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Rare Example of an Amateur Book

Gay, Ed. C. (Edward C.), b. 1859 or 60. The Boy Smuggler. Farmer City, Ill.: Ed. C. Gay, 1876.

Boy Smuggler

The Boy Smuggler is a rare example of an amateur book produced by an amateur newspaper editor and publisher: Edward C. Gay was about 16 years old in 1876. This short "blood and thunder" adventure story takes us into the fantasy life of a late nineteenth-century adolescent boy. The text features romance, smuggling, and shipwrecks. The book's printer Thomas Geo. Harrison (then known as Geo. Harrison) enjoyed a colorful career as an amateur printer, and later as one of the few contemporary historians of amateur journalism. This chapbook also features an advertisement for Daring Dick, an adventure story written by the young author Edgar P. Slade, who died only a few years later while living on the Western frontier. The full names and birth/death dates for Gay, Harrison, and Slade were unearthed during the cataloging of this book.
Purchased from Howard S. Mott. Harry G. Stoddard Memorial Fund.

- Laura Wasowicz, Curator of Children's Literature

Additional Information

Recent Acquisitions Index

C.C. Baldwin "One day I am visited by a collector of ordination sermons; the next, by a collector of 4th of July orations; then comes a collector of geography; another wants religious newspapers; another wants every book printed in New York before 1700. I accommodate myself to all; for I want every thing and collect every thing, and I have more zeal than the whole of them: and in this way I am kept very busy."
~Christopher Columbus Baldwin
 3rd Librarian of AAS