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Joseph C. Lincoln bibliography
revised July 2005
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Partners of the Tide
The Old Home House
Cy Whittaker's Place
The Depot Master
Out of the Fog
The New Hope
The Bradshaws of Harniss
New York Times. Jun 10, 1905; pg. BR378
New York Times Book Review:
Partners of the Tide
Among the many recent novels which I have read there is one which, by its quiet humor and its true portrayal of the life and characters it depicts, stands by itself ahead of the other volumes of this Spring's fiction. This is "Partners of the Tide," by Joseph C. Lincoln.
The scene of the story is Cape Cod and the characters are all true Cape Cod types of twenty years or so ago. Mr. Lincoln shows in tte first chapter the good-natured banter of the men waiting at the railroad station. It is not at alloverdrawn, but just as I have heard many times during my ten years' life on the Cape. One of the best and truest descriptions is that of the home life of-the old maids, two of the sweetest of ladies, but always eager to burn out one's throat with hot pepper tea. The hero of the story, Bradley Nickerson, a poor orphan, is a true type of the Cape Codder, honest and thrifty and under all circumstances loyal to his friends. His adventures with Cap'n Titcomb are full of interest and amusement.
Although the story is largely that of the adventures :of Brad Nickerson on a coasting vessel, still there is a delicate little romance running through the narrative which adds much to its charm.
The book is one which every story lover should read, for it will be recalled many times with pleasure.
STUART PEIRCE. Boston, June 5, 1905.
New York Times. Jun 15, 1907. pg. BR378
Best Books for Summer ReadingOld Home House, (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., $1.25) was turned into a hotel for the accommodation of boarders during the Summer season. It was originally "Aunt Sophrony's wind plantation," and was transformed into the pretentious hotel by Peter Q. Brown, with the aid of Cap'n Jonadab Wixon and Barzilla Wingate. The story which gives the book its title is followed by ten others, all together presenting eleven of the best tales recently written by the well-known Joseph C. Lincoln, author of "Cap'n Eri," "Cape Cod Ballads," and other books about fisherfolk and the sea. Among the stories will be found "Two Pairs of Shoes," The Antiquers," His Native Heath," "The South Shore Weather Bureau," "Jonesy," and other magazine successes.
New York Times. Dec. 5, 1908. pg. 753
Holiday BooksCy Whittaker's Place. By Joseph C. Lincoln. (New York: D. Appleton Co. $1.50.)—Returning to his native Cape Cod village after many years of living at sea, Cy Whittaker finds the old homestead no longer the place of his boyhood. So-called "improvements" have been going on in his absence, and he finds it all sadly changed. The old man adopts the little daughter of a worthless drunkard, with the intent of giving the child an education. A Congressman from the district, years before, had appropriated property belonging to the child, and he, together with the father, fights to regain possession of the child. The sympathy of the village goes out to the father, by Cy Whittaker and Phoebe Dawes, the school teacher, manage to outwit the Congressman and the drunken father, and in the end the old bachelor and the school mistress fall in love with each other. In the book are thirty line illustrations by Wallace Morgan.
New York Times. May 28, 1910. pg. BR4
On Cape CodWith the appearance of his "Cap'n Eri," some six years ago, Joseph C. Lincoln established himself as the most faithful and entertaining chronicler of Cape Cod life and manners which that unique region has ever known. His succeeding books, which he has sent out at the rate of one a year, have varied widely in their worth and interest. But his latest story, "The Depot Master" (D. Appleton & Co., $1.50), equals his first in its portrayals of of quaint character, and in its spice of distinctive Cape Cod humor, while as a story it is rather better in construction and sustained interest. Its central thread is the account of how "the mountain came to Mohamet," and Capt. Solomon Berry, "the depot master," subdued his obstinacy, after many years, and put forth hands of of helping and of love to his old sweetheart in her widowhood and trouble, admitting finally that Washington and not Niagara was the most desirable objective of a bridal tour. But it required an involved string of events, in which there were a great many "other stories"—most of which Mr. Lincoln tells, to the added joy of his readers—to lead up to this happy consummation. Nearly the whole town of East Harniss takes part in these events; but Capt. Sol, presiding genius of the railroad station, is at the fore most of the time, with no end of stories redolent of mother wit, shrewd commonsense and the humorous viewpoint
New York Times. Sep 8, 1940. pg. 16
In Civil War DaysDown on the Cape
OUT OF THE FOG. By Joseph C. Lincoln. 360 pp. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company. $2.50.
MYRA CRUSIT, elderly spinster of literary ambitions and Wellmouth correspondent for the Ostable County Weekly Item, has written this narrative of the strange events following the discovery of the body of a man evidently run over by an automobile. She was in the car with Captain Mark Hanson when, crawling through a thick April fog, they found the remains of George Crockett, only son of the Hon. Elisha Crockett, Wellmouth's most influential resident and the man who, more than any one else, had been responsible for Hanson's elevation from the poverty and misery of his Point End boyhood to leadership among the village's men of consequence. But if Captain Mark's rise from the low estate of a Point End fisherman and clammer to the presidency of the savings bank and chairman of the Board of Selectmen had owed something to the Hon. Elisha's favor, his native ability and sterling character were what made it all possible. Myra, for many years his loyal secretary, won't let us forget that. Like so many heroic souls, the captain is a little dense in his perceptions of feminine sentiment, but we like him all the better for it.
Who was the hit-and-run driver who killed George Crockett, prodigal son of Wellmouth's political and social arbiter? One might suppose it would be the affair of Gus Jacobs, chief of police, to discover the miscreant. But Gus was merely the none too bright appointee of the Board of Selectmen; consequently, in the opinion of the Hon. Elisha and the Wellmouth villagers, the responsibility for obtaining evidence and a conviction devolved upon Captain Mark. As Myra tells the story, despite her maidenly modesty one 'can't escape the conclusion that the eventual unravelment of a mystery that while it continued menaced the prestige of Captain Mark and his position as a selectman was due more to her Yankee canniness, intuition and enterprise than to his shrewdness in following the few obvious clues.
In "Out of the Fog" we have an engaging yarn with the Cape Cod setting its author knows so well how to describe. Once more this popular regional novelist demonstrates his skillful craftsmanship in a tale of village life that moves along with well sustained suspense toward a climax we are confident will not disappoint our hopes. The homespun characters are portrayed convincingly and the moral issues solved in a spirit nicely blended of early Roman civic virtue and modern Anglo-Saxon practicality. D. DeK.
New York Times, Oct 5, 1941. pg. BR32
Latest Works of Fiction
Cape Cod in 1814
THE NEW HOPE. By Joseph C. Lincoln and Freeman Lincoln. 498 pp. New York: Coward-McCann. $2.50.
When you come across a book like "The New Hope," by Joseph C. Lincoln and Freeman Lincoln, you are sorry you ever used the word "yarn" and "salty" lightly, because here is a true and accurate use for them. You have the feeling that you are sitting on a Cape Cod wharf listening to an old sea captain spin a yarn. At times you're impatient when he goes off on tangents and squirm under the endless flow of his words, and you wish he'd hurry and get along with the story, but after all, you wouldn't trade the old codger for any smooth-tongued story-teller, because his seasoned personality and his random observations lend color and authenticity to the yarn and you are content to wait for his words to run their course. That's the way you feel about Captain Isaiah Dole and Jonathan Bangs, who tell the story of "The New Hope."
It's August of the year 1814 in the Cape Cod town of Trumet and the British have bottled up both harbors, the one on the Massachusetts Bay side and the one on the ocean side, until not even a small fishing boat can get through the blockade. Under the leadership of Captain Dole and his young companion, Jonathon Bangs, the townspeople have invested their money and their labor in outfitting a merchant vessel and manning her with a crew. They have encouraged gossip around the Cape, which they know the British blockaders will hear, that they are simply overhauling the craft, to be used as a coastwise trader when the war is over. But the real purpose of the New Hope, as the privateer is named, is to try to slip out some dark night after a store of powder has been smuggled aboard and to. run through the blockade at the risk of every life aboard and every cent invested in her.
During that one sultry week in August a dozen or more sensational events take place, any one of which could be expanded into a novelette. The Town Council finds out that the British know of their plans to smuggle powder into the harbor and aboard the New Hope; after the discovery of incriminating evidence, Jonathon Bangs is suspected of being a traitor; a fire is started in the warehouse near the ship and an old man who knew too much about it is murdered; an old woman is attacked with a hatchet for the same reason; a British officer is discovered hiding under the protection of Jonathon's fiancee; Jonathon is thrown into jail and the next morning—but Captain Isaiah and Jonathon should be allowed to tell the story in then-own way. How they tracked down the real traitor and murderer, how they tricked the British and brought their desperate venture to a happy ending, should keep any mystery-story addict up half the night.
Of course, the tracking down and the tricking depend upon some extraordinary luck combined with at least mild stupidity on the part of those being tracked and tricked, but who minds a little honest hokum in a tale as vivid and exciting as this one? The reader is glad to help all he can with a credulous mind, just to get Jonathon out of the complicated mess and save the day for the Yankees. There is one thing we mildly regret, however: when Jonathon fools the enemy he robs the reader of a good stiff sea fight. The ending makes entertaining reading, but it does lack the sharp climax that a little cannon roar might have given it. We wonder why the Yankees left all the arms stored on the captured British ship, the Gannet, when their own expedition needed them so badly; and, incidentally, we also wonder how the term "wishful thinking" found its way into a chronicle supposedly written during the early nineteenth century.Margaret Donaldson.
New York Times. Dec 19, 1943. pg. BR10
The Latest Works of Fiction
THE BRADSHAWS OF HARNISS. By Joseph C. Lincoln. 380 pp. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company. $2.50. By CATHERINE BRODY.
EARLY Cape Cod novels by Joseph C. Lincoln dipped back into the quaint past when one traveled to the Cape by stage from the end of the railroad, when retired sea captains ruled the roost and dire consequences followed upon the love of a "regular" minister for the daughter of a "come-outer." As life on the Cape changed, Mr. Lincoln caught up with it, book by book. The summer hotel loomed and antiques were discovered in "The Old Home House." The flivver, with lamps requiring a gas tank and matches, appeared in "Galusha, the Magnificent." In "Blowing Clear" the last World War affected John Heath's antique business and his pseudo-son took an unlucky flier in Wall Street.
Now—some forty years and forty books later—in "The Bradshaws of Harniss," old Zenas Bradshaws nephew wins the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the plot turns around the current efforts of small business men to keep themselves going1. Nothing else has changed . . . neither the manner nor the basic matter of these books. With the novelty of the Cape gone and its picturesqueness, as first revealed in them, worn thin, it is possible to see why they are still popular.
Mr. Lincoln comfortably skips those matters not in his line which are supposed to be essential to popularity. He can spin a yam with any man, but makes no attempt to be breath-taking. There's hardly a kiss in the whole carload of his novels and not a speck of glamour. Most of the heroes are elderly. The sensible, undistinguished heroines usually announce right off the bat that they're past 40. In "The Bradshaws" he is enough in tune with the times to add a wartime love affair—but the courting is done by mail, the wedding takes place in secret, and the really important point in the whole business is the bride's consequent ability to help her husband's 70-year-old uncle.
What keeps Mr. Lincoln's reputation green, and his readers chuckling from one end of the long list to the other, is his brand of wit—the same corn-fed, home-cured variety that doesn't need thrills or frills.
"All I can get out of him," complains old Zenas Bradshaw of a clerk who tends store in his absence, "is that things are going so smooth he has to put on skates to keep up with 'em. They never were that way when I was around. When it's too slippery, folks sometimes fall down."
"There's a raft of old codgers that call themselves self-made men," says Peter Brown in "The Old Home House," "meanin' that the Creator won't own 'em and they take the responsibility themselves."
"It's a vale of tears," agrees Keziah Coffin, "though I never could see the sense in wearin' a long face and a crape bathin' suit on that account."
And John Heath of "Blowing Clear," one of the best-remembered characters, gets off retorts that Mark Twain might have been glad to claim.
"Fellow that has a chance to go to jail might learn a lot there, I shouldn't wonder, Bill," Heath said (to a drunken loafer who has suggested that he learned carpentry in State prison).
"Yeh" (hilariously), "trouble is most of us, I say most of us— ain't never had the chance."
"Well, don't be discouraged, you've got a good start."
This kind of native talk, shrewd, graphic, with a snap to it, but no malice meant or taken, never stales. It has set the pattern for the good-humored wisecracking which is characteristic of our speech. It grew naturally—and still grows—out of the daily association of free and equal neighbors in small communities, every man with his say and the chance to say so.
With each line Mr. Lincoln evokes the general store and the men gathered around the stove; Saturday afternoon and folks coming in to trade; the grubby, gossipy, salty home-town atmosphere so much a part of our tradition that one does not need to have actually lived in it to be nostalgic for it ... any more than one needs to have tasted fish chowder and cream-of-tartar biscuit to feel one's mouth water when Mr. Lincoln's housekeepers set them on the table.