Author of Peck's Bad Boy

Author, Politician, Publisher, and Statesman

Kings of the Platform and Pulpit

This 570 page book was edited by Melville D. Landon (pseudonym of Eli Perkins) and highlights vignettes by many of the late 19th century's best known humorists, lecturers, and writers. Mark Twain, Bill Nye, Sam Jones as well as the writings of many others are included in this large volume. George Peck's contributions included a two page "biography and reminisces" as well as an eight page lecture to his "Brother Agriculturists".

Twain was not happy about his unauthorized works appearing in Landon's compilations. A turn of the century lawsuit against Landon for infringement apparently ended in a settlement for the plaintiff Twain.

This book was published by a number of firms including several that were mainly subscription houses. Although the copyright shows Belford, Clarke and Co. 1890, that firm's book has not been seen. The earliest book I have seen was published by F. C. Smedley and Co. It is also an 1890 edition.

Later Saalfield reprinted this book and retitled it American Lecturers and Humorists.

A salesman sample book of this title from The Werner Company is shown below. It shows three different possible covers. The first cover that has the angel with gold gilt decoration has been seen in several colors. All the publishers of this title used these three cover formats.

There is also a fourth cover which is shown below that was published by the Werner and Saalfield Companies.

(Known editions)

F. C. Smedley and Co., Chicago (1890, 1891, 1892, 1893)
Wabash Publishing House, Columbus, Ohio (1890,1891,1892)
J. S. Ziegler and Co., Chicago (1895)
The Werner Co., Chicago (1893, 1895,1896, 1900)
Riverside Publishing Company (1897)
The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio (1901, 1906)

F. C. Smedley and Co., Chicago


Wabash Publishing House, Columbus, Ohio


J. S. Ziegler and Company, Chicago


The Werner Company, Chicago


Riverside Publishing Company, Chicago 1897

Here is salesman's sample for this title. Although it was published by Werner, it appears that the formats were part of all the other publishing house's formats.


Werner/Saalfield Transitional book
This book has a Werner title page but Saalfield is at the base of the spine. This edition was published in 1900. Interestingly it differs from the other copies. It has illustrations on the margin of all the text pages.

As is noted below, this Saalfield copy is cloth bound book with marginal drawings and cost $2.75.

The Saalfield Company, Akron (These editions and prices were also noted in 1899 in Werner ads)
This firm published Kings of the Platform and Pulpit into the teens. Starting with its first publications in 1900 it published six formats.
Three large editions (8 x 10.5) with marginal drawings:
1. Cloth with gold gilt $2.75
2. Half Morocco          $3.50
3. Full Morocco           $5.00

Small editions without the marginal drawings
1. Cloth with gilt      $1.50
2. Half Morocco      $2.00
3. Full Morocco       $2.50

Here is a 1911 ad for the Saalfield edition. Note that by 1911 there was just one format of this title being advertised.


Last Revision: December 21, 2017