Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Merriam, George

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MERRIAM, George, publisher, b. in Worcester, Mass., 20 Jan., 1803; d. in Springfield, Mass., 22 June, 1880. The Merriam family were printers, book-makers, and booksellers in Worcester county in the latter part of the 18th century. George worked on his father's farm in West Brookfield until he was fifteen years of age, then entered his uncle's printing-office, and on reaching his majority became a partner. In 1831 he removed to Springfield with his brother Charles, and established in 1832 the publishing house of G. and C. Merriam. Their earliest publications were law-books, editions of the Bible, and school-books. After the death of Noah Webster, the lexicographer, the Merriams purchased the right of future publication of Webster's dictionary, many successive editions of which they have since issued. — His brother Charles, publisher, b. in West Brookfield, Mass., 21 Nov., 1806; d. in Springfield, Mass., 9 July, 1887, learned printing at an early age. He was active in benevolent works and contributed $5,000 and numerous books for the establishment of a public library in Springfield. He bequeathed $50,000 to missionary, Bible, and other religious societies.