This edition was published by D. Appleton, New York,
in 1927 from context.
Joseph Crosby Lincoln bibliography
Joseph C. Lincoln's
Have you Read?
Joseph C. Lincoln's
Never has this genial author delighted his readers
more than in this happy story of small-town
folks. It is the story of Mary
Brewster, member of one of the town's
"first families," who amazed the town by going to work before the days
when it was usual for women to be in
business. With his great gift for character
portrayal, Joseph C. Lincoln exhibits a gallery of characters that you
laugh over and love.
Golf is one of Joseph C. Lincoln's chief recreations, and he is an
interested and enthusiastic amateur at the game, not claiming
championship honors, but satisfied to give his friends stiff
Joseph C. Lincoln's
HERE is a bird that riots over
England meadows in June, wild with
song. A song that bubbles, laughs, breaks off to recommence, that
tangles in a shower of notes, that seems to be born of the sunshine and
the rippling breeze, the nodding heads of buttercups, the chortling of
the brook running over little stones. A song that is all happiness and
delight, a song that dances. A moment the bird swings on a tree top,
then is off again, singing more wildly than ever. You have to laugh at
the sheer joy of it, and your pulses leap to its glad rhythms.
One June morning I walked with a friend from the far
West, and as we
reached a stretch of shining meadow, coming from a little wood, this
song burst upon our ears. My friend halted, stood listening, and
turned, his eyes shining.
"That—why that must be—yes, surely, it's a
BOBOLINK!" he whispered, as
though afraid to lose a note of that happy voice pouring its notes down
through the clear June air.
"A bobolink," he continued, as he went on,
lingeringly. "Makes me
remember my boyhood. Think of hearing one—at last!"
And then he went on to tell me how his grandfather,
who had come from
this very section of New England, used to tell him long stories of the
old homestead. Stories we all know, stories of the swimmin' hole, of
the nutting parties, of the big snows, of red mittens and red
schoolhouses. And of the bobolink, that black-and-white singer of the
fields. And the man beside me, who had never been East before, who had
never heard the bird's own voice till that moment, that man saw his
boyhood as he listened,
felt the pang of home, sweet and
deep, sensed the bond that makes America a
nation, not a mere collection of states.
Among our American writers we have one who is like
the bobolink. As racy of his locality, as individual in type and
sound, as is the bird, yet belonging wherever there is an American
because he recalls, if not your own youth, your own experience, then
something of your inheritance, of what goes to make you American rather
than the Roosian or the Proosian you might have been. There are two
main types of the New Englander, the stay-at-home and the pioneer. The
stay-at-home has gone on with the old homestead and the old traditions,
and the white farm-house amid its upland pastures or by the sounding
sea still houses some of him, living as his father's father lived. The
pioneer has spread the length and breadth of the land, and followed new
ways and developed a new world. But in his heart and his children's
hearts the old farm-house still means home.
It is of the stay-at-home that Joseph C. Lincoln
writes. It is Cape Cod, and the dwellers thereon, which are the
inspiration of his pages. And everywhere, in Oregon and California, in
the cities of the vast Middle West, in the small town or the ranch or
the camps, Americans, reading his books, smile, or sigh, hearing the
voice-of the bobolink, singing of home. Smile, it is likely, rather
than sigh. For humor runs through all his pages, the salty humor of
country folk who see clearer and see farther than their hurried city
brethren, and who can put the result into terse, dry words, using
similes taken from the incidents and habit of their lives, their trade
of the sea, their jobs ashore. It is this salty flavor that is most
American, that belongs to American character wherever it is, and that
is understood and loved all over the land, this quaint yet deep
comprehension of the human heart translated into whimsical expression,
it is this quality that endears Mr. Lincoln to his countrymen above
anything else, it is this that means home.
For we can all laugh with him, and there is no bond
stronger than that. To find the same things funny, to catch the
quirk in another's eye, that is to be brothers at once. Mr. Lincoln's
JOSEPH LINCOLN'S AMERICA
captains, his old maids, his village philosophers swapping tales
round the stove of the country store, or lounging at the station
waiting for the train to come in, these speak to us in a language we
know. The stories they tell fit in with our own method of thought,
however different they may be in their outer dress of words. And those
old turns of speech, those picturesque words, how they echo in our
memory. The true history of America is written in just such words and
phrases, the history that doesn't get into the schoolbooks, but that
lives inside us, is us.
It was some twenty and more years ago that the first
of Mr. Lincoln's books, "Cap'n Eri," was published, and there has been
one every year since. This tale of three retired sea captains who, in
despair of their joint efforts as housekeepers, advertised for a wife,
with the amusing and touching episodes that followed, found instant
favor with a wide public. It is being read today as it was then, and
it is because of its everlasting human quality that this is so. Mr.
Lincoln always has a story to tell, but it's his people, his folks,
that are the true lure in his books. Your reactions to them are the
same as your reactions to living men and women. You get to know them
and you want to keep on knowing them for their own sakes, not
because of what adventures or experiences they may pass through.
Love and ambition, the longing for riches, the strength of temptation,
selfishness and generosity in their never-ending battle, loss and gain,
the queer vagaries of fortune, these come into the Lincoln books
as they come into life. They thrill you, amuse you, interest you,
rouse your antagonism or your sympathy ; but over and above all
are the characters, so real, so lovable, so genuine. Or, they should be
they be weak, yet they are not wholly despicable, and Lincoln usually
manages to get them taught, roughly sometimes, the better way.
A great charm in Lincoln's books, in fact, is the
kindness of them. Here is no
literature of contempt, of fault-finding and irritation, such as is
represented by many recent chronicles of small town
life. Lincoln loves his small town, loves the people who make up
its steady population. He sees their shortcomings,
their narrowness, their mistakes. But he sees a lot
Take his "Shavings," which, both as book and play,
has been a first favorite. The hero of that story is, from the worldly
point of view, a failure. He is barely educated in the accepted sense.
He has been nowhere, and he is content with his village existence,
though not, it would seem, with himself. A dreamer, a maker of little
toys, yet a man it is good to know, lovable, courageous, wise, with a
fibre that only toughens under pain and loss, a character that sweetens
under trial, and that is always warm with humor. It is this sort of man
toward whom Mr. Lincoln shows a peculiar understanding, and whom he
loves to reveal to his readers. Such a book as his "Galusha the
Magnificent" centers about a man of something the same type, only more
sophisticated, if such a word can be used to describe the greater
experience of life which has been given to the whimsical,
irresponsible, absentminded professor of archeology, Galusha Bangs. And
in all his old sea captains there lives the child heart of the man who
has kept his spirit fresh and clean, through the weathering of God
knows how many storms, the anxious vigils of nights where death battled
with the skipper for the ship under his feet, hours that strip the
inessential from life and leave the real things clear.
Though Lincoln has confined himself to one small
portion of America, and to a circumscribed district of that portion,
his characters reflect a far wider reach. Though the typical Cape
Codders, the hardy, shrewd seafaring man and the equally
close-grained, dyed-in-the-wool woman who is his helpmeet, his mentor,
guide, bane and blessing are his favorites, the author's sympathy and
comprehension include men and women of far different strains, passions
and inheritances. Study, for instance, Albert, half Spanish, half New
England, wholly artist and poet, hero of that enchanting story, "The
Portygee." Albert is presented to us with an equal affection and
insight, prisoned in the humdrum hamlet, chafing, rebellious,
resentful, attractive and real, as is his old Yankee grandfather, with
his scorn and rage against all that "foolishness" which to the
temperamental boy spells the miracle
The old church where Lincoln was baptized looks much the same as it did
on that auspicious day
Mr. Lincoln's Birthplace
Mr. Lincoln's Summer Home on Cape Cod
of life. As for the women, they vary from the still, sweet charm of a
Ruth Armstrong, in "Shavings," or the capable, chatty Mrs. Snow who
bustles through "Cap'n Eri," to the quaint Mary-'Gusta, who gives her
name to the story that relates how the little orphan is brought up by a
couple of ancient seafaring men, growing from a scared, suppressed mite
to the charming, playful girl whose warm heart and laughing spirit are
colored with a foreign glamor.
JOSEPH C. LINCOLN'S AMERICA
It is human nature that interests Lincoln above all
else, man, woman and child he loves to draw, and that he draws to the
life, be it a down-east Yankee, salt with sea, keen at a bargain, full
of homely wisdom and drawling wit, or a Carry Judson, square peg in
round hole, inept at affairs, half-failure, wholly lovable. Now he
gives us a scheming little self-seeker, like the Myra who almost
captures the shy hero of "Rugged Waters," again he spends himself on a
woman like Reliance Clark, sweet and sound as her name.
Going through Mr. Lincoln's work as a whole gives an
impression of ripening art, a method that becomes mellower, richer with
use. His canvases are steadily more colorful, better balanced. Four
later novels he has given us are very different from each other in
theme, in the working out of the plot used, and extremely various in
character drawing. "Dr. Nye" opens with a hint of mystery, when the
village of North Ostable is seen all het up over the opening of a long
untenanted house, and presently overcome with righteous indignation
when the new tenant turns out to be a Dr. Nye, self-confessed thief,
who has served a term in prison, and since been unheard of for years.
The development of this mystery is managed in masterly style, and the
contrast between the man's character and the stigma upon it serve to
hold the reader's attention in a close, sympathetic grip. As in other
books by Lincoln, the unfolding of the love between two mature persons
is the more touching and interesting, digs closer to the roots of
being, than the troubles and the joys of two younger lovers. It is the
happiness of Dr. Nye and the fine, strong Katherine that we crave.
JOSEPH LINCOLN'S AMERICA
Enmities flourish most powerfully in small
communities, a fact that Lincoln brings often to our recognition. The
theme of "The Big Mogul" develops from such an enmity. Captain Foster
is one of those passionate and headstrong men who dominate their
community, who have a streak of genius In them, and who possess neither
patience nor understanding for the wishes and the ideas of those about
them. Men of this type ride high in men's eyes, but often they fall
crashing from the pedestal they have believed so fittingly theirs. The
captain's crash comes through an old partner, Elisha Cook, a timid,
safe-going soul who is not willing to share the risks taken by his
adventurous friend, but who lays claims to the profit resulting. A law
suit follows, one of those bitter, long-drawn-out affairs that so
frequently wreck men and fortunes before they end.
To the development of this theme Lincoln brings a
group of most appealing, delightful people, chief among them, to our
mind, the postmistress, that Reliance Clark already mentioned, a real
creation, full of savor, independent in spirit as the rocky land she
springs from, yet full of loving-kindness. Close to her is the couple
working for Foster, Varunas Gifford and his wife Nahby. In these two is
concentrated that native strain that makes the Cape Codder unique. Not
only the dialect, rich in quality as a nutty old ale, but the point of
view on life, the reaction to all that goes on about them, whether in
the village or in the Captain's mansion, that "most elegant house in
Harniss," reveal a type of humor, express a spirit which, so far as we
know, exists in literature, only in these stories by Lincoln.
Both "Dr. Nye" and "The Big Mogul" are more
interested in the land than the sea side of the Cape. It is the
village, business, the contest between man and man that absorbs the
writer. In "Rugged Water" the sea fills the pages, dominates the tale.
Menacing, cruel, forever threatening the men who live by it, it is the
unending force that twists and sways them. There is one scene in this
book that merits separate printing, the vignette in which we watch the
launching of the lifeboat in the midst of a storm. Into those few pages
the author has managed to put the terrific
JOSEPH LINCOLN'S AMERICA
strength, the fold danger, the wild beauty of the ravins waters, to
depict man's sublime but unconscious, all-in-the-day's work, courage,
to show us the triumph of his mind where his slight body would endure
but an instant. The story itself involves misunderstandings of several
kinds, chief of which is the placing of a man in a position of
leadership for which he is not fitted, a man whose morale has been
injured in a desperate conflict with the elements where luck, not skill
or bravery, saved his life. "Rugged Water" belongs in about the same
period as "Cap'n Eri," possibly thirty years ago, while almost twenty
separates the writing of the two books and it is interesting to read
"Queer Judson," also a late book, reveals especially
the growth of the author's talent since first he began to write. Here
we are given the portrait of a man who, if he occasionally irritates us
by the extent of his simplicity, wins us throughout by his finegrained
honesty, his mixture of humor and tenderness, his refusal to accept
ordinary standards, the determination to meet the demands of life
according to his own quixotic measure, however great the difficulties
and the sorrow into which he is thereby plunged. In the end he wins the
rewards of his quality, which are fit and sweet. A rich strain in this
book is the relation between the two Judson brothers, which alone makes
the volume high company. It is moreover full of minor incidents and
characters that nevertheless ooze pathos and humor and make you wish
that you could pack your suitcase and take the first train for the Cape.
For Lincoln, if he is ripening with the years,
taking on new breadth, is losing not a jot of the freshness, the
abiding sense of fun for which we all love him. Who but he could think
of such a situation as that which strikes the keynote of "Fair Harbor?"
Cap'n Sears Kendrick, master mariner, used to commanding men on the
rough seas, suddenly placed at the head of a home for indigent widows
and female relatives of dead seamen! Funny, of course. Touching too.
And capable of all manner of amusing incidents, mixed with love and
scheming and intrigue, for you don't need to go to cities to find
wolves in sheep's clothing, the
JOSEPH LINCOLN'S AMERICA
strong conspiring against the weak, nor yet a man loving a woman who
loves him too, but doubts him.
These stories of Lincoln's cry out to be read aloud.
Their humor, their
cheerfulness, is of the sort that wants to be shared. You can have a
good time reading one of the books to yourself, certainly, but to get
the cream of it the whole family should share the thing with you.
But though the books are good for reading aloud they
are difficult to quote from. At first jump you imagine that you can
quote from almost any page. But when you begin to pick out some terse
phrase or quaint bit of character sketching you discover that the piece
you want is so tightly wound up with another piece, and this with yet
another, that presently you wonder whether you can quote anything at
all without quoting the whole book.
Take the chapter, "I Get Into Politics" in one of
the earlier books, "The Postmaster." There is hardly a line in it that
won't make any reader laugh, and it's all true-stuff, too. But as to
quoting any part of it, it can't be done with any satisfaction at all.
The rows between the retired sea-captain and the Major over Abubus, the
actions of the Major's automobile at a critical moment, and the clam
And it isn't overdone. It's funny, it's good, and it
all leads somewhere.
Lincoln was born on the Cape, and he is himself in
feeling and spirit one with his characters. He doesn't have to have
their speech translated, and his mind moves with theirs. To read him is
to go into the village of which he writes, not as an outsider, but as
an old timer. Within half a dozen pages you are quite at home, you have
chosen your friends among the folks you've met, and you've taken your
side in the village politics, you are interested in the village news,
you have your grin for the village cut-up, your nod to the oldest
inhabitant, your retort to the remarks hurled at you by neighborly
voices. It is your village now.
And by the way, one of the Lincoln books is named
"Our Village." It is
a group of sketches, and it takes you to the Cape
JOSEPH LINCOLN'S AMERICA
Cod of thirty years or so ago. Here you find "Your House" . . . "There
was a tahle in the settin' room, a round table with a lamp on it. The
lamp had a shade made of paper and wire, and there were pictures
printed on the paper that showed fine against the light. There were
pictures on the walls too, principally paintings of ships which your
father and grandfather had commanded, or perhaps a spatter-work 'God
Bless Our Home' motto, or a worsted thing called a sampler, made by
grandma when she was little ..." and there is the school picnic, and
Teacher, and there are other things and places and doings such as mean
you and your youth and many dear and remembered things.
Lincoln has done and is doing a fine thing in these
books of his. He is saving for us a precious part of America, writing
down, before it is too late, a past recent enough, but changing fast, a
past closely woven into the very fibre of our character and meaning as
a nation. He shows us, too, the coming era, the Cape Cod of today
against its background of yesterday. And when I say Cape Cod I mean
pretty much any part of our country that is not within the boundaries
of a great city, but that has drawn from the fountains of American
heritage for its foundations. He loves the past but he is cheerful over
the present and evidently fronts the future with entire confidence.
America is to him a place to be proud of even though he can make
whole-hearted fun of its peculiarities. He knows it has faults, plenty
of them, and he talks of them freely. But the love remains, even as it
is spoken in these words from one of his poems in the collection, "Cape
"The dear old Cape! I love
it! I love its hills of sand,
The sea-wind singing o'er it, the seaweed on its strand;
The bright blue ocean round it, the clear blue sky o'erhead;
The fishing boats, the dripping nets, the white sails
spread ; —
For each heart has its picture, and each its own home song.
The sights and sounds which
move it when Youth's fair memories
And when, down dreamland pathways, a boy, I stroll once
I hear the mighty music of the surf along the shore."
Joseph C. Lincoln comes from seafaring stock, and was born and
up near the sea. Much of his writing is done where the sound of the
waves sounds along the shore.
JOSEPH LINCOLN'S AMERICA
There is on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, a quaint
little town called Brewster. It has a winding street with many winding
cross-roads and its elms sway over the picturesque gray and white
houses. This is the town where Joseph C. Lincoln was born on February
13, 1870. He grew up in the midst of the sea atmosphere and among the
sea captains who had made the Cape famous and who figure so
delightfully in almost every story that Lincoln writes. His own father
was a captain and so were his grandfather and all his uncles. Indeed,
the population of the staid little village of Brewster was made up
almost wholly of sea cap'ns and their families.
A year after the boy was born Captain Lincoln died
and upon the mother fell the task of shaping young Lincoln. She was a
brave, self-reliant woman who had many adventurous voyages with her
husband and to her sympathy and inspiration her son has paid many
tributes in his poems and sketches.
But it was not to sea that young Lincoln went.
Instead it was to Boston to work in a banking house where he was sent
by his relatives. For a number of months he struggled on there, his
duties totally alien to his natural proclivities. It was not long
before he turned to art. He was not overwhelmingly successful at this
and often to make a picture sell better he wrote a verse or joke to go
with it. Presently he found that the verses sold better without the
pictures and he began to write poems and short stories in earnest. The
verses in a swinging meter telling of the Cape and its folk and the
stories revealing the same quaint and wholly delightful atmosphere soon
made their way. His first short story Lincoln sold to the Saturday
Evening Post and succeeding ones appeared in many other prominent
magazines while his verses found an audience in Harper's Weekly, Puck
and other journals.
About this time bicycling came into its hey-day and
for some three years Lincoln acted as associate editor of the Bulletin
of the League of the American Wheelmen. When the fad for bicycles began
to wane he turned to the literary field completely.
His first book was "Cape Cod
in 1902, a
JOSEPH LINCOLN'S AMERICA
collection of his verses. His first novel was "Cap'n Eri," a
deliciously human and amusing story of three old sea captains who
advertise for a wife. Following "Cap'n Eri" came "Partners of the
Tide," "Mr. Pratt" and "The Old Home House," and then a long string of
notable successes, beginning with "Cy Whittaker's Place" and including
such famous titles as "Shavings," "Rugged Water," "Queer Judson" and
"The Big Mogul." The record of these novels has been that each
succeeding volume has had a wider sale than the one which preceded it.
There are three—sometimes four—hours a day that Mr.
Lincoln reserves sacredly to himself for work. These are from nine in
the morning until noon or one o'clock during which he disappears into
his workshop. He is an author who does not use the typewriter and does
his writing with a soft stubby pencil and generously large sheets of
Mr. Lincoln has little sympathy with the creators of
sordid novels of small town life, who insist that "realism" and
faultfinding are synonymous terms. "Perhaps I could write a story with
wholly gloomy situations and unhappy misadventures," he has said, "but
I wouldn't like to try it. I would much rather try to make people
cheerful and keep myself cheerful at the same time. Life contains both
laughter and sorrow; and it seems to me that one is as real as the
Mr. Lincoln's favorite recreations are fishing and
golf. He still haunts the ponds, the little lakes, and the bays of his
boyhood. Occasionally he takes a jaunt into Maine or Canada to try his
luck with the northern fish. He works systematically in the morning at
his writing, but in the afternoon he may be found often on one of the
beautiful golf courses overlooking the sea near his Cape Cod home, or
motoring over the Cape Cod roads, or superintending a clambake for a
party of friends, a task at which he shines as brilliantly as any of
his cap'ns. His summers are generally spent on the Cape, but in the
winter his home is near Philadelphia.
THE BOOKS OF JOSEPH C. LINCOLN
THE BIG MOGUL. The story of a small-town magnate and of his charming
THE MANAGERS. A hilarious one act comedy. $.50.
QUEER JUDSON, A square peg in a round hole. $2.00.
DR. NYE. The story of a small-town physician who won his way
disgrace to honor in his neighbors' eyes. $2.00.
FAIR HARBOR. An ex-sea cap'n becomes head of a home for widows. $2.00.
GALUSHA THE MAGNIFICENT, The story of laughable, lovable Galusha Bangs.
THE PORTYGEE. The temperament and "calf love" of the son of a
Spanish opera singer make difficulties with his Yankee
SHAVINGS. The quaint, unbusinesslike windmill-maker poses as a
bank robber with no success. $2.00.
MARY-'GUSTA. A pair of old sea captains become guardians to
an orphan girl. $2.00.
EXTRICATING OBADIAH. Cap'n Noah Newcomb extricates
his former cabin boy from the dangers of an inherited
THANKFUL'S INHERITANCE. The adventures and
life-stories of Thankful Barnes and her helper Emily.
KENT KNOWLES: QUAHAUG. The amusing
story of Kent Knowles, resembled the
CAP'N DAN'S DAUGHTER. Cap'n Dan's daughter rescues
her father from her mother's social ambitions. $2.00.
MR. PRATT'S PATIENTS. Mr. Solomon
Pratt and Miss Eureka Sparrow introduce original methods in
the Sea Breeze Bluff Sanatorium. $2.50.
THE RISE OF ROSCOE PAINE. Roscoe Paine and his sister
seek a simple style of living on Cape Cod. $2.00.
THE POSTMASTER. Cap'n Zeb Snow as
postmaster finds activity after retirement from the
CAP'N WARREN'S WARDS. Cap'n Warren finds himself in
strange waters as guardian to his snobbish New York niece and
THE WOMAN-HATERS. A young man and an old
lighthouse-keeper, both avowed woman-haters, catch each other
THE DEPOT MASTER. The depot master has unsurpassed
opportunities observing the people and events of the
KEZIAH COFFIN. A typical Cape Cod old maid,
proves the good angel to the minister in his
CY WHITTAKER'S PLACE.
Old Cy Whittaker and his crony form a "Board of Strategy" for
bringing up his adopted little girl. $2.50.
CAPE COD BALLADS. Over eighty poems of Cape Cod
scenes and people. Also included with
"Our Village" in an
illustrated gift edition. Regular
edition $2.00. Gift edition with "Our
Village," 2 vols., boxed, $3.50.
Unforgettable little sketches
of life on the
Cape thirty years ago. $2.00.
PARTNERS OF THE
TIDE. Adventures come
about when Cap'n Ezra Titcomb and
young Bradley Nickerson go into the wrecking
THE "OLD HOME HOUSE." Stories of
Cap'n Jonadab Wixon and Cap'n Barzilla Wingate's summer
boarding house. $2.00.
MR. PRATT. Mr. Pratt gives some young New Yorkers
pointers on how to lead the "natural
CAP'N ERI. Cap'n Eri and his
two friends decide that one of them must marry to provide a
housekeeper for the three. $2.00.
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
35 West 32nd Street, New York 34 Bedford Street,
posted March 2004 by Capecodhistory.us
The exact wording of the first page may differ slightly from that
posted here, because the library binding covers some letters. Pamphlet
source: Library of University of Oregon, Eugene.