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The Arkansas Regulators

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Volume 5

Transatlantic Perspectives

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The Arkansas Regulators

Friedrich Gerstäcker
Translated and edited by Charles Adams and Christoph Irmscher

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426 pages, 11 illus., bibliog.

ISBN  978-1-78920-137-6 25% OFF! $140.00/£100.00 $105.00/£75.00 Hb Published (January 2019)

ISBN  978-1-78920-212-0 25% OFF! $24.95/£17.00 $18.71/£12.75 Pb Published (January 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-138-3 eBook

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“Americans are often amazed and amused at the fascination and enthusiasm Germans have long brought to tales of the American West. It is an enthusiasm, rooted in the real and imagined, that stretches back across nearly two centuries. It’s alive today. Now comes the delightful story of The Arkansas Regulators – translated in its entirety into lively English for the first time since its publication in 1846. This is Friedrich Gerstäcker's celebrated yarn of the frontier, the granddaddy of German novels about the Old West, a picaresque tale that will surely satisfy scholars and charm lay readers.” • Christopher Corbett, author of Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express

“An accurate, full-length translation of this text has been needed for many years, and it is exciting that Friedrich Gerstäcker’s work is being made available to an English readership.” • Kathleen Condray, University of Arkansas

“This is a solid piece of scholarship and an excellent translation. Irmscher and Adams deserve praise for their historical thoroughness and rediscovery of Gerstäcker's American legacy.” • Wolfgang Hochbruck, University of Freiburg


The Arkansas Regulators is a rousing tale of frontier adventure, first published in German in 1846, but virtually lost to English readers for well over a century. Written in the tradition of James Fenimore Cooper, but offering a much darker and more violent image of the American frontier, this was the first novel produced by Friedrich Gerstäcker, who would go on to become one of Germany’s most famous and prolific authors. A crucial piece of a nineteenth-century transatlantic literary tradition, this long-awaited translation and scholarly edition of the novel offers a startling revision of the frontier myth from a European perspective.

Charles Adams is Professor of English and Dean of the Honors College at the University of South Florida. He specializes in Early American Literature with interests in Native American, African American, and world literatures. In addition to numerous essays and reviews, he has published two books: The Guardian of the Law: Authority and Identity in James Fenimore Cooper (1990) and a critical edition of The Narrative of Robert Adams: A Barbary Captive (2005).

Christoph Irmscher is Provost Professor of English at Indiana University and the George F. Getz Jr. Professor in Indiana University’s Wells Scholars Program, which he also directs. His many publications include Longfellow Redux (2006), Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science (2013), and Max Eastman: A Life (2017).

Related Link: For additional documents, images, and commentary related to The Arkansas Regulators, please visit Christoph Irmscher’s blog.
Subject: 18th/19th Century History General Cultural Studies
Area: North America


List of Illustrations
A Note about the Text
List of Abbreviations



Chapter 1. The Reader Makes the Acquaintance of Four Worthy Fellows and Learns More about Their Circumstances
Chapter 2. Several New Persons Make Their Appearance on the Stage: Wonderful Hunting Adventure of “The Little Man”
Chapter 3. The Indian and the Methodist – An Invitation to a Wedding
Chapter 4. The Regulators – Squabble and Struggle
Chapter 5. Brown and Marion
Chapter 6. Bear Baiting – The Strange Discovery – The Indian’s Ingenuity
Chapter 7. Two Genuine Backwoodsmen – Bahrens’ and Harper’s Stories
Chapter 8. Morning in the Log Cabin – Searching for the Traces of Blood Found the Previous Evening – Assowaum Dives for the Corpse
Chapter 9. The Gang of Four Negotiates a Business Matter – Rowson’s Righteous Indignation at the Murder, and Marion’s Weakness
Chapter 10. The Sheriff’s Election in Pettyville – A Lack of Rosin The Pursuers Are on the Trail
Chapter 11. Assowaum, the “Feathered Arrow,” and His Squaw – Weston and Cotton Await Impatiently Their Comrades
Chapter 12. The Horse Thieves’ Trick – The Surprise – Alapaha and Rowson
Chapter 13. The Preacher Unmasked by the Indian Woman – The Successful Escape
Chapter 14. Brown on His Way Home – The Mysterious Meeting – The Indian – The Old Farmer – A Canoe Trip
Chapter 15. The Prayer Meeting – The Terrible Message
Chapter 16. The Deathwatch
Chapter 17. The Burial of the Indian Woman
Chapter 18. Roberts’ Adventure on the Panther Hunt. – The Water Party
Chapter 19. Harper’s Dwelling – Cook’s Account of the Pursuit of the Horse Thieves – Harper’s and Bahrens’ Wonderful Tales
Chapter 20. Rowson at Roberts’ – Assowaum
Chapter 21. Wilson’s Confessions – The Beautiful Washerwoman – An Arkansas Cradle – The Retreat
Chapter 22. Atkins’ Dwelling – The Strange Visit – The Password
Chapter 23. A Gang of Criminals – Unexpected Guests – The New Scheme
Chapter 24. The Pioneer Family – The New Regulator Sets a Trap for Himself
Chapter 25. Harper and Marion – Ellen’s Arrival at Roberts’
Chapter 26. The Regulators’ Meeting – Jones Finds Himself in a Most Unpleasant Position – Cunning versus Cunning
Chapter 27. The Return from the Meeting
Chapter 28. The Indian on Johnson’s Trail
Chapter 29. Rowson at Roberts’ – The Turkey Hunt – Ellen and Marion
Chapter 30. The Ambush
Chapter 31. The Company of Ladies – Account of Various Children’s Illnesses, Related for the Consolation of the Mother – The Surprise
Chapter 32. The Cross Oak
Chapter 33. The Criminal Unmasked
Chapter 34. The Siege
Chapter 35. Ruse and Counter-Ruse – The Assault – Indian and Methodist
Chapter 36. The Court of the Regulators
Chapter 37. Roberts’ House
Chapter 38. The Revenge of the “Feathered Arrow”
Chapter 39. Coda

Selected Bibliography

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