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 will laugh over and love.

JC Lincoln

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 competition.

Joseph C. Lincoln's America

THERE is a bird that riots over New 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 sea


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 mean, should 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 more besides.
    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

JCL buildings
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.
    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.


    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


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 them together.
    "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


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 chowder!—
    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


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 Cod Ballads:"
"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 filled and
    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 more,
I hear the mighty music of the surf along the shore."

JCL boat
 Joseph C. Lincoln comes from seafaring stock, and was born and brought up near the sea. Much of his writing is done where the sound of the waves sounds along the shore.


    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  Ballads"  published in   1902,  a


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 yellow paper.
    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 other."
    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 BIG MOGUL. The story of a small-town magnate and of his charming niece. $2.00.
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. $2.00.
THE PORTYGEE.  The temperament and "calf love" of the son of a Spanish opera singer make difficulties with his Yankee grandfather.  $2.00.
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 fortune.   $2.50.
THANKFUL'S INHERITANCE.    The adventures and life-stories of Thankful Barnes and her helper Emily.    $2.00. 
KENT KNOWLES: QUAHAUG.    The amusing story  of  Kent Knowles, resembled the Quahaug.    $2.00.
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 sea.    $2.00.
CAP'N WARREN'S WARDS.    Cap'n Warren finds himself in strange waters as guardian to his snobbish New York niece and nephew.    $2.00.
THE  WOMAN-HATERS.    A young man and an old lighthouse-keeper, both avowed woman-haters, catch each other weakening.    $2.50.
THE DEPOT MASTER.    The depot master has unsurpassed opportunities observing the people and events of the village.    $2.50.
KEZIAH COFFIN.    A typical Cape Cod old maid,  proves the good angel to the minister in his courtship.    $2.00.
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.
OUR   VILLAGE.     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 business.    $2.00.
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 life."     $2.00.
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.
35 West 32nd Street, New York    34 Bedford Street, London
T-1S65 A   

posted March 2004 by

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.