Home Information Contents Search Links

AEternum inter se discordant.
Terentius, Andria, 3, 3, 43

Chapter VIII

The Year 1863

Irwin enters into partnership with George Munro. Their articles of agreement.
Erastus' application for an injunction. The first of Irwin P. Beadle's
Ten Cent Novels
. More competition. American Tales begun with
Sinclair Tousey as Publishers' Agent. Dime Tales, Tra-
ditions and Romance of the Border
. Renewed
activity in advertising

THE YEAR 1863. Hostetter's Celebrated Stomach Bitters, famous for years for its blue-green almanacs. Choker and turnover collars of enameled steel antedating celluloid collars. Bullet-proof vests, safe against pistol bullets at ten paces and rifle bullets at forty rods. The new game of Authors. Battle of Gettysburg. "The Maiden's Prayer." "Rock Me to Sleep, Mother." Emancipation Proclamation. "The Frog Who Would a Wooing Go." Whiskers, waterfalls, and hoop skirts. Twenty-five-cent novels in great profusion by Buntline and Dr. Robinson. Things looking brighter for the trade, with book sales getting better and advertisements increasing in number and length.

In 1863, Charles E. Felton,(1) who had purchased the stereotyping plant from Beadle, had become superintendent of the Erie County Penitentiary, and although he was still listed in the classified portion of the Buffalo Directory as a stereotyper, he had apparently sold out. Erastus and Robert Adams alone now formed the firm of Beadle & Co.(2) Irwin is missing from both the New York and Brooklyn directories.

Improvement in the book business during the latter part of the year, as indicated by the abundance of advertisements in the newspapers, swept Beadle & Co. along with it, and the depression caused by the outbreak of the war seems to have lifted temporarily. Not only were the Dime Novels being printed in great quantity, but several new series were started during the second half of the year.

It is not known exactly how friendly the two brothers, Erastus and Irwin, were at this time. If there were any hard feelings, they must have originated by the forcing out—if there was a forcing out—of Irwin from the firm. Certainly in 1857, according to Erastus' diary, the most cordial relationship existed between the two, and it must have come as a shock to him to hear that his brother, after selling out his share in the original firm, had entered into partnership with one of his clerks, George Munro,(3) to publish novels under the old firm name of Irwin P. Beadle & Co., and from the old offices at 137 William Street. It was following the tactics of Mrs. Arey with The Home, and must thus have cut doubly deep. The new partnership came very soon after Irwin was bought or forced out of Beadle & Co., for the new Irwin P. Beadle & Co. was already in existence and had a credit rating January 15, 1863.(4)

Irwin Beadle and Munro were probably alone at first, but in August, 1863, a new partner was taken on. The "Articles of Agreement"(5) between these partners is of great interest as showing the shoe string upon which the firm was going to do business.

Article of Agreement made and entered into this 25 day of August A D 1863 between Irwin P. Beadle, George Munroe [sic], and Samuel Greenwood all of the city of Brooklyn, in the County of Kings and State of New York

The parties hereto, hereby agree to enter into Copartnership under the firm name and Style of Irwin P. Beadle & Co. to carry on the business, to be called and known as "Irwin P. Beadle & Co 10 Cent Publication House for the Millions" and is intended to print and publish such works, as the partners, or a Majority of them shall decide upon and approve

The Capital of said Company shall Commence with the Sum of Six Hundred dollars, to be furnished by said parties in the sum of Two hundred dollars each; and said capital to be increased at such time and in such amounts as their said business shall require, and as all the parties hereto, shall consent to

And it is further agreed that the parties hereto, are to devote their time and attention to the said business, except Samuel Greenwood, who is to pay into the business of said firm, the sum of three dollars per week in lieu of his personal services and attention

And it is further agreed that books of account are to be kept by said parties, showing the exact state and conditions of said business and which are to be kept at the place where their said business is carried on, and to be open at all times to the inspection and examination of each of said parties

And it is further agreed that said George Monroe is to draw Ten dollars per week from the business of said firm, and that the profits of said business, after deducting said Ten dollars paid said Monroe, is to be equally divided between said parties

And it is further agreed that if a majority of said parties shall at any time desire to put an end to said partnership and business, they may do so, by serving on the other party a Notice in writing signed by said majority, and at the expiration of three months from the time of the Service of said notice, said copartnership shall be dissolved, and said business be discontinued

And it is further agreed that if either party to this agreement, at any time desires to part with his interest in said Copartnership business, he shall first offer his Share and interest in said business to the other parties hereto, who shall have the privilege of first purchasing said Share and interest if they desire to do so, at such price and on such terms as said parties can agree and if they cannot agree, then each party is to Choose a man and the two are to agree on the terms and conditions of said Sale and purchase of said interest, and if they cannot agree, they two are to select a third man, and the decisions of two of them shall be final and Conclusive between the parties

And it is further agreed that said Irwin P. Beadle is to have the general Management and Superintendance of said business, but shall, at all times consult with said other partners, and in case of a disagreement the decision of a majority of said parties, shall be decisive as to the management of said business

In witness whereof the parties hereto have set their hands the day and year first above written

In presence of
I W Loke
Irwin P. Beadle
George Munro
Samuel Greenwood

Let the notice of preceding limited partnership be published in the World Morning Courier & New York Enquirer & New York Atlas, two newspapers published in the city and County of New York once a week for six weeks.

  H. W. Genert

Aug. 26, 1863
Filed & Recorded
Aug. 26, 1863


The first publication of the new firm, before Greenwood was taken on, was a Ten Cent Song Book, unnumbered, but the first of a series of three, entitled Irwin P. Beadle's Ten Cent Song Books for the Million. Instead of having on the cover the cut of a dime, like the original Beadle publications, this had a ten cent postal currency note. To try to stop such a close imitation of the original booklets, Beadle & Co. brought action in the New York Superior Court to restrain the new firm. Judge Barbour ruled for the defendants, and permitted them to continue the publication of their songbook. The following notice appeared on the inside of the cover of No. 1, Irwin P. Beadle's Ten Cent Novels.


N. Y. Superior Court.

Erastus F. Beadle and
Robert Adams




Irwin P. Beadle and
George Munro

The defendants in this action, commenced the publication of a Song Book entitled Irwin P. Beadle & Co.'s Ten Cent Song Book for the Million; on the cover of which was a device representing a United States Postage Stamp of ten cents with a head of Washington; the plaintiffs brought the above entitled action against the defendants, and applied for an injunction to restrain the defendants

"From publishing or causing to be published, or using in any manner, or causing to be used in any manner, the Name of 'Beadle's Dime Books,' the device of the impression of a Dime, or the device of the impression of a portion of a Ten Cent Postage Currency of the United States, or the name of 'Irwin P. Beadle & Co.' in connection with any device, word or words that may tend to indicate Ten Cents, or Dime, or a Portion of ten cents Postage Currency of the United States in connection with or upon cheap publications, with the name of Irwin P. Beadle & Co."

A motion was made on the 2d of October instant, before His Honor, Judge Barbour, by the counsel for the plaintiffs for the injunction above specified, and which was resisted by the counsel for the defendants, and on the 8th day of October instant the judge rendered his decision, denying the motion for the injunction, and permitting the defendants to continue the publication of their Song Book, which is not and never was intended to represent, or interfere in any manner with the publications of the plaintiffs.

Irwin P. Beadle and Co.
137 William St., New York, Oct. 9, 1863.

Edward S. Ellis(6) mentioned the new partnership and the lawsuit that followed. One day, he said, while in Beadle's office, the latter remarked that the English system of labor, under which employees were satisfied to remain in the same position for years, without wishing for a change or an advancement, was superior to the American. As an example he pointed to George Munro, a Nova Scotian, who had been wrapping bundles for Beadle for two years at sixteen dollars a week. However, said Ellis, Munro very shortly thereafter joined forces with Irwin Beadle, who had been frozen out of the old firm and had returned to his trade of bookbinding, and they began publishing novels under the name Irwin P. Beadle and Company. According to Ellis, their first series was called the "New Dime Novels," whereupon Erastus secured an injunction restraining them from using that title, which was then changed to "Ten Cent Novels."

Ellis' statements, however, like Pearson's and Robinson's, mentioned above, are at fault in several particulars.(7) The title of the new series of novels was not New Dime Novels, but was Irwin P. Beadle's Ten Cent Novels from the beginning. Five numbers only were issued with this heading. With No. 6 the title was changed to Munro's Ten Cent Novels, not, as Ellis stated, because of the injunction (which, as already mentioned, actually was denied) but because Irwin had withdrawn from the firm. Ellis is also probably mistaken in saying that Irwin resumed work at his trade of bookbinding. At least if he did so, it was at this time for a few months only. Why he dropped out of the new firm is unknown. It is also questionable whether it was George Munro who hunted up Irwin Beadle and induced him to enter into partnership, as stated by Ellis. Irwin could, on occasion, be energetic, as witness his initiative in starting the publication of the dime songbooks and the original yellow-backs. Judging from the articles of agreement just mentioned, one might say that because his name comes first in the article and among the signatures, and that he was to receive no definite weekly payment, those facts are evidence that he was the leading spirit, and that it was he who persuaded Munro to join hands with him, and that Munro required the assurance of ten dollars a week as an inducement to join the undertaking.

The first novel of the new firm, although not their first publication, was Capt. Latham C. Carleton's(8) "The Hunters; or, Life on the Mountain and Prairie." It formed No. 1 of Irivin P. Beadle's Ten Cent Novels. The wrapper and title of the series was copyrighted September 12, 1863, but the book itself was not copyrighted until November 9. It appeared on the market November 11. Other publications of the firm were not well advertised in the beginning, consequently the dates of publication of some of their earlier booklets are unknown. Irwin had published some of them before the partnership agreement, just mentioned, was signed. In No. 1 of the Ten Cent Novels, there are listed as previously published the Ten Cent Song Book, No. 1 (filed for copyright, April 18, 1863), Ten Cent Letter Writer, Ten Cent Cook Book, Ten Cent Cattle Doctor, and Ten Cent Horse Doctor. In No. 2, there are listed, in addition, Song Books Nos. 2 and 3, and Ten Cent Stories,'No. 1.(9)

Before No. 1 of Irwin P. Beadle's Ten Cent Novels appeared, the older firm, Beadle & Co., had issued No. 1 of Beadle's Dime Tales, Traditions and Romance of Border and Revolutionary Times. This was advertised September 15, but instead of containing a single novel, each number contained four or five short sketches of actual historical events. The monthly issues were rather unattractive in appearance, with tan or buff wrappers and an uncolored cut on the cover. They were of approximately 64 pages, and each number contained four full-page woodcuts by John R. Chapin.

More trouble was in store for Beadle & Co. On the tenth of November,(10) Elliott, Thomes & Talbot issued the first of their Ten Cent Novelettes, "The Golden Eagle; or, The Privateer of '76," by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr. This was the first of another very unattractive looking series, with the title of the story and the title of the series printed in blue on pinkish wrappers,(11) with no illustration on the front cover, and of somewhat larger size than the Beadle novels.

The next day, November 11, 1863, I. P. Beadle's Ten Cent Novel, No. 1, appeared, as mentioned above.

Advertised(12) on the 11th, and out on the 12th of November, there appeared, seemingly, another competitor. This was American Tales, No. 1, "On the Plains; or, A Race for Life," written by Edward S. Ellis, and issued by Sinclair Tousey, Publishers' Agent. The actual publisher's name did not appear on the wrappers until, in No. 44, Beadle announced that he had acquired the rights to the series. More than a year elapsed(13) before publication was resumed. It was then continued in a second series with Beadle's name on the title pages and wrappers. Reprints of the first series, also, bore their imprint. For whom Sinclair Tousey was acting is not definitely known, but it is probable that it was for Beadle & Co. in an attempt to head off further competition.(14)

On the twelfth of November(15) Beadle & Co., in an advertisement, listed a number of reasons why their novels were superior to those of other publishers.

Incomparable in excellence—unapproachable in Price.

The series of novels published by Beadle & Company, No. 118 William-St., New-York, possess several distinguishing features, which the public should ever bear in mind in the midst of the multiplicity of "ten cent" and other books (chiefly reprints) which have recently been put upon the market.

1 Beadle's Dime Novels are original.

2 Beadle's Dime Novels are written by selected authors.

3 Beadle's Dime Novels are produced by such authors as
Mrs. Ann S. StephensWarren St. John
Mrs. Metta V. VictorEdward S. Ellis
Mrs. M. A. DenisonHon. A. J. H. Duganne
Mrs. F. F. BarrittJohn S. Warren
Harry CavendishHenry J. Thomas
N. C. Iron
etc., etc.

4 Beadle's Dime Novels are not "sensational." They embrace only stories of

5 Beadle's Dime Novels are particularly adapted to the Houses and Firesides of America, and may safely be placed in the hands of young as well as old.

6 Beadle's Dime Novels are good, pure, and reliable; they are exhilirating without being feverishly or morbidly exciting; they are elaborated in drama, disseminating in character, choice in incident, and impressive in denouement; are adapted to all classes, readable at all times, fit for all places. These general features are "representative" ones, and should attract the attention of all persons in pursuit of the best romances in the most available form at the least possible expense.

Beadle & Company's Publications all bear the imprint of "ONE DIME" (coin), which, by a special decision of the Supreme Court, is their exclusive and protected trade mark.

BEADLE'S DIME BOOKS are sold by all News Dealers. BEADLE & COMPANY,
General Dime Book Publishers,
No. 118 William-st., New-York.
Sinclair Tousey, General Agent.

Competition had stirred up Beadle & Co., and they again started to advertise extensively. On November 14, they had nearly a whole column in the New York Tribune, listing all their Dime Novels from No. 1 to 62, inclusive, and also announcing the appearance of Song Book No. 11.

On November 19, Tousey, as Publishers' Agent, advertised in the Tribune: "20,000 sold and the demand unabated. Ready this morning, the fifth five thousand of the American Tales No. 1."

The year 1863 ended with both firms going strong. Beadle & Co. had published during the year Dime Novels Nos. 49 to 63, American Library Nos. 23 to 34, Sixpenny Tales Nos. 10 and 11, American Tales Nos. 1 and 2, Dime Tales, Traditions and Romance Nos. 1 to 4, Song Books Nos. 10 and 11, Speaker No. 4, "Songs of the Olden Times," "Book of Verses," and two New National Tax Laws with amendments. Irwin P. Beadle & Co. had issued the nine books previously mentioned, as well as Ten Cent Novels No. 3.


1 Buffalo City Directory for 1863.
  Mrs. Irwin P. Beadle. 227 Main. (Listed only in classified portion.)
  Charles E. Felton. Superintendent Erie Co. Penitentiary, h. same. (He is listed as stereotyper in the classified portion of the directory.)
2 Wilson's Copartnership Directory, New York, 1863-64.
  Beadle & Co. (Erastus F. Beadle and Robert Adams). 118 William st.
  Trow's New York City Directory, 1863-64.
  Erastus F. Beadle, 141 William st. h. 35 Pineapple. Brooklyn.
  Robert Adams, books. 141 William st. h. Bedford Av. n. Jefferson, Bklyn.
  (Neither Martha Adams nor Irwin P. Beadle is listed.)
  Brooklyn City Directory, 1863-64.
  Erastus F. Beadle. 118 William st., N. Y.
  Martha Adams, wid. h. Bedford, n. Jefferson.
  (Neither Robert Adams nor Irwin P. Beadle is listed.)
3 Frederick Whittaker, "Dime Novels. A Defense by a Writer of Them," New York, Tribune, March 16, 1884.
4 Commercial Agency Record, January 15, 1863.
5 Now in the New York City Hall of Records.
6 Edward S. Ellis, Introduction to Seth Jones of New Hampshire, edition published by G. W. Dillingham Company, 1907, 16-17.
7 Dat kümmt endlich doch an den Rechten.
De oil Postmeister Möller fröggt
Den Jungen, de de Breiw' utdröggt:
"Hest Du de Breiw' besorgt, Jehann?"—
"Ja, Herr!"—"Ok den, de an
Den Jehann Krischan Engel wir,
De bi den Snider Block is in de Lihr?
Hest Du sin Wahnung endlich funnen?"
"Ja, Herr," antwurt't de Bursz, nachdem hei sick besunnen,
"Ja, Herr. Doch mit den ollen Breiw,
Dor gung me dat tauirst ganz eklich scheiw;
De Sak, de was sihr bisterig,
Denn in de Lagerstrat, dor wahnt hei nicht,
Un wahnt en En'n lang wider an den Strand;
Un wahnt nich rechtsch,—ne! linker Hand;
Un wahnt ok nich in't drüdde Stock—
Ne! hei wahnt unnen in den Keller;
Sin Meister is nich Snider Block,
Sin Meister, de heit Snider Teller;
Hei sülwst, hei heit nich Krischan Engle,
Ne, hei heit Ann'meriken Dürten Rist,
Un't is ok keinen Snider-Bengel—
Ne, Herr, 'ne olle Waschfru is't."
                         FRITZ REUTER
8 "Capt. Latham C. Carleton" was one of Edward S. Ellis' pseudonyms. Ellis wrote fifteen or twenty of Irwin's American Novels, yet he showed a curious mental astigmatism, in various interviews, in giving Irwin credit for nothing.
9 This novel, "The Ghost of Welldean," appears to have been the only booklet of the series.
10 New York Tribune, November 10, 1863.
11 Reprints and issues after No. 25 had blue wrappers.
12 Ibid., November 11, 1863. "Ready November 12."
13 See their announcement elsewhere in this book, under the year 1867.
14 See the introductory remarks to American Tales, in Part III.
15 New York, Tribune, November 12, 1863.

Go to Chapter 9