Edward S. Ellis


Edward Sylvester Ellis (April 11, 1840 – June 20, 1916) was an American author who was born in Ohio and died at Cliff Island, Maine.[1][2]

Edward Sylvester Ellis
Edward Sylvester Ellis.jpg
Born(1840-04-11)April 11, 1840
DiedJune 20, 1916(1916-06-20) (aged 76)
Other namesJames Fenimore Cooper Adams
Captain Bruin Adams
Boynton M. Belknap
J. G. Bethune
Captain Latham C. Carleton
Frank Faulkner
Capt. R. M. Hawthorne
Lieut. Ned Hunter
Charles E. Lasalle
H. R. Millbank
Billex Muller
Lieut. J. H. Randolph
Emerson Rodman
E. A. St. Mox
Seelin Robins
EducationMaster of Arts (Princeton 1877)
Anna M. Deane
(m. 1862⁠–⁠1887)

Clara Spalding Brown
(m. 1900)
Parent(s)Sylvester Ellis
Mary Ellis
Signature of Edward Sylvester Ellis (1840–1916).png
Information sourced from NIU Beadle and Adams Novel Digitization Project[1]

Ellis was a teacher, school administrator, journalist, and the author of hundreds of books and magazine articles[3] that he produced by his name and by a number of pen names. Notable fiction stories by Ellis include The Steam Man of the Prairies[4] and Seth Jones, or the Captives of the Frontier.[5] Internationally, Edward S. Ellis is probably known best for his Deerfoot novels read widely by young boys until the 1950s.

Dime novelsEdit

Seth Jones was the most significant of early dime novels of publishers Beadle and Adams.[6] It is said that Seth Jones was one of Abraham Lincoln's favorite stories.[7] During the mid-1880s, after a fiction-writing career of some thirty years, Ellis eventually began composing more serious works of biography, history, and persuasive writing. Of note was "The Life of Colonel David Crockett", which had the story of Davy Crockett giving a speech usually called "Not Yours To Give". It was a speech in opposition to awarding money to a Navy widow on the grounds that Congress had no Constitutional mandate to give charity. It was said to have been inspired by Crockett's meeting with a Horatio Bunce, a much quoted man in Libertarian circles, but one for whom historical evidence is non-existent.


Besides the one hundred fifty-nine books published by his own name, Ellis' work was published under various pseudonyms, including:[1]

Cover of Seth Jones; or, The Captives of the Frontier by Edward S. Ellis
  • "James Fenimore Cooper Adams" or "Captain Bruin Adams" (68 titles)
  • "Boynton M. Belknap" (9 titles)
  • "J. G. Bethune" (1 title)
  • "Captain Latham C. Carleton" (2 titles)
  • "Frank Faulkner" (1 title)
  • "Capt. R. M. Hawthorne" (4 titles)
  • "Lieut. Ned Hunter" (5 titles)
  • "Lieut. R. H. Jayne" (at least 2 titles in the War Whoop series)[8]
  • "Charles E. Lasalle" (16 titles)
  • "H. R. Millbank" (3 titles)
  • "Billex Muller" (3 titles)
  • "Lieut. J. H. Randolph" (8 titles)
  • "Emerson Rodman" (10 titles)
  • "E. A. St. Mox" (2 titles)
  • "Seelin Robins" (19 titles)

Partial bibliographyEdit

  • Seth Jones, or the Captives of the Frontier (1860)
  • The Steam Man of the Prairies (1868)
  • The Forest Monster (1870)
  • Life and Times of Daniel Boone...with Sketches of Simon Kenton, Lewis Wetzel, and Other Leaders in the Settlement of the West (1884)
  • A Young Hero (1888)
  • The Boy Hunters of Kentucky (1889)
  • On The Trail Of The Moose (1894)
  • Across Texas (1894)
  • The Young Scout (1895)
  • Lost in the Rockies (1898)
  • The Life of Kit Carson; Hunter, Trapper, Guide, Indian Agent, and Colonel U.S.A. (189
  • A Strange Craft And Its Wonderful Voyage (1900)
  • Deerfoot on the Prairies (1905)
  • The Flying Boys in the Sky (1911)
  • The Boy Patrol on Guard (1913)
  • The Dragon of the Skies (1915)
  • The Stories of the Greatest Nations (with Charles Francis Horne) ISBN 4-87187-874-0
  • Spain: The Story of a Great Nation (with Charles Francis Horne) ISBN 4-87187-875-9
  • Russia: The Story of a Great Nation (with Charles Francis Horne) ISBN 4-87187-874-0

Deerfoot seriesEdit

Ellis' best known books follow the adventures of Deerfoot of the Shawnee, a young Native American renowned for his skill with the bow, and his abilities as a runner.[9]

  • Deerfoot in the Forest
  • The Hunters of the Ozark
  • Deerfoot in the Mountains
  • Deerfoot on the Pairies
  • The Camp in the Mountains
  • The Last War Trail

Log Cabin seriesEdit

This series introduces the characters Oskar Relstaub and Jack Carleton. Deerfoot appears in the second and third books.

  • The Lost Trail (1884)[10]
  • Campfire and Wigwam (1885)
  • Footprints in the Forest (1886)[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Ellis, Edward Sylvester". Beadle and Adams Dime Novel Digitization Project. Northern Illinois University. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  2. ^ "Ellis Bio". The Life of Kit Carson. Lost Classics Book Company. Archived from the original on June 10, 1998. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  3. ^ Jayne, R. H. (November 1889). "The Story of Sybrant Quackenboss". Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly. XXVIII (5): 609–611. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  4. ^ Ellis, Edward S. (August 1868). "The Steam Man of the Prairies". Beadle's American Novel. I (45).
  5. ^ Ellis, Edward S. (October 2, 1860). "Seth Jones". Beadle's Dime Novels. I (8).
  6. ^ Columbia Literary History of the United States - 1 p554 Emory, Elliott, Martha Banta, Houston A. Baker - 1988 "It is not insignificant to note, therefore, that while Malaeska is best remembered as the first dime novel, Seth Jones is the far more representative work of the House of Beadle and Adams. Seth Jones has none of Malaeska's moral ambiguities.
  7. ^ Vicki Anderson -The Dime Novel in Children's Literature 2004- Page 104 "Before many years had passed, however, the author of Seth Jones had accomplished the feat which the writers' world used to describe as “getting between boards.” In Seth Jones the Native Americans who capture Ina are Mohawks." ... It is said that Seth Jones was one of Abraham Lincoln's favorite stories."
  8. ^ Mary, Crosson. "The War Whoop Series". Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  9. ^ Ellis, Edward Sylvester (September 28, 2020). The meeting with Deerfoot. ISBN 9781465585349 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Stephens, Charles Asbury (1872). On the Amazons – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Log cabin series".

External linksEdit