The Young Nimrods by Thomas W. Knox

The Young Nimrods is a two book series written by Thomas W. Knox (1835-1896) and published by Harper and Brothers. In many ads the books are noted as Part I and Part II in the Hunting Adventures on Land and Sea. Strictly speaking these books are less travelogues and more natural history but they are included on the site anyway.

The books are similar to the Boy Travellers' Series (Which Knox also wrote) in that they follow the adventures of two boys, in this instance, George and Harry. "In North America finds the boys traveling from the Atlantic to the Pacific learning about natural history and their surroundings.

1. The Young Nimrods in North America 1881
2. The Young Nimrods Around the World 1882

Knox was quite a traveller himself. Initially his vocation was as a school teacher/principal in Kingston, New Hampshire. After two years he quit and moved to Colorado to "dig for gold". Later he worked as a writer for two local newspapers - Rocky Mountain News and the Western Mountaineer.

At the beginning of the Civil War he joined the California National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel but was injured at a battle in Missouri.

After the war as an employee of the Russo-American Telegraph Company he went to Northern Asia on an expedition that was laying telegraph lines.

He embarked on a world tour in 1877. He visited with the King of Siam during that trip. He developed a relationship with the King that resulted in Knox' teaching the methods of American education to the King.

The first book of this series, The Young Nimrods in North America (1881) was written to expose boys to "the ways of the hunter's life". This oversized book (9" x 7") is bound in cloth with a book appropriate picture on the cover with gold gilt lettering.

The second book is The Young Nimrods Around the World (9"x7") (1882). This book is designed to teach youngsters about natural history. In this book however the setting is the world not just North America.

The first editions of these titles have the publication date 1881 and 1882 respectively below the imprint on the title page. Other editions are undated. Multiple cover covers have been seen. They were priced at $2.50.

Each volume has numerous line drawn illustrations by many different artists. A few of the pictures were drawn specifically for these books but most were not.

These books were written contemporaneously with the Boy Travellers' Series but clearly were not as popular as noted by the short series length.

Of interest, the word "nimrod" is defined as a skillful hunter in a humorous vein. I can honestly say I have never used this word or heard it used in conversation. Must be a 19th century thing.

Volume 1


Volume 2