Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Live Boys Series by Arthur Morecamp

Although Lee and Shepard published hundreds of juvenile books in series from the 1860's until 1904, most of them of totally forgotten. Despite many famous authors and well known titles, not many of their books are worth decent sums of money by collectors. There are exceptions though and here a a couple.

Thomas Pilgrim, a Texas attorney, writing with the pseudonym of Arthur Morecamp, wrote two books about the adventures of two boys in the West.

1. Live Boys or, Charley and Nasho in Texas 1878
2. Live Boys in the Black Hills or, The Young Texan Gold Hunters 1880

The first book is perhaps the earliest portrayal of working cowboys and a cattle drive. In other words, maybe the first cowboy novel. The two main characters are fourteen year old Texan Charley and his pal Nasho , Mexican. The second book also tells the adventures of the two boys on a Texas cattle drive as well as their experiences with gold hunters, Indians and a disappearance during a snowstorm.

These books are juvenile series books but yet they are widely sought after by western collectors because they are the first cowboy and trail drive books. Also each book may very well be the first hard back book about cowboys in thee respective locales.

The early editions with the diagonal line across the cover are the important books. I have seen prices up to $1000 for each of these book. Later Lee and Shepard published these titles in the several of their publisher's series. In the American Boys Series they were 1902 additions. The two books were also part of the Choice Books of Adventure and the Norwood Series. The latter two series also being multi authored multi volume series. More about these series in the future.

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