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First Editions

Formats, Covers, and Points

For a closer look at these first editions, click on the covers. To find a specific book, hit Crtl+F on your keyboard and begin typing the title.

First editions published after 1960 can be found by clicking here.

PLEASE NOTE: For many of the books below, the color of the binding may vary widely. Overall, the color of the cloth is not as important as what is printed on it. In addition, a book may have the binding of a first edition, but may be missing important points inside.

The following is meant to be a visual aid, not an authoritative guide. The Horatio Alger Society is not responsible for any mistakes made because of the information provided below.

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Abraham Lincoln, the Backwoods Boy

J. R. Anderson & Henry S. Allen, 1883

  • Several colors of cloth binding noted.
  • In the first edition, the ads in the front of the book list the first two titles in "The Boyhood and Manhood Series of Illustrious Americans" as in print, while number 3, "The Surveyor Boy and President; or Young People's Life of George Washington" will be "Ready in October".

Adrift in New York (softcover)

Street & Smith, Publishers, 1904

  • Number 243 from Street & Smith’s Medal Library Series issued on January 30, 1904 in paper wrappers.
  • The first edition lists the present title at the top of the Medal Library stories listed on the first page of book advertisements at the front of the book.  Later editions indicate additional titles in print.
  • Gardner states that the first edition is the two-part Comfort Magazine supplement issued in May and June 1902, however, this item is considered a serialization as it did not appear independently as a complete story.

Adrift in the City; or, Oliver Conrad's Plucky Fight

Porter & Coates, 1895

  • First edition book ads at the end of the book only list Harry Castlemon books.

Andy Grant's Pluck

Henry T. Coates & Co, 1902

  • The first edition has the 1902 date on the title page.
  • This title (Andy Grant's Pluck) is not listed in the ads for Alger books at the back of the book.

Ben Bruce

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1901

  • The first edition has the title blind-stamped on a solid gold band on the spine, and only the name "Alger" underneath.

Ben Logan's Triumph

Cupples & Leon, 1908

  • In the first edition, there is a circle around the publisher's name at the bottom of the spine (Bennett and Gardner).
  • Gardner adds that the advertisements on the copyright page lists Joe the Hotel Boy with the present title listed below.
  • This is the 11th and final title of the Stratemeyer completions.

Ben the Luggage Boy

A. K. Loring, 1870

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book: VI. Rufus and Rose; or, the Fortunes of Rough and Ready (In December, 1870) and II. Sink or Swim; or, Harry Raymond’s Resolve (In November, 1870).
  • Later printings move the illustration that, in the first issue, faces page 13, to the frontispiece (Gardner).
  • Later editions use a decorative title page of four boys instead of Ragged Dick standing alone in the first issue (Bennett).
  • Apparently this book was issued simultaneously in two binding states.  The first state has “Luggage Boy” on one line on the spine.  The second (and later) states list “Luggage Boy” on two lines.

Ben's Nugget

Porter & Coates, 1882

  • In the first edition, the present title is the last title listed on the copyright page.
  • Later editions include book advertisements at the rear of the book listing Alger titles up to Hector’s Inheritance published in 1885 without revising the listing on the copyright page.
  • The first edition was issued in both brown and gold cloth with no known priority.

Bernard Brooks' Adventures

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1903

  • In the first edition, the present title is not listed in the book advertisements at the rear of the book (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on the above.

Bertha's Christmas Vision

Brown, Bazin and Company, 1856

  • First edition must have the 1856 date on title page.
  • Bound in several colors of cloth; no known priority.

Bob Burton

Porter & Coates, 1888

  • In the first edition, the price for the Go Ahead Series in the rear book advertisements is listed at $3.75.  Later editions list the price at $4.50 (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on the above.
  • The first edition was issued in both brown and gold cloth with no known priority.

Bound to Rise

A. K. Loring, 1873

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  I. Julius, or the Street Boy Out West, April ’74 and III. Up the Ladder; or, Harry Walton’s Success, in Oct, ’74.
  • Gardner adds that the first edition does not include the inserted illustration facing page 16 in later issues and the engraving facing page 254 in the first edition was later moved to face page 256.  Also, Gardner does not mention the projection of Julius (above).

A Boy's Fortune

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1898

  • The first edition has the 1898 date on the title page.
  • Gardner claims that two different frontispieces were used (thereby creating two states of the first edition); Bennett dismisses this claim.

Brave and Bold

A. K. Loring, 1874

  • In the first edition, the second page of book advertisements at the front of the book lists: I. Julius; or, The Street Boy Out West with no further titles listed in the series, III. Risen From the Ranks; or, Harry Walton’s Success with no further titles listed and only the present title listed under the Bold and Brave Series.  Later editions announce further titles in this series and correct “Bold and Brave” to “Brave and Bold.”
  • Gardner adds that on page 16 of the earliest printing, the word “frankly” is misspelled “faankly.”

Charlie Codman's Cruise

A. K. Loring, 1866

  • The first edition has the 1867 date on the title page and a pasted-in photograph as the frontispiece.  The book was copyrighted in 1866, but the title page date was advanced one year as was customary for books issued late in the year.
  • Bound in several cloth colors with no known priority although Gardner claims that the earliest state was issued in red cloth.

Chester Rand

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1903

  • The first edition has the 1903 date on the title page, three illustrations and a single quotation mark in front of the word “Ragged” and none following the word “Pluck” on the title page.  Later editions have only two illustrations and correct the errors in the quotation marks on the title page (Bennett).
  • Gardner adds that the word “expensive” is misspelled “expensvie” on page 333.  He mentions the missing quotation mark after the word “Pluck” on the title page but not the mistake regarding “Ragged.”

Dan, the Detective

G. W. Carleton & Co., 1884

  • The first edition has the MDCCCLXXXIV date on the title page.
  • This is one of the rarest Alger first editions. The story is better known by its reprint title: Dan, the Newsboy.
  • Several colors of cloth binding have been noted.

Dean Dunham (softcover)

United States Book Company, 1890

  • Number 32 from the Leather-Clad Series issued in paper wrappers.
  • The first edition has the July 12, 1890 date on the cover.

Dean Dunham (hardcover)

American Publishers Corporation, 1894

  • The first hardcover edition was published by American Publishers Corporation in 1891 in its Berkeley Series.
  • Several cloth colors noted with no known priority.

A Debt of Honor

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1900

  • In the first edition, the publisher’s address in the rear book advertisements must be “97-99-101 Reade Street.”
  • The title on the spine must be blind-stamped against a gold panel and the name “Alger” below it in gold.
  • Several copies have been noted with either the first 10 pages (of 14) or last 10 pages of advertisements missing (Bennett).

Digging for Gold

Porter & Coates, 1892

  • In the first edition, the present title is not listed among the book advertisements at the rear of the book and the last Edward Ellis title listed on page 8 will be Through Forest and Fire (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on the above.

The Disagreeable Woman

G. W. Dillingham, Publisher, 1895

  • There was only one edition issued by this publisher.
  • This is the only book Alger wrote using the pseudonym “Julian Starr.”

Do and Dare

Porter & Coates, 1884

  • There are no book advertisements in the first edition.
  • The first edition was issued in both brown and gold cloth with no known priority.

The Erie Train Boy (softcover)

United States Book Company, 1890

  • Published in The Leather-Clad Tales series, the first edition is dated May 31, 1890 on the cover.

The Erie Train Boy (hardcover)

American Publishers Corporation, 1894

  • The first hard cover edition is controversial.
  • American Publishers Corporation in 1890 in its Berkeley Series. (According to Bennett). Several cloth colors noted with no known priority.
  • H.M.Caldwell in 1900. (According to Gardner)

The Errand Boy (softcover)

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1888

  • Volume 1, Number 14 of the Boys’ Home Library Series.
  • First edition, first issue published in October 1888 in paper wrappers.
  • Publisher’s address must be 56 Beekman Street (New York).
  • Advertisements on rear cover must show the first 14 titles of the series in print with Nos. 15-16-17 ready, Nov. 1, Dec. 1 and Jan. 1, respectively.
  • Several copies noted with no advertisements on rear cover are later issues.

The Errand Boy (hardcover)

A. L. Burt, 1888

  • 56 Beekman St., New York (publisher's address)
  • The first edition is identified by an ad for The Boys' Home Series, listing 20 titles, of which this title is the 14th title in the list. (Fez 1.20.14)
  • (Eastlack, Newsboy November-December 2013)

Facing the World

Porter & Coates, 1893

  • In the first edition, the next Alger title is announced on page 318 as In a New World; or, Harry Vane in Australia.  Later editions change the subtitle to Among the Gold-Fields of Australia.

Falling In With Fortune

The Mershon Company, 1900

  • Bennett states that the first edition shows only three titles listed under the Flag of Freedom Series with Off for Hawaii in the top position in the rear advertisements.  Later editions add additional titles.
  • Gardner states that there are no advertisements for Alger titles at the rear of the book.
  • This is the second title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.

Fame and Fortune

A. K. Loring, 1868

  • Volume II from the Ragged Dick Series.
  • The advertisements in the front of the book will list Vol. III (Mark, the Match Boy) in “May, 1869” and Vol. IV (Rough and Ready) in “December, 1869.”
  • Bennett states that the first issue will not have type damage in the word “By” on the title page, in the word “Loring” on the copyright page, or in the number “109” on that page.

Finding A Fortune

The Penn Publishing Company, 1904

  • First edition must have MCMIV date on title page.
  • Penn Publishing monogram must be interlocking script at foot of spine.

$500; or, Jacob Marlow's Secret (softcover)

United States Book Company, 1890

  • First edition contains May 10, 1890 date on the cover (in wrappers).
  • Book advertisements in the front of the book list the first 22 numbers of this series only.
  • There is a single quotation mark in front of the word "Dean" on the title page.

The $500 Check (hardcover)

United States Book Company, 1891

  • First hardcover edition issued one year after paper edition.
  • Earliest state has black strip at foot of spine covering the name Porter & Coates.
  • Later states have "Lovell" printed in gold at foot of spine.
  • It is possible that Porter & Coates, who held the hard cover copyright, printed the book in 1891 but did not put it in distribution, which was subsequently done by United States Book Company.

Forging Ahead

The Penn Publishing Company, 1903

  • The first edition has the MCMIII date on the title page and the Penn Publishing monogram in interlocking script on the spine.

Frank and Fearless

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1897

  • The first edition has the 1897 date on the title page and contains no book advertisements at the rear of the book.

Frank Fowler, the Cash Boy (softcover)

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1887

  • Volume 1, Number 4 of the Boys' Home Library Series.
  • First edition, first issue published in December 1887 in paper wrappers.
  • Publisher's address must be 162 William Street (New York).
  • Advertisements on rear cover must show Number 5 (Guy Harris, The Runaway) projected for January 1st and Number 6 (Ben Burton, The Slate Picker) projected for February 1st (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on the above advertisements.
  • Several copies noted with no advertisements on rear cover are later issues.

Frank Fowler, the Cash Boy (hardcover)

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1887

  • 162 William Street, New York (publisher's address).
  • The first edition is identified by 6 pages of ads for Useful and Practical Books in the back of the book. (Fez 1.00.02)
  • (Eastlack, Newsboy November-December 2013)

Frank Hunter's Peril

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1896

  • There are no book advertisements in the first edition and the title page is not dated.

Frank's Campaign

A. K. Loring, 1864

  • The first edition has the 1864 date on the title page and is bound in smooth cloth with a blind-stamped border of three lines and numerous parallel vertical lines.  The second edition is bound in dark brown, pebbled cloth and states “Second Edition” on the title page. 

From Canal Boy to President

John R. Anderson & Co., 1881

  • The earliest state of the first edition has pages 266 and 268 transposed with an erratum slip tipped on to page 267 indicating the mistake (Bennett and Gardner) (see image below cover at left - click to enlarge).
  • Recent research by HAS members suggests that the transposed edition may not be the earliest.
  • Bound in numerous cloth colors with no known priority.

From Farm Boy to Senator

J. S. Ogilvie & Co., 1882

  • The earliest state of the first edition contains floral endpapers, list only “Part First of the Thorn Papers” in the rear advertisements and has no type damage in the letter “E” in the word “Judge” on the dedication page (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on the above.

From Farm to Fortune

Stitt Publishing Company, 1905

  • The first edition has the 1905 date on the title page and contains no book advertisements.
  • Later editions have advertisements inserted at the rear of the book.
  • This is the eighth title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.
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Gran'ther Baldwin's Thanksgiving

A. K. Loring, 1875

  • There was only one printing of this title by Loring. 
  • Several cloth colors noted with no known priority.

Hector's Inheritance

Porter & Coates, 1885

  • In the first edition, the final Alger title listed on page seven of the rear book advertisements is the present title.  Later editions add the title Helping Himself (Bennett and Gardner).
  • In addition, Gardner states that three titles from the Boy Pioneer Series by Edward Ellis will be the last entry on page eight in the advertisements.
  • The first edition was issued in both brown and gold cloth with no known priority.

Helen Ford

A. K. Loring, 1866

  • The first edition will have the 1866 date on the title page and will not carry any advertisements for Horatio Alger books.
  • Later editions include a sunburst design in the center of the front cover.

Helping Himself

Porter & Coates, 1886

  • In the first edition, the table of contents is lacking and there are no book advertisements at the rear of the book (Bennett).
  • Gardner contends that there are no book advertisements either but that the table of contents is present and the letter “J” is damaged in the word “Justice” at the top of page 193.
  • The first edition was issued in both brown and gold cloth with no known priority.

Herbert Carter's Legacy

A. K. Loring, 1875

  • Volume IV from the Second Luck and Pluck Series.
  • The advertisements in the front of the book will list under the Second Tattered Tom Series, Vol. III (Sam’s Chance) in “April, ‘76” with only the Roman numeral “IV” below (Bennett and Gardner).
  • Gardner states that Jack’s Ward will indicate as being in print.

In A New World

Porter & Coates, 1893

  • In the first edition, the present title is the last title listed on the copyright page (Bennett).
  • In addition to the above, Gardner states that Digging for Gold is the last Alger title listed in the book advertisements at the rear of the book.

In Search of Treasure

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1907

  • The first edition is pictured at left.
  • Bennett states that the first edition does not contain book advertisements.

Jack's Ward

A. K. Loring, 1875

  • The first edition will indicate in the ads in the front of the book no titles listed after Jack's Ward under the Brave and Bold Series.
  • Under the Second Tattered Tom Series, The Young Outlaw (No. II) will be listed followed by III and IV without any titles announced.

Jed, the Poorhouse Boy

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1899

  • The first edition has the 1900 date on the title page and contains no book advertisements.
  • Although the copyright notice is dated 1899, the book was not published until early in 1900.

Jerry, the Backwoods Boy

The Mershon Company, 1904

  • In the first edition, Lost at Sea is listed at the top of the book advertisements on the copyright page and the publisher’s address in the rear advertisements must be “156 Fifth Ave., New York, Rahway, N. J.” (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on the above.
  • This is the sixth title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.

Joe's Luck (softcover)

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1887

  • Volume 1, Number 1 of the Boys' Home Library Series.
  • First edition, first issue published in September 1887 in paper wrappers.
  • Publisher's address must be 162 William Street (New York)
  • Advertisements on rear cover must show Number 2 (Julian Mortimer) projected for October 1st and Number 3 (Adrift in the Wilds) projected for November 1st.
  • Several copies noted with no advertisements on rear cover are later issues.

Joe's Luck (hardcover)

A. L. Burt, 1887

  • 162 William Street, New York (publisher's address)
  • The first edition is identified by 6 pages of ads for Useful and Practical Books in the back of the book. (Fez 1.00.01)
  • (Eastlack, Newsboy November-December 2013)

Joe's Luck (hardcover)

A. L. Burt, 1887

  • Boy on a Horse format.
  • Not intended to be sold to the public.
  • Only three copies known to exist.
  • (Robert Kasper, personal communication)

Joe the Hotel Boy

Cupples & Leon, 1906

  • In the first edition, there is no circle around the publisher's name at the bottom of the spine and the present title is the only Alger book listed in the rear book advertisements.
  • This is the ninth title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.

Julius

A. K. Loring, 1874

  • The first edition will show under the Second Tattered Tom Series in the front book advertisements: II. The Young Outlaw; A Story of the Street, - Oct., ‘74. and under the Second Luck and Pluck Series, III. Up the Ladder; or, Harry Walton’s Success, in Oct ’74 (no period following “74”). 

Lester's Luck

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1901

  • The first edition has the 1901 date on the title page and contains no book advertisements.
  • Later editions have book advertisements inserted at the rear of the book.

Life of Edwin Forrest (cloth bound)

J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1877

  • Issued in two volumes with the 1877 dated title page in both volumes in the first edition.
  • It is generally accepted that Horatio Alger collaborated with his cousin, William Rounseville Alger (for whom the book is exclusively credited), with Horatio writing the biographical chapters and William writing about the psychological and historic aspects of the theater.

Life of Edwin Forrest (leather bound)

J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1877

  • Issued in two volumes with the 1877 dated title page in both volumes in the first edition.
  • It is generally accepted that Horatio Alger collaborated with his cousin, William Rounseville Alger (for whom the book is exclusively credited), with Horatio writing the biographical chapters and William writing about the psychological and historic aspects of the theater.
  • A limited edition bound in three-quarter leather with marbled boards was issued simultaneously with the cloth binding.  A copy in paper wraps has been noted also.

Lost at Sea

The Mershon Company, 1904

  • There are no book advertisements in the first edition.  Later editions contain book ads on the copyright page or at the rear of the book (Bennett).
  • Gardner states that the first edition will show the present title at the top of book advertisements on the copyright page.
  • This is the fifth title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.

Luck and Pluck

A. K. Loring, 1869

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  V. Ben, The Luggage Boy. (In April, 1870) and VI. Rufus and Rose; or, The Fortunes of Rough and Ready. (In December, 1870).
  • The present title is the only one listed under the Luck and Pluck Series, with below, “Others in Preparation.”

Luke Walton

Porter & Coates, 1889

  • In the first edition, the last Alger title listed on page six of the rear book advertisements is Bob Burton.
  • The first edition was issued in both brown and gold cloth with no known priority.
A B C D E F   |   G H I J K L   |   M N O P Q R S   |   T U V W X Y Z

Making His Mark

The Penn Publishing Company, 1901

  • The first edition has the MCMI date on the title page.
  • Bennett states that the first edition contains 12 pages of book advertisements in the rear without any Alger titles listed.
  • Gardner states that two Alger titles (The Young Boatman and The Odds Against Him) are listed in the rear advertisements.

Mark Manning's Mission

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1905

  • The first edition is pictured at left.
  • The second edition has a cover design of three circles enclosing vignettes.

Mark Mason's Victory

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1899

  • In the first edition, the publisher’s address in the rear book advertisements must be “97-99-101 Reade Street.”
  • The title on the spine must be blind-stamped against a gold panel and the name “Alger” below it in gold.

Mark Stanton (softcover)

United States Book Company, 1890

  • The first edition lists the publication date on the cover as May 23, 890 (the "1" is missing) and pages 151-152-153 of the text are numbered on the opposite side of the page (Bennett).
  • The first issue is No. 25 of the Leather-Clad Tales Series published in paper wrappers.
  • Gardner mentions the cover date error but not the text errors on pages 151-153.
  • Arthur Lee Putnam (Alger's pseudonym) was used in this edition for this title.

Mark Stanton (hardcover)

Street & Smith, 1900

  • The first hardcover edition was published by Street & Smith in 1900, part of its Boys' Own Library series.
  • Although Bennett concludes “The first issue has gold lettering on the spine. Later issues have red lettering on the spine,” more recent research into early Street & Smith printings of the Boys' Own Library show that solid-color spine lettering preceded gold lettering. Thus, the first-state Alger titles most likely have red spine lettering. (Gowen, Newsboy September-October 2013).
  • Street & Smith also issued a softcover edition around the same time as No. 78 of its Medal Library Series under the altered title of Both Sides of the Continent; or, Mark Stanton.

Mark the Match Boy

A. K. Loring, 1869

  • In the first edition, the only title projected is: IV. Rough and Ready; or, Life Among the New York Newsboys (In December). 
  • The first state will list the name “Rockwell & Rollins, Printers and Stereotypers” on the copyright page.  Later editions change this name to “Rockwell & Churchill” or eliminate it altogether.

The Merchant's Crime (softcover)

F.M. Lupton, Publisher

  • First softcover edition appeared in F.M. Lupton's Leisure Hour Library dated July 28, 1888, as seen to the left. 
  • First softcover edition published under the title Ralph Raymond's Heir was by Lupton in the Idle Hour Series No. 11 paper issue published on March 30, 1892 (see listing below).
  • First hardcover edition published by F.M. Lupton as Ralph Raymond's Heir in 1892 as part of the Stratford Edition Series (see listing below)
  • (Sipes, Newsboy January-February 2010)

Ned Newton (softcover)

United States Book Company, 1890

  • First edition contains the May 17, 1890 date on the cover (in wrappers).
  • Arthur Lee Putnam (Alger's pseudonym) was used in this edition for this title.

Ned Newton (hardcover)

American Publishers Corporation, 1894

  • Part of their Berkeley Series.
  • Earliest issue controversial; With Horatio Alger, Jr. byline (Bennett) vs with Arthur Lee Putnam byline (Gardner)

Nelson the Newsboy

The Mershon Company, 1901

  • The first edition does not list the present title on the last page of book advertisements at the rear of the book.
  • Under the Flag of Freedom Series on the third page of rear advertisements, With Custer in the Black Hills must not be listed.
  • This is the fourth title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.

The New School Ma'am (softcover)

A. K. Loring, 1877

  • First edition issued in paper wrappers.  The rear cover contains book advertisements.
  • This title was later re-issued as A Fancy of Hers in Munsey’s Magazine in March 1892.
  • This title was published anonymously.

A New York Boy (softcover)

United States Book Company, 1890

  • First edition contains June 28, 1890 date on the cover (in wrappers).
  • Arthur Lee Putnam (Alger's pseudonym) was used in this edition for this title.

A New York Boy (hardcover)

American Publishers Corporation, 1894

  • Number 30 of their Berkeley Series.
  • Arthur Lee Putnam (Alger's pseudonym) was used in this edition for this title.

Nothing To Do

James French & Co., 1857

  • This book was published anonymously in 1857.
  • Several colors and cloth designs have been noted with no known priority.
  • This book should not be confused with a Wiley & Halsted imprint with the identical title issued the same year.

Number 91 (softcover)

Frank A. Munsey, 1887

  • The first edition has the December, 1887 date on the cover and title page.
  • Bennett states that the first page of book advertisements at the rear of the book lists only the first four numbers of Munsey’s Popular Series and the second page of book advertisements carries an announcement that No. 6, Jack Wheeler will be ready about January 1st. Gardner is silent on this point.
  • Arthur Lee Putnam (Alger's pseudonym) was used in this edition for this title.

Number 91 (hardcover)

John W. Lovell, 1889

  • The first hardcover issue was published by John W. Lovell in the Rugby Edition.
  • Arthur Lee Putnam (Alger's pseudonym) was used in this edition for this title.

The Odds Against Him

The Penn Publishing Company, 1890

  • The first edition has the 1890 date on the title page and is bound in green cloth.

Only an Irish Boy

Porter & Coates, 1894

  • The first edition will show Digging for Gold as the last Alger title available and On the Trail of the Moose last under the listings by Edward Ellis.

Out for Business

The Mershon Company, 1900

  • The first title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.
  • The first edition contains no book advertisements.
  • Gardner states that the first issue was published in brown cloth (rather than the usual green). Bennett states that first edition issued simultaneously in brown and green cloth.

Paul Prescott's Charge

A. K. Loring, 1865

  • The first edition has the 1865 date on the title page and a ruled line above the publisher’s name.
  • Bound in several cloth colors with no known priority.

Paul the Peddler

A. K. Loring, 1871

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  III. Phil, The Fiddler; or, The Young Street Musician. (In April, 1872), IV. Slow and Sure; or, From the Sidewalk to the Shop. (In November, 1872) and IV. Strive and Succeed; or, The Progress of Walter Conrad. (In October, 1872).

Phil the Fiddler

A. K. Loring, 1872

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  IV. Slow and Sure; or, From the Sidewalk to the Shop. (In November, 1872) and IV. Strive and Succeed; or, The Progress of Walter Conrad. (In October, 1872).

Ragged Dick (Bennett)

A. K. Loring, 1868

  • In the first edition, the present title is the only one available under the Ragged Dick Series in the book advertisements at the front of the book.  Volume II (Fame and Fortune) is projected “In December.”
  • Bennett states that the first issue contains three plain border rules on the front cover instead of the usual decorative blind-stamped borders found in later editions.

Ragged Dick (Gardner)

A. K. Loring, 1868

  • In the first edition, the present title is the only one available under the Ragged Dick Series in the book advertisements at the front of the book.  Volume II (Fame and Fortune) is projected “In December.”

Ralph Raymond's Heir (1st softcover under this title)

F. M. Lupton, 1892 (1888)

  • Lacking indication that the Frederick Gleason pamphlet ever existed (see below), Gardner claims that Lupton’s Idle Hour Series No. 11 paper issue published on March 30, 1892, is the acknowledged first edition.
  • Bennett states that the first edition was published by Frederick Gleason in its Pictorial Novelette Series in 1869 in “large pamphlet size.”  Subsequent research by society members have concluded that publication is actually a grouping of four weekly issues of the story that appeared between June 9 through July 10, 1869, in Gleason’s Literary Companion, making this a bound serialization, not a first edition.
  • The first complete appearance is considered the July 28, 1888 issue of F. M. Lupton’s Leisure Hour Library using the subtitle from the original serialization, The Merchant’s Crime, A Novel.  This is an unabridged version of the complete original serialization published independently between its own covers (see separate listing under Merchant's Crime).
  • (Sipes, Newsboy January-February 2010)

Ralph Raymond's Heir (hardcover)

F. M. Lupton, Publisher, 1892

  • The first hardcover edition was published by Lupton in 1892 as part of its Stratford Edition Series.
  • Several cloth covers noted with no known priority.
  • Lupton issued several other hardcover editions with various cover designs.

Randy of the River

Chatterton-Peck Company, 1906

  • The first edition lists the present title as the final entry under The Rise in Life Series at the front of the book.
  • This is the tenth title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.

Risen From the Ranks

A. K. Loring, 1874

  • The first edition lists on the second page of book advertisements at the front of the book: I. Julius, or the Street Boy Out West as the only entry in that series, the present title with no further titles announced in the Second Luck and Pluck Series and I. Bold and Brave; or, The Story of a Factory Boy as the only volume listed in the Bold and Brave Series. Later editions correct this entry to Brave and Bold Series.

Robert Coverdale's Struggle (softcover)

Street & Smith, Publishers, 1910

  • Number 555 from Street & Smith’s New Medal Library Series issued on February 15, 1910 in paper wrappers.
  • The first edition lists on the fifth page of front book advertisements, No. 548, Dick Merriwell’s Threat as the last number in print.  On the next page, Nos. 549 to 552 are announced, “To Be Published in January,” Nos. 553-556, “To Be Published in February,” and further titles are announced in groups of four through 578 in “July.”
  • Gardner is silent on the above advertisements.

A Rolling Stone

Thompson & Thomas, 1902

  • The first edition will contain no type damage to the words on the upper right side of page 43.
  • Later editions indicate type-wear damage to page 43.

Rough and Ready

A. K. Loring, 1869

  • Volume IV from the Ragged Dick Series.
  • The advertisements in the front of the book will list Vol. V (Ben, the Luggage Boy) in “April, 1870” and Vol. VI (Rufus and Rose) in “December, 1870” under the Ragged Dick Series.
  • Only one title from the Luck and Pluck Series will be listed as available at the bottom of the page.

Rufus and Rose

A. K. Loring, 1870

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  III. Strong and Steady; or, Paddle your own Canoe. (In October, 1871), I. Tattered Tom; or, The Story of a Street Arab. (April, 1871) and II. Paul, the Peddler; or, The Adventures of a Young Street Merchant. (In November, 1871).

Rupert's Ambition

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1899

  • First edition has 1899 date on title page.
  • Bennett claims first issue contains three illustrations; later issues have two illustrations.
  • Gardner is silent on number of illustrations.

Sam's Chance

A. K. Loring, 1876

  • The first edition will show under the Second Tattered Tom Series in the front book advertisements: IV. (In April, 1877) and under the Brave and Bold Series, III. Shifting for Himself. (In October, 1876).  Later editions will show one or both titles as being in print (Bennett).
  • Gardner claims that under the Second Tattered Tom Series, Sam’s Chance will be listed as already in print with, below it, only the Roman numeral “IV” with no indication of the next title.  A later edition listed it as “IV. 1879.”  Still later, “IV. The Telegraph Boy. In 1879.”  The Brave and Bold Series will show three volumes as being in print.

Seeking His Fortune

Loring, Publisher 1875

  • On the first page of book ads under the Second Tattered Tom Series, "III." and "IV." are shown with no titles listed.
  • The second page of book ads shows under the Second Luck and Pluck Series "IV. Herbert Carter's Legacy; or, the Inventor's Son, in October."

Shifting for Himself

A. K. Loring, 1876

  • The first edition will show under the Second Tattered Tom Series on the first page of front book advertisements: IV. (In April, 1877) with no further announcement of the next title.  On page 356, Work and Hope; or, Ben Bradford’s Motto is announced as the next volume of the series.  Later editions correct this entry to Wait and Hope; or, Ben Bradford’s Motto (Bennett).
  • Gardner adds that the present title listed as No. III under the Brave and Bold Series with no further titles announced.  Also, on page 15, the letter “u” in “upon” is misprinted upside-down, the word “abundant” is misspelled as “baundant” on page 337 and on page 343, the words “an end” are joined forming “anend.”

Silas Snobden's Office Boy

J. S. Ogilvie & Company, 1899

  • Issued by Ogilvie as No. 181 of its Sunset Series in yellow paper covers.
  • There are no known copies of this issue.
  • Reprinted in hardcover by Doubleday & Company in 1973 (see listing under Modern First Editions).

Sink or Swim

A. K. Loring, 1870

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  III. Strong and Steady; or, Paddle your own Canoe. (In October, 1871), I. Tattered Tom; or, The Story of a Street Arab. (April, 1871) and II. Paul, the Peddler; or, The Adventures of a Young Street Merchant. (In November, 1871).
  • Gardner adds that type “he wanted to come,” at the bottom of page 72 of the first edition will be in perfect condition.  It is slightly damaged in subsequent printings.
  • Bennett adds that there is a single quotation mark after Mark, the Match Boy on the title page.

Slow and Sure

A. K. Loring, 1872

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  I. Julius; or, The Street Boy Out West, - in Nov., ’73, I. Try and Trust; or, The Story of a Bound Boy, - in April ’73 and II. Live and Learn; or, How Harry Walton Rose in the World, - in October, ’73.
  • Gardner adds that the letter “C” in “ETC.” on the title page must be perfect.  All later printings examined show this letter to be damaged.

The Store Boy

Porter & Coates, 1887

  • In the first edition, the final Alger title listed on page six of the rear book advertisements is The Young Circus Rider.
  • The first edition was issued in both brown and gold cloth with no known priority.

Strive and Succeed

A. K. Loring, 1872

  • Volume IV from the Luck and Pluck Series.
  • The advertisements in the front of the book will list under various series, Vol. I (Julius) in “Nov., ’73,” Vol. I (Try and Trust) in “April, ‘73” and Vol. II (Live and Learn) in “October, ’73”.
  • Bennett claims that later issues contained advertisements at the rear of the book.  Gardner states that rear advertisements appear only in the first printing.

Striving for Fortune (softcover)

Street & Smith, 1901

  • Issued as No. 138 in the Medal Library Series in wrappers.
  • Bennett states that the first edition lists No. 140, The Young Burglars, as the last title on the first page of book advertisements at the front of the book.  Another copy indicates No. 133, The Young Yagers, as the last title available.
  • Gardner is silent on the above.
  • Hardcover 1st edition issued as Walter Griffith, see listing below.

Strong and Steady

A. K. Loring, 1871

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  IV. Strive and Succeed; or, The Progress of Walter Conrad. (In October, 1872), III. Phil, The Fiddler; or, The Young Street Musician. (April, 1872). 

Struggling Upward

Porter & Coates, 1890

  • The first edition advertises only books by Harry Castlemon.  Later editions advertise books by other authors (Bennett).
  • The first edition is identified by rough, blue-gray covers (later editions were bound in a smooth, light gray cloth.  Also, the dark brown endpapers were abandoned after the first issue and gray endpapers substituted (Gardner).

 

A B C D E F   |   G H I J K L   |   M N O P Q R S   |   T U V W X Y Z

Tattered Tom

A. K. Loring, 1871

  • The first edition will show under the Luck and Pluck Series in the front book advertisements: III. Strong and Steady; or, Paddle Your Own Canoe. (In October, 1871), under the Tattered Tom Series, I. Tattered Tom; or, The Story of a Street Arab. (April, 1871) and II. Paul, the Peddler; or, The Adventures of a Young Street Merchant. (In November, 1871.) (Bennett).
  • Gardner states that the title, Tattered Tom is shown as available and not with a projected publishing date.

The Telegraph Boy

Loring, Publisher, 1879

  • On the first page of book ads under the Second Tattered Tom Series, "IV." has no title listed.
  • There is no advertisement for books in the Pacific Series (later editions announce this series).

Timothy Crump's Ward

Loring, Publisher, 1866

  • This is not the rarest Alger book, but it may be the most sought-after.
  • The first edition is pictured at left.
  • This title was published anonymously.

Tom Brace (softcover)

Street & Smith, 1901

  • Issued as No. 122 in the Medal Library Series in wrappers.
  • Bennett states that the first edition lists No. 125, The Plant Hunters, as the last title on the first page of book advertisements at the front of the book.
  • Gardner is silent on the above.

Tom Brace (hardcover)

Street & Smith, 1901

  • Issued as part of Street & Smith's Boys' Own Library series.
  • Although Bennett concludes “The first issue has gold lettering on the spine. Later issues have red lettering on the spine,” more recent research into early Street & Smith printings of the Boys' Own Library show that solid-color spine lettering preceded gold lettering. Thus, the first-state Alger titles most likely have red spine lettering. (Gowen, Newsboy September-October 2013).

Tom Temple's Career (softcover)

A. L. Burt, 1888

  • Volume 1, Number 7 of the Boys' Home Library Series.
  • First edition, first issue published in March 1888 in paper wrappers.
  • Publisher's address must be 162 William Street (New York).
  • Advertisements on rear cover must show Number 8 (Tom, The Ready) projected for April 1, Number 9 (The Castaways) projected for May 1 and Number 10 (Captain Kidd's Treasure) projected for June 1 (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on the above advertisements.
  • Several copies noted with no advertisements on rear cover are later issues.

Tom Temple's Career (hardcover)

A. L. Burt, 1888

  • 162 William St., New York (publisher's address)
  • The first edition is identified by an ad for the Boys' Home Library listing 11 titles, of which this is the 7th title listed. (Fez 1.11.07).
  • (Eastlack, Newsboy November-December 2013).

Tom Thatcher's Fortune (softcover)

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1888

  • Volume 1, Number 11 of the Boys' Home Library Series.
  • First edition, first issue published in July 1888 in paper wrappers.
  • Publisher's address must be 56 Beekman Street (New York).
  • Advertisements on rear cover must show Nos. 11, 12 and 13 as being ready on July 1, August 1 and September 1, respectively.
  • Several copies noted with no advertisements on rear cover are later issues.

Tom Thatcher's Fortune (hardcover)

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1888

  • 56 Beekman St., New York (publisher's address)
  • The first edition is identified by an ad for the Boys' Home Series listing 13 titles, of which this is the 11th title listed. (Fez 1.13.11)
  • (Eastlack, Newsboy November-December 2013).

Tom Tracy (softcover)

Frank A. Munsey, 1888

  • No. 10 from Munsey’s Popular Series issued in paper wrappers in May 1888.
  • Bennett states that the first edition lists only the first nine numbers of the series in the book advertisements on the inside rear cover. Gardner is silent on the advertisements.
  • Arthur Lee Putnam (Alger's pseudonym) was used in this edition for this title.

Tom Tracy (hardcover)

John W. Lovell, Publisher, 1890

  • Issued in publisher's Rugby series.
  • Arthur Lee Putnam byline.
  • Note: Munsey's paper wrappers dated 1888.

Tom Turner's Legacy

A. L. Burt, Publisher, 1902

  • In the first edition, the present title is not listed in the book advertisements at the rear of the book.
  • In addition to the above, Gardner states that the publisher’s address in the rear advertisements must be “52-58 Duane Street, New York.”

Tony the Hero

J. S. Ogilvie & Co., 1880

  • The first edition lists on the second page of book ads at the rear of the book only one number of "Ninety-Nine Choice Readings and Recitations" at a price of 10 cents (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on above advertisement.

The Train Boy

G. W. Carleton & Co., 1883

  • The first edition has the MDCCCLXXXIV date on the title page and lists both the Carleton and Street & Smith names on same.  Later editions list only the Carleton names and others list the publication date on two lines instead of one (Bennett).
  • In the rear book advertisements the following titles will be listed as “New:” Chateau D’Or, Madeline, True as Steel, Infelice, A Wronged Wife, Under a Shadow, A Struggle for a Ring, Lost, A Pearle-, Missy and Blossom Bud (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on all of the above.

Try and Trust

A. K. Loring, 1873

  • In the first edition, the following titles are projected in the advertisements in the front of the book:  I. Julius; or, The Street Boy Out West, -in Nov., '73, I. Try and Trust; or, The Story of a Bound Boy, -in May, '73 and II. Live and Learn; or, How Harry Walton Rose in the World, -in October, '73.
  • On page 355, the next volume in the series must be listed as Live and learn; or, How Harry Walton Rose in the World.

Victor Vane

Porter & Coates, 1894

  • In the first edition there will be no advertisements for books by Horatio Alger at the rear of the book.
  • The interlocking “P&C” monogram must appear at the foot of the spine.

Wait and Hope

A. K. Loring, 1877

  • The first edition has under the Second Tattered Tom Series on the first page of advertisements at the front of the book only the Roman numeral, “IV.” with no title announced.  There must be no listing of any titles from the Pacific Series and the type must be broken in the number “159” at the top of that page (Gardner).
  • There are no clues to the first edition in the book advertisements as the identical two pages of ads were also inserted into several later editions.  An examination of type-wear found in later editions is as follows: page 38, line 20, “and”; page 159, page number; page 243, line 1, “S” in “Sam”, line 16, “y” in “satisfactory”, line 20, “d” in “inquired”; page 276, line 19, “k” in “kind”; and, page 287, page number.  The type is perfect in all of the foregoing in the earliest state of the first edition.  Also, the first edition has an incorrectly placed illustration facing page 123 that was corrected to face page 262 in later editions (Bennett).

Wait and Win

A. L. Burt, 1908

  • There are no book advertisements in the first edition.

Walter Griffith (hardcover)

Street & Smith, 1902

  • Issued as part of Street & Smith's Boys' Own Library series.
  • Title page: Striving For Fortune; or, Walter Griffith's Trials and Successes.
  • Although Bennett concludes “The first issue has gold lettering on the spine. Later issues have red lettering on the spine,” more recent research into early Street & Smith printings of the Boys' Own Library show that solid-color spine lettering preceded gold lettering. Thus, the first-state Alger titles most likely have red spine lettering. (Gowen, Newsboy September-October 2013).
  • True first edition is softcover, issued as Striving for Fortune by Street and Smith in 1901 in their Medal Library (No. 138), (see separate listing above)

Walter Sherwood's Probation

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1897

  • The first edition has the 1897 date on the title page and contains no book advertisements at the rear of the book.

The Western Boy

G. W. Carleton & Co., 1878

  • The first edition is pictured at the left.
  • There is no evidence that this book was reissued by Carleton.
  • This book is very rare and very strange. It is published by Carleton in collaboration with Street & Smith, who claim the copyright, but the spine is stamped "American News Co". Numerous errors and poor editing can be found throughout.

The World Before Him

The Penn Publishing Company, 1902

  • The first edition has the MCMII date on the title page and indicates on the copyright page “Published June 27, 1902” (Bennett).
  • The first edition has the MCMII date on the title page and indicates on the copyright page “Published 1902” (Gardner).

The Young Acrobat (softcover)

Frank A. Munsey, 1888

  • The first edition has the March, 1888 date on the cover and the 1888 date on the title page (Bennett).
  • The first edition announces on page 208, No. 9 of this series (Luke Bennett's Hide Out).
  • The present title is the final listing in the book ads on the inside rear cover (Bennett).
  • Gardner is silent on all of the above.

The Young Acrobat (hardcover)

Frank Lovell, 1889

  • The first hardcover issue was published by Frank Lovell in the Rugby Edition.
  • The first state uses Arthur Lee Putnam (Alger's pseudonym) on the title page and cover.
  • The second state reverts to the Alger name (as seen at left).

The Young Adventurer

A. K. Loring, 1878

  • The first edition has under the Second Tattered Tom Series on the third page of advertisements at the front of the book only the Roman numeral, “IV.” with no title announced.  On the last page of text, the next title in the series is announced as The Young Pioneer; or, Tom Nelson in California (Bennett).
  • The first edition must show no listing of any titles from the Pacific Series in the book advertisements.  The frontispiece must show Tom Nelson and his father speaking with Squire Hudson.  In later editions, this illustration has been moved to face page 50 and replaced with the illustration facing page 286 in the first edition (Gardner).

The Young Bank Messenger

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1898

  • The first edition has the 1898 date on the title page.
  • Gardner claims that the last Alger title listed in the rear advertisements is Digging For Gold; Bennett dismisses this claim.

The Young Boatman

The Penn Publishing Company, 1892

  • First edition has 1892 date on title page and contains no book advertisements (Bennett).
  • Gardner states that the first issue contains four pages of book advertisements including one for The Odds Against Him on verso of page 369.

The Young Book Agent

Stitt Publishing Company, 1905

  • The first edition has the 1905 date on the title page and contains no book advertisements.
  • Stitt must appear at the foot of the spine.
  • This is the seventh title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.

Young Captain Jack

The Mershon Company, 1901

  • Bennett states that the first edition contains no book advertisements.
  • Gardner states that the first edition lists Nelson the Newsboy at the top of the listing of books on the copyright page and that there are no Alger book advertisements following the last page of text.
  • This is the third title of the 11 Stratemeyer completions.

The Young Circus Rider

Porter & Coates, 1883

  • The first edition contains no book advertisements (Bennett).
  • Gardner contends that there are eight pages of book advertisements at the rear of the book and that the running heads state “The Star of the Circus.”
  • The first edition was issued in both brown and gold cloth with no known priority.

The Young Explorer

A. K. Loring, 1880

  • Volume 3 from the Pacific Series and final title issued by Loring.
  • Only the first two titles of the Pacific Series are listed in the advertisements in the front on the book.
  • Later issues include this title in the advertisements.

The Young Miner

A. K. Loring, 1879

  • The first edition contains no listing of titles from the Pacific Series in the book advertisements at the front of the book.

The Young Musician

The Penn Publishing Company, 1906

  • The first edition has the MCMVI date on the title page and contains no book advertisements (Bennett).
  • Gardner states additionally that the publisher's monogram at the spine foot must show two "P's" back-to-back with the "Co" superimposed. However, any copy with the Bennett points will also have the back-to-back "P's" on the spine.

The Young Outlaw

A. K. Loring, 1875

  • Volume II from the Second Tattered Tom Series.
  • The first edition will include a full-page advertisement for Seeking His Fortune, and Other Dialogues.
  • The advertisements in the front of the book under the Second Tattered Tom Series will list Vol. III and IV with no titles or projected publishing dates.
  • Under the Second Luck and Pluck Series, Vol. IV (Herbert Carter’s Legacy) will be listed “In October” (Bennett only).
  • Under the Brave and Bold Series, the second title will be listed as “II. ________, in October, 1875” (Bennett and Gardner).

The Young Salesman

Henry T. Coates & Co., 1896

  • There are no book advertisements in the first edition and the title page is not dated.