Near the end of the nineteenth century, the “tramp” embodied the most extreme aspects of the boom-and-bust economy in the US. More than any other writer of his day, the ethnographer Josiah Flynt assisted both the public and government officials in visualizing the lives of tramps with the intent of rehabilitating this population. The key text in this effort, Flynt’s Tramping with Tramps (1899) hinges on a comparison between US and European vagrancy. For reform-minded authors like Flynt, tramping in Europe provides a point of comparison for evaluating key areas of concern in the US—namely, the problem of idleness among sectors of the American population. The depiction of tramping abroad in Flynt’s work—as well as in accounts by writers like Mark Twain—ultimately reflects the international nexus shaping both the discourse surrounding vagrancy as well as antitramp legislation.