Originally Published in 1901
Author: W. B. Lawson
Curator: Cristiana Wilcoxon
Artist: James F. Lorigan
The detective W. B. “Bill” Lawson sets out in disguise as a doctor from Booneville with the grand ambition of capturing the notorious outlaw Jesse James and his brother Frank. Assigned to recover the stolen child Tip Younger, the son of Jesse’s late love, Blanche Rideau, by her father, Judge Rideau, Lawson assimilates into the James gang in the hopes of gathering information. Originally published in 1901, this is the first dime novel of the Jesse James series by the author of the same name as the narrator, W. B. Lawson.
Before comics, pulp magazines, and television shows, 19th-century working-class America relied on dime novels to break the monotony of daily life. Spurred by accelerated printing processes, efficient rail shipping, and growing literacy rates, dime novels catering to fans of urban outlaws, detectives, working-girl heroines and romantic heroes were sold at newsstands and dry goods stores across the country.
Proceeds from our classic dime novels support 1888 education and literacy programs designed to engage readers, support writers, and inspire a cultural legacy for future generations.