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Dime Library

By Matthew Kerns

A podcast of dime novel readings. The adventures of Buffalo Bill, Texas Jack, Wild Bill, White Beaver, Diamond Dick, and many more. Tales of western border romance, secret societies, detectives and mysteries, and so much more. These stories were originally printed by publishers like Street & Smith and Beadle's for a nickel or a dime, but you get them for free! Note: These stories were largely written and published in the second half of the 19th century. They are very much products of their time, for better or worse. While their themes and characters have often aged well, other aspects have not. I am reading these stories as written, rather than changing or omitting words, phrases, or characterizations that might strike a modern audience as racist. In the story Texas Jack, The Prairie Rattler by Buffalo Bill Cody, a character named Ebony is referred to as a negro often, and at least once by a worse racial epitaph by an antagonist. Omitting these references would be disingenuous, but would also do a disservice to the story and its writer, who portrays Texas Jack—a former Confederate scout and the son of a southern slave owner—as the friend and companion of this black character. These men were absolutely products of their time, but that time was one of immense change and progress, and within that context, men like John Omohundro and William Cody would prove to be incredibly progressive.

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