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												Certificate. Fire Department, City of San Francisco. by  James F Curtis
	 - Signed
			 - 1851
		 - from Argonaut Book Shop (SKU: 7469)

Certificate. Fire Department, City of San Francisco.

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Certificate. Fire Department, City of San Francisco.

by Curtis, James F

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  • Signed
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About This Item

San Francisco, 1851 4pp. Quarto. Printed and manuscript, with official seal. "Constitution of the Fire Department of the City of San Francisco" printed on third page. A fine copy. San Francisco, October 20, 1851. Possibly the earliest known certificate for a private fire engine company in San Francisco. Very rare! At this period, San Francisco's fire engine companies were private. James F. Curtis arrived in San Francisco in 1849. Prior to acquiring this certificate, little was known about his involvement with a fire company except that, "He joined a volunteer fire company" (Shumate). Curtis was on the Executive Committee of the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1851, was San Francisco's first Chief of Police, and later was involved in the Civil War. This important document fills in a gap in Curtis' early career. He joined the "Howard Hook & Ladder Company, No. 2." Quite significantly, that company was in existence for less than two years before it disbanded in 1852. The certificate is signed by the newly elected Mayor, Charles James Brenham (elected May, 1851); by J. L. Van Bokkelen (Secretary of the Department and 1851 Vigilance Committee member); and by Thomas K. Battelle, "acting" Chief Engineer (Battelle was acting Chief from August to November, 1851). This certificate is one of the earliest documents to incorporate the newly adopted Constitution of the Fire Department of the City of San Francisco (adopted February 12, 1851). This Constitution is lacking from the few early known certificates. [Shumate, James F. Curtis, Vigilante: p.14; Soule, Annals of San Francisco: p.624, line 19]..


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book dealer
Argonaut Book Shop US (US)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
Certificate. Fire Department, City of San Francisco.
Curtis, James F
Book condition
second hand
Place of Publication
San Francisco
Date Published
San Francisco Fire Departments Early History Stock Certificates Memorabilia Ephemera Finance

Terms of Sale

Argonaut Book Shop

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About the Seller

Argonaut Book Shop

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2009
San Francisco, California
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About Argonaut Book Shop

The Argonaut Book Shop was founded in 1941 in the middle of the financial district of San Francisco. The Argonaut was a founding member of the Antiquarian Booksellers\' Association of America and has been a member in good standing ever since. The Shop is now located just three blocks from Union Square in downtown San Francisco and is open six days a week. Parking facilities include ample street space and a parking garage close by.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [more]
The term quarto is used to describe a page or book size. A printed sheet is made with four pages of text on each side, and the... [more]

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