This eight volume series is one of three non-fiction series that Abbott wrote for juveniles. The books were copyrighted between 1860 and 1865 and the first edition publisher was Sheldon and Company / Gould and Lincoln (co-publisher). Later a reprint edition was published by Thomas Y. Crowell and Company.

The books were initially 75 cents each. By November, 1863 the books were 85 cents. In August,1864 the Sheldon books were $1.00 each. By December, 1865 the books were each $1.25

There were name changes for several of the books from the time of the original advertisements to the date of actual publication. In addition,  the series was initially going to include 12 titles but when completed it only had eight volumes. The phantom titles are shown below.

There are no dates on the title pages of the Sheldon books so the edition /date  must be determined by the ads listed in the front and back. The Sheldon editions were still being reprinted and sold as a ten dollar set into the late 1870's.

Advertisements for the Sheldon books stressed the inclusion of maps and illustrations by Herrick, Perkins, Parsons, Darley and others.

In 1883 T. Y. Crowell and Company introduced new editions of several Abbott series. The newly named "American Histories for Youth" was published in eight volumes. The books were 12 mo. and were sold as a set at $10.00.

The series: Copyright  
1. Aboriginal America 1860  
2. Discovery of America 1860  
3. Southern Colonies 1860  
4. Northern Colonies 1862  
5. Wars of the Colonies 1863 (First edition back ads say "Now ready for this book" and "ready in August for book #4")
6. Revolt of the Colonies 1864  
7. War of the Revolution 1864 (Front ad in the first edition says "ready in November" for this book)
8. Washington 1865 (First editions lists 8 titles and in back ads "Walter in Constantinople (in press)")

Original advertised names
7. Boston in Seventy-Five
8. New York in Seventy-Six

Phantom titles
9. Carolinas in Seventy-Five
10. Campaign in the Jerseys
11. Burgoyne and Cornwallis
12. Federal Constitution

Sheldon and Company (1860-1870's)

Sheldon and Company was the first of the two publishers of this eight book series. None of the various Sheldon copies have title page dates or addresses. Thus these books can be very difficult to date precisely.

August, 1860

Earliest editions:
Pebbled cloth. (7 x 4.5) The earliest 1860 editions have no ads in the back of the book. Other 1860 copyright books have ads. Determine the date by looking at the back ads of the Walter Series (see below) and the American History Series ads.

First edition-no ads

This is the first edition of Book V-War of the Revolution.
Note that the ad for this series says "Ready in August" for book #4.

Later 1863 edition. Note that the ad for this series in the back of the book says "Now ready" for books #1-5.

Format 2:
1864-late 1860's. This format was a familiar one for Sheldon books of this era. Note the blind stamped front cover with the peripheral decorative chain link pattern. (7 x 4.75)


Format 3:
Late 1860's - Early 1870's. Sheldon books of this era frequently had gold gilt and black on the front covers and spines. (7 x 4.75)


Dating your book:

This can be a very difficult process. Studying the ads as well as the book cover itself can be helpful.
Between 1860 and 1863 the Sheldon books had pebbled cloth covers.

Also look for the Walter's Tour in the East Series in the back ads.
This is a six volume series. Note the dates of these books in the listings. If the Walter in Jerusalem, an 1863 book, is listed in the ads, then the book is not an 1860 book. It is no earlier than an 1863 book.

Walter in Egypt                  1862
Walter in Jerusalem          1863
Walter in the Samaria       1864
Walter in Damascus          1864
Walter in Constantinople  1864
Walter in Athens                1865 (Appreciate that the "coming soon" on this title went on for years in the ads and is not helpful in dating books)


Thomas Y. Crowell and Company

This firm published reprints of all eight books of this series. These were first published in 1883. The books were sold as a ten dollar set. (7.75 x 5). At the end of 1885 a new edition combining the eight titles into four books was published by Crowell. The four books was sold as a set for $6.00.