Henrietta Hen is afraid the duck will drown.
Illustration from The Tales of Henrietta Hen, by Arthur Scott Bailey, 1921, illustrated by Harry L. Smith
Arthur Scott Bailey (1877 – 1949) was author of more than forty children's books. He was born on November 15, 1877, in St. Albans, Vermont, United States, the second child of Winfield Scott Bailey and Harriet Sarah Goodhue (a girl, Ellen was born in 1876). Winfield Bailey owned a dry goods shop that was stated to be "one of the most reputable of St. Albans mercantile concerns" and specialized in furs; namely ladies' fur coats, muffs and scarves. Bailey attended St. Albans Academy and graduated in 1896, in a class of only eleven other students. He then went on to the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, where he became involved in a fraternal organization, Sigma Phi (with which he was very active through at least 1915; he joined the organization's Catalogue Committee in 1914 as a vice chairman, after the resignation of Dr. Alexander Duane).
However, he left UVM in 1901 and transferred to Harvard, where he earned his bachelor's degree. After graduating Harvard in 1902, Bailey traveled to Chicago and put his knowledge of growing up in his father's store to good use, becoming a wholesale grocery merchant. This lasted until 1904, when Bailey travelled to New York City and became an editor for various publishers. Which publishers these were is unknown, with the exception of the Macaulay Company, where he was working in early 1915. He was married around this time (on September 14, 1913) to Estella W. Goodspeed, a St. Albans woman; the wedding was held in his hometown. Estella Goodspeed, whose maiden name had been Crampton, had been married once before to an unknown Mr. Nelson Allen Goodspeed, and had a son, Allen Wright Goodspeed and daughter, Estella Joanne Goodspeed. Allen Goodspeed was born on August 5th, 1906, and would have been nine when the first Sleepy-Time Tales were written (Estella was born in 1908.) As Bailey did not write prior to his marriage to Estella, it can be surmised that he first started crafting his stories for Allen and Estella, whom he treated as his own children. Estella Joanne later married a Mr. Lennox Stuart and moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Bailey's writing has been described thusly by the Newark Evening News: "Mr. Bailey centered all his plots in the animal, bird and insect worlds, weaving natural history into the stories in a way that won educator's approval without arousing the suspicions of his young readers. He made it a habit to never 'write down' to children and frequently used words beyond the average juvenile vocabulary, believing that youngsters respond to the stimulus of the unfamiliar."
His work also includes the comic strip Animal Whys, which was syndicated in 1937.
Bailey was also known for being an intellectual, and was a member of the Salamagundi Club of New York. When it came to religion, Bailey was a Unitarian (who have long had a presence in St. Albans) and politically, he was a Republican of the old school.
Bailey died on October 17, 1949, at 71 years of age.
Allen W. Goodspeed, in a fascinating footnote, grew up to become the Professor Emeritus of Forest Management at West Virginia University; and has a scholarship named in his honor. He died on September 30th, 1991, and had 10 grandchildren.
- Strickler, Dave. Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924-1995: The Complete Index. Cambria, CA: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1.
- Works by Arthur Scott Bailey at Project Gutenberg