Friday, July 17, 2009

Young Crusaders Series with Rare Boxed First Book

Here is an example of a 20th century juvenile series book that came individually boxed. Very unusual.

The Young Crusaders Series is a two book series written by the Reverend George P. Atwater. Active in scouting in the Akron, Ohio area and the founder of The Young Crusader's Camp in 1903, Atwater had the first of these two books published by a local publisher, Parish Publishers of Akron, Ohio in 1911.
It was entitled The Young Crusaders. The story involved a boys' camp and the adventures there with a mix of morality thrown in.

I am unable to find evidence that the Parish Publishers published any other juvenile series books. It would seem it printed mostly local religious types of books.

Subsequently the series second book was published in 1912. It was The Young Crusaders at Washington. At that time Little Brown reprinted the first book. The second book was about a group of scouts going to meet the President in Washington and their subsequent adventures.

The blue covered book here is the Parish Publishers Book from 1911.
This green book is the Little, Brown and Co. book.

The very special first book published by Parish originally came dust jacketed in a box. This is one of the only juvenile series books of the 20th century (that I know of) that came in an individual box. The box which is pictured here has the same picture as the underlying jacket and book cover. The Little, Brown edition has the same cover picture as the Parish edition but is green not blue. Also the Little Brown edition dropped one of the photographs. There are 13 photographic illustrations in the Parish book in addition to numerous sketches throughout the book.

I have not seen a copy of the 1912 second book in this series.


  1. Parrish Publishers may have been small indeed. A quick search of Google Books finds a few references to the Akron, Ohio, firm. Most are citations to this book which confirms the religious focus of the firm.

    The Episcopal Church: Its Message for Men of Today (1917)
    By George Parkin Atwater

    I haven't read this book nor the Young Crusaders but the above can be downloaded free as a PDF or read online.

    Many books from religious publishers were given as Sunday School attendance or knowledge prizes as evidenced by book plates and inscriptions. This is a practice which was even more common in England. It makes sense, then, that a book from a religious publisher might be given in a presentation box.

    Perhaps books received from a church were better cared for than others. However, The number actually sold and preserved today is a tiny fraction of the mass-market books we normally collect.

    James Keeline

  2. The creation of the Young Crusaders took place in 1897 and formally in 1903 in Akron, Ohio by George Parkin Atwater. They predate the Boy Scouts of America and UK, as well. The second volume The Young Crusadres in Washington included support by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt with the Young Crusaders as guests of the President