Moses King

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Portrait of Moses King

Moses King (April 13, 1853 – June 12, 1909) was an American editor and publisher who produced guidebooks to travel destinations in the United States, including Massachusetts and New York.

Brief biography[edit]

King was born in Shoreditch, London, UK to David Woolf King and Sarah Lazarus. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. After working for several years, he returned to school and was graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1879, and from Harvard College in 1881, at age 28.[1] He published his first guidebook while still in college, titled Harvard and its Surroundings.[2] After college he held a series of jobs in the publishing industry, working for Science magazine, Bradstreet's magazine, and Rand-Avery Co. He married Bertha Maria Cloyes in 1881; they had three children.[3][4]

Science v.1, no.5, 1883, published by Moses King

He steadily published travel guidebooks from 1878 onwards. By 1888 he formally established the Moses King Corporation. King's illustrated publications about Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and elsewhere in the U.S. received generally positive reviews. King published a few handbooks in the Boston area that were written by Moses Foster Sweetser (1848-1897), such as the King's Handbook of the Boston Harbor. M. F. Sweetser was an author and a manuscript writer of many works. The more popular titles of King's publications returned in updated editions.

One darker chapter in King's career occurred in June 1893. During a business meeting in New York, King and photographer Arthur G. Massey engaged in an altercation resulting in Massey filing a lawsuit alleging that King had pulled out part of Massey's beard. Plaintiff demanded $10,000 in damages.[5]

In 1894 King moved from Boston to New York, where he remained until his death in 1909.[6]

Selected works[edit]

Grave of Moses King in Cambridge Cemetery

Boston and Massachusetts[edit]

New York City[edit]




  1. ^ Who's who in New York (city and state). 1907.
  2. ^ Harvard graduates' magazine, 1910.
  3. ^ Harvard graduates' magazine, 1910.
  4. ^ Charles Morris. Men of the century, an historical work: giving portraits and sketches of eminent citizens of the United States. I. R. Hamersly & Co., 1896; p.269. Includes photo portrait of King.
  5. ^ His ebon beard pulled. Why Photographer Arthur G. Massey of New York Wants $10,000 from Publisher Moses King of Boston. Boston Daily Globe. Jun 26, 1893. p.3.
  6. ^ Moses King. New York Times. June 13, 1909.

Further reading[edit]

  • Moses King Going to New York. Boston Daily Globe. Jul 31, 1883. p. 5.
  • Mr. Moses King Takes Charge of "Bradstreet's." Boston Daily Globe. Jan 2, 1884. p. 6.
  • An author's wooden wedding. Congratulations to Moses King of Newton. Boston Daily Globe. Oct 20, 1886. p. 2.
  • Trade good, credit bad; Moses King on the Rand Avery Assignment. Boston Daily Globe. Oct 22, 1888. p. 1.
  • Boston failures: W.D. Forbes's liabilities and the insolvency of Moses King. New York Times. Nov 4, 1888. p. 16.
  • Moses King, The Harvard Register, Harvard University, 1880. Contains many references to Moses King.

External links[edit]

Tatham, David. "Moses Foster Sweetser's Views in the White Mountains." Historical New Hampshire (1981): n. pag. Web. 20 June 2014.