Charles Jacobs Peterson

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Charles Jacobs Peterson (July 20, 1818 - March 4, 1887) was an American author and publisher.


Peterson was born in Philadelphia and studied law at the University of Pennsylvania, but never practiced law. He became an owner and partner in The Saturday Evening Post and editor at Graham's Magazine early in his career, and in 1842 founded Peterson's Magazine. This became a popular women's journal, which he edited until his death.[1][2][3]

In 1852, Peterson published the novel The Cabin and Parlor; or, Slaves and Masters under the pseudonym J. Thornton Randolph, an early example of the Anti-Tom literature which arose in response to Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was published by T.B. Peterson, Ltd.; Theophilus B. Peterson was one of Charles' brothers and a leading publisher of cheap and sensational fiction.[4] Peterson was not necessarily defending the institution of slavery, but instead a gradualism for ending of slavery in future instead of a destruction which would fracture the United States. After the American Civil War broke out, he was clearly on the Union side.[5]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Some were originally published in serial form in Graham's Magazine or Peterson's:[5]

  • Agnes Courtenay (1847)
  • The Oath of Marion (1847)
  • Grace Dudley (1849)
  • The Valley Farm (1850)
  • Cruising in the Last War (1850)
  • The Cabin and Parlor; or, Slaves and Masters (as J. Thornton Randolph) (1852)
  • Kate Aylesford (1855)
  • The Old Stone Mansion (1859)
  • Mabel or Darkness at Dawn (18??)


  • Military Heroes of the Revolution (8 volumes) (1847)
  • Military Heroes of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War (1848)
  • Naval Heroes of the United States (1850)
  • The American navy: being an authentic history of the United States navy, and biographical sketches of American naval heroes, from the formation of the navy to the close of the Mexican war (1857)


  1. ^ Charles Jacobs Peterson, Edgar Allan Poe Society, Retrieved September 14, 2012
  2. ^ Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1850-1865, Volume 2, Supplement Sketch 6 (history of magazine) (1938, 1970)
  3. ^ Charles Peterson, The Beadle and Adams Dime Novel Digitization Project, Retrieved September 14, 2012
  4. ^ Tebbel, John William Between covers: The rise and transformation of book publishing in America, p. 71 (1987)
  5. ^ a b Hayne, Barrie. Standing on Neutral Ground: Charles Jacobs Peterson of Peterson's, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, (Vol. 93, No. 4, October 1969, pp. 510-26)