Charles Scribner I

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Charles Scribner I
Scribner's magazine (1887) (14595394149).jpg
Born (1821-02-21)February 21, 1821
New York City
Died August 26, 1871(1871-08-26) (aged 50)
Lucerne, Switzerland
Cause of death Typhoid
Education Princeton University (1840)
Employer Charles Scribner's Sons
Emma Elizabeth Blair (1827–1869) (m. 1846)
Children John Blair Scribner (1850–1879)
Charles Scribner II (1854–1930)
Arthur Hawley Scribner (1859–1932)
Parent(s) Uriah Rogers Scribner
Betsey Hawley
Relatives Charles Scribner III, grandson
Charles Scribner IV, greatgrandson

Charles Scribner I (February 21, 1821 – August 26, 1871) was a New Yorker who, with Isaac D. Baker (1819–1850), founded a publishing company that would eventually become Charles Scribner's Sons.


Scribner was born in New York City to Uriah Rogers Scribner and Betsey Hawley. He attended the Lawrenceville School from 1834 to 1837.[1] After a year's study at New York University,[2] he entered Princeton University and graduated with the class of 1840.[3] He began the study of law, but was obliged by ill health to make a trip to Europe.[2]

After returning from Europe, in 1846 Scribner became the younger partner of Baker in forming a new kind of publishing house under the firm name of Baker and Scribner. Unlike traditional houses, which were generally outgrowths of printing companies or book sellers, theirs would exist purely as a publisher. This had an influence on the character of its publications, which were chiefly confined to the works of contemporary authors.[2] It also published Presbyterian philosophy books.[citation needed] With the death of Baker in 1850, Scribner gained control of the company, renaming it Charles Scribner and then Charles Scribner and Company. With Charles Welford (who died in May 1885), he formed in 1857 the house of Scribner and Welford for the importation of foreign books.[2]

In 1865, Charles Scribner and Co. made its first venture into magazine publishing with Hours at Home, a monthly magazine. In 1870 this magazine was merged into Scribner's Monthly under the editorship of Josiah G. Holland, and 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. 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 was conducted after 1879 by Charles Scribner and Arthur H. Scribner, younger brothers of John Blair.[2]

The elder Charles Scribner married Emma Elizabeth Blair (1827–1869), daughter of the magnate John Insley Blair, in 1846. He died of typhoid on August 26, 1871 while traveling in Lucerne, Switzerland.[4] He is interred in the family plot in The Woodlawn cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.


  1. ^ "NOTABLE ALUMNI". The Lawrenceville School. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Scribner, Charles". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 
  3. ^ "Archives of Charles Scribner's Sons". Princeton University. Retrieved 2008-07-25. Charles Scribner, 1821–1871 (Princeton Class of 1840), Charles Scribner, 1854–1930 (Princeton Class of 1875), Arthur Hawley Scribner, 1859–1932 (Princeton Class of 1881), Charles Scribner, 1890–1952 (Princeton Class of 1913), Charles Scribner, 1921–1995 (Princeton Class of 1943), Charles Scribner, 1951– (Princeton Class of 1973) 
  4. ^ "Charles Scribner" (PDF). The New York Times. August 28, 1871. Retrieved 2008-07-24. The sad news was received on Saturday evening of the death from fever on that day at Lucerne, Switzerland, of Mr. Charles Scribner, head of the eminent publishing house Charles Scribner & Company... 

External links[edit]

Media related to Charles Scribner I at Wikimedia Commons