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Book/Printed Material Crusoe's island

About this Item


  • Crusoe's island


  • John Ross Browne (1817-1875) of Kentucky, the official reporter for the California State Constitutional Convention of 1849, came to California in 1849 as an employee of the government revenue service. He traveled widely in the next two decades, including a stay in China as U.S. minister, before settling down in Oakland in 1870. Crusoe's island (1864) contains four short works: (1) Crusoe's island, an account of his visits to Juan Fernandez, the island off the Chilean coast where Alexander Selkirk's experiences are supposed to have been the basis of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe; (2) A dangerous journey, an account of Browne's 1849 journey by horseback from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo; (3) Observations in office, which summarizes his experiences as a functionary of the Treasury Department sent to the Pacific Coast in 1858 to examine customs houses, with chapters on a controversy in Port Townsend, Washington, concerning the sale of liquor to Native Americans and on the exploitation of Native Americans in California; and (4) A peep at Washoe, inspired by the latest "rush," that for gold in the Washoe region of the Sierra Nevada, including Browne's reflections on mining fevers and his recollections of his own travels through Nevada and California mining districts.


  • Browne, J. Ross (John Ross), 1821-1875

Created / Published

  • New York, Harper & brothers, 1864.


  • -  Juan Fernández Islands
  • -  Pacific States--Description and travel
  • -  California--Social life and customs
  • -  Washoe County (Nev.)
  • -  Ethnic groups--California
  • -  Mines and mineral resources--California


  • -  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.
  • -  A digital reproduction made from a microform copy held by Indiana University is available from its Wright American Fiction 1851-1875 Web site.


  • vii, [9]-436 p. illus. 20 cm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • F851 .B87

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 01016800

Rights Advisory

  • No known restrictions on publication.

Online Format

  • online text
  • image
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

"California as I Saw It:" First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900.

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, [appropriate source division as described in the bibliographic record]. For example: Library of Congress, General Collections; or, Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Browne, J. Ross. Crusoe's Island. New York, Harper & brothers, 1864. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Browne, J. R. (1864) Crusoe's Island. New York, Harper & brothers. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Browne, J. Ross. Crusoe's Island. New York, Harper & brothers, 1864. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.