inscription inside front wrapper).


Alice Bay Maloney (1942). The Distressingly Virtuous Isaac: Biographical Notes on Isaac Cox, Author of "The Annals of Trinity County". California Historical Society Quarterly 21, 2: 127-140