George Swett Appleton

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George Swett Appleton
Born (1821-08-11)August 11, 1821
Andover, Massachusetts
Died July 8, 1878(1878-07-08) (aged 56)
Riverdale, Bronx, New York
Occupation Publisher
Spouse(s) Caroline Osgood
(m. 1846; her death 1878)
Children 5
Parent(s) Daniel Appleton
Hannah Adams
Relatives William Henry Appleton (brother)

George Swett Appleton (August 11, 1821 – July 8, 1878) was an American publisher,[1] the third son of Daniel Appleton.[2]

Early life[edit]

George Swett Appleton was born on August 11, 1821 in Andover, Massachusetts. He was the third son of eight children born to Daniel Appleton (1785–1849) and Hannah Adams (1791–1859), the daughter of John Adams and Dorcas Falkner.[3]

Appleton received a liberal education in New York and then traveled abroad to study, particularly in Leipzig, Germany.[2]


After his studies in Germany, he returned to the United States and for a number of years was an independent publisher and a book seller in Philadelphia.[4] Employees included Joseph Sabin.[5]

In 1860, he joined the family publishing business, D. Appleton & Company, with his brothers and acted as the de facto press agent of the firm.[2][6][7]

In 1865, George moved his family to New York and became a partner with his three brothers, John, William, and Sidney in his father's publishing business, D. Appleton & Company. He was a scholar and art connoisseur, and acted as the literary adviser to the firm. Appletons' Art Journal and the Popular Science Monthly were planned by him. He was also responsible for the Picturesque America volumes.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In Paris in 1846, he married Caroline Archer Osgood (b. 1830),[9] the daughter of Robert H. Osgood of Salem, Massachusetts[10] and sister of Vice Commodore Osgood of the New York Yacht Club.[6] Together they had two daughters and three sons:[2]

  • Ellina Appleton (b. 1848), who married William A. Fraser in 1867.[2]
  • Walter Stone Appleton (b. 1849), who married Annie P. Beach, the daughter of W. A. Beach, of Troy.[2]
  • Emma Appleton (b. 1852), who married Madan, a Cuban.[11]
  • George Swett Appleton (1854–1886), who worked at D. Appleton & Co.[12]
  • Francis Appleton (b. 1856)[2]

He was a member of the Century Association in New York, of which his brothers were founders, and a member of Grace Church. Before his death, he resided at 17 East 32nd Street in Manhattan.[2]

Appleton died of cerebro-spinal meningitis on July 8, 1878 at the home of his brother in Riverdale, Bronx.[2][13][14] His funeral was held at Grace Church.[6][15][16]


  1. ^ Dall, Caroline Wells Healey (2006). Daughter of Boston: The Extraordinary Diary of a Nineteenth-century Woman, Caroline Healey Dall. Beacon Press. p. 377. ISBN 9780807050354. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "GEORGE SWETT APPLETON, THE PUBLISHER.". The New York Times. 7 July 1878. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  3. ^ Cutter, William Richard (1913). New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Appleton, George Swett". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 
  5. ^ "Death of Joseph Sabin", New York Times, 1881 
  6. ^ a b c GEORGE SWETT APPLETON. The Publishers Weekly | F. Leypoldt. July 27, 1878. p. 116. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  7. ^ American Revisions and Additions to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. R.S. Peale & Company. 1892. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  8. ^ Wolfe, Gerard R. (1981). The House of Appleton. Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press. p. 187. 
  9. ^ Appleton's Annual Cyclopædia and Register of Important Events of the Year ... D. Appleton & Company. 1890. p. 17. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "NEW-YORK CITY.; THE NORMAL SCHOOLS. Degrees Conferred upon Graduates--Great Meeting in the Tabernacle. Sunday School Teachers' Association. New-York Horticltural Society--Address of Dr. Osgood. Meeting of the Board of Governors. Interesting's all about the Park Meeting. The Hudson River Association (South.) Knock Before Entering. Beggars in the Seventh Ward. Meeting of Commissioners of Emigration. No Politics in the Police--Mr. Zilken's Case. Stand from Under. LAW INTELLIGENCE. Decision in Admiralty on Appeal. Decision in Admiralty. SUPREME COURT--IN CHAMBERS. SUPREME COURT--CIRCUIT. SUPREME COURT--SPECIAL TERM--June 20. COURT OF COMMON PLEAS. COURT OF GENERAL SESSIONS-JUNE 20.". The New York Times. 21 June 1855. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  11. ^ Social Register, New York. Social Register Association. 1898. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  12. ^ 1875, Harvard College (1780-) Class of (1899). Secretary's report. Geo. H. Ellis. p. 18. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "DEATH OF MR. G.S. APPLETON.". The New York Times. 9 July 1878. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "THE LATE GEORGE S. APPLETON.; ADDRESS TO THE FAMILY OF THE DECEASED BY THE EMPLOYES OF D. APPLETON & CO.". The New York Times. 13 July 1878. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  15. ^ The American Bookseller: A Semi-monthly Journal Devoted to the Interests of the Book, Stationery, News, and Music Trades. American News Company. 1878. p. 76. Retrieved 23 June 2017.