Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Leslie, Frank

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LESLIE, Frank, publisher, b. in Ipswich, England, 29 March, 1821; d. in New York city, 10 Jan., 1880. He was the son of Joseph Carter, a glove-manufacturer, and was christened Henry, educated in his native town, and placed in a wholesale dry-goods house in London at the age of seventeen. While at school he showed a strong taste for art, and before he left had become proficient in the use of the pencil and engraver's tools. On the establishment of “The Illustrated London News” he began sending in sketches signed “Frank Leslie,” a pen-name that he adopted to conceal his identity from his father. The prompt publication of his sketches led him to give up the dry-goods business, and he became superintendent of the engraving department of the paper before he was of age. He studied the various branches of the publication business, became an expert in the operation of “overlaying” wood-engravings, and was successful as an engraver on wood. In 1848 he came to the United States, assumed the name of Frank Leslie by legislative act, and secured employment on “Gleason's Pictorial” in Boston. Shortly afterward he became superintendent of the engraving department of “The Illustrated News.” In 1854 he began publishing on his own account, his first periodical being “The Gazette of Fashion,” and his second “The New York Journal.” On 14 Dec., 1855, he published the first number of “Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper,” in which his ideas of a pictorial newspaper were indicated by illustrations of Dr. Kane's arctic expedition that attracted wide attention. In 1865 he established “The Chimney Corner,” and followed it with German and Spanish editions of the “Illustrated Newspaper,” “The Boys' and Girls' Weekly,” “The Lady's Journal,” a weekly, “The Budget of Fun,” a monthly, “The New World,” a weekly, “Pleasant Hours,” “Popular Monthly,” and “Sunday Magazine,” monthlies, and “The Chatter-Box,” the “Illustrated Almanac,” and the “Comic Almanac,” annuals. Mr. Leslie received the medal of the American institute for wood-engraving in 1848, was a commissioner to the Paris exposition of 1867, where he was presented with a prize medal in gold by Napoleon III. for his services on the jury on art, and president of the New York state centennial commission in 1876. He was a liberal patron of art and charitable interests. — His wife, Miriam Florence, after his death, by a legal process, assumed the name of Frank Leslie, and has since conducted the business of the publishing-house. She is the author of “From Gotham to the Golden Gate” (New York, 1877).