Charles Scribner I

Charles Scribner I (February 21, 1821 – August 26, 1871)[1] was a New Yorker who, with Isaac D. Baker (1819–1850), founded a publishing company that would eventually become Charles Scribner's Sons.

Charles Scribner
Scribner's magazine (1887) (14595394149).jpg
Born(1821-02-21)February 21, 1821
DiedAugust 26, 1871(1871-08-26) (aged 50)
EducationLawrenceville School
New York University
Alma materPrinceton University (1840)
Emma Elizabeth Blair
(m. 1846; died 1869)
ChildrenJohn Blair Scribner
Emma Locke Scribner
Charles Scribner II
Arthur Hawley Scribner
Parent(s)Uriah Rogers Scribner
Betsey Hawley
RelativesCharles Scribner III (grandson)
Charles Scribner IV (great-grandson)

Early lifeEdit

Scribner was born in New York City on February 21, 1821. He was the son of Uriah Rogers Scribner (1778–1853) and Betsey (née Hawley) Scribner (1787–1871).[2] Among his siblings was the Rev. William Scribner and Walter Scribner, a druggist.[3]

He attended the Lawrenceville School from 1834 to 1837.[4] After a year's study at New York University,[5] he entered Princeton University and graduated with the class of 1840.[6] He began the study of law, but was obliged by ill health to make a trip to Europe.[5]


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.[5] It also published Presbyterian philosophy books.[1]

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 the house of Scribner and Welford in 1857 for the importation of foreign books.[5]

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.[1]

Upon Scribner's death the next year in August 1871, Charles Scribner and Co. was reorganized as Scribner, Armstrong, and Co. The partners in the new firm were Scribner's eldest son, John Blair Scribner, Andrew C. Armstrong, and Edward Seymour. In 1877, the publication house moved to 743 Broadway. Upon Seymour's death in April 1877, and Armstrong's retirement in 1878, the firm-name was changed to Charles Scribner's Sons, under which form the business was conducted after John Blair Scribner's death in 1879 by Charles Scribner and Arthur H. Scribner, younger brothers of John Blair.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1846, Scribner was married to Emma Elizabeth Blair (1827–1869), daughter of the magnate John Insley Blair and Nancy Ann (née Locke) Blair. Her brother DeWitt Clinton Blair, continued their father's business and his son, C. Ledyard Blair, was a prominent investment banker. Together, they were the parents of:

He died of typhoid on August 26, 1871 while traveling in Lucerne, Switzerland.[1] He is interred in the family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City.


  1. ^ a b c d "OBITUARY. 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... Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  2. ^ Selleck, Charles Melbourne (1896). Norwalk. The author. p. 426. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  3. ^ Lyon, Clarence C. (1914). Manual of the Congregational Church and History of the Church and Parish in Hadlyme, Connecticut: With a List of the Principal Officers and an Entire List of the Members from Its Organization, June 26, 1745; and a List of Present Officers and Members to December 1, 1913 ... Hartford Printing Company. p. 13. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  4. ^ "NOTABLE ALUMNI". The Lawrenceville School. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Scribner, Charles" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
  6. ^ "Archives of Charles Scribner's Sons". Princeton University. Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. 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)
  7. ^ "John Blair Scribner Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. January 21, 1879. Retrieved 2008-07-24. John Blair Scribner, the senior partner of the publishing-house of Charles Scribner's Sons, died at his residence, No. 21 East Forty-eighth-street, at 5 o'clock last evening of pneumonia. Mr. Scribner contracted the disease a short time before the holidays, but recovered from the attack after a few days' illness, and was at his place of business up to Thursday of last week. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  8. ^ "Mrs. Scribner Dies. Skidmore Founder. Widow of John Blair Scribner Succumbs After Long Illness at Age of 77. Known as Philanthropist. Gifts to Girls' College She Started and Whose Trustees She Headed Put at $1,000,000". The New York Times. May 4, 1931. Retrieved 2008-07-25. Mrs. Lucy Skidmore Scribner, widow of John Blair Scribner, died yesterday afternoon at her home at 791 North Broadway after having been in poor health for several months. Her age was 77. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  9. ^ "Died". Time. May 11, 1931. Retrieved 2008-07-25. Mrs. Lucy Skidmore Scribner, 77, founder and board chairman of Skidmore College at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Skidmore School of Arts founded in 1911, changed to Skidmore College in 1922), relict of John Blair Scribner who was the eldest son of Charles Scribner (books); in Saratoga Springs, Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  10. ^ Times, Special to The New York (20 June 1914). "Walter Cranston Larned Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  11. ^ "HELD AS WOULD-BE SUICIDE; Nephew of Charles Scribner Tries to Jump From Hotel Window" (PDF). The New York Times. 13 March 1922. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Charles Scribner Dies suddenly at 76. Publisher Succumbs to Heart Disease at Home Here. Was at Desk Thursday. Entered Firm as Youth. Directed Business His Father Founded. Fostered Work of American Authors. Firm Founded in 1846. Received Honorary Degree". The New York Times. April 20, 1930. Retrieved 2008-07-24. Charles Scribner, chairman of the Board of Directors of the publishing house of Charles Scribner's Sons, 597 Fifth Avenue, which was founded by his father, died suddenly at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon of heart ... Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  13. ^ "A. H. Scribner Dead. Headed Book Firm. Son of Founder of Noted Publishing House Is Victim of Heart Attack in His Sleep. Was Active for Princeton. Permanent President of His Class of '81 and an Organizer and First Head of the Ivy Club". The New York Times. July 4, 1932. Retrieved 2008-07-24. Arthur Hawley Scribner, president of the publishing house of Charles Scribner's Sons, died of a heart attack In his sleep early ... Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)

External linksEdit