Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Scribner, Charles

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SCRIBNER, Charles, publisher, b. in New York city, 21 Feb., 1821; d. in Lucerne, Switzerland, 26 Aug., 1871. After a year at the University of New York he entered Princeton college, where he was graduated in 1840, and began the study of law, but was obliged by ill health to make a trip to Europe. On his return he formed a partnership in 1846 with Isaac D. Baker, under the firm-name of Baker and Scribner, and began the publishing business. A year or two later Mr. Baker died, and Mr. Scribner continued under the title of Charles Scribner, and later of Charles Scribner and Co. With Charles Welford (who died in May, 1885) he formed in 1857 the house of Scribner and Welford for the importation of foreign books, which is still carried on under the same firm-name. In 1865 he began the publication of “Hours at Home,” a monthly magazine, which in 1870 was merged in “Scribner's Monthly,” under the editorship of Josiah G. Holland, and which was published by a separate company, Scribner and Co., with Dr. Holland and Roswell Smith as part owners. On Mr. Scribner's death, the next year, the firm of Charles Scribner and Co. was reorganized as Scribner, Armstrong, and Co., the partners being John Blair Scribner, Andrew C. Armstrong, and Edward Seymour, and in 1877 the publication-house was removed to 743 Broadway, its present site. Mr. Seymour died 28 April, 1877, and in 1878, when Mr. Armstrong retired, the firm-name was changed to Charles Scribner's Sons, under which form the business has been conducted since 1879 by Charles Scribner and Arthur H. Scribner, younger brothers of John Blair. In 1881 the firm sold out their interest in the magazine company, on the agreement that the name of the magazine and of the company should be altered, and the names were accordingly changed to the “Century Magazine” and the Century company. Charles Scribner's Sons agreed also not to publish any magazine for five years, but after the expiration of that time, in January, 1887, they began the publication of a new monthly, entitled “Scribner's Magazine,” edited by Edward L. Burlingame (q. v.). The house has been from the beginning solely a publishing firm as distinguished from a printing and publishing firm, and this has had an influence on the character of its publications, which have chiefly been confined to the works of contemporary authors. Besides its valuable list of literary and educational works, it has a large subscription department, from which have issued some of the most important and successful publications of the time. — John Blair, eldest son of Charles, b. in New York city, 4 June, 1850; d. there, 21 Jan., 1879, studied at Princeton, and succeeded his father as head of the firm in 1871.