New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1904. , 309,  pp. Illus. with 6 b/w plates. Sm. 8vo. Green cloth with gilt titles and blind stamped banjos to front board and spine. First edition. Illus. by Edward Windsor Kemble. A very good bright copy, extremities rubbed, small bump to front corner, owner's signatures (one in year of publication) to free endpapers; leaves crisp and clean, binding strong. Protected in a clear archival jacket. BAL 4950. Item #22822
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), son of ex-slaves, was the first African-American to gain national eminence as a poet. He was a prolific writer of short stories, novels, librettos, plays, songs and essays, employing both standard English and turn-of-the-century black American dialect, which led to his humorous poems gaining great popularity. But despite the title of this work, Dunbar's last collection of stories, written when deteriorating health kept him from writing longer pieces, he left behind the pastoral setting of his earlier stories to focus on the "modern Negro" in the towns and cities of an urbanizing America and its growing African American population (See Jarrett & Morgan's excellent introduction to The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar, 2005). Edward Windsor Kemble (1861-1933), illustrator was a self-taught artist specializing in costume scenes, particularly those of the American Black community; he illustrated Uncle Tom's Cabin, Huck Finn, and other similar works.