Sunday, July 24, 2016

WF (Western Fictioneers) Peacemaker Award Submissions

Submissions for the 7th Annual WF Peacemaker Awards are now being accepted for works published in the year 2016.


First time in print must be between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, no reprints.  Limit of 2 entries per category.

Books and short stories may be published in any country in the world (submissions must be in English) in print or electronic format. Electronic submissions must be made with Kindle/mobi or Word/text files. WF reserves the right to decline any submission for consideration of an Award.

Authors, agents, or publishers may submit a work for consideration of an Award.

At least three entrants in a category must be received during the submission period for an Award to be presented.

Novels and short stories must be set in the time period between 1830-1920 to be considered Westerns under WF guidelines. Time periods beyond the 1830-1920 traditional western focus may be included in submissions as long as the periods outside of the 1830-1920 span constitute no more than 50% of the story. At least 50% of the story MUST TAKE PLACE in the 1830-1920 period. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Nominees for the WF Peacemaker Award will be announced on 05/15/2016 and the winners will be announced on 06/15/2016.

The WF Peacemaker Award will be awarded in four categories:

Best Western Novel – Any novel published during the award year set in the appropriate time period (1830-1920), 30,000 words and higher. There are no format requirements. The novel may be a hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, or eBook.

Best Western YA/Children Fiction– Any fiction written for ages 1-17 published during the award year set in the appropriate time period (1830-1920). May be a hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, or eBook.

Best Western Short Fiction – Any short story, novelette, or novella published during the award year set in the appropriate time period (1830-1920), 500 words to 29,999 words. There are no format requirements. The short story may be published in any publication, print or electronic.

Best Western First Novel – Must meet the same requirements as Best Novel, and must be the author’s first published Western novel. If the author has published novels in any other genre they will not disqualify the author from the Best Western First Novel Award competition. Submissions for Best Western First Novel may also be submitted in the Best Novel category in the same year.


If sending print form, one copy of the work must be sent to each judge (3 per category), and the Awards Chair accompanied with the appropriate form. Electronic versions should be emailed to the Awards Chair with the appropriate submission form. The electronic submissions will be distributed to the judges by the Awards Chair. All entries must be postmarked or received via email by midnight, CST, January 15, 2016. Judges should not be contacted by any entrant concerning their entry during the consideration period. Doing so may result in disqualification of eligibility for the WF Peacemaker Award. Works submitted will not be returned after the awards have been announced. There is no fee to enter. There will be no exceptions made to the submission procedures, for any reason.

Links to forms to include are at the bottom of the list of judges. You will need 4 copies for each printed entry, one for each judge and one for the Awards Chair. (Two of the judges in BEST WESTERN YA/CHILDREN'S FICTION are not in the United States and prefer electronic copies. Those should be sent to Kathleen Rice Adams, who will forward them to the judges.)

Awards Chair: Kathleen Rice Adams
3128 Ave. P
Galveston, TX 77550

Peacemaker Awards 2017 Judges and Forms can be found on the WF Website.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

East Meets Western: Cowboys, Samurai, and Shaolin Monks

by Troy D. Smith

If you've been watching the AMC western about the transcontinental railroad, Hell on Wheels (which is ending its five-year run next week), you know that for the past couple of seasons the Chinese workers have been a heavy focus. Only fans of the Western Fictioneers novel series Wolf Creek would notice that many of the subplots, such as the Chinese criminal kingpin Chang and his importing "hatchet-men" from San Francisco, appeared in that series first. Both series, though, are part of a long tradition of bringing the East to Westerns.

That tradition started in a big way in the 1960s and flourished in the 1970s. Before that, the only time you saw Asians in westerns was as servants, most notably the caricature Hop Sing as the family cook on Bonanza (1959-1963). Also notable was Paladin's unfortunately named hotel clerk Hey Boy in Have Gun Will Travel (1957-1963). That show, which featured writing by Gene Roddenberry and was generally more progressive than many westerns, also featured a character named Hey Girl. It did occasionally go beyond the stereotypes and show some elements of the Chinese characters' culture.

But the real East-West conduit was the Japanese director Akira Kurasawa. Chanbara, or sword-fighting films, became extremely popular in Japan after WWII and into the 1970s (oddly enough, also the golden age of the Hollywood western). Kurasawa's chanbara became popular in Europe and the U.S. as well, in part because his style -heavily influenced by American director John Ford -translated well to western audiences. Several of his movies -which often starred Toshiro Mifune -were re-interpreted as westerns: The Seven Samurai (1954) became The Magnificent Seven (1960); Yojimbo (1961) became A Fistful of Dollars (1964); and, less successfully, Rashomon (1950) became The Outrage (1964) -which probably flopped due to the very questionable casting of Paul Newman as a Mexican bandit (!)

Kurasawa's chanbara and westerns had a circular relationship. The samurai movies appealed to American audiences because they felt like westerns; they felt like westerns because Kurasawa was influenced by John Ford; Kurasawa modeled his samurai movies on John Ford westerns because he recognized the cultural similarities.

What similarities? Both these archetypal national heroes -the cowboy and the samurai -can be viewed as representing a romanticized lost way of life, and perhaps a lost attachment to honor. A common theme for both is that they are men out of time, holdovers in a changing world.

These two worlds crossed over in the ultimate way in the 1971 film Red Sun. In the movie, a samurai (Toshiro Mifune) teams up with a gunslinger (Charles Bronson) in the Old West. Unlike previous westerns, Mifune -an international action movie star -is an Asian presented as a capable and sympathetic hero, equal even to the gunslinging cowboy.

It was the popularity of foreign martial arts films which would also bring the Chinese action hero to the western. Kung Fu movies from Hong Kong, dubbed into English, became all the rage in the early '70s -especially those starring Bruce Lee, whose previous American claim to fame was playing Kato on the Green Hornet TV show. He rocketed to international fame with 1973's Enter the Dragon, a joint Hong Kong-American production (he had starred in several Hong Kong productions after his stint on American television.)

But Lee's career trajectory was almost different. In a 1971 TV interview, he talked about pitching an idea to Warner Brothers for a TV series about a Chinese martial artist in the Old West. Such a series was in fact developed -Kung Fu (1972-1975) -with Lee in mind for the lead role, a Shaolin monk named Kwai Chang Caine wandering the West looking for his long-lost American father. In one of the most famous bad decisions of all time, producers decided that Bruce Lee (not yet a superstar) looked too Chinese for the part, and went with David Carradine instead. The show was a huge hit- but what if! {Note: multiple sources tell me this is actually a persistent Hollywood myth, and Lee was not considered- his proposal, The Warrior, was never picked up. But we can engage in wishful thinking! What if Lee's proposed series had been picked up after all?}

Martial arts came to the big-screen western in the 1974 Spanish-Hong Kong production The Stranger and the Gunfighter, starring Lee Van Cleef and Lo Lieh (at the time one of the major Hong Kong action stars). This "spaghetti western" was produced by the Shaw Brothers, who were titans in the Hong Kong martial arts film industry.

Matthew Baugh helpfully provided this LINK to spaghetti eastern westerns... there were a lot more than I imagined.

Since then, the Easterner in the West -as a hero, though usually teamed with an American cowboy -has become fairly common in various media. In the 1980s there was an adult western series, Lonestar, which teamed a voluptuous cowgirl named Jessie with a Japanese martial artist named Ki. In the mid-90s Marvel Comics had a miniseries called Sunset Riders, which had perennial Marvel western masked man the Two-Gun Kid leading a diverse group that included a samurai named Hijiro Nguri. The early 2000s saw Shanghai Noon and its sequel Shanghai Knights, comedy-action westerns with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson as the kung fu master and the gunfighter.

Richard Prosch informs me there was a short-lived adult western series in the 70s, predating Lone Star, called Sloane. By short-lived, only two volumes, but it was apparently memorable. You can read all about it HERE .

Matthew Baugh reminded me of several 1960s TV shows that had episodes featuring Asian themes/guest stars, including The Rifleman ("The Sixteenth Cousin", 1963), Wanted: Dead or Alive ("Black Belt", 1960), and the over-the-top western comedy F Troop ("From Karate with Love", 1967).


 Here are some more TV episodes:

Wagon Train ("The Sakae Ito Story", 1958)
Laramie ("Dragon at the Door", 1961)
Bonanza ("Day of the Dragon", 1961)
Cheyennne ("Pocketful of Stars", 1962)
Rawhide ("Night of the Geisha", 1963)

In The Wild, Wild West, secret service agent Jim West was trained in the martial arts in Japan and China. There were several Asian-themed episodes, including "The Night the Dragon Screamed" (1966), "The Night of the Samurai" (1967), "The Night of the Camera" (1968), and "The Night of the Pelican" (1968).

I find it interesting that all those TV episodes are from the 1960s (and in one case the late 50s), and almost all of them are focused on Japanese rather than Chinese characters. This is probably a reflection of the growing popularity of Kurasawa samurai movies in the 50s and 60s and the fact kung fu movies had not yet arrived on U.S. shores from Hong Kong.

Similar to the comic book Sunset Riders of two decades ago, the upcoming remake of The Magnificent Seven will have a more diverse group of heroes than one finds in older westerns. This includes South Korean actor Byung-hun Lee as the assassin Billy Rocks. Lee previously played an assassin in the 2008 South Korean film The Good, the Bad, the Weird, a kinda-western remake of the Sergio Leone classic The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly set in the Manchurian desert in 1939 (Lee took the Lee Van Cleef role as "The Bad."

In recent years Eastern Westerns have been coming out of the East. In 2007 Japanese director Takashi Miike (who has made his share of classic samurai movies in recent years) gave us Sukiyaki Western Django, a pastiche homage to various conventions in both genres. 2010 saw Jang Dong-gun in the New Zealand-South Korean western The Warrior's Way, which co-starred Geoffrey Rush.

In a more serious vein, there have been two well-received movies -one on the big-screen and one on cable -about Chinese women being sold as sex-slaves in the mining camps of the American West. 1991's Thousand Pieces of Gold follows the experience of Lalu (Rosalind Chao) in Idaho, and her efforts to raise the $1,000 price of her freedom. In 2006 AMC aired the mini-series Broken Trail, in which an aging cattleman and his nephew (Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church) risk everything to rescue and protect a group of Chinese women imported to be sold as prostitutes. The production won the Emmy for best mini-series or TV movie, and Duvall and Church both won Emmies for their performance (best lead actor and best supporting actor.)

This theme, also, has been a major subplot in the last season of Hell on Wheels, as hero Cullen Bohannon falls in love with a Chinese woman named Mei who is in hiding as a boy because the villainous Chang "owns" her and wants to force her into prostitution. It is also worth noting that the wife and lost love of the DC western hero Jonah Hex was a Chinese woman named Mei Ling, introduced in 1979 in the story "Massacre of the Celestials" (Jonah Hex #23). Speaking of the western slang-term Celestial, we should note the focus on Chinese in a mining community in HBO's Deadwood (most notably Wu, who could rival Ian McShane's Al Swearengen in villainy.)

Clearly, the day of Asians appearing in westerns only in menial and demeaning, unsympathetic roles is past. Their appearance as either heroes or fully developed supporting characters (or even villains) is no longer out-of-the-ordinary.

A final note: I'm sure I missed some, so if you think of any other examples please let me know!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Illustrators and writers, especially those new to the craft, found plenty of work between 1920 and 1950 when hundreds of inexpensive fiction publications—commonly referred as "Dime Westerns"— flooded the American market.

To satisfy the appetite for these magazines, covers and thousand of inside pages needed art and written story lines, produced in assembly-line fashion on a weekly or monthly basis.

The pulp magazines, which sold for between a dime and 25 cents, measured six-by-nine inches in size and were made of cheap wood pulp paper, which made the manufacturing process economical. 

The 32-page Dime Western novels were popular. Distribution averaged in the tens of millions. 

The pulps featured a broad range of genres: detective stories, science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, gangster, war, mysteries, and sports—all usually featuring memorable main characters.

The most popular pulp themes centered around cowboys and Indians and the Wild West.

According to The Pulp Magazine Projectthe inaugural issue of the first all-western pulp appeared on newsstands July 12, 1919—Street and Smith's Western Story Magazine.

Hundreds of writers wrote for the magazine, which enjoyed thirty straight years of publication promising "Big Clean Stories of Outdoor Life." 
Pulps attracted prolific writers who sometimes two or more stories for the same issue.

Frederick Faust, also known as Max Brand, ranked among the most versatile of the writers. He sometimes wrote as many as three stories for a single issue but under different pen names.

Others included Paul S. Powers, who wrote for a variety of magazines, including Wild West Weekly, Thrilling Ranch Stories, Exciting Western, and others.

Laurie Powers, his granddaughter, discovered six stories never before published and included them in a book she edited, called Riding the Pulp Trail, Altus Press (2011) and consists of twelve Paul Powers stories.

Several legendary literary figures got their start and polished their writing craft in pulp magazines. Among them: Louis L'Amour, Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Mary Rinehart.

At the same time, plenty of no-name writers logged grueling hours for paltry wages—no more than a penny a word—to meet the production demands of pulp magazines. 

John Dinan, who authored, The Pulp Western: A Popular History of the Western Fiction Magazine of America, wrote, "The art of the ballyhoo may not have been invented by dime-novel writers, but they certainly raised it to new heights."

Among the hundreds of publications, Western pulp fiction appeared in such magazines as:

  • The Black Mask
  • Crackshot Western
  • Argosy Weekly
  • Dime Western Magazine
  • Indian Stories
  • Masked Rider Western
  • Outlaws West
  • Quick Trigger Western
  • Spicy Western Stories
  • Texas Rangers
  • Lariat Story Magazine 

Changing market factors accelerated the decline of pulp fiction magazines.

By the 1930s, more than a thousand different pulp titles were in circulation. With the need to print so many publications, the industry got hit hard by paper shortages after World War II.

Some publishers, to trim expenses and keep pace, switched to digest-size formats that were cheaper to produce.

Declining popularity, however, proved an insurmountable problem. 
The public began turning from pulp to other forms of entertainment, such as comic books, paperbacks, and radio.

Television drove the deepest nail into the pulp fiction coffin. Post-war sales of RCA television sets skyrocketed and helped accelerate the demise of the pulps.

At the same time, talented writers discovered they could make much more money by writing novels and having them serialized.

Pulp Westerns proved an entertaining channel of storytelling while it lasted, and gave new writers and artists an unparalleled training ground.

Frank Munsey, an American newspaper and magazine publisher who launched the first ten-cent periodical in 1889, once wrote: 

"The story is worth more 
than the paper it is printed on."


Tom Rizzo invites you to “Discover the Historical West” and read about characters and events that shaped the American frontier. Join the StoryTeller Posse and receive occasional dispatches from the High Plains and beyond.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Time for a Tonic

Everybody "knew" that you needed a good tonic now and then to keep your body working properly. Here are some elixirs "good for what ails you" that your characters might have tried. When possible, I've included ingredients, prices, and the approximate dates the brands were on the market. I've also given some of the advertisements that promised their tonic would cure ... well, basically everything.

    Old Dr. Townsend’s Sarsaparilla; 1850-1875, sarsaparilla, molasses, senna and 18-25 proof alcohol (“the most extraordinary medicine in the world”) claimed to purify the blood and cure rheumatism, pimples, spinal issues, eye sores, ringworm and dyspepsia
    Turlington’s Balsam of Life (27 ingredients, good for “kidney and bladder stones, cholic, and inward weakness”)
    Dr. Walker’s California Vinegar Bitters: 1861, various herbs, fermented, possibly sour beer and aloes
    Mrs. N. Bailey’s Cascarilla Compound; 1870's (“The best Spring medicine of the age” “has cured thousands within the last fifteen years of coughs, colds, dyspepsia, salt rheum, dropsy, canker, piles, and many other diseases resulting from a vitiated state of the blood.”) $1.00 a bottle
    Ellis’s Iron Bitters: ca 1869 (“will enrich the blood and prevent it from becoming watery and weak, give a healthy complexion, restore the appetite, invigorate the system and are very palatable. These bitters are recommended to all persons requiring a safe and valuable tonic, to impart tone and strength to the system, not given by Bitters merely stimulant in their effects; which, although they may possess tonic vegetable properties, cannot give the strength to the blood which the Iron Bitters will give”)
    Peruvian Syrup: 1860s (“strikes at the root of disease by supplying the blood with its vital principle of life element - iron. For all diseases originating in dyspepsia, or a bad state of the blood, it is a specific”)
    Dr. J.W. Poland’s Humor-Doctor; 1860’s-1870s ”A positive remedy for all kinds of humors, scrofula, scurvy, salt rheum, erysipelas, nettle rash, boils, carbuncles, ulcers and all obstinate affections of the skin; mercurial diseases and every taint of the system; dyspepsia and those diseases originating in the derangement of the digestive organs; viz. Bilious complaints, neuralgia, nervous affections, headache, languor, loss of appetite, depression of spirits and costiveness” “An invaluable medicine for purifying the blood")  
    Dr. E.C. West’s Nerve and Brain Treatment: 1870-1906 (“For hysteria, dizziness, convulsions, fits, nervous neuralgia, headache, nervous prostration caused by the use of alcohol or tobacco, wakefulness, mental depression, loss of memory, softening of the brain resulting in insanity, premature old age, barrenness, loss of power in either sex, involuntary emissions and spermatorrhoea caused by over exertion of the brain, self abuse or over indulgence”) “Each box contains 1 month’s treatment. $1.00 a box or 6 boxes for 3.00. By mail"
    Dr. J Walker’s Vinegar Bitters: 1870-1890 (“Dyspepsia, indigestion, rheumatism, diarrhea, consumption, catarrh, bronchitis, neuralgia, headache, boils, ulcers, sore eyes, dropsy, scald head, paralysis, erysipelas, scrofula, tetter, skin diseases, bilious, remittent and intermittent fevers, pains in the back, shoulders, heart and chest, liver and kidney troubles, stomach ache, jaundice, gout and fits, colds and coughs, croup, palpitation of the heart, lead colic, nausea, biliousness, constipation, piles, worms” “A purely vegetable preparation manufactured from the Native Herbs of California. The great blood purifier and life-giving principle. Their alternative, solvent, diuretic and tonic properties exceed any medicine in the world.”) Directions: Take of the Bitters on going to bed at night from a half to one and one-half wineglassful. Eat good nourishing food such as beef-steak, mutton chop, venison, roast beef and vegetables, and take outdoor exercise. They are composed of purely vegetable ingredients and contain no spirit.
    Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters: 1870 (“These bitters prepared of pure old Bourbon Whiskey and possess all of its stimulating tonic and medicinal power. Modified and improved in its action on the system by the addition of many simple alternative and bitter tonics making them invaluable. A remedy in the treatment of lung complaints, bronchitis, dyspepsia, liver complaints and general debility and weakness of the system”) Directions: A wine glassful should be taken before each meal. Ladies and children should begin with less quantity and increase. As an agreeable stomachic these bitters are unsurpassed.
    Hollis Jaundice Bitters: 1862-1871/ Newton’s Jaundice Bitters: 1875-1883 (“Are good in all bilious affectations, jaundice, dyspepsia, fever and ague, hypochondria, hysterics, flatulence, costitiveness, diarrhea, indigestion, asthma, worms, catarrh, sick headache and the liver complaint”)  
    Dr. Sawen’s Life Invigorating Bitters: 1870-1885 (“Dyspeptic remedy and blood purifyer. A great tonic acting upon the stomach and liver correcting the secretions and providing a certain remedy for dyspepsia, liver complaints, biliousness, nervous debility, loss of appetite and all other diseases requiring a tonic”)
    Moses Dame’s Wine of the Woods: 1872-1883 (“Remedy for dyspepsia, biliousness, costiveness, headache, worms, jaundice, liver complaint, debility, loss of energy, feebleness and all other diseases arising from derangement of the stomach, liver or blood”)
    Renne’s Magic Oil: before 1877 (“Colic, cholera mores, cramps and pain in the stomach, cholera, coughs, colds, croups, sore throat, dyspepsia, diarrhea, fever and ague, kidney difficulty, pleurisy, acid stomach, indigestion, headache, sea-sickness, rheumatism, neuralgia, sprains, lameness, sciatica, toothache, earache, catarrh, frost bites”)
    Alexander's Liver and Kidney Tonic: 1890-1906 ("Neuralgic or rheumatic pains in the back, side or limbs, sick headache, liver complaint, kidney affections, dyspepsia, jaundice, loss of appetite, debility, giddiness, nervous diseases, weakness, and complaints peculiar to females, and all diseases arising from a disordered stomach or liver.") $1.00
    Metcalf’s Coca Wine (“A pleasant tonic and invigorator” “For fatigue of mind or body” “From fresh coca leaves and the purest wine” “Recommended for neuralgia, sleeplessness, despondency, etc.”)  
    Vin Mariani (“Popular French tonic wine” “Diffusible stimulant and tonic in anaemia, nervous depression, sequelae of childbirth, lymphatism, tardy convalescence, general malaise, and after wasting fevers; special reference to the nervous system, in all morbid states, melancholia etc.; tonic in laryngeal and gastric complications, stomach troubles; all cases where a general toning or strengthening of the system is needed; the only tonic stimulant without any unpleasant reaction, and may be given indefinitely, never causing constipation”) coca leaves in red bordeaux wine; a proper dose was two the three glassfuls per day, taken before or after meals (halved for children).
       Dr. Pierce's Alterative Extract or Golden Medical Discovery: 1890-1906 gentian root, Oregon grape root, Bloodroot, Cherry bark, Queen's Root, Stone Root, Sacred Bark ("For the cure of all severe, chronic or lingering coughs, bronchitis, laryngitis, weak lungs, bleeding from lungs, public speaker's sore throat, hoarseness and suppression or loss of voice. A remedy for torpor of liver (generally termed 'liver complaint' or 'biliousness') and for habitual constipation of the bowels. For loss of appetite, indigestion and dyspepsia, and for general nervous disability or prostration, in either sex. An alterative, or blood purifier; valuable in all forms of scrofulous and other blood diseases. For skin diseases, eruptions, pimples, rashes and blotches, boils, ulcers, sores, and swellings arising from impure blood.") Tablets 50 cents, Liquid $1.00
       Hoff's Malt Extract (Tarrant's): 1894-1906 ("A dietic and healing remedy recommended by European physicians for complaints of the chest and stomach, dyspepsia, obstinate cough, hoarseness, etc. and especially constipation; also a pleasant table beverage.")
       Mormon Elders' Damiana Wafers: 1882-1905 ("For strengthening the brain, nerves, and sexual organs. A cure for dyspepsia. A remedy for malaria." "The most powerful invigorant ever produced. Permanently restores those weakened by early indiscretions. Imparts youthful vigor, restores vitality, strengthens and invigorates the brain and nerves. A positive cure for impotency and nervous debility. Prompt, safe and sure.") $1.00  
       Atwood's Bitters: 1891-1895 ("Temporary constipation, gas in the stomach, sour stomach and flatulence.")
       Botanic Nerve Bitters: 1895-1906 ("Cure of kidney, liver, blood and nerve diseases, and their kindred complaints, such as dropsy, nervous prostration, debility, human decay, loss of energy, mental and physical weakness, overworked brain, defective memory, dimness of sight, pain in side, liver complaint, lame back, cloudy urine, losses and escapes, costiveness, dyspepsia, headache, pimples on face, night sweats, consumptive decline, weakness arising from abuse or overwork, impotence, aversion to society, unfitness to marry, melancholy, restlessness, loss of spirits.") 50 cents
       Dr. M.C. Kreitzer's German Stomach Bitters: 1898-1902 ("For the permanent cure of liver complaint, jaundice, dyspepsia, nervous debility, asthma, disease of the kidneys, and all diseases arising from a disordered liver or stomach.") 75 cents
       Dr. Petzold's Genuine German Bitters: 1884-1906 ("As a tonic and for weakness, indigestion, dyspepsia, nervousness, sick stomach, general debility, nausea, dysentery, biliousness, asthma, ague and fever, and all other malarious diseases. For sudden attacks of cramps, cholera, colic, diarrhea and cholora morbus. For loss of appetite.")
       Kickapoo Indian Sagwa Renovator; 1881-1906, alcohol and opium? ("Cures dyspepsia, sick headache, loss of appetite, heartburn, depression, neuralgia, female disorders, liver complaint, constipation, indigestion, rheumatism, impure blood, jaundice, bilious attacks, fever and ague, and all diseases of the stomach, liver, kidneys and the blood.")   
       Dr. J. Walker's California Vinegar Bitters: after 1886 ("The great blood purifier and life-giving principle. A remedy for dyspepsia, indigestion, rheumatism, diarrhea, consumption, catarrh, bronchitis, neuralgia, headache, boils and ulcers, sore eyes, dropsy, scald head, paralysis, erysipelas, scrofula, tetter, skin diseases, bilious, remittent and intermittent fevers, pains in the back, shoulders, heart and chest, liver and kidney complaints, stomach ache, jaundice, gout and fits, dizziness, colds and coughs, croup, palpitations of the heart, lead colic, nausea, biliousness, dysentery, piles. etc. Pin, tape and other worms lurking in the system of so many thousands are effectually destroyed and removed. For female complaints, in young or old, married or single, at the dawn of womanhood or the turn of life, this tonic bitters has no equal. Aperient, diaphoretic and carminative, nutritious, laxative, diuretic, sedative counter-irritant, sudorific, alterative, and anti-bilious.")
    Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters: ca 1867, 94 proof alcohol! (“A mighty botanic restorative”)
Dyspepsia's pangs, that rack and grind
The body, and depress the mind;
Slow constitutional decay,
That brings death nearer, day by day;
Nervous prostration, mental gloom,
Agues, that, as they go and come,
Make life a constant martyrdom;
Colics and dysenteric pains,
'Neath which the strong man's vigor wanes;
Bilious complaints, -- those tedious ills,
Ne'er conquered yet by drastic pills;
Dread Diarrhea, that cannot be
Cured by destructive Mercury;
Heralds of madness or the tomb;
For these, though Mineral nostrums fail,
Means of relief at last we hail,
HOSTETTER'S BITTERS medicine sure,
Not to prevent, alone, but cure.

J.E.S. Hays