The individual(s) who created this scrapbook pasted items, drew scenes, and wrote entries within the pages of a 1850s blankbook of receipts, seemingly created for use by a Boston shipping or exportation company. Contextual clues indicate that persons added to the volume at later dates, pasting clippings over used pages, and internal evidence suggests at least one compiler may have lived in Maine.
Penmanship exercises and short notes are written on many of the pages, either where no additional content has been added or where clippings have been pasted on top. The names James Randall Reeves and Orren Cunningham appear on some of these pages, as well as place names of Bennington and Windsor, Maine, possibly indicating one of the early owners of the volume. The handwriting appears to match the text that accompanies the original illustrations.
Original drawings made using pencil, colored pencil, and ink can be found throughout the volume, sometimes with dates added, ranging from 1863 to 1869. Remnants of clippings that had previously been affixed to the page indicate that an owner of the volume must have pasted items into the scrapbook at a later date than the drawings were originally produced. Many of the images depict scenes of conflict or relate to two fictional characters, Hezekiah and Ezekiel. The two men appear to be scouts, and the images depict their encounters with villains, Native Americans, and a love interest, Flora. Violence, unrequited love, and emotional disappointment are central themes, and the concept of a "gas of hope" that spontaneously streams from Ezekial's head appears several times when the character experiences excitement or distress.
- Page 1: "Back Villains for your lives, says Peter, or you shall all die at the break of day by Cats." At the base of the page: "Indifference.". The illustration shows a man carrying a revolver in one hand while a woman holds his other arm. She extends an arm out behind her towards two men following them, one with a darker complexion and a machete raised over his head and the other pointing a musket at them.
- Page 3: "As the Villains again leaped against the door, an arm was thrust through the broken hand, and a voice cried out." The illustration is a nighttime scene with three men with a battering ram striking at a closed door of a house, where a man points a pistol out of an opening at them.
- Page 6: "Rescued from fire..." (the text is partially obscured by remnants of a newspaper clipping). The drawing depicts a firefighter descending a ladder from second story that is ablaze, holding a woman in his arm.
- Page 8: "...burly scout. A Sioux Chief captured" (the text is largely obscured by affixed clippings). The drawing shows a mustachioed man in military garb, a fur hat, and a cape who is holding a knife covered in blood. He is grabbing the arm of a Native American man who has dropped his knife and who is bleeding from a wound in his arm. Two ink drawings of insects (a beetle and a dragonfly) are pasted on the page.
- Page 10: "Perrilous adventure of Hezekiah the Scout, under cover of the darkness at the haunted schoolhouse." The image is a nighttime scene of a small building with a man climbing through a window. Another man runs behind him saying, "stop villain stop."
- Page 12: "The fate of Hezekiahs beaver is inevitable" and "Wonderful adventure of the Scout, Hezekiah cries out with a loud voice Ezekiel come here, help me bind these knaves." The drawing is of a bare-chested man in a green hat, holding two Native American men by the throat, one in each hand. A pencil marking indicates the year 1865.
- Page 16: "...The robber of the Rhine" (at least one additional word is partially obscured). The drawing depicts a balding man smoking a long pipe, wearing a musket on his back, and holding a bloody sword in front of him. A pencil marking indicates the year 1866.
- Page 18: "Death of Heavy [?]" and "Desperate adventure of Hezekiah, Slatt down in Kintuck..." The image is of a shirtless man (with a green hat) facing off with a Native American man, the former wielding his musket overhead and the latter his tomahawk each to strike the other. They stand over three dead or dying Native American men.
- Page 21: "Ezekial, & he knows who, on sunday eve, at the schoolhouse coming from meeting, by cats." The drawing depicts a man kneeling beside a seated woman who is holding a handkerchief or piece of cloth. One of his hands is on her shoulder, the other holds one of her hands. Another man lies face down in the corner.
- Page 24: "Weep stricken one your sorrows will have an end." Text at the bottom of the page is largely obscured by clippings, but "Ezekiel" and "Flora" are both visible. The drawing shows an upset man with mussed hair and arms akimbo, holding a handkerchief. One of the clippings over the man's head is "FIRST LOVE." A pencil marking indicates the year 1866.
- Page 26: "A streak of hope for Ezekial." The drawing shows a smiling man wearing a yellow hat that is releasing a stream of green gas, labelled "gas of hope."
- Page 27: "weep on str[i]cken one thy sorrows shall never end." The image depicts two men standing before a small grave with headstone reading "Dead Hope." Ezekiel, wearing a yellow hat from which "gas" spews, points down to the grave, saying, "What Have You Buried There Hezekiah." Hezekiah, barefoot, wearing a green hat and ragged pants, and holding a shovel, replies, "A. Dead Hope. I. Thought. She. Loved Me. But. She Did. Not Oh. Dear. What. Shall. I. Do Boo Hoo Boo Hoo." The illustration is marked in ink: "Drawn by Ezekiel himself in 1867."
- Page 30: "N.E. View of the royal oak of Shag Town, May 2d 1867." The drawing is a landscape featuring a large barren tree with a wooden plank/case/contraption and musket leaning against it. A sun smiles in the sky.
- Page 32: "View of Mud Pond, & Poccihog Hill, Sketched on the eastern rock, At half past three O'Clock." A landscape drawing shows a lake and a heavily wooded hillside. A smiling sun is in the sky and a person rows a boat on the lake.
- Page 36: Portrait of a bearded man in military uniform, with blue and gold epaulettes.
- Page 38: "A sorrowful meeting of the two scouts, Dialogue. Ezekial - 'Oh the letter, the letter, she loves me not.' Hezekiah - "Weep not Bro Scout, I pronounce it a forgery, by cats." The image is of two men wearing hats, muskets, and powder horns. One holds a slain animal in his hand, and the other cries while holding a letter and gas spews from his hat.
- Page 40: "Tallow plenty, or courting by candle-light, Stebbins telling Flora about his farm, out west." The drawing is an interior scene of a room with wallpaper, curtains, chairs, and a table. A man and woman embrace while holding candles, and additional candles are located on the table, chair, and floor.
- Page 44: Text at the top of the page is partially obscured but reads in part, "Bachelor . . . the famous scout," while additional text at the bottom reads "The inocent subject of my contempt by day, and my dreams by night." The drawing is a portrait of a man in a rumpled green hat, shirt, and suspenders, likely representing Hezekiah. A printed, pasted-on caption reads "THE GHOST OF OAK GROVE."
- Page 46: The letters "P.L.L." appear at the top of the page, and the note "Signed in the first degree, P.L.L." appears beside a highly stereotyped pencil portrait of an African American man.
- Page 48: Portrait of a bearded man.
- Page 50: Portrait of a man with moustache and goatee, with the text, "Art. Miller, California" written beside him.
- Page 52: "Poor old maniac, but once powerful scout, now dwindled away with sorrow for the lost Flora." The image shows Ezekial holding a wooden cane and a large "grief bag" on his back that has a vent spewing gas. On the bag is a printed, pasted-on caption reading "THE HAND OF FATE". He is wearing ragged pants and his hat spews green gas. Hezekiah wears his green hat and proffers something to Ezekial, saying, "Poor old fellow you must be hungry. Can I do anything for you, you seem to be weary of life. I guess I take you to a place of safety at once." Ezekial: "Answers with great vigor. I'm not hungry it is grief that gnaws like hunger at my very vitals. No never. You are the man that ruined me, if I was a smart man as I [...] I would kill you."
- Page 54: "Ezekial goes home with -- gets near home when the old scout jumps through the gateway inclosed in a sheet, See the consequences, of his rush act." The image shows a man draped in a white sheet standing in the doorway of a round stone structure. A well-dressed man and woman run apart from each other, leaving their hats on the ground. On the opposite page, several notes are written: "The identical hat worn by Hezekiah at the siege of Tattletown"; "The hat worn by Hezekiah at the destruction of Troy"; and "The sad effects of first love."
- Page 56: A man wearing a feathered hat and cape brandishes a sword while standing with one foot on the back of a slain man who has dropped his sword. He continues to fight with a man in a robe with a cross on it. A woman sits on the ground with a hand to her head. A printed, pasted-on caption reads "WHO''S TO WIN." A pencil marking indicates the year 1869.
- Page 58: "The burly scout, the stabbed scout, & Frankrifle, outscouted, by the bank scout at the old barn . . . gets valuable information concerning the conspiracy, by cats." The image shows four men in a hayloft, one, likely Ezekial, wears a yellow hat that is expelling gas. A printed, pasted-on caption reads "HUNTED DOWN."
- Page 60: "In dishabille," and at the bottom of the page: "Stebbins - 'Get out of my bed, Oh get out of my bed!" The drawing is of a woman wearing a shift and draped with a blanket reclining in a bed. A man in a nightshirt is seated on floor gesticulating at her.
- Page 62: "Who's Been here?" The drawing shows a woman looking out the window, while a man in a nightshirt, carrying the rest of his clothes, flees from the open door. A nicely dressed man with cane approaches him. A printed, pasted-on caption reads "TAUGHT BY EXPERIENCE."
- Page 64: "My idea of domestic bliss. or High life in the Lowlands." Text at the bottom of the page reads, "Stebbins about played out. 20 years hence." The drawing shows a man holding a hatchet in one hand, while wearing ragged clothing and a green hat spewing gas. A woman hits him over the head with a broom, while many small children are strewn about the floor and pull on the adults. A pencil marking indicates the year 1864.
- Page 66: A flying lizard/dragon with a shouting sun.
- Page 90: A checkerboard.
Newspaper and magazine clippings are pasted throughout the volume. While content varies, many relate to themes of marriage, love, women, family, and memory. Poetry is heavily represented. A fair number of the clippings include jokes, humor, and wordplay. Several are directions for household maintenance or preventing pests, and a number of others relate to scientific topics.
In addition to articles and written text, the compiler also pasted in clipped illustrations from newspapers and magazines. Several feature Union Army officers, most of whom appear to have a connection to New York State. Landscapes of New York City and the Amazon River are also included, as well as several satirical illustrations and animals.
A number of the printed images relate to women, including Tennie C. Claflin, Victoria C. Woodhull, and Elizabeth R. Tilton. Rev. Henry Ward Beecher's image appears twice in the volume, including once where he is placed facing Elizabeth R. Tilton and a chain connecting the figures by the nose has been added in by pen (page 14). A short poem written in ink appears below it, reading:
Henry W. B., so buoyant with glee,
And Lizzie R. T., so innocent and free,
As happy as bees in the sweet apple trees
Raised a slight (?) breeze and made the whole world sneeze!
Several pages appear to have been used to copy a portion of an undated letter, which referenced a trip from Portland to Augusta, Maine, on the Maine Central Railroad, attitudes towards funerals, the teaching profession, arguments, and placebos (beginning page 57). Another passage appears to be an essay entitled, "to old Bachelors & maids" (pages 86-88) and a manuscript poem is written on the back inside cover that seems related to scouts and Native Americans.