Hay, John. Jim Bludso of the Prairie Belle, and Little Breeches; With Illustrations by S. Eytinge, Jr. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1871. First Edition.
Printed peach wrappers, 4 1/2 x 7 inches, wrappers fold split but not quite separated, some splitting to folds of text. Frontispiece & 7 additional full-page illustrations, 24 pp. total. Good. Pamphlet. 
BAL 7739; listed in Johnson's High Spots of American Literature.
John Hay (1838-1905), American diplomat and author, served as Abraham Lincoln's secretary and biographer, later as assistant US Secretary of State in the administrations of Hayes and of Garfield, and as US Secretary of State under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
The first poem here - Jim Bludso of the Prairie Belle - written in the dialect of Pike County, Illinois - is about a boatman who is "no saint," with one wife in Mississippi and one in Illinois. When his steamboat catches fire, Jim Bludso saved all of his passengers at the cost of his own life. Hay's conclusion, "And Christ ain't a-going to be too hard | On a man that died for men" gave offence to some clergymen, but the poem was widely reprinted and popular.
Little Breeches is the story of a man who "don't go much on religion" but whose 4-year old tobacco-chewing son "Little Britches' is carried away in a wagon by a team of horses at night in a blizzard. The boy is later found safe and sound in the lambfold at home. "How did he git thar? Angels. | He could never have walked in that storm. | They jest scooped down and toted him | To whar it was safe and warm. | And I think saving a little child, | And bringing him to his own, | Is a derned sight better business | Than loafing around The Throne."
The illustrator, Solomon Eytinge, Jr. (1833-1905), American illustrator of the best of Victorial-era fiction, including the works of Louisa May Alcott, Robert Browning, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Bret Harte, Charles Dickens, Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, &c., &c. Eytinge was an illustrator for Frank Leslie's Illustrated News, the New York Illustrated News, and Harper's Weekly. He was mentor to the famous illustrator Thomas Nash.