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Sample Autograph Signature: Hulbert Footner

American/Canadian author of detective novels and canoeing adventures, and historian, William Hulbert Footner (1879 - 1944) was born in Canada and relocated to New York City in 1898 to pursue an acting career. Failing success, he turned to freelance writing - and canoing. His first success was an article about a canoe trip on the Hudson River which appeared in Field & Stream in 1904. In 1905, he found freelance assignments from several New York and Canadian newspapers to undertake a long canoe voyage through the Canadian Northwest and send back dispatches. He returned to Alberta in 1909 with a companion and explored the source of the Hay River in the Northwest Territories by canoe. His first was book, New Rivers of the North: The yarn of two amateur explorers of the head-waters of the Fraser, the Peace River, the Hay River, Alexandra Falls published in 1912, resulted from this adventure, as did several later adventure novels set in northwest Canada. A few years later he travelled by canoe to Maryland where he eventually settled in an old house on the Patuxent River. Footner published more than fifty novels between his first in 1911, Two on the Trail, and last, Orchids to Murder in 1945. Unusual for his time, he did a series of detective novels featuring a liberated female detective named Madame Rosika Storey; and another series in which a young woman is the "Watson" to his detective, Amos Lee Mappin. Six of Footner's novels/stories and a play were adapted to the screen. The play, Shirley Kaye, had previously opened on Broadway in 1916. His non-fiction work included New York: City of Cities published in 1937, and Sailor of Fortune: The Life and Adventures of Commodore Barney written in 1940, but recently republished by The Naval Institute Press as part of its Classics of Naval Literature Series. At the end of his writing career, he wrote a number of non-fiction books about Maryland and its people including Rivers of the Eastern Shore: Seventeen Maryland Rivers which he wrote for the Rivers of America Series in 1944.

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