are 105 specimens of the "Pocket Library," which are collectively known as
Type J. They are uniform, small octavo pamphlets of thirty-two pages each,
with the front covers occupied by illustrations in black-and-white. The very
first issue of this series is shown. It is Edward Wheeler's story of "Deadwood
Dick, the Prince of the Road." Among the more important items in this
division of the collection are Omohundro's story of the Scout New Wylde,
Captain J. F. C. Adams' "Oregon Sol," the same famous pioneer's tale of "Nick
WhifHe's Pet," Mayne Reid's "The Yellow Chief," Prentiss Ingraham's "Buf-
falo Bill's Bet," and Ingraham's "Pony Express Rider." The dominant motif
of this series is far western adventure, but there are also numerous stories por-
traying life in New York City.
The succeeding group (belonging to Type K) reveals another striking
reversal of form and outward appearance. These are fat little 12mo books
of about 200 pages each, with colored illustrated covers. But much of the
coloring used in decorating the covers in this series, was not done by the print-
ing press. It was performed by paint brush and human hand, on each sep-
arate volume, as part of the original publication process. As a result of this
innovation, and also of course due in part to the increased size of the books,
these volumes were sold at 20 cents each. Their publication began in 1871, and
but few titles appeared. They are now exceedingly rare, although fifteen of
the thirty-one known items of the series are shown by the Library, including
No. 1. It is Albert Aitken's story of "Overland Kit." No. 11 is "Idaho Tom,"
by Oil Coomes; No. 17 is Mrs. Victor's "Turkey Dan"; No. 27 is Buffalo Bill's
"Deadly Eye," and No. 29 is Badger's "Old Bull's Eye." All are attractive
and well-made little volumes. "Deadly Eye" is embellished by a cover por-
trait of Cody, done in colors.
Following the Type K books in the exhibition come 317 issues of the
"Beadle's Half-Dime Library." Somewhat more than one thousand titles
appeared in this series, and the Library's collection, therefore, contains nearly
one-third of the titles published in this form. As their collective name indi-
cates they were sold for five cents, and were the most ephemeral of all the
Beadle imprints. Millions of them came from the press, but, owing to their
cheapness, form, and popularity, virtually none were saved.
These tales are sixteen-page pamphlets of royal octavo size, with the
front page almost always filled by a strongly-drawn and dramatic illustration
portraying some vital incident of the narrative. Although the series, as a
whole, is mainly devoted to far western life and conditions, it also contains
numerous stories dealing with New York City. Among these the exhibition
shows copies of "Broadway Billy's Boodle" (No. 514); "Broadway Billy in
12 THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
Clover" (Xo. 678); and "Bicycle Bob's Hot Scorch, a Story of the Schoharie
County Hayseed in New York" (No. 989); all by Cowdrick; "Bowery Ben
in Chinatown" (No. 892), by Harold Payne; and "Buck Bumblebee, the Har-
lem Hummer" (No. 623); and "The Big Four of the Bowery" (No. 837),
both by Joseph Pierce.
Tiie far western tales and biographies in this series are particularly
interesting. Among the biographical issues are "Buffalo Billy, the Boy Bull-
whacker" (No. 191), by Captain Taylor; "Buffalo Bill's Bet" (No. 194), by
Taylor; "Bison Bill" (No. 216), by ingraham; "California Joe's First Trail"
(No. 376), by Col. Monstery; "CaHfornia Joe's War Trail" (No. 395), by
Captain Whittaker; Ingraham's narrative of Joe Bruce, the Texas Ranger,
under the title of "Arizona Joe" (No. 495); and the same author's story of
W'illiam L. Taylor of Texas, under the title of "Buck Taylor, King of the
Cowboys" (No. 497). The illustrations borne by all the titles of this series
wall be found to possess unusual interest, but some of the drawings have an
especial fascination. Notable in such regard are "Giant George" (No. 246);
"Sierra Sam's Pard" (No. 253); "The Scalp King" (No. 288); and "Ker-
Whoop, Ker-Whoo" (No. 318).
The largest group of all, in the Library exhibit, is that representing the
Type M publications of Beadle. These were collectively known as the Dime
Library, of which each issue w^as an imperial octavo of thirty-two pages, with
an illustration on the front cover. Nearly one thousand titles were issued in
this series, of which the Library possesses and shows 356, or considerably more
than one-third of all that were published. Probably a majority of the Dime
Library tales portray the conditions and famous characters of the Far West,
and among the pioneer phases of w^estern life with which its titles deal are
overland emigration, fur trapping, lumber-camp life, gold hunting, the Texas
War, the exploits of the Texas Rangers, the stage coach era, cattle rustling,
ranch life, vigilante rule, the depredations of road-agents, Indian fighting, and
conditions in all the new states and territories.
Many of these Dime Library pamphlets are also biographical. The nar-
ratives of this type dealing wnth celebrated western characters embrace "Kit
Carson, Jr., the Crack Shot of the West" (No. 3), by Major Hall; "Joaquin,
the Saddle King" (No. 154), by Badger; "Wild Bill" (No. 154), by Ingra-
ham; "Big Foot Wallace" (No. 204), by Major Hall; and "The Lasso King's
League" (No. 653), and "The Cowboy Clan" (No. 658), by Ingraham. The
last two named deal with Buck Taylor of Texas. Several of this series were
w-ritten by Cody, and still others relate to him. Among these are "Buffalo
Bill's Secret Trail" (No. 682), by Major Burr; and "Buffalo Bill's Body Guard"
(No. 727), by Ingraham.
Included also in this department of the collection are a number of
Aiken's stories of New York City life. Some of these titles are "The Wolves
-U.Ul '/-I o>
Â© b j
^?^ ^^;' 'f^^
^.i^. ^Sc Â».i4hW'
THE BEADLE COLLECTION 13
of New York" (No. 161); "The Phantom Hand, or the Heiress of Fifth
Avenue" (No. 72); and "The Wall Street Blood, or. Tick, Tick, the Tele-
Following the imposing array just described there come, in the exhibition,
representatives of seven exceedingly rare groups of Beadle publications. Of
"Beadle's Dime Fiction Library," published in 1864 and 1865, only five
examples are present. The "Library of Choice Fiction," also published in
1864, is represented only by "The Maiden Martyr," which deals with the New
England witchcraft horror. "Beadle's 15 cent Novels" series, which appeared
in 1861, has a New York history specimen in the shape of "The Maid of Esopus,
or, The Trials and Triumphs of the Revolution." The "American Novels"
series contains nine titles. It appeared from 1865 to 1867, and the little books
bear the imprint of Irwin P. Beadle, who was a brother of Erastus. No. 7 of
this type is "Fort Stanwix; a Tale of the Mohawk in 1777," by Hamilton
]\Iyers. Next in succession are "FVank Starr's American Novels," of which
there are but four, published from 1870 to 1872, and they, in turn, are followed
by four specimens of the "Frank Starr's Fifteen Cent Illustrated Novels,"
which appeared in 1870 and 1871.
Last of all, in this group of rarities, are six copies of the "Boys' Books
of Romance and Adventure." These, which are perhaps the most uncommon
and important of the Beadle issues, are attractive octavos, on colored covers.
No. 1 of the series (which the Library shows), is Robinson Crusoe, but all
the others deal with famous personages and events in American history. Some
of the books contain several such narratives, among them being stories of
Marion and his men, of Daniel Morgan, of Tecumseh, Moody, Simon Girty,
and other historic characters of pioneer times. This series of publica-
tions was edited by Edward S. Ellis, and, like several other groups with
which it is associated in the exhibition, has hitherto escaped the knowledge
Once more there is a striking change in the bewildering display arranged
in the exhibition. The small and colorful exhibits just described are succeeded
by a large illustrated series printed in black and entitled "New and Old Friends."
These well-made royal octavo pamphlets of thirty-two pages appeared in 1873,
and of the fifteen known titles the Library possesses and show^s no less than
fourteen, only No. 2 of the file being absent. All relate to American pioneer
life. This series was enlarged to folio size after the fifteenth issue, and two
examples in the larger form are in the exhibit. One of them is "Oonomoo, the
Huron." by Ellis. Of this tale Senator Zachariah Chandler once said: "The
man who does not enjoy 'Onoomoo the Huron' has no right to live."
"The New York Library," issued under the Frank Starr imprint for a
short time in 1877 is next represented by No. 19, which is "Red Cedar, the
Prairie Outlaw," and it is followed by nine copies of "Beadle's Popular
14 THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
Library," an imperial octavo series devoted to western and detective exploits.
These bring to an end the historical and semi-historical tales published under
various imprints by the house of Beadle.
There still remain, however, two other important phases of its activity
which demand attention, and which, in point of chronology, even ante-dated
the different types of books and pamphlets already described. When Erastus
Beadle removed from Buffalo to New York, in 1858, his first ventures were
a number of little hand-books on various subjects, and song books. These
appeared from 1858 to 1860, and numerous specimens of them are contained
in the Library's exhibit. These were 12mo or 16mo in size, and were pre-
sented in attractive colored covers, sometimes with illustrations. Most impor-
tant and historically valuable of these publications were the Beadle Baseball
Guides, that began to appear in 1859 or 1860 and were continued for about
twenty years. They were the first continuous series of baseball guides in the
world, and contain a huge mass of information relating to the national game
that is nowhere else to be found. In that respect they are invaluable, and no
history of baseball can be written without constant recourse to them.
Other volumes of like character in the exhibition are the "Joke Books";
the "Year Book and Almanac"; the "Ladies Letter Writer"; the "Housewife's
Manual"; the "Book of Verse"; the "Debater"; the "Elocutionist," and the
three issues of the "Book of Fun." The "Book of Fun No. 3" is notable
because of the fact that it is the first edition, in book form, of Mark Twain's
story of the Jumping Frog, which is contained on pages 29 to 32. This vol-
ume appeared in 1866, preceding by a year the appearance of the pamphlet
commonly accepted as the first edition of the tale.
Of similar size and make-up are the series of "Dime Dialogues" and
"Dime Speakers," which are also shown. The Dialogue series contained at
least forty-one issues, and the speaker series is known to have embraced twenty-
five books. Numerous copies of each are shown, the Speaker No. 1 being
Erastus Beadle was himself a great lover of out-door sports and out-
door life (due, no doubt, to his immediate pioneer ancestry), and in addition
to the baseball guides he published many other similar hand-books. The Library
exhibition contains copies of the Beadle "Book of Cricket," of "Football," of
"Croquet," of "Skating," of "Curling," of "Pedestrianism," and of "Riding
and Driving." All these appeared in the '60's.
With the outbreak of the Civil War the publisher began the issuance of
little volumes designed to inform the Northern public regarding its military
leaders, and this phase of Beadle activity continued until 1865. Among books
of this sort shown in the exhibition are biographies of the principal Union
Generals, the "Report of General Grant," and the "Story of the Grand March"
THE BEADLE COLLECTION 15
made by Sherman. All were published at ten cents, and each contains about
100 pages of text.
Most important of all the Beadle series, from the historical standpoint, is
that known as Type C and entitled "Lives of Great Americans." It appeared
monthly, in the 70's, for about a year, and contained thirteen different titles.
All these are rare, yet the Library file, as shown, contains no less than eleven of
them and embraces the lives of Washington, Paul Jones, Anthony Wayne, Ethan
Allen, Lafayette, Israel Putnam, Crockett, Tecumseh, Lincoln, Pontiac and
Grant. Those lacking are the lives of Boone and Kit Carson. This series is
attractively bound in colored illustrated covers, much of the coloring having
been done by brush. There was also issued a Life of General McClellan, and
a memorial edition of the Life of Grant, issued after his death. Both of these
The other manifestation of Beadle's early activities after his removal to
New York was his issuance of popular song books. One of the first of these
was the "Dime School Melodist" of 1859. The Library copy (a later edition)
is dated 1860.
Following it came three distinct series of song literature. The first was
a collection called the "Dime Song Book," which began in 1859 and embraced
some twenty or more separate numbers that came out periodically. The earliest
shown by the Library is Number 3, dated 1859. They were 12mos in salmon
colored covers, and each number contained sixty or seventy of the popular
ballads of that time.
The second series of songsters was named the "One Cent Song Book,"
of which nine different numbers are known to exist, and of which the Library
shows eight (lacking only No. 6). As its name indicates, it was sold for a
cent, and was a 16mo eight-page pamphlet. All numbers are extremely rare.
It was published in 1868. Previously, in 1861, the "Dime Union Song Book"
in two numbers had been brought out, containing the war songs of the North.
The third and last songster series was a pretentious royal octavo in size,
and named "Beadle's Singers' Library." Beginning in 1878, it continued
weekly into 1879, and 43 separate numbers are known. Of these the Library
possesses an almost complete file, lacking only numbers 3 and 20, with nearly
all the numbers in first edition. The first editions of these items had large
colored vignette illustrations on the front page, with much of the coloring
done by hand. Each number contained fifty or more songs of the day, the
entire series, therefore, embracing more than two thousand of the songs most
popular with the Americans of 43 years ago.
For that reason it is also a historically invaluable collection, since the
song literature it contains discloses, in striking manner, the prevailing thoughts
and manners of society. Many of the songs themselves, both in title and text,
reveal the prevalence of an artificial sentimentality, a tolerance of crime and
16 THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
vulgarity, a worship of alcohol, and a laxity of morals decidedly in contrast
with ideas now prevailing. A column might be filled with the peculiar titles
to these interesting ditties. Among them are "The Crackman's Chant," "Pull
Down the Blind," "Battle of the Kegs," "Since Terry First Joined the Gang,"
"Grease the Griddle, Birdie, Darling," "When Brown Comes Rolling Home,"
"She Was Clerk in a Candy Store," "Billiards and Pool," "See that my Nose
is kept Red," "The Way my Daddy Went," "I'm Dancing Mad," "The Old
W^hisky Jug," "Go It While You're Young," "The Rat Catcher's Daughter,"
"On Coney Island Beach,^' "She W^ept her Life Away," "Charge the Can
Cheerily," "Bright, Bright Wine," "I Fancy I've seen you Before," "Charley
the Masher," "Please Father don't Drink Any More," "Come Home Mother,"
and "Dear Father, Come Down with the Stamps."
Although the preceding outline of Beadle activities sufficiently suggests
that his career was not confined to the publishing of adventure tales, according
to the general impression, there still remain to be noticed the items which ter-
minate the distinctively Beadle phase of the Library's exhibition. They are
four in number, of which three are newspapers and one is a pretentious monthly
magazine. The magazine in question is "The Home Monthly," four volumes
of which appeared in Buffalo during the years 1856-1860, before Beadle came
to New York City. It ranked among the best periodicals of the country. The
Library shows it in completeness.
The newspapers were all published in New York City. "Belles and
Beaux" was a home weekly issued during 1874. It is represented by Number 3
of Volume I. Only a few scattered numbers are known. "Girls of Today,"
which came out in 1875/6, is shown in a complete volume. The "Young New
Yorker," which was issued in 1878/9, is also on view in the shape of a complete
volume. It was an excellent illustrated journal intended to foster a love of
nature and out-of-door life, and completes the cycle of Beadle literature, which,
for extent and variety, has scarcely been approached by any other American
The remainder of the collection (not exhibited) consists of numerous
series of adventure tales and other dime novels, nearly all of which were inspired
by, and followed, in the wake of the Beadle imprints. First in this section come
thirty-two of the tales published by DeWitt in imitation of the original salmon-
colored Beadle books. Robert DeWitt began their publication in New York
in 1867, closely following the outward appearance of the Beadle books, and
they continued to appear, to the number of more than 118, during the follow-
ing ten years. To some degree, also, the DeWitt volumes dealt with the same
pioneer subjects and conditions, although they were frankly fiction, and not
nearly so well written as the Beadle books.
Another imitator of Beadle had appeared in Boston in 1864 or 1865, in
the shape of the publishing firm of Elliott, Thomes and Talbot, which then
THE BEADLE COLLECTION , 17
began the issuance of a series of little blue bound books of adventure. Some
thirteen of this series are known. They are excellently made volumes, well
printed, of about 120 pages each, and were sold for ten cents. They, however,
were not wholly confined to American life in their subject matter, but included
stories dealing with other lands.
Still a third imitator of Beadle was Sinclair Tousey of New York, who,
in 1864, began publishing a series called "American Tales." These were
octavos in colored illustrated covers, and were sold for 15 cents. They (doubt-
less due to the date of their appearance) relate to the Civil War and its events.
Following are fifty-six numbers of the most famous of the later
generation of American dime novels. These are the "Old Cap Collier
Stories," first published by the house of Munro in 1883. George Munro,
the originator of the house, was at first a bookkeeper for Erastus Beadle,
but in 1866 Munro left the Beadle establishment, and, in conjunction with
Irwin Beadle, set up a competing enterprise and began the issuance of Munro's
Ten Cent Novels. They likewise covered the same historic ground, were put
out in the same general form, and acquired great popularity. Later, however,
the Munro books underwent a radical change, and the "Old Cap Collier" stories
took the place of the more solid historical material. The first of the Cap Collier
series dealt with the Savin Rock Mystery of New^ Haven, and the ensuing
numbers of the series did not bear any numerical designation until several had
appeared. It continued as a semi-weekly issue for several years, as an octavo,
and later became an imperial octavo. A copy in the large size, as it appeared
31 years ago, is also included. This title is "The Death of Sitting Bull, or.
General Custer Avenged," and is number 391 of the entire Munro output.
Other series of similar later publications are the "Old Sleuth Library,"
the "W^ide Awake Library," the "War Library," the "Five Cent Weekly
Library," the "Comic Library," the "Army and Navy Library," the "Nickel
Library," the "Log Cabin Library," and the "Camp Fire Library." All these
are degenerate and feeble imitations of the earlier Beadle pubHcations, but
necessary in any comprehensive collection of this most unusual and significant
phase of American literature. The final group, by contrast, contains several
copies of "The Novelette," first issued in Boston by Ballou in 1857, and which
is believed to have suggested to Erastus Beadle â€” in part at least â€” his great
enterprise. The "Novelette" titles are pretentious and well-printed tales relat-
ing to American history.
The works are entered according to series, and arranged under the series in
their order of issue. All works listed here, unless otherwise stated, are kept in the
American tales, no. 9, 11, 14, 16, 28-29, 55,
66-67, 70, 75.
no. 55, 66-67, 70, 75 also numbered second series,
no. 11, 22-23, 26, 31.
Hazleton, HarrJ^ The prisoner of the
mill; or. Captain Hayward's "body guard."
By Lieutenant-Colonel Hazeltine [siC]...
New York: American News Co. [Cop. 1864.]
46 p. 8Â°. (no. 9.)
WiLLETT, Edward. The Vicksburg spy;
or, Found and lost. A story of the siege
and fall of the great rebel stronghold.
New York: American News Co. [186-?] 48
p. 8Â°. (no. 11.)
Warren, J. Thomas. The traitor's doom;
or. The heiress of Bella Vista. A tale of
the great rebellion, in the Crescent City.
New York: American News Co. [186-?] 38
p. 8Â°. (no. 14.)
Old Hal Williams; or. The spy of
Atlanta. A tale of Sherman's Georgia cam-
paign. New York: American News Co.
[186-?] 42 p. 8Â°. (no. 16.)
â€” ^ Old Peggy Boggs; or, The old
dominion inside out. A tale of the great
rebellion. New York: American News Co.
[186-?] 44 p. 8Â°. (no. 28.)
WiLLETT, Edward. The cotton thief: a
tale of the Red river country. New York:
American News Co. [Cop. 1865.] 40 p. 8Â°.
Robinson, John Hovey. Mountain Max;
or, Nick Whiffles on the border. A tale
of wild life in Missouri. New York: Beadle
and Co. [Cop. 1869.j 64 p. 8Â°. (no. 55.)
Curtis, Newton Mallory. The blue
brotherhood; or, The young patroon's in-
heritance. New York: Beadle and Co. [Cop.
1870.) 96 p. 8Â°. (no. 66.)
Johnson, Francis. Alapaha, the squaw;
or. The renegades of the border. New
York: Beadle and Co. [Cop. 1870.) 98 p.
8Â°. (no. 67.)
Curtis, Newton Mallory. The Texan
spy; or. The prairie guide. New York:
Beadle and Co. (Cop. 1870.) 100 p. 8Â°. (no.
Johnson, Francis. The outlaw-hunter;
or. Red John, the bush-ranger. A romance
of the ranges. New York: Beadle and Co.
[Cop. 1871.] 100 p. 8Â°. (no. 75.)
The Army and navy library; original
stories of the heroism, suffering and adven-
tures of American soldiers and sailors, no.
1-3, 5-7, 9, 11, 15, 17, 19,25.
WiLMOT, Walter. Dashing Delany; or.
Foremost in the fray. New York: Army
and Navy Pub. Co., 1883. 24 p. illus. iÂ°.
Park, Edward. "Old Stars;" or. The
path to glory. New York: Army and Navy
Pub. Co., 1883. 24 p. illus. fÂ°. (no. 2.)
Stedman, Dick. Chickahominy; or, The
fortunes of war. New York: Army and
Navy Pub. Co., 1883. 24 p. illus. fÂ°. (no.
Lenoir, Leon. Brave as the bravest; or.
Foiled by fate. New York: Army and
Navy Pub. Co., 1883. 23 p. illus. fÂ°. (no.
Park, Edward. The signal gun; or. Hand
to hand. New York: Army and Navy Pub.
Co., 1883. 24 p. illus. iÂ°. (no. 6.)
Stedman, Dick. Guerrillas and regulars;
or. The cost of independence. New York:
Army and Navy Pub. Co., 1883. 23 p. illus.
fÂ°. (no. 7.)
Ballard, J. D. Sparks from the camp-
fire. The truest and most tragic tales of
the war. New York: Army and Navy Pub.
Co., 1883. 23 p. illus. fÂ°. (no. 9.)
Morse, Edward. The lone star of Texas;
or. The fight for liberty. New York: Army
and Navy Pub. Co., 1883. 23 p. illus. fÂ°.
Lenoir, Leon. The massacre of Wyo-
ming; or. The brigands of the revolution.
New York: Army and Navy Pub. Co., 1884.
23 p. illus. fÂ°. (no. 15.)
De Forrest, Harry. Lion-hearted Leon;
or. Battling for the Stars and Stripes. A
soul-stirring tale of brave deeds, love and
adventure. New York: Army and Navy
Pub. Co., 1884. 23 p. illus. fÂ°. (no. 17.)
THE BEADLE COLLECTION
The Army and navy library, continued.
Warren, U. S. Prisoners of war; or,
Captive life within the Confederacy. New
York: Army and Navy Pub. Co., 1884. 23
p. illus. fÂ°. (no. 19.)
Park, Edward. The swamp hero; or.
Days that tried men's souls. New York:
Army and Navy Pub. Co., 1884. 23 p. illus.
iÂ°. (no. 25.)
Beadle & Adams, New York. Beadle
and Adams' standard publications. . . [New
York: Beadle & Adams, 1884., 81. illus.