Frontispiece of Charles Mead's Mississipian Scenery (Philadelphia, 1819). An allegorical grouping of the major symbols of the dream of an agricultural utopia in the Mississippi Valley. The goddess of fertility leans upon the sacred plow. In the background one pioneer fells a tree with the other great Western implement, the axe, while his companion sets about breaking the newly cleared earth. A primitive steamboat in the middle distance suggests future commercial development.
VERSIONS OF THE PERSONA OF LEATHERSTOCKlNG
THE EARLIEST GRAPHIC PRESENTATION OF LEATHERSTOCKING
From a drawing by Henry Inman ( 1801-1846) for the original edition of Cooper's The Pioneers (Philadelphia, 1823). Judge Temple, patron of the new community on the upstate New York frontier, has accidentally wounded Oliver Effingham, the hero. Leatherstocking is depicted in the background, where technically belongs in a novel built about upper-class characters. He wears a fur cap and a hunting shirt of deerskin and carries a long rifle, but the artist does not insist on these details.
SETH JONES, PRINCIPAL DESCENDANT OF LEATHERSTOCKING IN THE EARLY DIME NOVELS
Frontispiece for Edward S. Ellis's Seth Jones; or, The Captives of the Frontier (originally Beadle's Dime Novels No. 8, NewYork, copyright 1860; this edition was published in London, 1861. Beadle's editor Orville Victor, called Edward S. Ellis's Seth Jones "the perfect Dime Novel." It eventually sold 400,000 copies in the United States and England. The character of the aged hunter illustrated here is literally a persona, a disguise adopted by the elegant young hero. The cap is almost pedantically shown to be made of coonskin, the hunting shirt, leggings, and moccasins are drawn with minute fidelity, and the rifle, powderhorn, and hunting knife conform to regulations. The beard has been added
in accordance with changing styles m the nation at large.
LEW DERNOR CONDUCTING EDITH SUDBURY TO SAFETY
Cover illustration for Edward S. Ellis's The Riflemen of the Miami ( Beadle's Dime Novels No. 3(3, New York, copyright 1862). This hunter wears the standard costume, with a beard like Seth Jones's, but a transformation has begun. The frontiersman now has genteel sensibility. He feels the pangs of love as his horny palm grasps the heroine's almost fairy hand, and he will eventually be allowed to marry her.
DEADWOOD DICK BUYS SALAMANDER SAM'S DAUGHTER AT AUCTION
Cover illustration for Edward L. Wheeler's Blonde Bill; or, Deadwood Dick's Home Base. A Romance of the "Silent Tongues" ( Beadle's Half Dime Library No. 138, New York, copyright 1880). Salamander Sam sells his daughter Dashing Doll at auction. The man at the extreme right is the villainous Congressman Ray Vernon of Ohio who wishes to buy the girl for base purposes. The figure at the extreme left is Deadwood Dick disguised as Blonde Bill, who pays ten thousand dollars for the girl and gives her liberty.
BUFFALO BILL, THE KING OF BORDER MEN
From New York Weekly, December 23, 1869. An illustration for the opening installment of Ned Buntline's first serial about Buffalo Bill, which ran in Street & Smith's New York Weekly from December 1869 to March 1870. It will be noted that, except for his felt hat, the hero wears an authentic Leatherstocking costume, with deerskin leggings and moccasins. He carries a muzzle-loading rifle, and is on foot. His beard resembles that of Lew Dernor. In 1872, when Buntline's second serial about Buffalo Bill began in the Weekly, the hero was depicted with a moustache but no beard. The familiar goatee first appeared with the second installment of this story.
BUFFALO BILL IN THE GRAND CANYON
Cover illustration for Buffalo Bill's Spy-Shadower; or, The Masked Men of Grand Canyon, by Prentiss Ingraham ( Beadle's New York Dime Library No. 177, New York, copyright 1892). Wild Western costume has undergone a decided evolution. The deerskin leggings have been replaced by expensive top-boots; the hunting shirt has been shortened for a horseman's use and touched up with embroidery. Buffalo Bill's weapon is now a repeating rifle. Because of his strong ties with the past, he is slow to adopt the revolver that other Wild Western heroes are coming to prefer.
THE EMIGRANT'S DREAM OF KANSAS
From page 217 of John H. Beadle's The Undeveloped West copyright 1873. This fantasy gently satirizes the "Kansas fever" of the years immediately following the Civil War, an epidemic resembling the Kentucky fever that raged after the Revolution and the Oregon and Texas fevers of the 1840S.
CORA RICHTER, WIFE OF A YOUNG MISSIONARY, ABDUCTED
BY AN INDIAN
Cover illustration for Edward S. Ellis's The Lost Trail: A Legend of the Far West (Beadle's Dime Novels No. 71, New York copyright 1864) . As this illustration shows, the early Dime Novels take over Cooper's distressed female without change. She is a passive victim of Indian warfare. The side that retains possession of the heroine wins the match, but she herself has no real function in the plot. According to the rules of Wild Western fiction, the lady herself is in no danger of indignity from her captor.
WILD EDNA, THE GIRL BRIGAND
Cover illustration for Edward L. Wheeler's Old Avalanche The Great Annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the Girl Brigand (Beadle's Half Dime Library No. 45; "Thirteenth Edition," New York copyright 1878). In the late 1870S Dime-Novel writers begin to use heroines thirsting for revenge upon evil men who have injured them or their parents. Such Amazons adopt a feminine version of the Leatherstocking costume, carry a rifle and pistols and possess the skills of the frontier. But for a time they preserve their maidenly dignity.
DENVER DOLL, THE DETECTIVE QUEEN
Cover illustration for Edward L. Wheeler's Denver Doll, the Detective Queen; or, Yankee Eisler's Big Surround ( Beadle's Half Dime Library No. 277, New York, copyright 1882). Dime-Novel heroines soon grow bolder and less refined. Denver Doll has adopted the Western gambler's boiled shirt and diamond stick- pin, Buffalo Bill's top-boots, and a bright sash with Mexican connotations.
CALAMITY JANE, FEMALE COUNTERPART OF DEADWOOD DICK
Cover illustration for Edward L. Wheeler's Deadwood Dick in Leadville; or, A Strange Stroke for Liberty (Beadle's Pocket Library No. 88, New York, copyright 1885). The heroine is now as tough as anybody. She smokes, drinks, swears, and is handy with the pistols that are at last becoming the standard weapons of Wild Western fiction. This story had appeared in Beadle's half- Dime Library in 1879, but possibly with a different cover illustration.
"CERES IN THE GARDEN OF THE WORLD" IS REPRODUCED THROUGH THE COURTESY OF THE HARVARD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY; BUFFALO BILL, THE KING OF BORDER MEN IS REPRODUCED THROUGH THE COURTESY OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS; AND ALL THE OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS ARE REPRODUCED THROUGH THE COURTESY OF THE HENRY E. HUNTINGTON LIBRARY.
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