Cyclopædia of American Biographies (1903)/Munsell, Joel

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MUNSELL, Joel, publisher, was born at Northfield, Mass., April 13, 1808; son of Joel and Cynthia (Paine) Munsell. grandson of Hezekiah and Irene (Bissell) Munsell. and a descendant of Thomas Munsell. who emigrated from England to New London, Conn.. about 1680. He was educated in the public schools of Northfield, Mass., and learned the wheelwright's trade under his father, and the printer's trade in Greenfield, Mass., where he became foreman of the office. He was employed as clerk in John Denio's book-store in Albany, N.Y., in 1827, and subsequently he became manager of the business, but resigned and engaged as a printer. He established the Albany Minerva, in 1828, and issued eight numbers; was employed in various newspaper offices, 1828-34, and in 1834 became associated with Henry D. Stone in publishing the Microscope. He purchased a job printing office in Albany in 1836, and engaged in publishing reference papers, pamphlets and books. He published and edited the New York Mechanic, a Whig campaign paper, 1841-43, and began to publish The Lady's Magazine, The Northern Star and The Freeman's Advocate in 1842; The Spectator,. a religious paper, in 1844; the Guard and Odd Fellows' Journal in 1845, and afterward, successively. the Unionist, the State Register, the Typographical Miscellany, the New York Teacher, the Albany Morning Express and the Albany Daily Statesman. He also published Webster's Almanac, and the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1861-64. He made a study and collection of works on the art of printing, part of which was purchased by the New York state library, and projected, edited and annotated an "Historical Series," that proved of great benefit to historical literature. He was one of the founders of the Albany institute and for many years published its Proceedings. He was a member of the Connecticut Historical society and of the New England Historic Genealogical society; corresponding member of the New York, Iowa, Maine, Vermont, Buffalo, Western Reserve and Oneida historical societies; an honorary member of the Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Licking county, Ohio, historical societies. He was also an honorary member of the American Antiquarian society, a corresponding member of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia and of the New York Genealogical and Biographical society. He was twice married; first, June 17, 1834, to Jane C. Bigelow. and secondly, Sept. 4, 1856. to Mary A., daughter of Alexander and Sarah (Sparrow) Reid, of Montreal. His son, Frank Munsell, born June 19, 1857, succeeded him as Joel Munsell's Son, editing: Genealogical Index (1885); American Ancestry (1887-1900); American Genealogist (1900); is the author of: "Bibliography of Albany and Munsell Genealogy," and retired from business in 1900. Joel Munsell is the author of: Outlines of the History of Printing (1839); Annals of Albany (10 vols., 1849-59); Every-Day Book of History and Chronology (1856); Chronology of Paper and Paper Making (1857, enlarged 1864 and 1870), and A Manual of the 1st Lutheran Church of Albany from 1670 till 1870 (1871). He died in Albany, N.Y., Jan. 15, 1880.