Book Covers, Page 3
Paddle Wheels and Pistols by Irwin Anthony
Illustrated by Manning DeV Lee and Lyle Justis
Published by Macrae-Smith, Philadelphia: 1929
329 pages and 7 x 9-1/4 front and back covers; 1-1/2 inch spine
Basically a historical novel, profusely illustrated, probably intended for a "young adult" audience but would appeal to adults. The history of the Mississippi River from the earliest days of the Native Americans on through the arrival of French and Spanish explorers, Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans, on through the Civil War and later attempts by engineers to tame the mighty stream. Plenty of detailed descriptions of the different styles of craft afloat on the water from flatboats, keelboats and the steamboats. Personalities from all walks of life and eras on the river are the characters. Steamboat races and riverboat gamblers are depicted in the 2 color plates to the left and right of the title page above. An enjoyable book for readers looking for an introduction to the saga and pageantry of the river's history Mississippi and will lead them to Sam Clemens' LIFE on the MISSISSIPPI which is still the classic "eyewitness" treatise on the subject.
Dean Cornwell's ROB'T E. LEE (from the race with the NATCHEZ painting) was referenced by illustrator Donald McKay for his 1953 dust jacket watercolor in which the young steamboat pilot Sam Clemens is at the pilot wheel in the foreground and big sidewheeler is visible in the distance for THE STORY OF MARK TWAIN which was from the Signature Book series of biographies for juvenile readers, this one written by Joan Howard and it was published by Grosset & Dunlap, NY 1953. McKay had previously illustrated both of Twain's Tom and Huck novels and also a short novelette by Irwin Shapiro called STEAMBOAT BILL and the CAPTAIN's STRAW HAT about the hero of the song "Steamboat Bill" and in the novelette Mark Twain appears as a character. The book was published by Julian Messner, Inc. NY. 1943
6.80 x 8.40 inch cover of the 14th from the series of 17 "Zig-Zag Journeys" national and International-themed travel books by Hezekiah Butterworth.
I found this copy in a quaint little bookshop in the French Quarter in October 1989.
The illustrations all apparently came from many previously published books, including Mark Twain's LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI.
ZIG-ZAG JOURNEYS ON THE MISSISSIPPI; or, From Chicago to the Islands of Discovery 1892
Dana Estes and Co., Publishers, BOSTON
Attached scan of the pen and ink drawing of a steamboat from the center of the front cover of the 1949 German translation of Mark Twain's LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI ("LEBEN AUF DEM MISSISSIPPI") by illustrator Heiner Rothfuchs who created the 1860 pictorial map of the Mississippi River for the front fly leaves that I sent previously.
Stylized steamboat on cover of 1988 German edition of PUDD'NHEAD WILSON
Stylized steamboat on front cover of PUDD'NHEAD WILSON by Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) published originally in 1893-94 but this time in a 1988 German soft cover edition translated as WILSON, DER SPINNER (The "spinner" in this case translates as "odd ball" or "screwball" in German).
Superimposed above the steamboat is a hand print, probably from the thumb and fingers of the hand of the artist who created this painting above the fantasized steamboat St. LOUIS that has 4 stars manifested in the smoke coming from the stacks. In this novel Clemens pioneered the device of employing fingerprints to solve a murder mystery and also the identity of 2 babies who had been switched at birth by their nurse. The story begins in 1830 in the river town of Dawson's Landing, Missouri, half a day's journey south of St. Louis by steamboat on the Mississippi River.
(Berlin), Volk u. Welt, 1988. Lizenzausg. v. Neues Leben
A reprint of a 1986 edition erstmals in dieser Übers. Übers. a.d. Amerik. v. Reinhild Böhnke.
M. Autorenfoto u. Kurzbiographie. 109 zweispalt. bedruckte S.
Illustr. OKart. (v. Angelika Rößler)
Cover of MISSISSIPPI RIVER STEAMBOAT MANUAL, 22 page
hand out for passengers published by STECKFUS STEAMERS, INC. at St. Louis in 1926. 4 1/4 X 6 inches.
Cornwell's Rob't E. Lee as a Sternwheeler for the cover of RioGrande by Matt Braun
Dean Cornwell's depiction of the ROB'T E. LEE (from his painting of the LEE's the the Race with the NATCHEZ) was modified into a sternwheeler by an illustrator for the cover of the mass marked Western paperback novel RIO GRANDE (previously titled THE STEWART WOMAN) by Matt Braun, published by St. Martin's Press 1998. The boat in Chapter 1 was called SOUTHERN BELLE.
"Tom Stuart takes risks - in war, in love, and in card games, from St. Louis to Mexico. And the hard-drinking, fast-talking steamboat captain - who knows every shoal and eddy of the Rio Grande from the Big Bend to Brownsville, has a dream of building a shipping empire that will span the windswept Gulf of Mexico to rich, exotic New Orleans. But this is a kind of gamble he's never faced before: with a woman to win, a woman to lose, and a dangerous man standing in the way. Now, Stuart is plunged into a fight that will engulf his very soul. And to the winner will go the mighty Rio Grande."
Front cover 7.40 X 10.40 inches of Volume 6 of the 16 Volume Series THE GOLDEN TREASURY OF KNOWLEDGE, 1961
Cover artist Alton Tobey appears to have chosen photos of the GORDON C. GREENE (background) and the GOLDEN EAGLE (foreground) as references for his painting. Tobey depicted the EAGLE's smokestacks as being cylindrical until about a third of the way up from the deck, then they arbitrarily began to taper upwards so they stacks are narrower at the top which I don't recall seeing on a photo or illustration of any Mississippi and tributaries style of steamboat. Outside of that and a rather bilious color scheme this is an interesting illustration.
One of the 28 articles in Volume 6 is devoted to THE FIRST STEAMSHIPS pages 460-63
Chileren of Noah, by Ben Lucien Burman, drawings by Alice Caddy.
Deep Dark River
James Preston is credited with the dust jacket art work for this 1935 novel by Robert Rylee who was born in Memphis and spent most of his early life in Tennessee and Mississippi. The steamboat in the bottom illustration is reminiscent of a 12 June 1869 engraving in Harper's Weekly of a steamboat tied up to a wharf boat on the Ohio River in Cincinnati.
DEEP DARK RIVER
By Robert Rylee
Mose has incurred the hatred of an overseer, and kills the man sent to kill him. Racial pressure prevents Mary Winston from having the case settled out of court, the jury is "fixed", the witness intimidated, and Mose sentenced to life imprisonment.
There he finds happiness, with his patch of earth and his preaching. It is fundamentally the picture of likable, humbly intelligent Mose, never hysterical, taking the downs of fortune in his stride, slowly coming to an understanding of his part. Nothing here of the ""quaintness"" or playfulness usually portrayed in negro stories, but rather their puzzlement, their unaffected dignity, the overtones of a decaying white race.
Published June 26th, 1935
Farrar & Rinehart on Murray Hill, New York
An unusual novel, presenting the picture of the fight for justice for a negro in Mississippi, in the hands of a woman lawyer.
"JOHNNY SMOKER" 2 juvenile novels by Mildred H. Comfort
Two historical juvenile novels by M.H. Comfort about a Mississippi sidewheeler named JOHNNY SMOKER and the adventures of a live aboard family in Minnesota. The "Winter" novel is in my collection and I have scanned a detail of the dust jacket. The photo of the graphic cover binding for "Treasure" is from an online source.
WINTER ON THE JOHNNY SMOKER
By Mildred Houghton Comfort
Illustrated by Henry C. Pitz
William Morrow and Company
New York, 1943
A story of Mississippi sidewheeler days, and of a winter spent, icebound in the upper reaches, with a family living on board the Johnny Smoker, and cutting a stand of timber, while spare time is spent unraveling the mystery of the clue to how the boat should be loaded for best performance. On board is - in secret - the grandson of the man who built the boat. But it is the family of the Captain, and particularly the youngest daughter, aged ten, who unearth the solution. A good story, with a touch of mystery, good early American background and characterization.
by Mildred Houghton Comfort
Illustrated by James MacDonald
William Morrow and Company, Inc.
New York 1947
and authentic background.
With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact Steamboats.com for permission for commercial use.*