Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Champlin, John Denison

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CHAMPLIN, John Denison, author, b. in Stonington, Conn., 29 Jan., 1834. He was educated at the Hopkins grammar-school, New Haven, and at Yale, where he was graduated in 1856. In the following year he began the study of law in the office of Gideon H. Hollister, Litchfield, Conn., was admitted to the bar in 1859, and subsequently became a member of the firm of Hollister, Cross & Champlin, in New York city. In the autumn of 1860, what seemed an advantageous business offer took him to New Orleans, where he was a witness during the following spring of the opening scenes of secession in that city. Satisfied that New Orleans was no place for the practice of his profession, he returned to the north in the autumn of 1861, and after some desultory literary work became, in 1864, associate editor of the Bridgeport, Conn., “Standard,” with special charge of the literary department. In 1865 he established, in Litchfield, a weekly newspaper in the interest of the Democratic party, entitled “The Sentinel,” which he edited until 1869, when he sold it and removed to New York to enter upon other literary pursuits. He wrote for several periodicals until 1873, when he edited, from the papers of Joseph F. Loubat, secretary to Gustavus V. Fox in his mission to present the congratulations of congress to the Emperor Alexander II. on his escape from assassination, the work entitled “Fox's Mission to Russia” (New York, 1873). In the same year he became a reviser and in 1875 associate editor of the “American Cyclopædia,” having special charge of the maps and engravings till the revision was completed. Mr. Champlin is the author of “Young Folks' Cyclopædia of Common Things” (New York, 1879); “Young Folks' Catechism of Common Things” (1880); “Young Folks' Cyclopædia of Persons and Places” (1880); “Young Folks' Astronomy” (1881); and “Young Folks' History of the War for the Union” (1881). In 1884 he visited Europe, and accompanied Andrew Carnegie in a coaching trip through southern England, which he has described in his “Chronicle of the Coach” (New York, 1886). He is now editor of Scribner's art cyclopædias, of which two volumes of the first part, “Cyclopædia of Painters and Paintings,” were published in 1886.