Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Appleton, Daniel

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APPLETON, Daniel, founder of the publishing house of D. Appleton & Co., New York, b. in Haverhill, Mass., 10 Dec., 1785; d. in New York, 27 March, 1849. He began business as a dry-goods merchant in his native place, but subsequently went to Boston, and in 1825 removed to New York, where he began the importation of English books in conjunction with his dry-goods business. The book department was placed in charge of William Henry Appleton, his eldest son (b. 27 Jan., 1814; d. in Riverdale, N. Y., 19 Oct., 1899). This was in Exchange place. He soon abandoned the sale of dry-goods, and removed to Clinton Hall, Beekman street, and there gave his attention solely to the importation and sale of books. In 1835 W. H. Appleton was sent to represent the house in London, and in the following year the father visited Europe and founded a permanent agency at 16 Little Britain. His first publishing venture was a collection of religious extracts entitled “Daily Crumbs from the Master's Table,” a 32mo volume, of which 2,000 copies were sold. This was followed by another book of the same size and character, and in 1832, the cholera year, by “ A Refuge in Time of Plague and Pestilence.” In January, 1838, W. H. Appleton was taken into partnership, and the firm removed to 200 Broadway. In 1848 the father retired, and W. H. Appleton then formed a copartnership with his brother, John Adams Appleton (b. in Boston, Mass., 9 Jan., 1817; d. at his residence on Staten Island, 13 July, 1881). Three other sons became partners. Daniel Sidney, the fourth son, b. in Boston, 9 April, 1824, d. in New York, 12 Nov., 1890; George Swett, b. in Andover, Mass., 11 Aug., 1821, d. at Riverdale, N. Y., 7 July, 1878; Samuel Francis, the youngest son, b. in Boston, 26 April, 1826, d. in New York, 25 Oct., 1883. The business was removed from 200 Broadway to the old Society library building, corner of Leonard street and Broadway, and subsequently the growth of the city necessitated many removals farther up-town. In 1881 the retail, jobbing, and importing departments were abandoned, in order that sole attention might be given to the publications of the house, and the business was removed subsequently to its present location, 72 Fifth avenue. In 1853 a printing-office and bindery were established in Franklin street, New York; but the publishing business increased to such an extent that in 1868 the manufacturing department was removed to Brooklyn, where buildings were erected that cover nearly a whole square. The publications of the house extend over the entire field of literature. Its “American Cyclopaedia” is the largest and most widely circulated work of its kind ever produced in this country. The first edition was issued in 1857-'63; and a revised edition, which was practically a re-writing of the entire work, with the insertion of thousands of illustrations and other improvements, in 1873-'76, additions and corrections being added from time to time. The “Annual Cyclopaedia,” published in similar style and forming an appropriate continuation of the greater work, is now in its thirty-sixth year. Its illustrated books include “Picturesque America,” “Picturesque Europe,” and “Picturesque Palestine,” besides valuable art collections. Its textbooks embrace every subject taught in American schools; medical books form a special department, and books in Spanish for the South and Central American markets form another. Nearly all the noted scientists of Europe and the United States are represented in the list, which also in general literature includes the names of Bancroft, Bryant, CiMipor, Dickens, Disraeli, Scott, and other standard authors. The literature of the civil war is represented on both sides, by Generals Sherman, Sheridan, and J. E. Johnston, Admirals Farragut and Porter, Jefferson Davis, William H. Seward, and biographies of Lee, Chase, “Stonewall” Jackson, A. S. Johnston, and other distinguished participants. The business is conducted by a company incorporated in 1897, consisting of William W. Appleton, president; Daniel Appleton, 1st vice-president; Edward D. Appleton, 2d vice-president; Sidney Appleton, secretary and treasurer. The above, with Charles A. and Robert Appleton, constitute the board of directors of the company.