Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918) moved to California from Buffalo, New York, in 1852. After a brief exposure to gold mining, he returned to the profession of bookselling, setting up shop in Crescent City. In 1856, he moved to San Francisco, where he founded H.H. Bancroft & Co., which soon became the state's premier bookseller and publisher. From 1871 to 1889, Bancroft labored on his Native races and history of the Pacific states, western Canada, and Alaska, which he published beginning in 1874, hiring qualified authors for the volumes and even sending out field workers who obtained dictated reminiscences from surviving pioneers. Literary industries: a memoir (1891) recounts his early life and experiences in California. He recounts his career as a businessman and his growing fascination with his hobbies of collecting books on Pacific Coast history and amassing the source materials for a multi-volume study of the subject. This is a book about the writing of history and preservation of source materials as well as the recollections of a leading early California businessman.
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